We are very excited to announce that we have raised enough money to fund a dustcat puppet for our Hopeless Maine film. Many thanks to everyone who chipped in! If you’re new to all this and have a sudden urge to get involved, start here – https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/bringing-hopeless-maine-to-the-screen-one-creature-at-a-time/
The dustcat will be a marionette, able to waft about and gesticulate in charming ways. There will be updates and progress shots, so, watch this space.
By Frampton Jones
Jennifer was an unfortunate casualty, an innocent bystander laid low by an epic battle in which she probably had no part. Of course one can never really know, only guess at these things. She was the victim of a cat attack, but was not, I think, the intended focus of it.
Just after dark, two days ago, a large number of cats of all different kinds emerged into the street at great speed. Many of you will have seen that angry feline tidal wave, some of us even dared to follow in its furry wake. The cats were hunting for the cat demon. Numerous people received minor injuries during the brawl, but Jennifer was unfortunate enough to be in the path of a massive dustcat wrecking ball, and did not survive the encounter.
It’s rare to see a wrecking ball of that size – it seemed to me that every dustcat on the island must have joined it – tails intertwined on the inside, claws and teeth on the outside. It was a formidable thing to behold, and destroyed or mortally wounded everything in its path. In the chaos, it was hard to tell what was happening. The fight between the cat demon and the cats was noisy, but impossible to follow.
In the aftermath, the living cats sat with the bodies of the dead. The cats who had become parts of the cat demon were clearly in there somewhere. Caterwauling continued late into the night. There was no sign of Durosimi – creator of the infamous cat demon. It may be fair to assume he has survived He usually does. There is no justice.
I think we can infer that the cats felt some remorse over the accidental killing of Jennifer. She was the only human fatality. During the night, dustcats ate her face – an unusual act of tribute suggesting great preference. I have no idea whether the deceased would consider this a fitting tribute or a further indignity.
By Robin Collins
Hopeless Maine has one morgue. It is an old and musty edifice those walls are often scoured by winds from the sea or home to glowing colonies of wandering moss crabs. The morgue stands a lonely and depressing sight on its cold hill. Whoever built it had ugly little dwarves carved into the guttering like gargoyles, vomiting cold rainwater out of their slimy mouths whilst increasing anyone’s likelihood of cheering up to an inevitable low.
Interestingly or sinisterly depending on your view there is a little girl called Daphne, who lives in the morgue. She spends her days among the dead bodies laid on the stone shelves talking to them, and going up to the roof where she can look out to sea and dream of being a vampire mermaid sucking blood out of sailors.
Daphne had always been the only living human in the morgue. She was proud of being the only living human in the morgue. Those who brought the cadavers up never seemed to think perhaps this little girl needed a proper home. Her love of the colour black and her intense stare anyway made them glad that she didn’t live with them.
Daphne though had never been brought presents for her birthday. She didn’t know about birthdays, but would she have noticed when she was staring out to sea dreaming of being a vampire mermaid?
The present was left in a wooden crate just outside the morgue doors. Daphne sniffed it and then saw somebody had handwritten a little note for her with much thought and kindness evident in the writing. But Daphne did not read. She ate the note because it looked like it could be eaten. Then she opened the crate because there might be food in it. I have not mentioned this but Daphne was often delivered food by the caring people from Hopeless Maine because they were afraid of what she might do if she did not have her fish pie.
Out of the container suddenly emerged all covered in fur and with claws and green eye… a dustcat. The dustcat’s mouth opened and out wriggled its grey fleshy dust sucking tube. It stuck to Daphne’s face with a wet sucking noise. She was initially surprised and about to pull her little axe out she carried wherever she went to kill the dustcat, but she began to laugh. This was fun and she was smiling. The dustcat finding no dust on her face then flew up above her head resembling a ragged clot of fur and meow. It sat on her hair. Daphne was laughing now so much she was starting to hurt her ribs. When she’d finished laughing the dustcat had already gone inside the morgue and found a lot of high quality dust. Daphne watched as the creature went about the gloomy, morbidly introspective interior, its green eyes glittering and its dust sucking tube making dust sucking sounds.
‘I will name you…’ she stopped and thought for a moment. ‘…Darkness,’ she said happily.
This was her first present and her first dustcat.
Art by Tom Brown