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Story no. 53. What a perfect delight this section was to write! I thoroughly advise everyone to pick up A.S. Byatt and P.G. Wodehouse when they are feeling under the writing weather.

As before, if you want to catch up on this story, you can read parts onetwothreefourfivesix, and seven. The illustration for part six is currently in progress. 

If you’d like to support this project, I have a Patreon! $1/month gets you art process posts; $3/month gets you extra stories and illustrations. There are also links to my Kofi and Paypal on the right-hand side of the page. 


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“I can, of course, leave any time I like,” Mr. Jenkins said primly. “I was just performing a bit of reconnaissance to assess the scope of the problem here.”

“Of course,” Aunt Thompson said sourly.

“Of course,” the human echoed faintly. It was staring at a clay hedgehog with its brow furrowed. The hedgehog was wearing a pink bowtie and a purple vest. “Is there any chance this place is—ah—a outgrowth of a real place? Or maybe an amalgation of real places?”

“Almost definitely,” Mr. Jenkins said. “Why do you ask?”

“I recognize that hedgehog,” the human said. “It’s right at the top of Aunt Lara’s garden. Uncle Klaas kept vanishing it into the cellar until she hid it behind a rhododendron.”

“So what?” Aunt Thompson snapped. “It’s only a shadow.” She picked up the hedgehog and threw it at the ground; it dissolved into a little pile of sand. When we looked back at the shelf, the ceramic hedgehog was back in its former location, but now its eyes were narrowed and it was holding a little clay knife.

“If it’s a shadow, it’s still got a link to the thing casting it,” the human said. “I might be able to set up a gate back to where it’s throwing from. If,” it added, inspecting one hand, “you give me back my book.”

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Story no. 52. Friends, we have survived the holidays and the shortest day of the year! Let us bounce forward, hopefully not into a brick wall! 

As before, if you want to catch up on this story, you can  read parts onetwothreefourfive, and six.

If you’d like to support this project, I have a Patreon! $1/month gets you art process posts; $3/month gets you extra stories and illustrations. There are also links to my Kofi and Paypal on the right-hand side of the page.

Edited 5/30/2019: If you would like a print of this story’s illustration, you can get it here from my Society6 page. 


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Aunt Thompson climbed out of the hole first. As low as the ceiling had gotten, it was still no easy task for the human to lever itself after her. Gremlins, as I believe I have already conveyed, are not entirely affected by the laws of physics in the way a non-Lathustran might expect them to be, so I had already swarmed up the wall and flung myself through the opening by the time the human’s rather substantial nose poked over the edge.

“Care for a hand?” I asked.

The human grunted and rolled an eyeball filled with malice in my direction as it jerked an elbow over the edge. Apparently its powers did not include levitation (at least not while its small book remained in Aunt Thompson’s possession).

It had just gotten its other elbow planted when Aunt Thompson grew tired of waiting and hooked a hoof into the collar of its robes and hauled it up to stand with us.

We were standing in a sort of library of towering shelves receding in all directions in tight rows. Instead of books the shelves held a variety of ceramic objectsteacups, teapots, round cats with bobbing paws, and little yapping dogs frozen just at the moment before they catch their tails. Light suffused the space, yellow light, red light, cold white light, coming from any number of directions, in spite of there being no windows in evidence.

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Story no. 51! I had to take a brief hiatus to work on an illustration for Lackington’s issue 18, which should be released sometime this month. I was very excited both about the watercolor I finished and the story which inspired it, so I am very much looking forward to having everyone see it! Besides that, there is also cow art.

As before, if you want to catch up on this story, you can read parts onetwothreefour, and five.

If you’d like to support this project, I have a Patreon! $1/month gets you art process posts; $3/month gets you extra stories and illustrations. There are also links to my Kofi and Paypal on the right-hand side of the page. 


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The magic that rushed forth out of the human as it shouted – from its mouth, sure, but also from its hands, eyes, and curiously, its left ear – formed a thin skin between us and the pressure of the whispering. The onslaught of hostile magic from the voices of the dead sparked and slapped against the barrier, turning it various nauseating colors.

The human took another deep breath and the power of the mummies shoved it back toward us, wrapping the membrane tight against our faces. This seemed like the sort of thing that would be a problem for the human, so I wriggled my way over its shoulder and put my elbow up against the magic near its nose. A bit of pressure, and I was able to make a fist-sized opening; a bit more more peeled the magic away from its lips.

It shouted again, this time a little louder and a little longer, and the bubble expanded. This time when it ran out of air, it threw the little book up in front of its face, sending a shock wave of light out into the room.

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Story no. 50. That seems momentous, somehow. I’m finally getting a bit of a schedule going in my free mornings, which of course doesn’t mean more regular output here, but it MIGHT mean more regular output here.

You can read parts onetwothree, and four of this story to catch up.

Illustration to follow; I’m still working on the magician for part three.

If you’d like to support this project, I have a Patreon! $1/month gets you art process posts; $3/month gets you extra stories and illustrations. There are also links to my Kofi and Paypal on the right-hand side of the page (emoji arrow here).


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The human eyeballed me, its lips pressed together in an iron line. “I begin to suspect, microscopic magicum,” it said frostily, “that you are not dealing entirely in good faith with me.”

With that, it spun on its heel and strode off toward the blurry house, which was coming into sharper focus by the moment.

I skidded after it, feeling rather indignant. Of course I hadn’t told everything I know about Aunt Thompson—half of what I know is laughable, the other categorically unbelievable, and all the most important bits can’t be voiced in a human tongue—but I’d truly only just thought about Bill at that moment. Nothing against the fellow—solidarity between fellow gremlins and all—but he’s always been a gray smudge of nothing. Aunt Thompson’s pulled him out of her ear before without noticing. Once he got stuck under the cheese grater in Mr. Jenkins’ kitchen for a month, and only the arrival of a large round of cheddar smuggled in from the Blue Earth saved him from oblivion.

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Story no. 48. This one is rapidly becoming far more involved than I intended. Drat. Whatever, I’m running with it. 

Astute fans and observers will notice that I have not yet put up the podcast episode for this week (yes, I know, shame on me, shame shame shame.) That is because I wanted to read this story, such that the podcast listeners can have a continuous experience! So look for that recording later today or tomorrow. 

Illustration to follow. In the meantime, you can read parts one and two of this story.

As always: If you’d like to support this project, I have a Patreon! $1/month gets you art process posts; $3/month gets you extra stories and illustrations.


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The valley grew colder and damper as we followed Aunt Thompson down the path. The gables and spires of the houses in the valley rose ever higher over our heads. I tried to work out if it was just the change in perspective that was making them look like that, or if the houses were actually growing. (That’s the kind of bullshit that houses in Lathustra get up to, anyway.)

The stony path turned into a stony road and then into a slippery cobblestone street that cut its way between dense rows of houses. Down this low, the bricks were blackened with soot or mud or something else equally unpleasant. Bill’s not terribly good with regular physics, and he couldn’t keep his claws beneath him on the slick paving. After he’d fallen for the sixth time, Aunt Thompson picked him up and stuffed him under her arm.

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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.

Edited to add on July 22, 2018: Illustration! Exists! You can get prints from my Society6 shop!


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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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