Invent Your Own Mutant, Monster, Or Myth (And Win A Free E-Book)

Cat-Bird Banner: Irregular Creatures

EDIT: CONTEST NOW OPEN TILL 11:59PM TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY (FEB 2ND).

It is time to give away some copies of IRREGULAR CREATURES, my short story collection.

Giving away five total copies in your choice of Kindle, PDF, or ePub format.

Seeing as how the collection offers nine short stories, each featuring some bizarre beastie, some mythic miscreant, some maladjusted mutant, I thought I’d run a little contest.

That contest: come up with your own “irregular creature.”

I want to see, in 100 words or less, your own crazy concoction — an original creature or monster of your own design. Fantasy, humor, horror, sci-fi, whatever. Have fun with it.

My collection has cat-birds, mystic rag-man hermaphrodites, and the vaginas of fallen angels.

What will you come up with?

You’ve got 24 hours.

I’ll pick my five favorites at noon on Wednesday, February 2nd (aka “tomorrow”). Those five will have their choice of how they want the collection (be advised: “rectally” is not a choice).

Drop your beastly imaginings into the comments below.

Let the mythological mutations begin.

28 comments

  • SockGnomes.
    Not true gnomes at all, SockGnomes are more closely related to PenGoblins and MagpieFaeries(also called KeySprites).
    SockGnomes are small, nocturnal Fae that dwell in dark, musty areas such as basements, crawl-spaces and walls. They are solitary, although mated pairs can occasionally be found. SockGnomes prefer to line their nests with poly-cotton blends. Anything soft, and easily carried off. They feed primarily on wool.
    One can easily identify a SockGnome infestation by the annoying disappearance of singular socks, and the occasional odd thumping sound coming from the dryer-be careful opening the door, an angry SockGnome might leap out and bite your shin.
    They only way to eliminate a SockGnome infestation is to switch over entirely to tube-socks, which SockGnomes consider anathema.

  • It evolved, if the term could be used of so ephemeral a creature, deep within dreams. A scavenger, it did not create nightmares or the erotic dreams that caused their dreamers to awake gasping and ashamed, but it fed on them, it and a million of it’s brethren, consuming the raw emotions the dreams aroused. A thousand years it had existed, sated on fear and ecstasy, but now it wanted more, yearned for it, for life. The oneirophage wanted to awake.

  • My hero is the great Pop-Beast, who lies in vigil within its dreams and before you count to ten, will fall asleep. My beast is groggy, undistilled, like a horse who dies young, without galloping. And when it’s on stage shows great dance moves, pulverizing chairs while it shines.

  • Tiny Tigerites: mini versions of the big cats, small enough to slip through a mail slot, who also possess the power of invisibility at will. If you can catch one and kiss it on the head it will be your friend forever 🙂 (invented by LeeLee!)

  • Night Shriekers are a bat-like, cat-like creature which are used for evening mass transit between trees. Though initially off-putting with their feral, musky scent, their mucus-dripping fangs, and their unearthly shrieks (obvi!) of arrival, local forest folk eventually came to accept these efficient creatures as part of their complex ecosystem.
    Originally from the tundra of northern Canada, their leathery wings and tattered fur are white in the day and fade to black at night. Albino-red eyes inhibit day vision; sonar and in-built GPS give superb night vision. Seats 6. P.S. Discovery Channel docu-drama currently in production.

  • Its heavy fleshy body sucked up the room’s light. Only the tip of its ponderous ruddy head suspended at the top of the stalk was visible from Molly’s perspective. The Snakehead mushroom had to be at least thirty feet tall. She touched its skin, chill and pulsating. Up close its smell was earthy and wild and would have been primally exciting if not for the corpse-cold aura emanating from it. Molly shuddered. Dusted by its spoor, she understood the invitation. She pressed her body against it, bit, and drank the stalk’s liqueur. The Colony trickled into her mind.

  • A hibernating shape-shifter that periodically rises and feeds on the souls of children: “Mist turned to scales then into feathers. Shades of grey, black and crimson shimmered along the edge of each feather, appearing to be glinting blades under fiery moonlight. The feathers molded close to the creature’s form, outlining a gaunt, hunched vulture-like silhouette. It turned, opened its arms and widened its stance. Ape-like feet scuffled closer, accompanied by a stealthy scratching from the long, bear-like claws. The hole in its face was occupied with fat tentacles, each ending with a ringed sucker lined with tiny teeth. It would take hold of the child and suck life, blood, soul, thoughts, memories. “

  • The Astur, or Terrestrial Demon, lives in the forgotten places of the world. They build themselves bodies out of whatever they can find, preferring the felsh and blood of humans to all other sources. They are the natural enemy of the hobo.

  • We thought it was just a normal goldfish that we bought from that ravelling salesman, how wrong we were. In actuality it was an extremely rare Amazon golden god-eater. It is mostly nocturnal, emerging from the bowl each night, dragging itself by its fins across the carpet, endlessly searching for food. The house cat was the first casualty.

    All that was left the next morning was a tiny pile of chewed bones and some leftover fur. The next time it emerges from the bowl, it will have bigger things on its mind. It only eats cats out of sheer desperation, to get its strength up. Its favourite food is human flesh.

  • Poo Goblins:

    Who’s dreads going to the bathroom? Me! My house’s septic system is home to a nest of Poo Goblins, and I haven’t been able to sit on the toilet since! They’re not quite dangerous, but the Poo Goblins are tricksters. Ever have one of those doodies where it’s nice and dry, and wiping is a pleasure? Don’t count on it with Poo Goblins around. They hear the kerplunk of your deuce, and they spring into action, coiling their oblong bodies around it, pulverizing it, and then tossing it back all over where the sun don’t shine. Fifteen minutes of cleanup. Minimum.

  • The Eschidna was a native animal of Australia, related to the similar echidna and in fact evolved from it. Visually, they are identical, but tucked away it its skin pores were small sacks of venom, which leached through the fibrous tissue of its quills. The venom was highly effective against most species, producing fits, but against humans was only strong enough to produce powerful hallucinations. They were hunted to extinction, and unused plucked quills now fetch thousands on the black market, in spite of heavy penalties for dealing and possession.

  • The rotund, bear-like shtenyern beasts make their homes on remote, frozen mountaintops. They spend most of their waking hours digging with rock-hard claws, breaking through layers of both ice and stone to access the mineral-rich strata beneath. Diamond-strong teeth crunch and pulverize whole chunks of mountain rock into rough gravel. Once mixed with snow, the earthy slurry is gulped down by the mouthful before the beasts return their attentions to further excavations. They gather in modest-sized herds of eight to twelve and call to each other in low, rumbling purrs.

  • They came from the proud owners of cats, and the men who would rather sit on the couch watching football then play fetch. Few have known about them until now: The Dogs. Once known as “Man’s Best Friend” these K9s have been stripped of their lovable nature and cursed to wander alleys and backyards waiting for the next victim to walk along. When you look at their dirty and twisted form, it’s hard to imagine the cute puppies these Dogs once were. But because of mistreatment they are out for revenge and no one, not even dog lovers, are safe.

  • The Beggar.
    A solitary figure long held to be mythic this shambling humanoid is only ever spotted in the worst neighborhoods and rail yards. Some worship him as the god of beggars, others contend he is an angry spirit who kills the unworthy. But few know the truth: He is the fifth horseman. Poverty personified. But we did a good job with that ourselves, so he turned aside from his task and now wherever he goes destruction follows for the rich, and good fortune for the poor.

  • The Fur Drifts

    Little is known about the strange creatures known as Fur Drifts. Appearing only in the homes with dogs and cats they inhabit the corners of rooms, under and behind furniture where they are safe from their natural enemy – the vacuum. They breed prodigiously and apparently asexually, growing from a single clump to a sprawling colony in less then a week. It is unknown what these coral-like creatures eat, though it has been suggested that they consume the shed animal fur they resemble. Though usually benign they can become a hazard if allowed access to electronics.

  • When two alternate dimensions start to bleed together, we’re all faced with our counterparts on the other side. But what happens when they realize WE’re the evil twins?

    Morality Ensues…and it’s pissed.

  • It had lain there long enough in the Late Proterozoic mudstone to be chemically fossilized, if it was organic. The bubbling blisters on Steven’s fingers and his childish weeping led Carl to suspect extreme internal heat or some preservative secreted onto the leathery black sides of the inscrutable cube. Carl ignored his cowering graduate students and tapped the cube’s exposed side with the hammer: a dull, hollow clink. “Get some water and the other picks,” he ordered. Steven screamed once then collapsed; his swollen hand burst with a soft plop, spewing dissolving tissues, bones, ligaments onto the rocks and ice.

  • Unspeakably old, it’s leathery skin and brittle white hair covers sheaths of gristly muscle stretched over a malformed frame of stone-like bones. Living in the wastes of the far north, the troll awakens only at the winter solstice and shambles south to feed. It knows its hideous wind-burnt features can only cause fear. It remains hidden but to those who, in the spirit of the season, leave it cakes and sweets at their back doors and in outbuildings. Children have given a name to the wizened, terrible thing that meekly accepts their humble gifts.

    Carol, the Ancient Yuletide Troll

  • Unspeakably old, its leathery skin and brittle white hair covers sheaths of gristly muscle stretched over a malformed frame of stone-like bones. Living in the wastes of the far north, the troll awakens only at the winter solstice and shambles south to feed. It knows its hideous wind-burnt features can only cause fear. It remains hidden but to those who, in the spirit of the season, leave it cakes and sweets at their back doors and in outbuildings. Children have given a name to the wizened, terrible thing that meekly accepts their humble gifts.

    Carol, the Ancient Yuletide Troll

  • Sorry. I didn’t look at the cover before submitting my Night Shrieker. I now realize you already have a cat/bat combo creature. Mine’s black, but whatever. I’ll submit a different creature.
    #desolate

  • I’ve always thought that flying squirrels were a myth. However, the other day I spotted one and I had to ask myself. How does he avoid burning his tail with that jet pack on his back?

  • Golden Steampunk beetle, chocolate internal organs. To prevent their guts from melting, these creatures only venture outside at cooler temperatures. They burrow deep underground to avoid warm weather. Their metallic exoskeletons have a tendency to seize up when moistened. A dry climate is best for them.
    They feed on raisins, dried cranberries, small nuts and legumes, and dead flies. They use their gears and levers to dig holes, capture prey, and climb away from predators. Male beetles have a rather fine set of brass balls, much prized by collectors.
    Available in milk or dark chocolate.

  • The silipede, about a meter long, and a “cat” thick – lives on mountainsides. A cross between a cat, and a centipede, this creature responds similarly to what you would expect from a very animated young house cat. Combine such antics with the capabilities of a centipede and you’ll have a pet that really will climb the walls.

    For a story snippet where this creature was used; visit http://dnd.stuph.org/campaigns/F%C3%A6llon%20Wey%20Mountain%20Chronicles/session-08.3.1.php

  • THE WINNER!

    Drum roll please —

    Susan, with her GOLDEN STEAMPUNK BEETLE. (Brass balls! Chocolate innards!)

    Scott K, with CAROL, THE YULETIDE TROLL (Stone bones! Sweet treats!)

    Bernard O with EVIL GOLDFISH (Eats cats! Floor-crawler!)

    Rick D with JETPACK SQUIRREL (Because, c’mon, jetpack squirrel!)

    and

    Sparky with THE BEGGAR (Doom for the rich! Favor for the poor!)

    All the entries were, of course, awesome. I had a hard time picking, honestly — the five I picked I picked because something about the entries tickled my fancy in some way.

    And when I say “fancy,” I mean, my private parts.

    Expect an email, you five crazy kids.

    — c.

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