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.