By Matthew M. Bartlett
Where is the real Leeds? How does one get there? Is it floating on the air—words and music you can almost reach out and grab like wriggling worms of sound and ether? Is it in the carnival that seethes under the corrupted church, drawing the lost along shadowy corridors and through the strangely angled Funhouse doors to the place where the city fathers perform secret rites with the goat-headed masters of the dark? Do you seek the Real Leeds? Venture out to a secluded spot, turn on your radio, and spin that dial down to the murky low numbers, somewhere just around 87.9... That music, that voice calling on the edge of static and distortion—it might lead you to that blasted and damned path toward the Real and Truest heart of Leeds, Massachusetts. This is WXXT. It's the witching hour, when shadows take wing and nightmares stalk. Turn your radio up. Point your antennas to the infinite sky. And stay tuned for Weather on the Sixes. WXXT. The bubbling blisters on the tongue of the Pioneer Valley.
"To hear him tell it, Leeds was a hive of abominations, goatish demons in the shadows, and strange chants echoing in the parts of the woods from which daylight had long been banished. Creatures that swarmed the roof-beams and lurked in the basements, lorded over by an abomination, a long-dead magus who had returned through an unspeakable ritual. A man who had been reborn from the carcass of a goat." —Matthew M. Bartlett, “Driving to Leeds,” Creeping Waves
Matthew M. Bartlett is the author of Gateways to Abomination, Anne Gare’s Rare Book and Ephemera Catalogue, and The Witch-Cult in Western Massachusetts. His short stories have appeared in such anthologies as Xnyobis #1, Resonator: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond, Faed, and High Strange Horror. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife Katie Saulnier and their cats Phoebe, Peach Pie, and Larry.