Tuesday, December 18, 2007


You don't understand the thirst. It is like your throat singed by fire, as you walk amongst pools of water. Some are dirtier than others, but others are so pure they sing to you. Even though one tries not to succumb, the throat burns, and even jumping off a drug cannot be worse, especially when it is so readily available. Animal blood is like filthy, stained water, and impure. Sooner or later you will drink some that is tainted, and it can no longer fulfill your need. Such is the thirst we live with every day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


From a friend who played that word in scrabble

They gathered in the royal garden to watch it bloom. The well-to-do came in their suits and dresses especially for the occasion. Vendors sold candied fruits and pinwheels. You could smell a thousand perfumes, and women determined to outshine the flower. Pictures had been painted and stories had been told of its marvelous beauty. The city sold tickets and prices went up every year. Now only the richest could afford it. The flower itself was large, sitting in its own green area surrounded by the audience. The petals started to stir, and women in the audience began to coo. They ran to take their seats, ready to enjoy their wallet-given right. The flower started to open, releasing a rich mix of aromas in the air. The women started to go into rapturous ecstasy; the men smiled to themselves and stroked their moustaches. The flower was now fully open, large as a man's head, the petals almost luminous as the newly installed lights shone upon it. Suddenly one could smell a different tinge in the air. The smell was starting to become foul. "Did someone fart?" the duchess scolded. No one owned up. The vile smell was starting to grow. Some covered their noses. A doctor waved his hands. "It's coming from the flower!"

"How dare you?" shouted a policeman. He took out his gun and shot the doctor. Women started to scream. The air was suddenly filled with screams, and then a buzzing sound joined the cacophony. The audience turned to see a huge swarm of bees flitting towards the arena. The insects descended upon the flower, and the audience started to run in panic towards the doors. The scene was descending into chaos. The flower, as though satisfied, started to close its eye. It looked down upon its garden and saw the bodies around its stem, and was pleased.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


It sought refuge from the snow, the hunger within it gnawing away. It had managed to squeeze itself in through a loose board at the side, and it looked at the photographs and other mementos within. The smell was different; almost wonderfully so. It sat on one of the sofas, and gazed at the photograph on the side-table. It showed a family in front of a lake. The parents and two smiling children. The wolf gazed long at it. It looked down at itself. It realised that the fur was receding from its body. It turned its paw, and saw that it was now a hand. It remembered its daughter prying it open and trying to hide the fortune within. "You'll have a long life daddy. A long one." He heard her in her head. It looked around again, and found that the room was becoming recognisable. It looked at the photograph, and started to realise how cold the room was. There was a sound outside; someone was at the door, and soon it would be unlocked and open. It sat and waited.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The dragon

The boy wanted to be away. The farm was no place for him. He wanted to see the world, and knew becoming a farmhand and repairer of rooftops was not the life he wanted to lead. But how could he get away? One night, as he was catching fireflies, he came across a large beast resting on the farm. By its appearance the boy knew it was a dragon. It had eaten one of the old horses, and looked sated. It spread its wings which cast a huge shadow. The boy, seeing his chance, dropped his jar and jumped onto the dragon's back. The dragon took off just as the boy clasped the back of the dragon. Fast and far away the dragon flew, to lands further than he could ever dream. The dragon did not react to the boy; to it he weighed like a leaf. The dragon flew higher, and the boy felt cold, but he clung on. The dragon crossed the world, and the boy saw mountains and rivers and seas. Once, the dragon caught a whale that had leapt out of the clear blue water. Another time, it joined a group of swans in flight, scattering them with one last swipe of its wing before soaring up in the sky, where the boy could see stars. Eventually, the dragon came to rest next to a lake, and the boy got off. The dragon turned around and noticed the boy. The boy was afraid, but the dragon did not mean any harm. The dragon shook its head, and flew off, leaving the boy there. Some villagers discovered him, and he was adopted. He grew up to be a farmer, and led a common life, and never spoke of how he came to arrive at the lake.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The shed monster

Sally discovered the monster in the shed. She was looking for the cat and she discovered its bones, white as fresh snow. She heard a chewing and burping sound, and when she peeked in, she saw it. It was hairy, and just looked like a round ball of fur. She ran home to tell Joe about it, and the rest of the gang. The next night they came down again. Joe bought a piece of meat he stole from the refrigerator, and threw it into the shed. They heard the creature chomping at the meat eagerly.

They hatched a plan. The gang were the rejected ones in school. Greg, who stuttered every third word. Lisa, whose dad had run off with another woman when she was three. The popular kids made fun of them. Sally lured Clarissa, the most popular girl, down to the shed.

"Go in," said Sally. "There's something interesting in there."

"Why?" said Clarissa.

"It's... a beautiful statue."

"You dragged me all the way down here to look at a statue? Why am I hanging with a creep like you?" said Clarissa. And she walked off.

But Joe was near. He rushed up to Clarissa and hit her in the head. Sally screamed. Joe then dragged Clarissa to the shed, shoved her in, and closed the door. She came to inside, and yelled to be let out. Then she started to scream, and Sally ran away.

There were lots of questions about Clarissa's disappearance the next day. Joe told Hank, the star athlete he had seen her in a field. Hank followed Joe that night, and Joe told him he was in the shed. Joe closed the door behind Hank, and smoked a cigarette as he listened to the screams.

The others in the gang started to use the shed to get rid of more and more of those folks they weren't happy with, but Sally stayed away. The police were getting increasingly frustrated with the strange disappearances, and Sally wanted to report the gang to the police. But Joe watched her house, and followed her wherever she went. The monster was the best thing to ever happen to him, and he wasn't going to let it stop.

One day Sally slipped away. She found Greg there with his grandmother. "Stop it!" yelled Sally. "Don't go into the shed!"

Greg was angry and threw stones at her. Sally continued to shout. "You all are terrible!"

Joe was behind and he grabbed her. "Open the door Greg!" he shouted. Greg's grandmother had already gone off.

Sally couldn't resist. She was being pushed to the shed, and she was not going to overpower Joe. She screamed, and remembered how Clarissa had done the same. Greg opened the door, and Joe shoved her in. The door was closed behind her. The ground inside the shed was sticky with blood. It smelt like cat pee and worse. She closed her eyes and waited for the monster. It was coming closer. She could smell its thick fur.

She put her hands over her ears. And she stopped screaming. The creature looked at her curiously. She was not afraid. She did not want to give Joe or Greg the satisfaction of hearing her die.

"Eat me," she said to the beast, and realised what sad eyes it had. The creature, however, did not. It looked at her strangely. It shook its head and went back to its corner. Sally wondered why. She kept silent.

"Is she dead?" she heard Greg say.

"Probably," said Joe. "We need to get your grandmother. She'll tell what we did," he said.

Sally waited. The creature did not move much. A lone toad came into the shed, and started to croak. The creature leapt on it and gulped it down. Sally realised what it was; the monster hated noise. It had eaten those people it did because of their screams. Sally swore she would never scream.

A few hours later, she heard footsteps outside. Joe and Greg were coming back. The door opened, and Sally leapt right out even before they could push Greg's grandmother in. Sally picked up a stone and threw it at Joe, making him scream. In the confusion, Greg just clung on to his grandma. He screamed "Get her! Get her!" He didn't see the large creature stumbling out of the shed. Joe screamed when he saw the great mouth closing over George. Sally grabbed Greg's grandma and motioned her to shush. The creature turned to Joe, who was running, and screaming, shouting at Sally to help him. It loped towards Joe with a chimpanzee-like gait. Joe screamed as he fell down, and as he turned, the great mouth of the beast devoured him. Sally clasped her hand over her mouth so that she would not scream.

When she lifted herself and Greg's grandma from the grass, there was no sign of the creature; only the devoured remains of the two boys. Carrying Greg's grandmother carefully, they walked back slowly, quietly towards the town.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


When it heard the tractors approaching, it knew it had run out of places to hide. The forest had been dwindling, as the city spilled and grew. The lights from buildings now made the stars hard to see, and the friends he had in the night sky could no longer converse with him. It drank from the stream and considered its actions. The water was already tasting of poisons and rust, and dead fish floated atop. The unicorn shook its head. There was already a tractor approaching. It turned around and saw the large yellow scoop. It stepped back, then charged forward. The machine continued forward, gaining speed.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

121st Day

Over the shortwave radio we were told, we would have to wait. They are creatures, we were told. They need to eat. Without nothing to sustain them, they will fall. We did our best to observe, and it was true. They wasted away. By the 63rd day, they were attacking each other. I went outside and shot all those that I knew. The boys that laughed at me from the schoolground, the girls who made fun of me behind my back, the teachers that flunked me. The school principal I trapped down a well and burnt with fuel oil. He smelled like burning pork. As their movements became lethargic they became easier to pick off, and soon we were finding some that died. There were only four of us in our 'outpost', as they were called, and at times I wanted to kill the others, but I kept away. Winter came, and they were dying. It was estimated the virus had claimed about 99.9%, which meant it still left about 10 million of us. My mother thought actually that would be all right, as long as it spared her friends and the actor she liked on a TV soap.

When we reemerged, we wondered if we had been spared. We burnt whatever corpses we came across, and started our journey to rejoin the others. But I knew we would always be looking over our shoulder, waiting for the screaming mouth, the chattering teeth, the ones that just wanted to tear us, and eat us.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I wait in the cave, sucking on lichen, drinking water from dirty pools. The snakes writhe and drip poison, and my thoughts are made evil by their venom. I remember my life before this; walking amongst a field of flowers, sipping clear water from spring, praying in Athena's temple. And then, when he arose out of the sea, mighty and wanton, and I stood there as the priestesses ran. He came for me, reaching for my flesh, and took me while all around me they watched. The water from his hair dripped on my face, and his laughter was unceasing as he rammed into me again and again. My friends who I had come to the temple with were frozen in place. How does one deny a God? I was powerless, and when he was done, he threw me to the ground.
Laughing, he went back to the water, and descended beneath the waves. Then I felt my hair knitting together. All around me, those who had stood frozen were not encased in stone. My eyes darted around me, and I saw the serpents. I thought snakes had fallen onto my hair, but as I tried to pull them and felt pain, I knew the truth. My hair, one of the most admired in Athens, was transformed into snakes. I fled the temple, and those who did look upon me were encased in stone. I took the boat of a blind fisherman, and was placed upon an island where no one resided. There I lived, seething in hate, unable to face or love anyone. My hate grew, but what could I do? I could only look upon the mocking waves, when I did dare to step near the beach. My face has been left intact, but I do not dare stare into the still pools to see my reflection. Now I await for the one who would slay me. All who have tried so far stand around me; figures of grey stone. I touch them, I talk to them, but they can never reply me. In fits of anger I pick up a rock and try to smash them apart. One day I know there will be one who succeeds in slaying me. I am merely a challenge, an obstacle, an aberration. Once the Sea God entered me, I knew I no longer had my own destiny, and was trapped in another's fate.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Gharal

When they landed, there was hesitation. They were eyed with suspicion, but some embraced them. The slug-like alien beings required hosts to survive; they were essentially parasites, but they also returned substances to the host's body. When it was found that it was hallucinogenic, there was controversy, but more humans began to function as hosts. The Gharal paid the hosts a fee as well, and were able to attach themselves that they did not overwhelm the human's functions. Nonetheless, there were rogue hosts, who forced their Gharal, under threat of removal or death, to inject them with their drugs. The effect was sometimes brain damaging. and hosts were inevitably found in a comatose state, perpetually encased in the hallucinogenic state.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The whispering tree

In the village was a tree where everyone went to tell their secrets, whispering it to the wood. Through the decades the tree had listened to many, many stories. One day, a teacher was walking by and noticed one of the leaves. It appeared to have writing on it. He looked closely. The faint markings of letters could be seen. He made a mental note and came back days later. The words were now clearer. The man checked that no one was looking and removed the leaf. He bought it back and read what was on the leaf. It was a confession by someone who was cheating on his wife. He thought he knew who it might be. He went back to check the leaves on the tree, and found even more words emerging. It would not be proper to remove every left, so he plucked them delicately, trying to choose carefully those leaves where the words could be made out. He then scrutinized the leaves, and wrote down the stories.
He laughed at the tales within; then decided to use them. He blackmailed those he could identify, whose stories told of infidelity, cheating or crimes. Soon he became a rich man. Folks in the village wondered about it, and one day, he was spotted removing a leaf from the tree by a priest. The priest immediately went to the tree and saw the words on the leaves. He realised what was happening. He took a match and set fire to the tree. Blackbirds that had called the tree home fled from its branches. Then, as the tree burnt, the tree started to tell its secrets to the winds. All the stories it had been told started to emerge. The whole village's secrets spilled out into the sky, taken into the wind. At the end of it, everyone in the village knew what each other had done. Gradually the village became deserted as folks left, unable to contain their shame. There was nothing left of the tree but a stump, and soon the woods took back the whole area.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


How does one write the story of a thing growing inside a woman? Perhaps she's never had sex before, and she could think she's the next Virgin Mary. Or that it slipped in via the water, and that it's a creature eating her from inside. How should she react? Who should she tell? Does she gaze out of her window thinking about what it is inside her? She goes to the doctor to take a scan, and she can't tell either. Aberration or angel? Messiah or monster? The girl looks out of the window at the neighbours, and she hears both the laughter and the screams, and wonders, as she puts her hand on her stomach, what's inside.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Giant Robot Bunny

It was the end of Chinese New Year, and they were dismantling the decorations around Chinatown. A giant mechanical bunny that had stood outside their home was going to be taken away soon. It was painted with bright red colours, and Samuel and his sister Lila had grown fond of it.

"Lets kidnap it!" said Samuel to his sister that morning.

"How can we get it away?"

"I have an idea," Samuel said.

The bunny was mechanical. Inside was hollow. During the next few nights, Samuel would climb out of bed, making sure not to disturb Ma, and go to the bunny installing parts he had salvaged from trucks, forklifts, motorcycles and whatever he could find.

The morning that the demolition folks came, Samuel had hatched his plan. He climbed into the giant, five-story tall rabbit. Pressing some buttons, he was now in control of it. It started to move.

"It works!" Samuel yelped. The giant robot bunny strode forward, proudly amongst the streets of Chinatown.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The child

When Hans injected the serum into the corpse of his son, he knew the consequences. His son came alive, but his eyes were dead. There was no life in him. The boy who caught frogs, read books by moonlight and climbed tree was gone. Replaced with it was a being who would do whatever Hans said. Hans tried to tell the boy to do the things he usually did, and he would, but there was no joy in it. His actions were robotic; what he did he did to please Hans. Eventually the father realised he would have to let the boy go, but could not bring himself to say. Instead he fled away, leaving the boy in the large house. Some other children discovered him, and how he could be instructed to their ways, and they made him do the worst things boys could do. They told him to jump from the roof of the house, to run onto the path of cars, and eventually, to set himself on fire. Only when they smelled his charring flesh did the boys know what they had done; the image of his flesh turning into black ash haunted their minds for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The troglodyte

William of Cordoba had escaped from the prison, escaping the fate of his fellow sailors. He was aware he was being followed, and he barely had enough strength to use the spear he had taken from one of the lizard-creatures. It had been three days, and William knew that they were still pursuing him. He had lived on roots and leaves and dew water, and was not sure where he was headed. He looked up to see the bright face of the moon, and wondered if he would ever see Spain again.

He propped himself next to a tree trunk. He saw his pursuer approaching. This would be his last stand. He raised his spear.

"Come on! Get it over with!" he shouted.

The creature stepped out of the shadows. It resembled a great lizard, with thick green scales. Its tongue flicked out.

"I will not die at your hand!" William shouted. The creature shook its head.

"No. I am the only one of my tribe after you. But I do not want your life," it said. It spoke almost like a human.

"Then.. what?"

"Tell me everything you know. About your country. Then I will stop chasing," the creature said.

William thought about the deal. "But you will kill me after!"

"Why should I? I will tell my tribe you were swallowed by the jungle, or eaten by a tiger. I am the only one pursuing you."

William considered a bit more, then nodded. He told the creature about his history, and the journey he had made here; how they came searching for gold. He told him about his village, his family, and his love. The creature would occasionally ask questions politely, almost fearful to interrupt. It also walked alongside him, bringing William safely deeper into the jungle. Soon he could smell the sea.

When William had finished telling what he could, he saw the open expanse of the ocean in front of him. The creature nodded.

"Make a fire. A merchant ship passes here in one night. They will see you."

The creature then returned to the jungle and it's tribe. It reported that the escapee had stumbled onto some quicksand, and was swallowed up. The leaders nodded. The creature now had another city to dream of, as it walked the minarets and towers of Spain, drank wine and listened music from a land it would never see.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The lizard in the sink

When Yule went to the sink, she spotted the lizard. It was patchy off-white. Yule did not dare look at it. She screamed for her husband. "There's a lizard in the sink!"
"Is it dead?" He asked. He was still watching the television.
Yule prodded it with a chopstick. It moved lazily. Its beady black eyes appeared to be staring back at her.
"YES. Yes it is!" She said. She backed away from the sink.
"I'm going out. Get rid of it!" She said.
She left the house, not even casting a look at her husband in the living room. It was evening. She went to the supermarket and did her best to shop. The thought of the lizard clouded her mind. After buying her groceries, she called her husband.
"Have you gotten rid of it?"
"Gotten rid of what?"
"The lizard."
"Oh. I will," he said, and hung up.
She shook with anger. She wanted to go back and smash his face. It was going to rain soon, and the meats she bought would require refrigeration. She took a taxi home, fuming.
When she went in the front door, everything looked the same. The television was still on. She called for her husband. He did not respond. She thought that he must be asleep. Her arms were tired from carrying the groceries. She went to the kitchen, avoiding looking in the kitchen sink. The memory of the black eyes looking at her was still etched in her mind.
When she had put the groceries away, she looked at the sink, but did not dare approach it. She waited for a few minutes, then took a step forward, leaning in to look.
The lizard was still there. It was trying to crawl out, but it had changed. Now it had two tails. A smaller tail came out of the end behind its rear legs. Its twin tails flicked about desperately on the silver surface. Yule jumped back. Wanting to scream.
She went to the living room. Her husband was not there. She did not feel like eating. She tried to watch television but the thought of the lizard flooded her mind. The rain was starting to come down heavily, washing against the windows. The thought of the lizard scampering again and again on the smooth aluminum sides of the sink flooded her brain.
Eventually she fell asleep without changing out of her clothes. When she awoke, she thought she heard a thudding sound again and again. She looked for her husband; he was not there. She realised it was coming from the kitchen. Was it an intruder? Had someone come in? She took a paperweight and moved slowly towards the door. She pushed it open, and turned on the lights. The thudding sound was coming from the sink.
I need to know, she said.
She looked into the sink. The lizard was still there, but now it had a multitude of tails; four or five of them, all flicking about desperately. She screamed, and bought the paperweight down on the lizard. She crushed it again and again. Grey blood seeped from the wounds, but the tails of the dying creature continued to flick desperately.
Her husband woke up from her screaming. He rushed down. She was crouched on the floor, the paperweight on the ground. Two tails still clung onto it, desperately swinging around. Tears emerged from her eyes.
Her husband pulled her away, then used a plastic bag to remove the remnants of the lizard.
"Why did you wait so long?" she screamed. "Why?"
Her husband could not respond. Through the translucent skin of the bag he could still see the desperately flicking tails.

The ognarch

The creatures were discovered in parts of Northern Borneo, resembling floating jellyfish that floated on air, while dropping a set of tentacles down to capture passing animals or birds below. An enterprising man discovered if one covered their beaks, the tentacles that dropped down could be trained to caress the face in soothing motions. An industry around the newly discovered beasts soon arose, as they flourished in massage parlours all over the world, their long muscular tentacles claimed to be able to soothe and remove signs of aging. Manicure parlors would offer the services of these Ognarchs, as they were called, to their customers, and a fad begun. The mouths of the creatures would be covered, so there was no risk of them consuming their clients. However, it was inevitable that one of the coverings would come loose, and one of the creatures, which had not been fed for weeks, dropped down to consume the head of an upper middle class matriach. Her screams was captured on digital camera and seen on the web, and soon the Ognarchs were removed from duty and declared a menace. Their bodies were left in rubbish dumps and some were left out to roam, feeding on rats and small dogs, before being hunted down.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mr Lim

They took him to the factory, and made him sign the forms. Work had been hard to come by.

"You understand, Mr Lim, that this means that for ten years, your personality will be reduced? In exchange for double the usual pay? Emotional detachment is necessary, as accuracy is a must. "

He nodded. He needed the money, or his children did. Having three kids in the new century required it. The thick smell of oil and iron from the factory floor wafted up to the room.

The supervisor nodded, thumping the clipboard. They placed a bowl-shaped device on his head with a whole host of tubes and dials. He felt an electrical current surge through him, but not much pain.

"Very well then. You can start work immediately," the supervisor said, giving him a wrench and pointing him to a spot on the factory floor. Mr Lim didn't think of anything as he started his work, nor notice the thousands of others on the factory floor.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The attic creature

When Thomas returned home, he found his children huddled in the kitchen. "It took mother," Samuel, the oldest son said.

"What did?" he shot back. There was something very, very wrong.

"The monster. It was black. With tentacles. She was going upstairs. Then it grabbed her," Samuel said.

"You're lying," Thomas said. He rushed to the top of the stairs. He turned on the lights. There was nothing there. He looked at his bedroom. There was a suitcase on the floor. She had been packing, he thought to himself.

He looked up at the attic. It was open. "Jin?" he shouted. There was no reply.

He climbed the ladder into the darkness. He used his handphone as a light. In the attic were boxes where they had kept their books from university, as well as old clothes and photos. It was dusty, but there was nothing else more terrifying than some spiders and silverfish.

He crept down, shoving through the rooms shouting her name. They had been happy. He had an affair three years ago but had broken it off. She had not found out, as far as he knew.

He went down to his children. "What monster?" he asked. He separated and asked them individually. Min, the middle daughter, had her eyes closed, and Jin, the youngest, could only nod to every statement Thomas said.

That night he slept downstairs, with the children on the floor. He slept soundly, better than he had ever slept, and the children didn't even wake up. They were resolved that their mother was gone.

When morning came, he called the police. They investigated, but found no trace. The suitcase was half-packed, but her passport was still in the safe, along with most of the cash. The police took down what the children had seen, but could only nod glumly. Thomas knew he was the prime suspect, but he had nothing to say.

Weeks passed, and then months. They decided to abandon the house. As they drove away, following the van, he thought he could see something moving in the attic, but kept quiet, as he left the house behind.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


The bars of Pattaya are seedy, filled with woman who would pull any man in, during the off-season. James was bait, and the bargirls were biting voraciously. He could be torn apart. Pity that he was really out of money. He had stayed there as long as his American dollars could last him, whoring and drinking and smoking pot. It had lasted about seven months. It could have been a year if he hadn't had his wallet stolen by one of the whores he hired.

He pushed the girls away. What was he to do now? He could hardly even afford the bus ticket, let alone a flight back. He had cleaned out his bank accounts in the US in search of a year of bliss. He was dying anyway.

The touch of one of the girls caught his attention. It was different from one of the others; soft and smooth. He turned to the owner of the hand. It was a pretty girl with long hair; she looked fresh, unlike the worn, overly made-up faces of the other bargirls.

He let himself be pulled. She was leading him down dark alleys, filled with incense and pot smoke. She pulled him past a bead curtain, up a staircase, opened a door and into a room lit by red.

"James," she said. "You know me." She said, smiling. Her teeth were pure white, and her skin really felt like porcelain. Her features were definitely Thai, but there was a hint of other blood in her. "Lie down James," she said, pushing James onto the bed.

"What are you?" he asked.

"You know who I am. With me, it will be the end of your waiting to die. I am an opportunity James. Do you want me?" she said.

"Yes," he responded.

She took off her robe, revealing a lithe, perfect body with round, firm breasts. She ripped off his clothes with her hands, evidently stronger than he thought. She mounted him, and he felt himself be gripped by her. Their lovemaking was hungry, as her moans were wild and hungry. James grabbed her by the shoulders, and realise he could not move his hands. He kissed her, and his mouth was stuck. He looked down; their skins were gelling together. At first he tried to pull away, but surrendered himself to the pleasure of the experience. As their tongues joined, he felt himself hear many other thoughts. She was one body, but inside her were many. His skin was merging with her gradually even as they continued their lovemaking, and he realised he would become part of her. He stared inside her darkness, as he found himself drowning into her. The skin was now coming together, and he would be absorbed into her, as so many other men have been before. He could see their souls within her like stars in the night sky, but there was more going on, as the voices within spoke and wailed and discussed and cried. He would be part of this throng, this Legion.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The spider

The boy caught the spider in the matchbox. Born poor and stayed poor, the spiders were his hobby. His mom could not work, and often asked if it was raining, because she seemd to be detaching herself from the world, unaware of what was happening around her.

He would feed spiders and train them, and enter them into fights with other schoolkids. But some of the other schoolkids were rich, and made their fathers buy them exotic fighting spiders that looked like they carried crystals on their backs, with poisons that killed. But the boy knew the spider he had just captured was special. He fed it, and it spun beautiful webs within the matchbox. The first match it ran towards its opponent and bit it. The opposing spider curled up like a closing flower. It was over in a few seconds. The spider climbed up the ladder, beating all challengers. The rich kids started to take notice of the scruffy boy and his plain brown spider. It was getting bigger. Soon, it won the right to challenge the champion spider, which had a black and red back, resembling a face.

"It can't win," the champion said.

The boy was silent. He let the spider out from its matchbox. Its opponent was five times larger and lived in a glass cage, where it fed on finches and mice. The plain spider appeared to watch its opponent, feeling the air, then it raced forward. It bit the red spider on the back, the side, the legs; everywhere it could. The boy laughed, as though the whole affair was a joke. The red spider collapsed, its limbs beginning to twitch. The boy was victorious. He opened the matchbox, and the spider obligingly crept in. The rich boy fumed. He grabbed the matchbox.

"You cheater!" he shouted.

"Give it back!"

But the rich boy didn't. He ran off to his car with his bodyguards blocking the way. The boy screamed at the theft of his spider.

The next day, the rich boy didn't go to school. They found him on the floor of his bathroom, an open matchbox beside him. He was not dead, but was paralyzed for two months.

The boy saw the spider again in the forest, and would occasionally bring it finches and mice to eat. The spider waited, and spun great webs, but the boy never wanted to capture it again. His mother turned to him one day, and asked if it was raining, and he said a great storm was coming, even though the sun was burning hot.

The Giant

Nobody knew why the Giant headed to the rundown block of flats in AMK. They called the army and the police, but they couldn't stop him before he reached his destination. He put his ear to the balcony of one of the flats on the 9th floor, stooping down. Within the apartment Sulin was crying. The neighbours were afraid, but they had fired guns at the Giant and it had bounced off his skin. The Giant told Sulin to speak, to tell him her sorrow, and in need of a good, listening ear (and a large one at that), she did. When she finished, the giant nodded, and went off. Sulin wondered why the giant was so interested. The Giant came back every week, and Sulin was feeling better. She played songs and recited stories for him, and the folks around the apartment left him alone. He rescued cats from trees and helped to repair television aerials and hung up christmas lights, which made the children adore him and the adults view him less suspiciously. But the General was planning the weapon that would take the Giant down. Sulin told the Giant he should stop visiting, but the Giant shook his head. He had been alone for too long, and had heard her crying.

The next week when the Giant came, he found Sulin gone. He was confused. He roared out in anger. Then the planes came. They shot him with missiles, they bombarded him with shells. The Giant toppled to the ground and was captured.

They locked the Giant away, saying he was a danger. Sulin had been taken away, and was told never to see the Giant again. The Giant wasted away, unwilling to listen to anyone else sing or read stories to him, and they say its bones still lie somewhere inside his prison.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The satyr

The satyr was the secret of the village women, and they went to him when they were not able to find satisfaction with their husbands. They kept him locked behind an iron gate, and he could not escape. He loved to watch television and cooking, and made the women bring ingredients in exchange for his favours and listening ear. He had to have a schedule, as the women often came at the same time, but soon jealousy arose. The word spread to the men, and one day they came down to where he was kept, ready to burn him down, but he was ready. Before he died, he prepared a feast for everyone, and they ate well. The woman cried to see him burn, but he laughed as the flames took him, relishing his freedom.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Joseph had heard about the old man from the local tavern. "Go to him. He can get rid of your pain."

When he entered the old man's shop, which was stuffed with odd items such as the preserved foetus of an armadillo, bones of a dodo and the preserved body of a narwhal, he knew this would be the place. Joseph found the old man in the back room, mulling over his records. He wore a thick coat, and was quite heavyset. He peered at Joseph from behind horn-rimmed glasses.

"What do you want?" The old man said.

"I hear you have a cure for me," said Joseph.

"I am not a doctor."

"It is not medicine I need. I seek a way to end the pain in my heart," Joseph said.

The old man looked up from his book. "Come with me," he said. "Sit down."

Joseph sat on a heavy mahogany chair, wiping the dust away with his hands. The old man put down his book.

"It was a girl?"

"Yes," said Joseph. Speaking about it bought a stab of pain in his heart. "She chose another."

The old man nodded.

"Can you make it stop? Can you?" Joseph said, his voice pleading. "I have not had a good night's sleep. I have destroyed all my pictures of her yet she is etched into my mind like a brand."

He sighed a long sigh. Then his hands moved to his chest, and he unbuttoned his shirt.

"Look," he said. Upon his chest was a odd looking thing; a mechanical bug. "It has rested here, for thirty, forty years."

"I was like you once. My heart was cursed, destroyed by another woman. But once I had taken the bug from its previous owner, I felt no more pain. No pain, no feeling of any sort. It has helped me become a reasonably successful businessman; empathy is a weakness, as well as love," he said.

"So can I have it?" Joseph said.

"On one condition. Find out what has happened to the woman who made me wear this for decades. Once I know, I will turn it over to you," he said.

Joseph nodded. The woman's name was Mary of Astoria. She would now be almost 60. After many months, Joseph tracked her down. She was now residing in a small town, raising cattle. She had borne four children, and her husband was a physician. She looked happy, and Joseph guessed as much. She mentioned the old man's name, and she did not remember it.

Joseph went back to the old man with what he had discovered. The book keeper nodded. He then opened his shirt, put his hand on the bug, and extracted it. With his hands shaking, he held the bug out for Joseph. Abruptly, the man started to cry, shedding large fat tears.

Joseph took the bug in his hand. It still dripped blood from its metallic teeth. He held it up to the light. The old man was collapsing. The grief was too much; crushing him. The motors in the beetle clicked urgently. Joseph opened his shirt. He was about to bring it closer, when suddenly his palm closed, crushing the beetle. The engines within it whirred in protest as thick grey liquid seeped through his fingers. The old man sighed one last time, and died. Joseph looked around the shop, threw a blanket over him, and left, even as the rotors of the bug turned one last time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The bookworm

The bookworm now just ate the words, and left the page itself untouched. When killed, the words would spew out, in a fountain, and one had to put them back together again to reconstruct what had been eaten. One must exercise extreme care when dealing with bookworms that have resided in encyclopedias and romance novels for a long, for there is the danger of being gravely injured by words such as 'superfluous' and 'inenebriated'. One bookworm exterminator was decapitated by the word 'triskaidekaphobia', by a particular fat bookworm that had lived in a psychology professor's shelves for more than two decades.

The stallion

The horse-thief had been watching the black horse for hours. It was a magnificent animal, with hair as black as night and the finest he had seen. He approached cautiously. It was wild and untamed, of that he was sure. It would fetch enough for him to drink for at least three months at the inn.

He approached slowly. The horse did not move. He jumped on it and grabbed its mane. It let out a mighty neigh, almost a roar. It twisted and jumped wildly, and the thief barely managed to hold on. It turned, and he could see its wild eyes. There was intelligence in them.

The stallion buckled, and it started to run. The thief held on as tightly as he could, his knuckles were almost white. The horse was charging and covering ground at a faster and faster pace. It went past Kiev, where he had spent his many days at the taverns. Then to a small village near just outside, where he had met the woman who had broken his heart. It sped faster. The trees and stars and snow were a blur. Then it was at Moscow, where he was getting his first job, where he was full of optimism, and life held all possibilities.

It was going faster. The thief thought it was familiar, but didn't quite recognise the countryside. Then he realised he was at the village he was born. The horse stopped and threw him off. He rolled on the ground and tried to grab it. But too late, it was running away. He looked up, and saw that he was outside the hut where he was born. There was an odd feeling in him, and he looked at his hands. He was shrinking. He felt his face; it was becoming smoother. Even his hair was growing back. The horse had bought him back, not just to his home, but to the start, for him to begin again. He looked up at the sun, and let it warm his unblemished face before he forgot the last of his future.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Beneath the ocean it slept, waiting for time to be called again to destroy the city by the sea. It remembered when it had done so; back when the humans could only throw rocks at it, and after that, arrows, and then bullets. But the city always came back, and the damage it did could never stop the inexorable progress of humanity. One day it would arise and be defeated, it knew, but it did not worry. So be it. Maybe then the humans would learn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The typewriter

Samuel couldn't write. For half an hour, the blank piece of paper had sat in front of him, mounted on the typewriter. The urgency seemed to increase by the moment. Samuel fondled over the keyboard of the typewriter, then started to press a key. A. That was a good start. He pressed it down. It was a start. Then another letter appeared on the paper. But his fingers weren't moving. The typewriter was doing the work. He was astounded. He read what the typewriter had produced. It was an essay in his style. He checked the facts against his notes. It was correct. He pulled out the piece of paper and faxed it to the office. Thirty minutes later, he received a call from his editor saying it was a nice piece of work.

Soon, he let the typewriter do more of the work. He had more time to himself. He took long walks. Drove out of town. Went to movies in the afternoon. The typewriter just wrote. He just had to have the idea, sit in front of it, and it would frantically type away, occasionally waiting for the change in sheets.

But as time went, he noticed small things. The typewriter seemed fond of censoring, or obscuring certain issues. He shouted at it as though it were a disobedient pet, but it never retyped the material. Samuel submitted it anyway, as his efforts to write by himself were still futile.

As time went by, and he just fed the typewriter sheet and sheet of paper, he realised that the writing was increasingly dull and safe. The editor still accepted it, but never praised him. Samuel could not take it anymore; one day, after returning from a walk, he took a hammer and swung it at the typewriter. The metal keys flew apart, the ribbon unwound. He smashed it again.

The keys lay everywhere on the floor. Samuel sobbed. He went to sleep on the couch, still clutching the hammer.

He was woken up by the sound of typing. He opened his eyes. On the floor were not just one keyboard, but several. Each separate part of the original typewriter had grown into a duplicate of the original, but with modifications. They could feed their own paper now, and they had leg-like appendages that allowed them to move around. They were arranged in a row in front of him, typing away, mocking him. He already knew the words that were emerging from the papers, even as they flew up into the air.

The trains

The operator cannot believe it. The train system has shut down, but there it is. Crawling like a centipede on the tracks, going down pathway C. He presses some buttons, but there is no way to stop it. He looks through the cameras and sees the derelict train, starting to move. It had been decommissioned long ago. He calls his superior, who comes down, and they think it must be some pranksters, but there is no one in the front carriage driving the train. Then another series of lights begin to move on the switchboard; another old train is starting to move, and roars forth, shaking the room. It happens the next night, and the night after, and no one can explain it. Soon the operators decide to keep it quiet, and let the old trains have their way, criss crossing, tumbling, pushing down the track, the rails once again theirs.

The sleeper

I sense it on the floor next to me. It is a dog-like creature, white in form. Every night it comes to lie on the old rug, it bears a gift from my past. An old button from a ill-fitting coat my mom made me wear, a love letter from an old boyfriend I thought I would marry, a pretty pink mobile blown away by the wind one day. I put these items away in a box, though they made me shudder everytime I remember them. Soon I am used to its company. My hand goes down to stroke its rich white fur, and I wonder what it can be. The spirit of an old boyfriend? My mother? Grandfather? I know I value its companionship and the gifts it brings, and I wonder when it will have nothing left to give, and if it will disappear then.

I wake up and stare at it, and realise it does not sleep, but just watches me. It stares out at the moon and howls, as if to say it knows what it means to be alone.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The stealer of Happy Endings

The stealer of happy Endings would go into those lives which had settled into happy ever afters, and ruin them. It made the princesses fall down the stairs and find her medical insurance had just expired the previous day, ruin the friendship between decade old companions, make husbands forget anniversaries and take kids away. With long arms that could slither around corners, a walk that produced no sound and the ability to slip into shadows, it skulked about waiting for the chance to jump in and take away happiness at every turn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The follower

Even after her father died, it followed her. She had endured the beatings he had given out, but it was determined never to let her go. It would come to her like a shadow, waving its fists at her, but they could not hurt her. Nonetheless it was unsettling, but she eventually became used to it. One day she just let the shadowy punches land on her again and again, until she no longer flinched.

The gargalaxustagus

Its only purpose this creature that was drawn to look like a bunch of mammoths sewn together carelessly was to have a name that would trip all those that tried to pronounce it.


It creeps up behind you this hairy beast and crushes you so you can't raise your hand to write a word, so heavy it is you can't even think and all you want to do is sleep.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


When it was time to die, the monster looked up at the blue sky above, lay down on a bed of leaves and closed its large gray eyes. It died there, dreaming, and the woods took it back. The flesh eaten by the worms, its body taken by the ground and when all the flesh had been eaten away, the birds made nests in its bones. It was, after all, part of the forest, and that was how it came to be part of it ever after.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Monster #17

It was bored of living in the wilderness, and decided to go to town. As it approached, it heard music, that stirred it. It was a violinist playing, and sat down to listen. The musician saw the monster sitting before it, and shivered, but knew if he didn't keep on playing his tune, it would eat him. So he played, as long as he could. Late Beethoven, and early Mozart. It dared not pull a Rachmaninov, or anything vaguely modern. The monster seemed pleased, and would even occasionally chortle. It beat its leg to the music. As the violinist finished the last piece he knew, he turned to the monster. "Eat me now!" he said. But the monster looked at him oddly, and went back into the wilderness without a word, humming the tune from the last piece the violinist had played.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The man who saw

Not everybody believed Jim when he published the photos. They were murky, but they did show part of a furry beast called Quag, that had long been a legend. The media, tired of war stories and environmental calamities, was all over it. Soon came the talk shows and the interviews, and the pictures were endlessly scrutinised and blown up on the web. It was those people that did not belive who dredged up his past; about how he shoplifted a candy bar at a local store, his degree that came from an online university, his alcoholicism. The photos were soon greeted with skepticism, even as more and more folks tried to bait him and show him as a conniving, dishonest individual out to profit. Before long, the dirt surrounding him got too much. The university where he was teaching at let him go, and the media went back to hounding television celebrities. Jim went back to the bottle, and never became much of anything ever again.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The giant sunflower

The weather had been growing colder, and the next winter was going to be the worst. "We have to rally together," said the sunflowers. "But what can we do?"
One sunflower stepped forward and said, "If we are all equally weak, we'll all die together. Our only hope is to gather all our resources and strength into one. Then it might survive the cold and at least one of us can live to see the spring."
"But who shall it be?" asked the other sunflowers.
"I think it shall be me," the sunflower who spoke up declared.
The sunflowers discussed amongst themselves, and decided to do as they had been told. Soon, the one sunflower had grown into a glorious specimen. Strong and tall, it stood heads and shoulders over the other sunflowers, which were now mostly weakened and stunted.
"I shall survive the winter," it said boldly. Soon the cold came, and the field was devastated, but the lone sunflower managed to last through the cold. At least until a deer passed by and took a bite and snapped the sunflower off its stem. And thus ended the sunflowers.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The string

It wanted blood. Most of the time it was black as night, which helped when it moved around. It slinked into corners, dripped down passages, or when it needed to fly away in the night air. It plotted the death of its victims. Tripping old folks down staircases, unknotting itself at critical times, or just garroting the sleeping. It killed and destroyed, relishing the moment when it could drip in blood.

The Ironboy

Lots of people thought the Ironboy would want to be human, but they were wrong. He was content to remain the way he was. After all, in his metallic form, he dived into the Marianas trench and touched the bottom, flew into space and landed on Mars, travelled to both poles and had many, many more adventures. Even though he rusted away and never grew beyond, he was content, and he just sat in the park until he corroded away, waiting to see the end of humanity.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The photobooth

It stood at a rundown mall on a busy street, its side stained by spilled beer and vomit. Perhaps it was the saturation of human emotion that one day made it sentient. It became to see the people who came to use it. The hopefulness of those taking photos for their passport, or their college applications, or their resume. Or the wild euphoria of the young folks that jammed into the sitting area. It sometimes wished it could tell them not to crush inside, but never found the will. It began to add little embellishments to the photographs it did, adjusting the lighting to make folks look better. It wanted to make people smile, but didn't know how. It began to get bolder, adding little embellishments to their photographs. Little flutters in one of the photographs, floating angels, even removing what it thought were ugly moles. But it never quite knew if the good that it did ever really helped.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Monster #9: The video game bad alien ship

RXQ17 wasn't too happy after hearing the instructions.
"Why do we have to fly in a sine wave pattern? Isn't that predictable? The enemy ship could just pick us off!"
"Silence, RXQ17! You shall follow instructions as told."
"But that's stupid! It's... suicide!"
"Quiet. Those are your orders. And orders shall be obeyed!"
"Look outside! That enemy ship is blowing through hundreds of us! He knows our patterns! And.. and we're repeating them! And what about not firing until we're twenty yards away? Why can't we just go in and start blasting away?"
"We must conserve ammo."
"But there are like... two thousand of us! Maybe some of us can fire earlier, some later..."
"RXQ17, will you be quiet?"
The other ship pilots were muttering. Evidently what he was saying made some sense.
"It is your turn now to fight the enemy. Good luck gentlemen."
"Luck is all we have if we follow what you say."

They boarded their ships and flew out of the spaceport. RXQ17 brushed the smell of ozone out of the air. As he entered the vast blackness of space, he could see and hear the thunderous explosions; bursts of red and yellow filling up the cockpit window. His fellow aliens were being slaughtered indiscriminately. The enemy ship's lasers were just pounding into them relentlessly. He was the third plane in a group of eight, with two in a row. They began the weaving pattern they had been told to execute.

"Watch out!" he shouted, but it was too late. The first two in front had been destroyed, their hulls torn open by laser fire. The next two were similary obliterated, exploding into cosmic dust. They weren't even able to return fire. He couldn't stand it. He pulled at the controls. His ship moved away from the rest.

"Stay your course RXQ17!" shouted the commander over the intercom.

His wing partner weaved right into the next line of laser fire and was destroyed, as well as the two last remaining ships of his squardon a moment later.

"RXQ17! You are in violation! You will be court martialed! Get back to base now!" shouted the commander.

He didn't care. He darted past the lasers, which were already blasting apart the ships of his fellow pilots. He flew closer to the enemy ship, whose technology left him in awe. He pressed the fire button and sent his relatively slow moving torpedoes at the enemy ship.

"RXQ17! Get back to base! Now!" the intercom shouted, but he didn't care. The torpedoes flew forward, and RXQ17 cursed, They were nowhere near the target. Then abruptly, the enemy ship jerked, and placed itself right at the path of the torpedoes. They smashed right into it, blowing it apart. RXQ17 let out a sharp yell.

His commander was shouting at him, but he turned off the intercom. He was a hero; he knew that, even if he disobeyed orders. The ship was now flying away from the base ship, and he realised how little power it had. Its ammunition had all been depleted as well. The sole purpose of the ship had been to attack the ruthless enemy, and its mission done, had no other purpose. RXQ17 stared into the emptiness of space, and realised how quiet it was.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Trihead

Grom, Guk and Ig were fed up of sharing the same body. Ig felt that the other two did not like him, and were constantly conspiring behind his back. Grom had recently turned vegatarian, and would ceaselessly comment whenever either of the two had any meat. "That's not healthy for the body," it would say. Guk, the mediator, tried to placate the two by just eating fish, but Ig loved the taste of red meat too much. That night, after a vicious argument, they decided they needed to seperate.

Off they went to see Joseph, the world's most brilliant surgeon. Joseph studied the predicament and wanted to help. One could get rid of housemates but in this situation, called for more dire means.

After many months of extensive research and meeting up with the monster, even as relations between the three further degraded, ("I think they're trying to kill me," Ig whispered to Joseph) it was decided to transplant the heads to other bodies. Grom wanted the body of an elephant, Guk wanted to keep the present body, while Ig wanted to be placed on a tiger's body.

Many hours of surgery later, it was complete. The three were now on separate bodies, and free to live their own lives. Ig relished the feeling of speed, after being attached to a plodding, overweight body. Guk enjoyed things as they were, and founded a home for multi-headed monsters. Grok stayed in a zoo, happily interacting with other animals and eating vegetables. After the surgery, the three had sworn to meet up again one day for tea, but it never really happened. After all, they had already spent enough time together.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The troll under Golden Gate Bridge

Yakvik the troll had slipped on a boat, leaving Norway for the United States. It had found many bridges taken, so went further west, until it found San Francisco. Once he saw the Golden Gate bridge, he was in love. He knew this would be the bridge for it, and he didn't even bother to take a toll, content to fish and swim in the waters of the bay.

However, Yakvik soon realised that many people came to jump from the bridge, and that saddened him. Unlike other trolls, Yakvik had a heart. He would never be in time to stop the jumpers, but being a faerie being, he could walk between life and death. He would ask those that died why they did so, and those that somehow lived, he would drag their unconscious forms to the shore. The dead he would tidy, ensured that their wallets or other identification stayed with their bodies, before putting them together. One day, after a great stock market crash, there were jumpers almost every hour. Yakvik was overwhelmed. The sorrow of the dead filled the waters, and even he was consumed by it. He worked non-stop; pulling the bodies to shore, the corpses drying in the sun, the souls of the dead mourning their regret and how they had lost everything.

Eventually Yakvik knew he would have to leave. He packed up his fishing pole, and took one of the boats. He sailed the long way back to Norway, found a secluded bridge that was hardly ever used, and settled there. Occasionally other faerie folk would drop by and he would tell them tales of the New World, but he never told them about the dead.

Monster #6: The bee woman

She loved cruel men, and until Henry was killed, would probably have been killed by one of them. They were in the park, and he hit her so hard two of her front teeth flew out. The back of her head hit a tree, and it must have disturbed a bees nest. The bees swarmed over her, but did not bite. Then Henry punched her again in the gut, and the bees went after him. He screamed as they stung him, and soon he was swelling up, like a balloon. The medics later said he had died of allergy, and she could not bear to see his face, as it was obvious he died in terrible pain.

The bees, however, never quite left her. They would surround her, caress her, cover her from head to toe. At first she was afraid, but she found herself enjoying their company. They started to speak to her, their antennae buzzing against the hairs of her skin. They spoke of the things they loved; the feel of the wind as they darted up, touching down on a flower, sucking pollen up like it was ambrosia. They showed the journeys they took, the miles they traveled, and she felt sad she would never travel as much as they did.

But she read of the places. The sullen castles, the beautiful mountains, the wide orchards. One day, the bees started to depart, and soon, none came to tell of their journeys. Still, she was ready. Air ticket in hand and her baggage packed, she left the house and began her own journey.

Monster #5: The Eye of Urhaz

The eye found its latest host. It attached itself to her left socket as she slept, and when the pain woke her up. Then she saw everything the eye had wanted to show her. Her husband staying back late to work at the office, but his only intention was to hump the barely 16-year old intern. The truth stabbed through her heart, and tears started flowing. The eye, its duty done, rolled away in the woman's confusion. It slipped away, rolling towards to see what it could, then finding another host to show it too. It witness murders, adultery, cheats and whatever secrets humanity hid. It fed on the sorrow of the truth, the tears and the anger that it could summon forth from those it attached itself to.

Monster #4

The Red Sofa loved a new home. The feel of the carpet beneath its feet, the odor of freshly painted walls, and hopefully, cable television. As a sofa there really wasn't that much to do, other then to watch television all day and hoping the owner would tune to a good channel. It loved cooking channels and talk shows. The only other thing it hoped for was that the inhabitants be messy enough to drop the occasional peanut or popcorn into its nooks and crannies. It really didn't require much food to survive. After all, it rarely had to move. It did remember trying to eat a cat, and spitting out furballs for about three months. It hated guinea pigs and rough children, and occasionally slyly dumped them on the floor, when no one was looking. It loved a good vacuum, and the feel of new linen over its form.

But few things last forever. After serving as the prime piece of furniture for a nurse, the Red Sofa was moved to the Salvataion Army, where it could no longer follow the adventures of the afternoon soap opera, or the talk shows. It lay there for months, before being adopted by a poor couple who paid entirely too little for it, they thought. The couple fought often, and the Red Sofa often found itself the unwiling target of pots and plates, and the pants-wearer of the family had a very bad habit of stubbing out cigarettes on it. Furthermore, they did not have cable, and the reception of their tv was akin to watching a snowstorm while being deluged by random noise.

The condition of the Red Sofa gradually plunged, as though reflecting the state of the current family it stayed with. The color paled from it, it smelled of beer and cigarettes, and there was a hole on its left side that was increasingly growing. One day, as the two had argued, and the cigarette stub once again rested on the side, it decided it had enough. It let the cigarette burn, and soon it was afire. Before long , it was burning, and the whole apartment burned with it.

The Red Sofa, however, didn't just end. It woke up, to find it was fresh and new. Blazing bright red and new, and surrounded by other furniture, even old friends from other homes it had shared. They shared time in furniture heaven, and there were even televisions there in that furniture heaven.

Monster #3

The Leviathan roamed the world, swallowing cities whole. Like most monsters that forgot to chew, it sometimes left the inhabitants alive. They would find themselves in a half-lit world, as the skin of the great beast was partially transparent, still allowing sunlight into the cities. There those that remained would meet and discuss amongst themselves, travelling between the cities, waiting for the next to join them. But soon the leviathan grew old, and it knew its time was coming to an end. It went to the desert, and waited to die. The inhabitants realised something was happening; the skin of the beast was growing duller, and light that came in was weaker than before. Beneath them, the many legs of the beast had grown slower. Soon we can escape, they thought.

And one day, the leviathan died. Within it, there was a great churning. The cities that it had swalloed found themselves thrown together. The flesh of the beast was quickly torn away, as hyenas and vultures desperately tore it apart, having followed it for months. Soon the survivors of the swallowings found themselves in a jumbled mess of a city. Great skyscrapers found themselves surrounded by hovels and huts, mosques shared land with temples and churches, bridges connected to highways and train tracks led to rivers. The inhabitants came out, looked at the mad metropolis, and wondered where to begin untangling, even as the great bones of the leviathan reached to the empty sky.

Monster #2

One day, Sarah came back, and found his dad transformed. Her father's body was now that of a gigantic black spider. He turned to her sternly and shouted 'sit down!' Sarah obeyed. He pointed to her teacup and demanded that she drink. She did as she was told, even though the hot tea burnt her tongue. Mother came in, and she looked her usual bored self.

From then on, Sarah found her dad more domineering than usual. At night he would hang from the ceiling, keeping an eye on her. When her boyfriends came, he would interrogate them. If he didn't like them, he would slowly wrap them up in his web until they were coccooned in silk, and bring them to the study room, which became cobwebbed and musky. He demanded meat at every meal.

One day, her father webbed Brian, a boy she really liked. She knew she had to free him. They would run away. She bought a big pork roast for her father, and he fell to sleep after devouring it. She then broke into the study, and carefully used a pair of scissors to free the various coccoons. Eventually she found Brian. But by now, her father was waking up. Brian and some of the other boys ran from the room, and out of the house. Her dad was very angry, and gave chase. Brian and Sarah ran, into the woods and out, into an abandoned car dump.

As she saw her dad coming, she yelled "Stop!" She told her dad this was the boy she loved, and nothing was going to change that. Her father licked his lips, then reached into himself, and realised what he had done. He guessed that he seemed better than the other boys, and since she was in love, there was nothing he could do to stop it anymore.

So Sarah and Brian got married, and ensured that her dad was kept well fed. They freed the remaining boys from the study, and some of them even came for the wedding.

Monster #1

So this all begins with a dream. I'm waiting for an elevator, with my mother and sister. My mother is carrying my nephew, and my sister, someone else. For some reason, I get a baby handed to me as well. It's an odd looking creature, with a huge head and a very small body. The elevator doors open, and just as I'm about to get in, I notice that one of its limbs is flaying about in a particular way. I realise that it's like the leg of an octopus. The other people in the lift are impatient. I get in. The baby wakes up and is crying furiously. The lower portion of its body is like an octopus, wildly flaying around. It starts to crawl out of my hands, and I desperately try to catch it, even as the baby cries cover the whole lift. Everyone around me is pressed to the sides at this sight. My hands constantly go under it, as this octopoid baby tries to crawl away again and again.