Friday, April 1, 2011

A Avoids The Ask Head Man

Welcome to the A-to-Z of Things That Were Not Meant to Be 

What is it?

The Ask Head Man appears to be a mobile statute resembling a male human being or more accurately, a somewhat abstract caricature of one. It's body appears to be some sort of plaster and stands approximately 6 feet at the shoulder. The body has no head as such, instead featuring a foot high, paper-mache 'question mark' affixed to the body by a dull copper rod where the neck would normally be. 

The plaster body is scuffed up and chipped with an obvious horizontal crack running across the chest from armpit to armpit. The red paint on the question mark is chipped. The brass rod is similarly showing signs of rust. Neither the hands nor the feet of the statute are fully formed. For example, the hands do not have individual fingers or a thumb. 

What does it do?

The Ask Head Man appears out of nowhere and will stand or 'nearly float' by standing on the very tips of his feet in an awkward pose that looks like a puppet on invisible strings that isn't being allowed to fully touch the stage. He will observe an individual or group for a time and if they do not engage him in the manner he responds to he will disappear again as quietly as he came.

This entity does not respond to verbal communication in any way. The only way he will communicate is as follows: If handed a piece of paper, a chalkboard or other instrument with a handwritten question on it, he will answer that question by inscribing the correct answer on the same implement. Often, the answer will appear on the back of a piece of paper but he has also been known to hand back paper with the answer on it but the original question mysteriously erased. 

He will hold the paper, tablet or whathaveyou in his 'hands', even though this should technically be impossible and pantomime looking at it even though he has no eyes. He then pretends to write, without pen, pencil or anything else and hands the paper/whatever back to the writer. He will only answer one such question in this way with each appearance he makes and will disappear again right afterward. 

Why do PCs care?

In every encounter so far, when given a question in the manner above that has been written correctly, The Ask Head Man has responded with a true and accurate answer to the question. However, The Ask Head Man is a stickler for spelling, grammar, punctuation and the like and questions must be written correctly in the writer's native tongue. If the question is improperly worded you may receive an incorrect answer (although it will be correct to your wording). 

A much more dire response is given if the question contains spelling or grammatical errors. If this is the case, the horizontal crack across The Ask Head Man's chest splits open revealing many rows of jagged teeth. When fully open it causes his 'head' and upper torso to fall backward as if on a hinge. The Ask Head Man will then eat the writer of the question, chewing through metal bars, doors and anyone attempting to help the victim. The entity is incredibly strong and fast. It has eaten through the engine block of a car on one occaision. 

Its name comes from one of its earliest recorded appearances (New York City, New York, April 1st, 1941) when it was asked, "Who are you?" to which it simply replied, "I am the Ask Head Man." before vanishing.

Barking Alien


  1. I was having trouble deciding what to do for the A-to-Z theme this month as I wanted to challenge myself. I finally decided on horror which to me is more creepy and odd then just blood and guts.

    Gonna have some real Neil Gaiman shit going on here this month. lol

  2. Ooh! I know the answer to this one! While most scholars of the supernatural seek to know the answers of the universe, clearly this is the result of an editor seeking to PROOFREAD said secrets!