The 78 Men Who Cause Pain are not always 78 in number. The 78 Men Who Cause Pain are not always men. The 78 Men Who Cause Pain are not formed like monsters or born like people. Instead they are machined perfectly, identical despite meaningless physical differences. They are designed to efficiently execute the will of the ghost mind that rides the spaces between them. They hold individual responsibility only in the way a single cell in a brain or ant in a colony holds individual responsibility for the consequences of the actions created by a collective. The ghost in the spaces is
self-healing, self-made, self-growing. It is emergence. It acts only in its own interests & only to maintain & extend its control. The 78 men themselves are a collection of nothings. Prefab vectors in the shape of individual beings. You can see it in their eyes.

The 78 men who cause pain exist accidentally at the top of a malicious hierarchy, but they, like all beings they influence, have a seed of submission within them. Each 78man was once a child, & being a child under the influence of the 78 Men Who Cause Pain is to exist in a state of absolute control. It is to be programmed to submit to the will of the ghost in the spaces.

The nature of the ghost in the spaces is barely anything to speak of. It is a simple algorithm that converts life into pain. There is nothing meaningful to be found at its heart. It has no heart. It must be killed fully or not at all. When I was living in Sea-Witch all of this was common knowledge. We will pray it to death. We will die alongside it.

[image description: page 60 of the book SEA-WITCH v.2 Girldirt Angelfog by Moss Angel the Undying. Black text is on the top of half of a white page in three sections. On the bottom of the page, a figure drawn in pink emerges. The figure has upstretched arms and upturned face with an X for an eye, an open mouth showing many teeth. The figure has black hair.]

This selection comes from the collection SEA-WITCH v.2: GIRLDIRT ANGELFOG, available from 2fast2house. Order your copy here. Our curator for November is M. Mack.

Moss Angel is a crossgenre writer and book artist based in Portland, OR. She is author of five books, most recently Sea-Witch v.1: May She Lay Us Waste and Sea-Witch v.2: Girldirt Angelfog, both out from 2fast2house. You can support her work by subscribing to her patreon or buying her books.

M. Mack is a genderqueer poet, editor, and fiber artist in Virginia. Ze is the author of Theater of Parts (Sundress Publications, 2016) and three chapbooks, most recently MINE (Big Lucks Books, forthcoming 2017). Their work has appeared in such places as cream city review, Cloud Rodeo, Rogue Agent, Menacing Hedge, and The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). Mack is a founding co-editor of Gazing Grain Press, an assistant editor for Cider Press Review, and the monster maker behind What Is Reality Plushies. Find them at

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