Welcome one and all to the Last Door on the Left – a travel agency for the adventurous soul. Have you always wanted to see the world beyond the wardrobe? Longed to wait for the train at 9 ¾? Pined for tickets to hear Plava Laguna sing at Phloston Paradise? Look no further.
Hello and happy travels to you all, from the staff here at your friendly, neighbourhood fantasy-adventure tourism agency. We’re thrilled to host you for another exciting excursion into the ‘verse through the Last Door on the Left. Lately we’ve been sleepwalking on Elm street and shopping on Rodeo Drive, and we thought, “things just aren’t exciting enough”. With that in mind, this week we thought it might be fun to take a truly wild walk; on the Other Side. So strap on your scythes and sundry veilrippers, break out the hair dye and gothic attire, and allow me to introduce you to the Death Vigil.
Oh, it sounds morbid, I know. But honestly, the Reaper – Bernie, to her friends and family of Vigil recruits – is really very sweet. A sucker for a bad pun, Bernadette uses humour to fuel both her journey through the ages, and her seemingly endless battle against the Primordial Enemy. Her team recruitment process is a little unusual, I’ll give you that, though. Dying a hero’s death in an alley? You’re in! Ritualistically murdered by your deranged boyfriend (with *wild* daddy issues) in order to power a demon-filled rift between dimensions? Come on down! The learning curve is a bit steep, and the decision to join requires some risk-reward analysis, but you can’t beat the whole not-dead-anymore benefits package.
Savvy Traveller Side Note #1: FLRA: Field Level Risk Assessment. Just because we’re all about the adventure here, at the Last Door on the Left, doesn’t mean we don’t take safety VERY SERIOUSLY. (srs bsns, yo!) Do a lap before you commit to a location! Take note of any loitering goths, sigils painted in blood, or anything else that might indicate a summoning of the unsavoury element.
Joining the team means a new body, a new look (good thing grey/white hair is so *in* this season!), and a weapons upgrade as interpreted by Bernadette’s scythe. A psychic scythe has a… unique… perspective, however, on what makes a useful weapon in the fight eternal against evil incarnate. Your first job on the job is to figure out how to use your new artillery. Your teammates may be an invaluable asset in assisting you. If they can figure out how to weaponize playing cards and a quill, they can probably help you out.
Packing Pro-Tip #1: Quality cosmetics. Bernie pulls off Reaper-esque with the white hair and the black lipstick like she was born to it – and maybe she was! We don’t know, and she’s not telling. Not everyone has her colouring naturally, though, and Reaper-white hair can wash a body out! Unless your skin is already gorgeously dark or unearthly luminescent, you’ll want to consider a little blush.
Becoming a member of the Death Vigil really is like finding a new family. The shared hair colour/dynastic resemblance aside, the communal living arrangements and common goal create an environment that enhances and expedites the bonding experience. Nothing like saving lives, vanquishing evil, and protecting the innocent from necromantic avatars of primeval sin.
Savvy Traveller Side Note #2: Veil travel: try it, you’ll like it. Transportation by Veil is the best way to go. You may have to be on the Other Side to truly *Reap* (Ha!) the benefits but the perks are many and varied. As far as means of conveyance go, Veil is top-ranked!
A Must-See on the Other Side, of course, is Hugin, The Raven. Always a hit with tourists (whether he likes it or not – they’re always quoting Poe’s “The Raven” at him, and truly, he *hates* that) Hugin is one of the more popular – and unique – members of The Vigil. As a talking raven, it’s no wonder he’s something of a marvel, even considering the surroundings. He doesn’t so much HAVE a veilripper as he IS a veilripper in and of himself. He is a devoted friend and ally to Bernie, though, and a true hero.
Savvy Traveller Side Note #3: Nuance. As in life, things in death are never as black and white as some would like you to believe. Not all demonspawn are evil, nor are all the Vigil pure and good. We are all of us the sum of our flaws, actions, and intentions, and can only do our best with what we have to stand up and protect the people we love at the end of the day.
The best thing about a team that operates like a family, though, is that even when things are at their worst, the company is at its best! Collaborative synergy in the face of truly heinous looking certain death is a thing of beauty: the acceptance of who we really are, even when the truth of that is a huge demon-child, a secret half-necromancer, or a giant, screaming Reaper.
Packing Pro-Tip #2: A return ticket to the Other Side. Now that we know for sure that Death is not the end (and the Veil is the best ride in town), another visit is definitely in order. Bernie and her merry band of misfits host a scary-fun shindig, and I, for one, can’t wait to find out what they have in store for us in 2017.