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Uncertain fantasy

Story no. 44. RIGHT OKAY. I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum today, and I took ALL THE PICTURES of decorative motifs, so hopefully I am inspired to catch up on illustrations SOON.


There were only three of them left now. Isaac had, presumably, encountered a police patrol during his last foraging mission. He’d gone out, but he had not come back. The military police had been shooting anyone they found in the quarantine zone on sight for weeks now. They’d seen Obie get shot; he’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time when they military had done one of their first clean-up operations. Cilian had a wound go septic, and Megs—well, they were less sure about what had happened to Meg, but it hadn’t been good.

Harry’s death had been the worst. He’d gone out on the river in the night. Someone had seen some fish, and none of them had eaten anything fresh for months. He’d been desperate, greedy, and no one could blame him. Whatever contagion spread the fever must had gotten to him out there. Maybe it was a mosquito, or some sort of amoeba in the water. They couldn’t take the body out of the apartment building, either, once he’d thrashed himself into a cortical hemorrhage. Some of the other bands had taken to burning apartment buildings if they had suspicions that someone infected was hiding inside.

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I haven’t been keeping up, but! Yesterday episode 11 of the podcast went up, in which I read “The Piano Room”! While there’s an amusing glitch in the sound editing (oops), I really love this story.

If you’d like to read the story yourself, here’s the link.

Also: consider pre-ordering the consolidated and edited Monsters fairy tale novella on Amazon! I am super happy with the set of new illustrations I did for the book. Thanks also to the people who have been following along with the story since I started it in September.

Story no. 42. I’m doing the thing again, i.e. POSTING WITHOUT AN ILLUSTRATION. Alas! But I’m making solid progress in finishing my novella illustrations, so I should be able to come back with illustrations for this story and the last one soon.

As before, you can pre-order the novella ebook of Monsters, with nine new black-and-white illustrations, on Amazon.

I released the first part of this story way back at the end of 2014, which you can read here.


The Lady looked at Aunt Thompson and said something that neither Bill nor I could hear. She then did the thing where she didn’t exactly vanish, but between one moment and the next she was suddenly very far away from us, on the top of the next hill.

“We’ve got to fetch that jewel, wherever these cousins have taken it,” Aunt Thompson said.

We?” I said.

Why?” Bill said.

“Do you want someone setting up a new Lathustra?” she asked. She rose to her feet and gestured for us to follow with a jerk of her antlers.

“It’s none of my business if they do,” I said piously. “To each their own demise.”

“You’re an idiot, Teapot,” she said. “Come along.” She was suddenly much taller, taller than her house or the trees that surrounded it, while Bill and I were still just a gremlin and a hobknob. She held out her great hands. With worrisome sighs, we each sat astride one of her wrists.

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Story no. 41. I promised myself I would never do this again, but I’m putting this up without an illustration, to be added later.

Why, you ask, am I doing this?

BECAUSE I am currently working on the new set of illustrations for Monsters! I am releasing the novella, somewhat edited from how it appeared on this blog, as a Kindle book and, later, a paperback, with nine new black and white illustrations!

If you enjoyed reading the seven parts of Monsters here, consider pre-ordering the novella on Amazon. I also have a Patreon, where I will be putting up process images for the novella illustrations soon for $1 and above patrons.

EDITED as of 4/16/2018: Here is the illustration! I will be uploading a nicer scan when I’m back in the U.S. and have access to my scanner again. 


thethingthatdoesntfitfromaphoto

When Delia woke up, she was in a different century.

She was wearing a shift this time, and there were clothes folded over the board at the foot of the bed: quilted stays, a wool skirt of indeterminate color, a much-patched jacket. Stockings and a white cap hung off the bedpost.

She sat up, and the cat curled into her side made a soft noise, a mrrp, and stretched extravagantly. Delia offered her finger, and the cat sniffed it and then rubbed its whiskers against her hand.

There was always a cat.

The first time she tried to get dressed, she put the stays on before the stockings. Delia was quite proud of herself for getting herself up snugly but realized too late that she couldn’t bend over properly. Several minutes of tugging at the ties and wriggling later, she had gotten free again and could finally pull on the stockings.

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