Psychic Network Niagara, part 2: Lillyville

In 1879, a small group of believers and practitioners of the new Spiritualist movement journeyed to a destination a few miles south of Niagara Falls and founded the community of Lillyville, a meeting place for mediums and metaphysical thought. Today, Lillyville is the oldest Spiritualist community in America, and perhaps the world.

Many have come here lately, searching. More than usual. They want to know where everyone went.

It was purposely settled as close to the falls of Niagara as possible, believing the waterfall and the surrounding area held more than just natural power. 

 Jim, some call him Big Jim because he is big, or Big Psychic Jim because he is a big psychic. But his big clairvoyance has been blocked by grief, so he has come here seeking answers as to the whereabouts of his son, Little Psychic Jim. His boy went missing with hundreds of other aspiring psychics while on a psych hike in the Niagara Mountains. They sent in a dog to find them, but the dog went missing too. There have been several others visiting Lillyville, looking to locate loved ones who went missing on that same retreat. Some believe that they were abducted by aliens. Some think they were swallowed by a landfill sinkhole in them hills made of trash. But most fear that the group of psychic water farmers who organized the retreat, a group known as the Sunflower Cult, has something to do with the mass disappearance. That’s certainly what Annie believes. A nice couple that and her husband used to hang out with, soft swap, also vanished. Maybe they are gone forever, maybe they will come back some day, all weird and tripped out. 

The founders and current inhabitants of Lillyville see the Falls as a place of mystical significance, both haunted and protected by the most ancient of spirits. 

Many are here in Lillyville, grieving, desperate, looking for answers. Here’s one now, passing through the gates, street parking, grabbing her purse full of ten thousand dollars (!) that she’s willing to exchange for contact, for peace of mind. How does it all work, this Lillyville industry? 

Lillyville is not only known for their psychics, but they are also home of the world-famous Lillyville soft pretzels.

She asks where, she asks why, asks why again, and again, she needs answers, her hand clenches other hand, she wants to hear him one more time, find closure, she bursts into a weep, her foot taps, mechanically, the churning leg milks her grief into the unseen pseudo-alchemical chambers working below. 

Yes this is the same Lillyville as the popular Lillyville Soft-Pretzel chain found in many rest stops along the east coast.

Every drop of that grief is collected through a network of tubes, glass and copper channels, terminating in bubbling beakers and fat-bellied iron vessels. The sobs, the moment of release, moaning, wailing and all that waft from those in mourning, is pulled under the floorboards by hot vacuum filling tanks of longing and sorrow jars (some of the last known glass jars on the east coast), it’s oozing through the clear glass smoking back up in a miasma that helps the seers see, helps the mediums make out the shapes in the invisible, yielding air. Lillyville processed pain is the philosopher’s stone of the mystics of this quaint little village. 

In 1989, Marion Winfield of Lillyville started selling her unique soft-pretzels on a roadside along a busy section of route 33, and her salty, buttery, garlic-stuffed doughy knots were a hit.[insert a psychic reading bit]

Shelley is 83 years old, she’s lived in Lilyville for the past 100 years, and she’s still riding her bike through the streets every morning dumping hot ash under the tombstones, washing the sacred stump. The look in her eye is alive, smelling of cardamom, too virile, ravishing is Shelley with skin so youthful blessed by the tears of joy and agony sucked out silently and mixed with the elixirs that moisturizes her skin, softens her dough, she parties. God, the parties here in Lillyville… all night, hard and frisky. FULL SWAP.

Mr. Small, a medium, never catches a cold, has a mood like a rainbow, and has helped people connect to those on the other side while he himself will live the long life on this side thanks to the captured grief sweat boiled in flasks prepped to be exchanged for the power to hear the dead crystal clear. The hazy sizzle of a ghost touch, quick as a flash, might have said I wait for thee my lovely sister, or was it I’m watering my lovely toaster?

Her first Lillyville Soft Pretzel stand opened at the Angola Travel Plaza in 1991, and since then 11 more stands have opened state-wide and now include other flavors like salted caramel, jalapeno cheddar, and pizza.

A transformation takes place.

An excess of pathos, in one end, and magic out the other. 

Into the blonde helmets goes the gravity, mothers mourning their dead kids, kids missing their dead folks, lonely husbands and wives waiting for the message with open wounds crying out to suture themselves with the stitches of a sign, a door, an assurance that the dead are at peace and joinable. It has a smell, a weight and even a taste, such things as a deep cup of regret and hot fresh anguish, hotter than a pretzel straight out of the oven.

At an average reading no less than a giant spirit can be contacted given the right dose of trap fumes rising up from the reservoir of countless tears, waxing the faces of the bereaved with lavender vaseline as if awaiting the pressing of a jellied death-mask mold to be sold at a later point at the local ghost shop. 

Lillyville, neither sinister nor beneficent, neither scam nor bargain. A duty-free shop on the borders of life and death, and science and spirit is all.  

Come, bring your deepest feelings. They shall be cooked, smoked and snorted through old seance cones for stronger cuticles and claroivance skills. Here’s one now: Want, saw, what, see, speak, you, wait, can’t, what, tick, you.

A rip off? No, not quite; The moisture is the message. 

Another little known fact: Microwaves are not allowed in the town of Lillyville. 

Ultimately, the seekers are told what they want to hear. The psychic hikers will return, drip drip, they miss you and love you, drop drop, you will wake up some day soon and they will be there as if nothing happened. Plop. And there is some truth to it, the seers know… they will return, but in what form, they cannot tell. 

The Sunflower Cult, part 3: Midnight Fog

Midnight Fog

“I’m a truck man… twitching something foul” 

Radio radio, rambo ears up, this is Easy Diesel, driving northbound up the niner. 

Look, I don’t know who’s listening out there, but I sure gotta hell of a story to tell.

I was just swinging on a bum load busting a hot bird dog on an east coaster, when I started feeling shat-laced, so I pulled my riggy into a motel in Niagara Falls for an overnighter. I was treating my toots to a hangman’s delight, when I noticed something strange in the room next door.

Every couple of hours there was this red van, it would pull up, drop off 3 or 4 people at a time. Always some tie dyed poncho pushers escorting a couple dazed looking ingenues, leading them in the room in their trance-like state. 

At first I thought this was just a lewd game of blind man’s finger, but then I realized.. All these people were going in, but none were coming out. There must have been 30 or 40 people in that one small room, that ain’t right. 

I decided this needed a man’s investigation. 

I stood outside their door but heard nothing. I banged on a cinder block with a shovel for a while, but nobody peered out the window. Somehow that room seemed to be empty. 

The next time that van pulled up and dropped off more disappearing party cargo, I got in my truck and followed it.  

A daring exploit to a truck man is like nectar to a bumble bee and my proboscis was twitching something foul. 

I stuck a sticker on that van’s dick for about 20 minutes, it pulled off the freeway and then drove me through an intentional community of co-parental homesteaders. All the streets were named after characters from Nora Ephron novels, like Sam Road, Rob Street, Julie Way.

I continued following as it cut through a dark, wooded stretch, until it opened up to a manicured estate, crowned by a glorious mansion with a backdrop of scary orchards. 

The van pulled up the drive and into a garage. I parked my semi behind a bush so nobody could see it, and I crept up behind the mansion. I waited by a back service door until a chef came out to smoke a beady, and before he could see me, I pounced, knocked him out cold with a pile driver. I slowly removed his clothes with my switchblade and rolled his naked body under a nearby canoe. 

I put on his chef suit and blended myself into the kitchen, which should come as no surprise since I was once a profiterole runner on a Kentucky cruise ship in my youth. 

Anyway, after pumping out some bread loafs in the shape of baby dolls with the boys, I snuck out into the hallway, to find out more about here what going on satanic baloney was afoot. 

It was rich shit like I’d never dreamed of, I musta passed 3 or 4 robots and a buncha bins full of free pumpkins. 

I reached a huge metal door, like something you might find in a rich man’s sewer, an engraving read “Operation Midnight Fog”. I pushed it open and there I was roosting my beef in a massive abandoned opera house, all Argento like, blistering with decay, but crawling with activity. 

Under the proscenium was dozens of fine young sleepy ladies and gents with wires and tubes sticking out of their heads, leading out the back to running mill wheels and coggle engines connecting to log rides that feed into smokin chemical drums that lined the brinks of industrial water farms guarded by dirty people with sticks. There was beeping, and steam sounds, and scientists with white lab coats and even whiter dreads. They had those scooby doo marijuana rings under their eyes, and they kept communication in scientific code [zack]. 

Holy Bocephus, I stumbled upon an infernal project. Here was secret high society, experimenting on innocent human beings, extracting the fog of souls to be used as some sort of super drug. I wasn’t sure about the extent of their plan, so I consulted the tarot… from my pocket I pulled a card: the wheel of crabs. This could only mean one thing, these rusted root bilderbergs are about to release this midnight misty fog into the water supply. That’s some ass in the jackpot now.

I was about to snap some pics to send to Washington, but then one of the guards noticed I was wearing footwear, and I knew I was busted. Chasing commenced, I knocked over a flaming sconce to screw em up, and then I escaped through the ductwork, exiting two stories down right into a pony corral. I got in my truck and I sure didn’t turn around. 

I got nobody else to tell all this to you but y’all, no one’s gonna believe me, I got a hunched back and bad habit of huffing bug spray. 

And now as I sing my spit into cb radio land, this whole night has got me thinking about the dynamics of power. High society is always stooping so low, and the low always tryin to be that hiiiigh society.  

Y’all make no mistake, right about now the real power in this country, is flower power. And they won’t stop until we’re all humming their tune.

But don’t you worry truckers, our time in power will come soon. Just don’t drink the water, and just keep truckin’ on.

The Sunflower Cult, part 4: Voices from the Other Side

S1 E4: A lowly employee at the Ransomville Outdoor Auction and Flea Market finds a cassette tape that uncovers the truth behind the Sunflower Cult, but will the Niagara Falls Police Squad believe his story? Also, Easy Diesel is now dead.
Collectively written, sound by G Lucas Crane.
Bug Child: Admiral Grey. Employee: Ric Royer. Sergeant: Roy G Biz, Cop #2: Tony Pepperoni.