‘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
The tour group moved on. He glanced around as the display room emptied.
When he was certain that it was just him and a lit case of bones, he took a screwdriver from his coat pocket and cracked the lid of the case.
He slid his hand inside to stroke the little feline skeleton there, worn smooth by years of handling. It shuddered under his touch, the bolts and wires holding it together pinging free to bounce from the glass.
The skeleton yawned silently, then turned empty orbs toward him.
He smiled. ‘I knew I would find you again eventually.’
The cat braced its paws against the glass and he complied to its silent request, lifting it free of the case and letting it snuggle into his coat.… Read more
Every day, the hound watched the sun set over the graveyard, walking between the headstones, nose quivering in search of a particular scent.
As the sun vanished behind the mountains and the mist descended, wispy figures pulled themselves up from the graves.
They never shied from the hound, though he was large as a wolf and black as tar. Though his eyes pierced the night with a luminous glow.
Instead, they crowded around him.
They stroked his nose with phantom hands and whispered praise with distant voices. They watched his progress with milky eyes filled with sadness.
When at last he came to that particular grave, the headstone long-since pitted and overgrown, he would take up his guard and wait for a misty shape that never formed.… Read more
He hurried home across the park, hands thrust deep into his pockets. The moon was too sickly to light his path, leaving the lake a looming void.
The sound startled him. He tripped over a root and barely caught himself.
The duck waddled to his feet and glared up at him.
‘I don’t have anything,’ he told it. He’d had no notion that ducks could be nocturnal. He turned away, only to come up short when faced with another pair of beady eyes.
‘Shoo. Go on.’ He waved it away with his briefcase. He liked ducks, normally. Found their brazen begging endearing.… Read more
Red light gleamed from the dark hollows of her eyes. Her skin grew aged and leathery as parchment. She bared cruelly pointed teeth.
‘This is what I am,’ she said. ‘This is what the hunger does to me. And I have been alone such a long time …’
He took a deep breath. ‘So have I.’ His pale shape flickered, like an image losing signal. ‘But I’m willing to try, if you are.’
‘Try,’ she said. She put her hand on his, and it didn’t pass through. ‘Yes, we could try.’
Image by Rondell Melling from Pixabay.… Read more
Some loves transcend death, and so it was Lola.
Every day, she waited in the window for her human, her tail clacking against the windowsill.
When she heard a car pull up, she would clatter down from the sill, then run for the front door with a sound like a dull xylophone.
She would greet them by twining her ribcage around their legs.
And when she settled on their lap, she would knead a little too spikily, but in a different way than she had in life.
Image by isfara from Pixabay.… Read more
He opened his eyes and there, white-smiled and wide-eyed in the midnight gloom, was the creature.
It hung back against the wall: long arms, long body, round head. Hairy, but in the way a shadow is hairy. A thing knit of night itself.
Before, he had closed his eyes and given in to fitful sleep. But now he gathered his courage and spoke: ‘What are you doing here?’
–Watching over you– Its voice was muffled and warped. –Rest now. You’re safe.–
After a moment, he did.
A microfiction with thanks to Quiet Rain for tipping on Ko-Fi. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more
Curled on her side in the window-seat, she gazed out at the open moors. Tears made gentle tracks down her cheeks.
Outside, the clouds gathered, dark with empathy, heavy with the weight of their care for her. When the rain fell, the grass sighed its longing.
When at last she returned, the moor would welcome her with wild winds and dramatic skies.
Perhaps then they would both be whole, and she would remember, at last, what she truly was.
Microfiction! Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.… Read more
Her dog was a creature of moonlight and chill wind.
It lived on the hill behind her house, in the ruins of the old stable. She’d been up there to get … away, when she heard whimpering.
It was a timid thing, thin-boned and silver-furred, all eyes flashing in the dark and tail vanishing into shadow.
Given time, she earned its trust.
It would lean against her side and she would run her hands through its icy fur. She brought it treats that it would never take, but when she called, it came. But only at night.
‘Who left you here?’… Read more
She played late into the night and then later still, ignorant of the shadows pressing in on all sides, uncaring of the heaviness of her limbs or the life set to resume in a few hours.
For her, there was only the quest, only the character on the screen, only the voices of her guildmates, intense in her ears.
The shadows crowded closer as her eyelids drooped, their inky hands reaching for the keyboard.
When her head hung and a snore rose up in her throat, they gently nudged her aside and finished the raid.
‘Yes!’ a player crowed in her ear.… Read more