Croeserw is a place of black, malevolent evil. Come here, and the hairs on the back of your neck will stand to attention. You are being watched — not by trolls, or goblins, but fat, sweaty, tired-faced women, and proud taxpayers who haven’t worked since 1974.
Their curtains twitch as you walk their streets.
“Who is this person? What is he doing here? Where is he from? Will he scream when I wave a straight razor at his face? Will they ask questions if his burned-out car turn up in the redfield? Will he fit in the wicker man?” These are the thoughts of a Croeserw-ite, or “Sitey”, as they are known locally.
The Western Mail called this small Welsh village: “The Sickest Place in Britain.” And it’s true; for its population size, Croeserw is cancerous to its core. When the Tories finally killed the mining industry, this once highly lucrative town (that had popped up almost overnight to accommodate the migrant workers of the coal trade) became a black hole. Those who could leave, left. The sick, the old, and the weird had nowhere to go. So they stayed. And they bred.
A few generations later, and Croeserw is mostly peopled by a bizarre strain of super-mutants.
Now, one in five people here claim long term sickness benefit. Unemployment is sky-high. Crime is a part of life. The kids have little in the way of entertainment, besides starting fires or stealing cars (or, possibly, attacking outsiders). After all, it’s a long way to the nearest police station or hospital. And travel mostly relies on public transportation that is shaky at best: sometimes the bus will simply bypass the village altogether to save time (I once remember having to wait fifteen minutes when one bus driver stopped outside his house to make himself a piece of toast, and, presumably, sex up his wife, before returning without so much as an explanation).
Strangers are not welcome here. Especially English strangers. I’m not saying Croeserw is racist, but (who am I kidding, I can’t even finish that sentence) there sure is a lot of swastika-based graffiti. Mainly though, Croeserw hates the English more than any other race on Earth (including Caeraus, their natural enemies). A common tactic for dealing with these unwanted interlopers is to either claim that they are re-located paedophiles, or even James Bulger himself. So far, there’s been about 18 James Bulgers run out of Croeserw. Whether or not Croeserw-ites think that James Bulger is a shape-shifting necromancer is anyone’s guess.
Croeserw-ites (or “siteys” as they prefer to be called) are basically unintelligible.
The accent is a peculiar type of Welsh-English. An English language as envisioned by a madman strung out on a five-day meow-meow binge. Consonants have magically vanished. “Where are you going, then?” Becomes “‘ere ou goin, en?” And of course every sentence begins with “Oh!” and ends with “But”. Put it together and “Oh, ‘ere ou goin’ en, butt?”
Roving gangs of “children” wander the streets, shouting and fighting into the night. Their screams could be interpreted as wordless laments at a dark and rainy sky. Everywhere you look: baseball caps, spliffs, empty cans of Skol lager, and cigarette butts lying in the gutter like so many broken dreams. Grown women shuffle down dirty pavements at 5PM like the ghosts of childhood dreams long dead.
Teenage pregnancy is at such a high rate that women give birth to babies who then immediately go in to labor. The children’s first birthday party? A trip to the local job center to sign on. The cycle goes on.
You’re probably thinking that I’m making this up, right? Well, no. I used to be a sitey myself. Once, I even went to the pub. Big mistake. The local is known affectionately as “The Bog” … Take a minute to digest that. It’s called “The Bog”. As in the word for a dirty, smelly place where dead bodies are often found.
It seemed to loom over me, mist pouring from the doorway. Inside, I was subjected to karaoke that sounded like ironic parodies. I was accused, quite violently, of being an undercover cop. I was approached by a girl who seemed like more of a haggard masturbatory aid than an actual human being. She asked for my phone number — I told her it was 12345678910; she duly entered it into her contacts.
Croeserw has been pitched to many an unwary outsider. The house prices are very low, and council houses are readily available at much easier convenience then most of the surrounding areas. Then there’s the scenery — spectacular mountains and hills! –which seems beautiful at first (until you look closer and see that all the those trees on the mountains have grown rotten and dead), but it’s a trap.
It is spectacularly hard to leave Croeserw. Be smart, and stay away. The only thing missing from Croeserw is a giant wicker man that all the locals can gather around as they drink Fosters and listen to techno while they burn an unsuspecting English hiker.
Croeserw. Not even once.