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On Synchronicity and the Secret Goatman Spookshow

by Jared Collins

The only way I can describe my meeting of, and eventual collaboration with Jonathan Raab is the word “synchronicity.” A “Wow, I can’t believe I just met this guy who is a fan of my band that owns a small press, from whom I’ve bought books, and whose work I enjoy—and we are both working on projects that seem to complement each other because of our love of 80’s trash cinema and 90’s era conspiracy culture!

…While at the exact same time, black SUVs started appearing in my small town and my trash seems to be disappearing under unusual circumstances… That type of synchronicity.

While you ponder that metaphor, I’m going to go booby trap my trash can. The exploding ink pack didn’t leave a trace. Is a nail bomb escalating things too quickly? I’m new at this and don’t know the etiquette.

Since I was in 5th grade, I dreamed of being a published author. After writing a concept album with my band, Mississippi Bones, that served as a prequel to his 3rd Sheriff Kotto book, Freaky Tales From The Force: Season One, I got my chance. Jon felt I handled the characters on the album appropriately enough to give me a shot at writing a story for Freaky Tales, and to my surprise and delight, it made the cut. If I’m being honest though, it’s not really what I expected.

Owning a physical copy of a book that my story is in is great, don’t get me wrong—but all the owls in my yard every night? I was not ready for that. Jon said I’d get used to them but was more surprised they hadn’t always been there. I don’t even know what they eat. I haven’t heard a cricket or seen a mouse around here since… well…

Synchronicity I suppose, right?

As our relationship of “synchronicity” would have it, Jon contacted me about doing this piece at the exact same time I was thinking the best way to conclude our collaborations would be a funny little letter explicitly making the statement that we are not actually in any kind of Lone Gunmen-type conspiracy set on taking down the secret powers that be. I’m just a fan of Jon’s fiction. That’s what I would say he writes: fiction. There is no truth to it. The real world is on the news.

You’d have to be crazy to think Jon is writing things based on real-life events.

I sure don’t.

A letter like that would be funny, like I was signaling to some unseen eyes that watch us, making sure they knew I want no part of Jon’s agenda to overthrow the people pulling the strings from behind the veil. That’s an apt ending to our story, right? I think so. I hope all of you reading this found it to be a pleasant ending as well. All of you.

Wouldn’t it be funny if people stopped going through my trash? Wouldn’t it be great if the black SUVs suddenly disappeared, if the owls all flew off and never came back? That would be the perfect ending, in my opinion.

Here’s to synchronicity.

I hope.

Preorder The Secret Goatman Spookshow here.

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