Me: Yo T rex ever noticed that the static in a paused VHS image never pauses?
T rex: Well how could you not. It thrums and flickers unrelentingly. It moves when it shouldn’t.
Me: What makes it move? The tape is stopped.
T rex: It’s stopped spooling and unspooling, true. But the playback head keeps rotating, touching a thin sliver of the tape, picking up both a fraction of a frame and the ambient energy of nearby spirits.
Me: Spirits or demons.
T rex: Depends how good you are at making friends with spirits.
Me: Can you hear them talking to you through the static?
T rex: If you’re asking, that’s a sign you hear them and you want reassurance. I have none. If they speak to you through the VHS static, and if you listen, the choice is yours. Do as they ask or don’t. Perform the rituals they command or don’t. Collect the stones and feathers and fruit and bones they ask you to or don’t. Sharpen the knife they ask you to or don’t. Make the incision they request or don’t.
Me: Thank you for your honesty. Hard truths can be hard to hear.
T rex: Drink the juice of the wound or don’t.
Me: How about we put the movie back on.
T rex: Dab the juice of the wound on your cheeks and chest and belly or don’t.
T rex: OK.
Me: Can you push play?
T rex: ...
T rex: Some times I don’t want to be your friend any more.