Story no. 43. Uh. . . just trust me, okay? I will catch up with the illustrations. Okay, don’t trust me. YOU SHOULDN’T TRUST ME AT THIS POINT, because I am a lying liar who lies about getting watercolors done. DRAMATIC SIGH.


 

The new arrivals were thin-faced and more than a little haggard. Their English was mediocre and their Irish nonexistent. They had come, they said, all the way from the western foothills of the Alps. To avoid the nuclear drift they had gone south until they reached the coast, where they had built a raft that they could navigate along the coastline. Once they had passed the strait, though, the open ocean became too much for their improvised vessel, and they had had to go south again, until they could find and bargain with one of the remaining fisher villages there for passage on a craft to Ireland.

Auntie didn’t ask what they had bargained, or how long they had been on the journey, or how many people their group had comprised when they started. Gwen privately thought that the shadows echoing in the face of the small blonde woman suggested more rather than less, longer rather than shorter, and rather more than the three bedraggled refugees now standing under the Big Tree.

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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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