The butterjunk effect

Who knew a scrapyard could have history?  In 1960, Gerald Marsden came to Plainview (I just realized what a burn that name is) to be a farmer.  He sucked at farming but he made money on the side fixing up tractors and cars.  After a couple years, he gave up on the farming and got a license to sell car parts and operate a junkyard.

Yes, you need a license for those things.  Can’t have people operating a “yard” without being licensed.  The country would collapse in chaos.

In 1972, Gerald shot himself in the head after executing his wife in her sleep.  A few years later, a reporter figured out that Gerald Marsden was “Bird” Pietragallo, who was a hitman for the Patriarca crime family in the 50s. 

What’s interesting about Bird?  Being a mob hitman is pretty interesting, but you know what I mean.  There was a persistent rumor that he was a Satan worshipping black mage.  The general scholarly opinion is that demon-worship was a rumor he started himself to scare people.  On account of in Boston in the 50’s everyone was super Catholic. 

Kind of silly to think about that now.  Anyone who says they’re a Satanist today isn’t feared, they’re ridiculed. 

For the 12 years Bird was in Plainview, an unusual number of people went missing in the general area of the junkyard.  In the years after, a number of strange deaths have occurred there.  After Bird blew his head off, the yard was bought by Jimmy O’Doyle. 

During the 30 years O’Doyle owned the place, his three sons all killed themselves in the junkyard.  Two of the women who married into the family were killed in accidents there.  Some HS kids snuck into the place to film a movie.  Two of them died.  One was killed by a dog at the yard and another was bit by a rat, got some weird disease, and died a few months later.  An insurance adjuster out there was crushed to death when a 312 Ford-Y Block V8 fell on him. 

Those are the confirmed deaths. There’s many rumors about people being killed and stuffed in cars there, or mob money being buried in the lot, all kinds of crazy shit.

It took some doing because I was making it up as I went along, but I was eventually able to figure out that there was a spell in place on the road.  I think Bird put it there to fuck up cars, either to get him more business, or to get him victims, or both. 

The spell was weak and fading, but it was still there.  I’m fucking amazed at that.  Maintaining a spell for a few minutes is hard enough, let alone years.  And how could a spell continue after your death?  I suppose that’s why people seem to like blood magic so much.

Royale could undo spells but I never got a chance to learn that from him.  I called the professor and we talked through it, but ultimately I just had to figure it out myself.  Once I got a handle on the idea, it was like untangling a giant mass of Christmas tree lights.  It was frustrating and slow but I got there. 

I found a couple other old broken spells around the property, defensive wards and things to keep people away.   They weren’t working anymore but they were bleeding energy out.  That magic pollution was probably causing a lot of the shit around the place.  I did what I could to dismiss it, but I’m not sure it did much.  Once something is that wrecked it’s kind of hard to get rid of.  That probably doesn’t make sense.

This is why you need to be so careful with magic.  This is why it scares me how reckless other people are.  You don’t really know what it’s going to do.  Unintended consequences.  That’s what you need to look out for.

Magic has rules.  And people think that means they can control it.  Fire has rules.  Knowing those rules allows us to have some effect on it.  But when the entire state of California is on fire 9 months out of the year, are we in control?  Hurricanes have rules.  Earthquakes have rules.  The sun has rules.  But we can’t control them.

Magic is like those things only bigger and stranger.  Magic encompasses everything in the universe.  You think you know how that all works?  Doing magic is not a recipe that you can follow, it’s not an equation.  You can’t balance up the sides and then everything works out. 

Magic is lightening in a bottle.  It’s an atomic blast in a pickle jar.

Most times, a magician touches magic and wields it in a small way to achieve a measurable result. Like tuning a radio to a certain station.  That doesn’t mean you have any idea what the billions of other radio waves flying around are doing. 

People have expectation that the world should be comprehensible.  It isn’t.

Published by sopantooth

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