For context, Hello From The Hallowoods (HFTH) is a queer horror podcast written and recorded by William A. Wellman. I think it's the best thing since sliced bread and try my hardest to stay on top of new episodes. It updates weekly, on Wednesdays. None of the content on this page is mine, they're just the quotes that I really like. This will have spoilers!
Accept yourself without hesitation.
Love yourself ferociously.
Protect yourself from harm, for there is value in your eyes and in your thoughts. Change your appearance if you will, but the light in you is already a great treasure, for lights are all that we are in the end.
You stop in front of the mirror in the hall. This is not the body you know. Your fingers are long, your hips skeletal, your face desiccated. You realize this does not horrify you. You have been haunted by your body all your life. It has defined every interaction with you, every assumption a stranger has made about you. Now you are unrecognizable. Now you are free. You put on a victorious black lipstick to match your abyssal eyes. This shade is called Hello From The Hallowoods.
What could a human know of real love, of cosmic grief? No human has experienced a tragedy that lasted more than a moment, no suffering that did not fade into eternity unremembered and unmourned. Jonah has no idea what he is looking at, the collision of powers that birthed this place, the sanctity of the grave on which he stands.
It was the least I could do.
Does a lord of life and death deserve to rest on a world of mud, like an animal? Does he deserve to be destroyed for doing what he was born to do?
There was nothing in the universe like him, nothing in an infinity of existence, and now he is gone, and there will never be another.
I mourn him in the starless night, I mourn the void in all that is that he left behind. How overjoyed I was to find that his work survived, that a semblance of his creativity and his joy and his darkness lived on. How in love I am with his black forests, his strange pines, his phosphorescent nights. How enraptured I am with his Hallowoods, and although I am broken, I will scream his memory to every distant corner of this cosmos. He would have liked nothing better than to be the subject of your nightmares, dreamers. That was just how he was, and I am not afraid to say I loved him for it.
You owe nothing to no one. Human parents make children all the time — look at Baby there. Baby doesn’t have to do what their parents ‘made them to do’. Baby just lives to scuttle and eat the compost.
“The universe is only so much matter organized into purpose. Life, death, these are illusions. States of being. We do not grieve ice when it melts, or celebrate the sapling when it rises from the soil. They just are. Life and death and rebirth are one constant state. And without change, there would be nothing to watch, would there, darling?”
Did you miss our little interludes? I enjoyed my time in the heavens, but I have yearned for this expanse of black branches, and I’ve come to feel at home in the solemn corridors of your mind. The forest is as dark as ever, its survivors take shelter from a broken sky, and the sleepers beneath these lakes dream of the end of the world. Welcome home, and Hello From The Hallowoods.
No. The journey is all we have, and we cannot postpone our happiness for tomorrow, for some idyllic land where no trouble can find us and we may sleep in peace. We will travel all our lives, and it is here in the dust, in the sunrise of the early morning, in the night spent alongside tired strangers that we must find our joy. With every day we walk forward and hope not that we will reach paradise—for there is a worm in every orchard, and a cold morning in every cottage—but that today’s journey will hold more good than the day before.
It is a false hope, in this universe, to ask for safety. Rarely will there be a day where every need is met, every thirst supplied, every task fulfilled. You strive and toil to move forward, but there will always be a little more road ahead of you. If you are to have peace in your brief lifetime, it will not be found in any great expanse, no field of tranquility where woes can trouble you no more.
Peace is in quiet moments between days of travel, and if you look for them along your journey, you may capture them more often. You cannot rush forward in a martyr’s blaze, burning your flesh for salvation, for it will not come, and you will only be rendered more swiftly to ash and dust.
Enjoy what steps you have to take. They will not always lead through pleasant places, but your journey will never be solely comprised of misery. I think it is still worth the length of existence for three or four happy days in the middle. Certainly, you and I have nothing better to do with our time except to live.
When you wake, you will be faced with a choice. To return to sleep, and close your eyes to the sunlight. To leave the world to spin on its own, to wait for the end. I understand, dreamer, and I understand well. You are tired.
But I hope you will rise. I hope you will rise into the morning and scream to a slumbering world that you are alive. I hope you will knock this planet off its course and send it spinning into hope and light and redemption. Some will complain for your noise, dreamer, but their children will thank you.
And yet, I am afraid. For those we dream of. And for you. I thought it would go better than this, dreamer. I am afraid it may get worse. This is not the story I wanted for you to dream.
Nevertheless, I will continue, in the hope that it will get better, somehow. That these vestiges of darkness will melt in the light of some new sun. That there is still a reason to fight.