Tag Archives: creatures

The Aunties

There are many strange and inexplicable things on the island, most of which you wouldn’t want to meet on a dark road at night, or even in weak sun at noon. There are weird beasties, worrying fogs, and innocuous-looking birds that scream. There are things that have been around as long as the island. And there are also things which have, perhaps, been around longer…

You might know them as the Agents of Change, or the Ocular Ones, or even the Aunties. Personally, they refer to themselves as Mildred, Ludmilla and Gertrude. They spend a lot of time floating around in saltwater, glaring at anything stupid enough to try eating them.

Their story, or at least a version of it, goes something like this: the island appeared. It came from somewhere. Ludmilla says it rose out of the ocean, Gertrude says it emerged from the fog, and Mildred says there was a geological phenomena involving an underwater volcano. All three agreed that it was messy and inconvenient, and for some time (a century or so) the Aunties were quietly outraged and considering how they might get rid of this lurking growly thing.

It was Gertrude who pointed out the persons.

“Well,” said Ludmilla, “I don’t know what they think they’re doing here. It’s not as if they’ll survive.” and she blinked her three eyes furiously.

“I don’t think it’s their fault,” Mildred warbled, “there’s bits of shipwreck everywhere.”

“Well that’s what you get when you sail ships close to mist-covered cursed places,” harrumphed Ludmilla.

“Oh the poor dears, they are trying,” trilled Gertrude, “look, they’re building things.”

“Bet they don’t even last a century,” said Ludmilla, and, after a pause, “That’s no way to go about building a house.”

The Autnies watched. They had a lot of eyes, after all, and the island couldn’t exactly get rid of them (even though it wanted to). It became clear that the island wasn’t letting its people go anywhere either.

If asked who started helping first, the Ocular Ones would shift and point tentacles and say things like: “I can’t very well go letting them eat that muck no can I?” or “Built his house right next to a soft spot in reality; of course I moved the whole thing!” or “Help is a strong word really, I just move resources around.” And if doing all this happened to remind the island who had been there first, well, that was merely a happy coincidence.

They did notice that, after a while, there were rather a lot more sea-beasts, some of whom thought that snacking on the Aunties was a valid life-option. The island, it seemed, was not happy with their meddling. Ludmilla, Gertrude and Mildred knew how to deal with fanged beasties though, and if they meddled a bit more and kept an eye on that nice young fisherman, well, all was well wasn’t it?

And then there was yet another beastie, sinking into the water.This beastie was different. This beastie wanted to change. And change was what the Aunties did.

Mildred made sure the nice fisherman found the now baby and took it home, and the three of them together made sure it would be mostly people-shaped. And then the Ocular Ones settled in for an interesting few years keeping an eye on the newest inhabitant.

“After all,” said Gertrude, “we’re almost like her parents now.”

“Hrrrummph,” said Ludmilla.

“Oh hush,” said Mildred, “we’ll miss all the interesting bits if you don’t quiet down.”

And they turned mobile eyes back towards the island, waiting…

Written by the entirely amazing Meredith Debonnaire. (We are fans of her work, obviously. She writes about Tantamount, which is probably a sister town with Hopeless, Maine. You can also find Angel Evans right about…here)
Art-Tom Brown
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Tales of the Sinimus

Hello people! (and others)

Last week we asked you to help choose the name of this wee sleekit (probably not timorous or cowering) beastie, and you have come through for us. It is scientifically known as a Sinimus, and commonly known as a Puddle Rat. Then I went on the social media ether and asked you for tales and anecdotes regarding the most recently discovered fauna of the island. You came through yet again. Or, at least these people did! There may be more tales of the Simus to come, so watch this space…

 

“The Sinimus, or rather hosts of the little blighters, are the bane of bakers across Hopeless, Maine. They have a tendency toward scones, you see. They don’t just eat them, but gnaw them hollow from the underside and then wear them like shells. Due to their teeny feet and scratchy nails, many a Hopeless baker has woken in the night to the sound of enthused scratching only to enter their kitchen to the sight of a host of scuttling scones by candlelight. For Hopeless, inanimate objects becoming anything but is a relatively normal occurrence. But there’s something about the way the scones chitter that makes them truly disturbing.”

Craig Hallam

“They’s fast; I seen one race down a weasel, eviscerate it with one kick o them clawfoots, then drag th’ twitchin’ carcass back ta its den, fulla blind, hairless, and carnivorous spawn. Their sharp li’l teeths makes short work of a body, leavin’ behind nuthin but fur, feathers, an mebbe gizzard-stones. If the stayed small, it wouldn’t be such a thing…but my ole Gram told me bout some what gets biggah an biggah. An ole bull Puddle Rat’s clawfoots can take a badger, ole boar coon, dog…er child. They done a big stermination on em, back in ’69. Some fellers got a little excited an used dynamite an a home-made flame-throwah fashioned out of an ole Indian tank, burnt down two houses, a toolshid, the Mayah’s cah, an Gino’s Pettin Zoo. No great loss, cos all he had was some chickens, an incontinent three-legged sheep, and somethin’ he called “Gordie Th Whatzit”, ayuh. Was able to salvage enough roast chicken an mutton foah a BBQ but Gordie? Ole Gordie dissapeahed.

Huh? Oh, yeah, they wasn’t to many confirmed Puddle Rats kilt, but they mostly stayed outta sight after that. Ain’t seen one in yeeahs.”

Cardiff Piltdown

Ever seen their mating ritual: The Scone Dance?

Attenborough tried but the footage wasn’t usable, distorted by arcane symbols.”

Anth Hodson-Curran

 

Upon seeing a puddle rat.

Beneath the leaden sky

I sat to take in the cool Hopeless evening

The waves whispered

The air was still

Vainly I tried to draw the stillness within

Something stirred.

A puddle rat

Ears twitching and alert, nose sniffing the air

Long shanked and nimble

It watched me

Reared on its hind legs, tail swishing

Its eyes gleamed

Such natural candour

That cares nothing for form or outward appearing

A mirror to my soul

In your dark eye

Writhe unquiet spirits in constant turmoil

My long denied demons

And for your dark eye

That sees true and shows unguardedly its seeing

People call you wicked.–

Jim Snee