The Make-A-Monster Workshop

‘Hi. Welcome to the Make-A-Monster Workshop, where you can literally Make A Friend.’

The greeter’s smile was so bright, it looked like it had come with his cheerful blue uniform.

The badge on his breast identified him as Kevin, with a logo in the corner Ash didn’t recognise — at a glance, it seemed to be a lot of very tiny circles pressed close together.

They cleared their throat. ‘So … how does this work?’

Kevin’s smile, if possible, seemed to grow wider.

‘First, you choose one of our huggable buggable bases,’ he said.

‘Buggable?’ They asked, but Kevin was already indicating the display unit.… Read more

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The cast of Tombtown — dollmaker style!

Having no art skills to speak of, it’s sometimes frustrating not to have even simple character art or references for my characters. I want to visualise them! And I want to share those visualisations!

I’ve been playing around a lot with doll makers and eventually came across Rinmaru’s Mega Fantasy Avatar Creator, a flash game and soon-to-be desktop game in which you came make the most beautiful and surprisingly customisable character portraits. Rinmaru has dozens of interactive story games and doll makers and is also available to support on patreon. I really recommend their amazing work!

Anyway, here’s the cast of Tombtown as created in Rinmaru’s doll maker, just for fun.… Read more

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Bad Manners

They approached the thrashing, snarling creature hanging from the snare, calmly dodging claws as long as their fingers and snapping teeth with cruel points.

They spun the creature around and it howled and struggled, but couldn’t reach them. They got to work on the snare, glad of the thick gloves that let them touch the sharp wire.

When the wire was at last worked loose, the thrashing creature hit the ground, then rose to its feet. It was easily twice their size.

It was a hulking, hairy thing of long snout and muscled limbs. It launched itself at them, claws outstretched.… Read more

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Time Now

Raindrops plinked against their synthetic casing. They held up their hand, watching the water make trails across it.

‘Surely you’ve seen rain before,’ said their friend.

‘Many times,’ they replied, still fascinated by the glistening beads on their casing. ‘Just never had time to appreciate it before. Because of the directives.’

Their friend smiled. ‘Well you’ve got time now.’

‘I’ve got time now,’ they agreed, and lifted their face to the sky.

Image by Stefan Dr. Schulz from Pixabay.… Read more

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Regent of Winter

They hungered. Not just for food, though they needed it. Not just for shelter or love, though they wanted it. They were hungry because their spirit was being starved.

The world had taken from them again and again and they were fast becoming a husk. Something thin and twisted and locked away from sun and sanity.

They could feel it happening. It would be easy to become a hag, like so many before them. To take that hunger and turn it into miserable, malicious power.

Instead, they made a decision, because the world can be blamed for your pain but not for your cruelty, and that small and cold spirit inside them still longed to do and be better than what had spawned them.… Read more

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I don’t know

She sat overlooking the ocean, legs dangling from the clifftop. Her blackened armour was beaded with gore, but her sword was plunged into the earth behind her.

Another woman approached, limping and clutching a spreading wound in her side. In her other hand was a glowing knife.

Without looking around, the first said, ‘So you’re here to kill me?’

The second hesitated.

‘I deserve it,’ she added.

‘You do,’ the second agreed. ‘Why did you do it?’

‘I don’t know,’ said the first. She looked up at the other with haunted eyes. ‘Somehow, that’s worse than if I did, isn’t it?… Read more

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Waiting

The cat stood watch at the foot of the bed while his witch thrashed and screamed. An empty glass bottle bounced from the bed to scatter into shards across the floor.

Her flesh roiled, sometimes skin, sometimes scales. Her bones creaked like old wood. And at times, her eyes were wide and full of fire.

The cat understood only a little. He knew she was changing. He knew she was afraid. And he knew he loved her.

So he kept watch and waited to see what she would become.


Image by Hilda Roberts from Pixabay.… Read more

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New Hobby

They unfurled a tentacle, blinking their many eyes, and pointed at the brightly coloured rack behind the woman.

She gawped a moment, then regained her composure. ‘You’re here for yarn?’

They bobbed their bulbous, cephalpodal head, then pointed to the rack to her left.

‘Needles, too?’

They nodded again.

In spite of herself, she smiled. ‘Well, it’s always exciting when someone joins the craft. I’ll see if I can find something waterproof for you …’

They curled all their tentacles up and slitted their eyes in delight.

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.… Read more

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Passing Time

She dug her toes into the dirt and raised her arms.

As the wind struck her, she shivered; skin whorled and hardened into bark. Fingers lengthened and fractured into branches. Hair bloomed into narrow silver leaves.

She grew and twisted and changed, shifting from a girl into a narrow white-barked tree.

And thus, she let the seasons pass, and woke again in better times.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.… Read more

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