Grief: By Stwumpo

This was a story I wrote when it seemed like @Virgil had given up and was content to let the website die for good. I’ve been on niche webforums for as long as I can remember, and I’ve seldom seen an Admin as good as Virgil. We have always been lucky to have him, and he’s a terrifically central figure to this community. He brought us back together after the Dark Times, and gave us somewhere to do this weird anti-social art we all make. Thanks Virgil. Glad you didn’t let the fuckers win.


Racecar was shivering. Quaking, damn near. Daddeh had given him a deadline, and the site was still all brokeded! He was so sad about the broken site, but he didn’t know what daddeh would do when he got home. He was thinking about that when he heard the door.

Daddeh calmly walked in and sat on the couch. “Computer, bring Racecar to couch.” The Alexa dinged as the Roomba deployed and scooted a half asleep Racecar across the living room floor, idly complaining of “wubby owwies” and “wowstes wuggy buwnies” as he went. He stopped at daddeh’s feet, but before he could beg, daddeh held him.

Didn’t pluck him. Didn’t snatch or grab or pull or yank. Cradled and held him. Laid him softly on his lap and sighed.

“Daddeh, Wacecaw am sowwy bout webby s-”

“It’s okay, man. I know. It’s not your fault, you did your best and I love you.” He paused, and looked at Racecar. “I don’t say that enough. I hassle you and harass you, but I’d be lost without you little buddy. I would.” Racecar was taken aback. This was an unambiguous display of fondness the likes of which he’d seldom seen. “D…daddeh? Ebbyting…awwite?” Daddeh smiled, meekly. “Virgil threw in the towel. I just heard. Can’t say I blame him, frankly. Running a site in this environment is hard, especially when it shits the bed like that. It’s impressive the thing worked as long as it did, and we all owe a debt to him for that.”

Racecar frowned. “Cummoonity gone? Nu hab webby pwace nu mowe?” Daddeh ruffled his hair. “Nope. Not no more. It’s gone, now. I think the Discord is still up. Gotta figure that shit out I guess.” He looked off to the side at his keyboard. Racecar noticed. “Daddeh otay?”

“You take things for granted.” He hadn’t looked away from the keyboard, speaking almost more to himself than Racecar. “You get tired. Take a break. You walk away from places because you’re busy, after all: They’ll be there. They’ll always be there.” He takes his pipe out. It’s a stubby wooden one, the kind an old man in a cartoon might smoke. He loads a vaguely sweet green herb into it and lights up a match as he draws in.

“Hell, it didn’t matter that the new place only existed BECAUSE the old one died. Made the same mistake.” He refocused his gaze on the middle distance as smoke billowed. “We’ve still got Reddit, but it’s always so tenuous. Something about the site felt secure. Like it was ours. Like they couldn’t take it from us. Guess that wasn’t what we should have been worried about.” Racecar was happy he wasn’t blamed, but sad about the news nonetheless.

“Wha bout aww Wacecaw nyu fwends? Wike Chicky Heebo? An Tuwwbyme? Wah bou Ted?” Daddeh comforted him. “Hey don’t worry pal, they’ll all be here too. But Virgil won’t. He’s had enough. Too much, maybe. Running forums burns people like they’re fuel oil and he’s run dryer than most folks could’ve.” Racecar pouted his lips and teared up. “Gunna miss Viwgow. Awways nice tu Wacecaw. Awways teww Wacecaw gud bwite tiem.” He looked up. “Wat if Viwgiw nu can cum backsies? Wat if nebba see gain?”

“I wouldn’t worry. If he stays gone, he stays gone. If he wants to leave, I wish him well. If ever that changes, I’m sure we’ll know him by his signs and works.” He pulled a small token from his pocket. A pin of a very fussy babbeh with a “42” drawn on the back in silver ink.

“We can always recognize one of our own.”

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And that’s it. That’s all. That’s my last Reddit Post left to upload. Now I’ve got the thing done, and I can get back to writing stories that test the emotional endurance of the brightly colored shitting pighorses that fuck and also kind of talk.

Thanks to my pals @infraredturbine @Chikahiro and @Eded_ted for always being a pull to bring me back here and get back to work. I grant you all perpetual rights to depict Racecar happy and carefree, even having legs if you want. The only restriction is that any image depicting this must do so in the form of a sort of thought bubble “dream sequence” emanating from a visibly still pillowed and still at least unhappy looking Racecar. A simple frown will suffice. Also he can be really small. Also it can be a separate image as long as they’re right next to each other.

This isn’t a commission or anything, I just like you guys and want you to feel better than everyone else who I am explicitly never going to allow to do this. Love you guys.

Thanks to @Mr_Owl for keeping the website floor free of rodents and other small nocturnal pests, and thanks to a couple people who used to be here for getting so fucking toxic you got booted the fuck off the site and I no longer have to deal with your dumb aggro bullshit.

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I’d never draw racecar having a good time, it would kill the fun for us :V
still a big honor, thank you bru, ur one of the oldest fellas I know around here ^^

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You know, I have seen you around as far as I remember but I don’t think we have ever interacted before.

But I am overly glad that you enjoy some of the things I do!

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Thank you. Gosh, and I’ve been gone a while too. Your writing was thoughtful and I enjoyed it, even when I missed the point or saw things that weren’t there.

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That’s the great thing about art: Nothing you see in it isn’t there for you.