A man goes to a doctor with his head in his hands, sobbing.

“Doctor, I have a problem. An enemy of mine has been scheming against me. He convinced my boss that I have been sabotaging our company, and in doing so cost me my job. He convinced my wife that I’ve been unfaithful, and in doing so cost me my family. He convinced the government that I have been withholding taxes, and in doing so cost me my home and my fortune. Now I have nothing, and am driven only by a passion to extinguish this cruel man- a passion for revenge. It’s all I think about as I wander the streets, starving, cold, and devoid of hope. Can you help me, doctor?”

The doctor thinks for a long moment. “Hmm,” he says, “this does not seem like a problem that a doctor can solve. There is a way I can help you, though you must swear on all that is good that you will never tell anyone I told you this.”

The man has no choice. He swears on all that is good that he will not tell anyone.

“Very well,” says the doctor, in a hushed tone, “In the outskirts of town, there is an abandoned fairground. Go there and speak aloud what you just said to me. There is someone there who can help. Brace yourself, though. He is terrifying to behold, with rows of razor sharp teeth and a permanent vile grin. He wears clown makeup, and if you stare into his cold, black eyes, you will be looking into the heart of evil. He is a dangerous man, but he will help you get revenge. You can send him to kill your enemy. His name is Pagliacci.”

Slowly at first, but growing more wild and vicious, the man begins to cackle.

“What’s wrong?” asks the doctor, “Why are you laughing?”

The man looks up, his razor sharp teeth protruding from his permanent grin. “That’s just it, doctor… I am Pagliacci.”

A grasshopper hops into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, a grasshopper! You know they named a drink after you?”

“Really?” asks the grasshopper, “There’s a drink named Khaas Ch’lithl, World Eater?”

A police detective is walking down the street and sees a drunkard frantically searching under a streetlight.

“Lose something?”

“Yeah, my wallet.”

The policeman isn’t busy, so he stops and helps the man look. Nothing turns up after ten minutes, so he asks the man, “Are you sure you lost it here?”

“The beast of the night who roams these streets in shadow attacked me on my way home. It tore into my leg, but I managed to escape with my life. I lost my wallet in the fray. Small cost to pay though, they say the beast always plays with its prey, and I’d rather lose ten wallets than suffer at its hand. The things I’ve seen, the mangled corpses, the blood-curdling screams in the darkness-“ the man cuts himself off, distracted by the terror.

The policeman notices a trail of blood leading to the road, and his detective instincts quickly produce a conclusion, “Ah, you lost it across the street? Why are you looking here if you lost it over there?”

The man shudders, “Th-the light’s better here.”

A traveler approaches a castle, seeking refuge from the rain. He knocks at the door and a butler opens it and invites him in to dine with Count Elnor, the lord of the manor. He gratefully accepts, and is escorted to the dining room, where the count is already seated. The count stands up and announces at once, “Welcome to my domain. I am Count Elnor, a centuries-old vampire.”

The traveler is taken aback and tries to run away. “Worry not,” the count calls out, “for I have had my fill of blood for the year. I desire your company for another reason.”

Ordinarily the traveler would not have taken a vampire at his word, but his voice is soothing, and the dinner inviting. He sits down and asks, “What reason, then?”

“To share in my delight. I have a servant boy who may well be the most foolish to ever walk this cold earth. Boy!”

On cue, the boy limps into the room. The traveler immediately notices the boy’s hands, which each lack several fingers.

The count offers both of his hands to the boy, “Pick my left hand, and I shall take but one finger from you. Or pick my right, and I will grant you the sweet release of death.”

The boy shivers, and his face grows dark. Eventually, he gestures at the vampire’s left hand.

“Very well,” says the vampire, clearly holding back a chuckle. In a single movement, he cleaves another of the boy’s fingers off, sending it flying across the room. The other servants quickly rush in and bandage the wound. The traveler, terrified, manages to fake a laugh, “Ha, I have never seen such a stupid boy.”

After the vampire retires to his chambers, the traveler goes to talk to the boy. He asks, “Why do you choose to lose another finger, when you could finally be freed from your suffering instead?”

The boy smiles weakly, “Well, if I chose the other option, the game would be over.”

A woman is getting ready for bed in her cottage in the woods when the phone rings. She picks it up and says, “Hello?”

“Ma’am, this is Detective Andrews with the police department. We have good news and bad news for you.”

“Okay, what’s the good news?”

“We’ve tracked down that serial killer- the one they’re calling the Night Slicer. We believe he’s headed for your location. We wanted to call you up and warn you- with the state of the roads, he should need a few hours to get there.”

“Well that’s not great news, but I appreciate the warning. I usually leave the doors unlocked, so I’ll get that squared away. I should be able to board up the windows. What’s the bad news?”

“We’ve been trying to reach you since this morning.”

Two guys are walking through the woods, and almost fall into a huge hole. “Whoa,” says one guy, “that’s a deep hole. How far do you think that goes?”

“Probably into the bowels of hell itself,” laughs the other guy, “Let’s find out! We’ll toss some rocks in and see how long it takes before we hear them hit the bottom.”

So they grab a few pebbles and toss them in. They wait for a little while, but they don’t hear anything. “Cool!” says the one guy, “That’s way deeper than I thought. We probably need some bigger rocks if we want to hear them hit the ground from up here.”

They go and find some heavy rocks and throw them into the hole. They wait, listening closely and for even longer this time, but still there’s no sound. “This is ludicrous.” says the other guy, “I guess we’ll need something that will make a louder sound when it hits the bottom. Something metal maybe? Let’s go find a railroad tie!”

They wander around in the woods a bit, and eventually find a railroad tie in the ground. They dig it up and bring it back to hole, and then toss it in. While they’re waiting for a sound, a goat with glowing red eyes runs by and jumps into the hole. The men are shocked.

Soon after, a priest shows up at the hole. “Oh, hello there,” says the priest, “I imprisoned the devil himself into a goat’s body, but I can’t seem to find it. If he gets back to hell, he’ll unleash a wave of evil and suffering to make up for lost time so, as you can imagine, this is pretty important. Have you seen it?”

“Yeah, we did see a goat,” says the one guy, “It came charging past and jumped into this hole. It was crazy. Is that a concern?”

“Eh,” says the priest, “I’m not too worried about it. I trapped the devil-goat such that only a human could possibly release it. You probably saw some other goat. The devil is tied to a railroad tie.”

A woman is sitting in her house when she recieves a phone call. She answers it and a raspy voice says, “I am ze wiper. I will be coming in 3 hours.”

The voice hangs up on her. Hmm, she thinks, I don’t remember setting this up, but the windows are in bad shape. May as well.

An hour passes, and the phone rings again. “I am ze wiper, I will be coming in two hours.”

Excellent, she thinks, right on schedule.

Another hour passes, and another phone call. “I am ze wiper, I will be coming in one hour.”

She walks over to the living room window and looks it over. It’s filthy. Soon enough we’ll have a view again, she thinks.

Another hour passes and there’s a knock at the door. She opens it excitedly, only to meet the eyes of a massive snake. “I am ze wiper. I have come to inject you with with my wicious wenom.”