Men Who Make Deals with MonstersMen Who Make Deals with Monsters by Leonca
Excerpt from the Journal of John Smidley: Collected by T. P. Hade of the Nonhuman Cultural Illumination Project
O-Hambar Oasis, Saaraiah Desert, 8/12/621 AK
It [the oasis] provides respite for not only body but mind as well. Here the tribesmen reveal their penchant for the arts, primitive though their understanding of aesthetics may be. The best artists display their work on tanned hides, and wait to be commissioned to paint their visions on canvases which will be used to erect the walls of tents. Their methods are simplistic, but lovely to behold. A few broad brushstrokes bring to life the flora of an oasis, a woman carrying water from a well, or a lively scene of tribal warfare. I decided to make a purchase of one of the smaller canvases so that Father could evaluate its worth as a novelty item.
While browsing I came upon a rendering that was as hideous as the other scenes were beautiful. It depicted a pair of creatures formed like starved grey-hounds, but possessing a disturb
Soul FlyUncle Levi and Auntie Gertrude and Katie didn’t miss Gramma. They didn’t even think about her until her Soul Fly Day came. Their flies were silver with big sparkly opal eyes, but Momma said the wood ones Grampa carved for us were just as good.Soul Fly by Leonca
It was my first Soul Fly Day ever. Momma got me a new black dress and told me it was all right to cry. Katie’s dress had white ruffles and silver flies stitched into it. She pointed at my wood fly and called us poor.
There were so many people there was barely enough room for the shaman to get to Gramma. Everyone got real quiet so we could hear him say words I didn’t understand. Gramma’s Soul Fly came out of her mouth and started flying over us. It was like a paper doll, only just black. It landed on my head and Momma cheered and we sang Soul Fly Day songs. Katie whined about how she should have got the blessing because her fly was so pretty.
And that’s how my painting won first prize at the fair.
Naga RajaKing Cobra returned to the jungle bearing the scent of milk and sandalwood. He searched for his nearest subject, and found Spitting Cobra.Naga Raja by Leonca
“My festival has ended,” he said. “Gather my subjects.”
Spitting Cobra bowed his head. “Namaste, Raja” he said, and then set off on his duty.
King Cobra coiled before the entrance to his termite mound burrow and waited.
He felt the vibrations made by his subjects before he saw them. Snakes of every length and color poured out of the undergrowth to take their place before his throne. All were accounted for except that most arrogant of constrictors, Python, who never responded to the summons. King Cobra had publicly banished him for his disrespect years ago, but in secret he hoped the traitor would regain his senses and come crawling back someday.
King Cobra rose above the gathering and spread his hood. Fear and reverence flashed in unblinking eyes. “Another Nag Panchami gone,” he said.
The OneSnierk gaped up at the swirly blue on white letters which boasted the existence of the Misty Mountain Muffin Top Sweet Shoppe. A fly buzzed by his face. A fur-tipped ear flicked at it, doing the job his mesmerized brain forgot to assign to his hands. If the Misty Mountain Muffin Top Sweet Shoppe were a living organism, its immune system would be fine tuned to ward off customers such as Snierk. Unhindered by such preemptive measures, he stretched to his tip-toes, gripped the doorknob, and let himself in.The One by Leonca
There were several humans between him and the counter. He took his place in line behind an old woman whose form was indefinite under heavy layers of clothing. The wait was boring, but that was what humans did in these places, so he waited. He passed the time by using one of his toe claws to scratch funny pictures on the shiny floor.
The old woman reached the counter and made her order in a voice that oozed like syrup. Snierk fought down the growing urge to break something. He peaked aro
Stop Staring at My TeethDearest Marie, I have returned.Stop Staring at My Teeth by Leonca
No more the poor man whom you spurned,
Though poorer looking, your love I earned.
Please stop staring at my teeth.
Lovely woman with gentle hands,
Think not of savage New World lands.
No one in this village understands.
And please stop staring at my teeth.
The cold leaves me distressed
And yet I labor without rest.
How could you be further blessed?
So stop staring at my teeth.
They are different, as am I,
But do not bother asking why.
Just go make me a pie,
And stop staring at my teeth!
Greedy woman, do not take
The choicest morsels that you bake
For this Hunger makes me shake.
Oh please, stop staring at my teeth.
My sweet, I urge you to dismiss
The copper tang left by my kiss.
It was no one you would miss,
So why keep staring at my teeth?
ControlThe feeling came over Bill when he was out checking his trap line in the dying light of a winter evening. Eyes on the back of his head. He knew the wary scrutiny of the deer and the hungry yet restrained gaze of the wolf. This didn't feel like either. It didn't belong to this place any more than he did. He would have preferred the wolf.Control by Leonca
He turned around, shook his gun at the reddening sky, and cupped his other hand to his mouth. "I know you're out there! This is private property! I don't wanna use this, but you'll leave me no choice if I catch you hanging around here!"
A soft rustle from somewhere deep enough that the trees obscured his vision. He waited until he felt he was alone again, then trudged through the snow to see what he could learn about the intruder. There were prints made by boots similar to his, though smaller. The thought that he outweighed whoever it was offered little comfort.
He cast one last disgusted look in the direction the tracks took as they moved away, then re
Talking to YourselfWind drove snow over the trees with such force they seemed to step into the distance. The whiteness in the air covered everything until it was as faded as an old scent trail after a rainstorm. The snow was already deep enough to suck in a man's leg past the knee if he wasn't wearing snowshoes, but the figure trudging through it was no longer a man.Talking to Yourself by Leonca
Wendigo had given up on snowshoes long ago in favor of simpler footwear. The straps challenged the clumsy fingers of his stolen human body, and he could never figure out how to move in them without tripping. He lurched onward with the tenacity of a wolverine gnawing through an inch of deer skull to get the gooey treat in the center. The pain in his stomach howled to his feet. He gave little thought to their control. His mind was focused on making the most of sensory information diminished by the storm. Sounds and smells were difficult to pinpoint. He almost felt as if the wind were a rival, come to mask the trails of prey to keep for itself.
The Charred JungleHe went to sleep a man and awoke a jaguar. The feline form felt like coming home, and as soon as his eyes opened he could see that he was indeed back where he belonged. Sunlight filtered through the canopy of leaves above, splashing across his mottled coat in warm patches. He took in a breath of humid air, held it, savored it.The Charred Jungle by Leonca
Nothing here but the buzz of insects and the call of monkeys. The time of searching had come. He swished his long tail back and forth behind him as he padded across the damp soil, reassured by its presence that he had entered that state of twilight reality where answers could be found.
His pink nose twitched, drawing in the jungle's rich scents. Under the earthy smell of decaying leaves was another, a distress call sent up by nature which he must answer. He followed it until he found the clearing.
It was a lifeless place, black and smoky but no longer dangerous after the passing of the fire. The game trail he trod opened into it accompanied by a pair of decoratio
Becoming the TigerOctober 7thBecoming the Tiger by Leonca
Bob Cartman kept a tiger in a cage behind his house. He also had a big Rottweiler that lived on a ten-foot chain in the front of his property, and slept with a loaded shotgun propped against his bed. No one knew if he lived under a constant paranoia of being robbed or if it was the result of an overdose of the natural desire to display his machismo. No one bothered to ask.
The tiger was a massive male of the Siberian variety. In his ever-abundant creativity, Bob had dubbed him Stripes. The dog didn't fare much better. His name was Killer.
Stripes was a friendly cat, when he was in the right mood. Bring him out a piece of chicken and he would come up to the bars, rubbing his face against the cold metal and moaning an enthusiastic greeting. Bob liked to complain that he wasn't vicious enough, that he lacked the killer instinct of a ferocious jungle beast. He found many faults with Stripes in fact, from the cost of feeding to the habit the creature had of keeping him up
Lie to meI smile and I'm all teeth underneath,Lie to me by Leonca
white bones beneath bulbous lips,
careless quips and sinking ships
when something slips.
Hair of the cat that scratched you-
it's never new but always true.
I watched it stew until it grew
into something different.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder
what does the blind man see when he holds her
and tells her his heart smolders
for her face?
Honesty as a policy
is not for me;
I could never see
eye to eye with it.
You can lie to buy my affection.
I will not try to hide my affliction
and you needn't be conflicted
when we can be so happy together.
Bailey's CakeSusan hummed to herself as she set the oven to preheat for Bailey's birthday surprise. OK, so maybe it wasn't going to be much of a surprise with her sitting there watching, but it's the thought that counts, right? She paused in her preparations to lean over and give the black and tan German shepherd a scratch behind its silky soft ears. Bailey panted and thumped her tail against the floor, always eager for more attention.Bailey's Cake by Leonca
Susan thought about her while she greased the cake tin. Ten was a big year for a dog, especially one of Bailey's size. She had been such a good friend for all their years together, it was hard to imagine that someday soon they would be parted prematurely. She couldn't ignore the ever-thickening sprinkling of white hairs that graced the dog's dark muzzle.
No, this is too depressing, she told herself, think of something else. Anything else.
The cake. If she could just focus on that it would drive all those unwanted thoughts away. She looked at the dog bir
Feeding Time...Feeding Time at the Sultan's MenagerieFeeding Time... by BlueTaboo
My mother is a hyena
and when the men come to feed us
she makes a terrible noise that I can hear
even from across the zoo,
but they think it is laughter
and they don't know that it is her
saying the same thing she always does:
"More, more! Why isn't there more?"
She cannot help herself;
She is a scavenger.
When I was born, she picked me up
in jaws that can crush an elephant femur
and for a second, the keepers that watched her
held their breath, thinking she was
about to eat me.
Somehow I was spared
and even the poison of her saliva,
the festering bacteria that kills days later,
only served to bathe me.
She is the leader.
She says, "You do what I say and
you don't complain because you are mine."
And she keeps a pile of bones in the back
of her cage, even though they only feed
us chickens and she says, "This is for when
there are no more birds because the men
are worse than leopards and will not
be generous much longer."
She bites them when t
|Things that I especially like, whether it is because they are very well done or just because they make me laugh.|
A lovely prompt by
If You Could DD...Have you ever wished that you could pick a Daily Deviation Feature? Well, it's about time we gave you the opportunity to show us. As part of the Community Feature Project: If I Could DD, we're excited to see the amazing Literature that you've found around dA. We encourage you to dig through your faves folders, search by newest, scavenge through your friends' faves folders or just your friends' galleries and create a journal with what you would feature as Daily Deviations. Let's embrace the Holiday Season and spread some good cheer by joining in and featuring our community
Think: "What Daily Deviations would I choose if I were to become a CV today?"
The Game Plan
Create and publish a journal feature of literature that you would choose for a Daily Deviation Feature. If you'd like to do a FanFiction feature, be sure to link it to @
Thanksgiving With Doctor Atomic Doctor Atomic checked the turkey one more time to make sure it was cooking properly before he answered the door. Roller Demon was waiting on the front stoop with a bottle of wine and a tray of deviled eggs.
“I wasn’t sure what to bring, but the internet says these are always welcome.”
“Of course!” Doctor Atomic stood aside so he and Vivisectress, who had brought a delicious-smelling pie, could enter. “Just put your dishes on the counter. Coats go in the bedroom. Other than that, make yourselves at home.”
The Living Swarm showed up next, and from its writhing mass dropped a Tupperware container filled with pumpkin croquettes. “Did you make this yourself?” he called up to his newest guest, who had decided to stake out a spot on the ceiling. It buzzed in response. “That’s impressive. I’ll take these to the kitchen.”
Five other guests showed up
I leave the realm of sleep to be greeted by the winter cold and my grumbling stomach.
It’s been over a week since I last ate anything… and even then it was just some mushrooms that felt as though I’d swallowed a venomous eel. I rise slowly, shake the snowflakes off of my pelt, savoring the warmth that comes from movement, blood flowing through my veins once more.
I can’t make a fire. Even if I had something more useful than my bulky, clawed hands, I don’t know how to do it. Servants always made my fires back home.
My stomach gurgles and dull pains emanate through my body like an echo inside an empty cavern. Food… always on my mind, even haunting my dreams. I remember just two moons ago, back when it was still fall, the harvest season. Drink overflowed from full cups, food tumbled to the floor to be eaten by hounds for lack of table space, fires burned day and night, and all was right with th
The End is NearThe worst part was the smell. Cinnamon gum helped a bit, but nothing, not even Lysol, could defeat the smell that had invaded along with the legions of the dead.
As zombie apocalypses went, Wheatfield's had been pretty tame. There'd been some shouting and pitchfork waving at first (and it was amazing how many pitchforks people had been able to find on such short notice) but then time had moved on, and waving pitchforks didn't get the chores done. There'd been bread to bake, and mail to deliver, and Christmas presents didn't buy themselves
All this was fine by Melvin-he was all for people getting along-but it did put a strain on the wallet. He now had twice as many relatives, and they all expected presents.
This had also been fine, until his late-aunt Milly had informed him that Wal-Mart gift cards were not considered thoughtful. Which was how he came to be in the mall on the day before Christmas, competing for gifts with the entire town, and the entire town's ances
GoosefleshSimultaneously, cats STARE past my shoulder.
First ContactLet me start at the beginning. Yes – I know you have the footage – but let me just tell you what it was like. From my perspective. You have to understand that when I woke up in that room, I was terrified. I didn't know where I was or how I got there. The last thing I remembered was my car flipping into the ditch and when that happens, you expect to wake up in the hospital, if you wake up at all. Not in a dark room without your clothing.
Yes, I understand. But from my perspective – my culture – that's a pretty damn hostile thing to wake up to.
I didn't realize that I was being watched. Our technology, well, you know what level it's at. We've got one-way mirrors but it was dark in that room and even if I could see the panel clearly, I wouldn’t have known what it was. I just thought it was a piece of the wall that was a bit glossier than the rest of the surface. So I thought I was alone, locked
Mr. Fox.Mr. Fox smiles and says
"You have the prettiest meat."
Mr. Fox Mr. Fox
Smiles. Pointed teeth that rip and pull clink together like glass. I'm sure his tail is curling under his coat.
Mr. Fox loves me.
His eyes follow my shivers up and down as he works. They are a pretty yellow and faded green. They are cunning and kind.
I remember those eyes staring at me from the leaves, and trace the steps from there to here.
His kindness is worth it, I decide.
Mr. Fox is a gentleman.
He says 'please' and 'thank you' and never leaves the table until everyone is done.
Mr. Fox is a bachelor.
He loops his arm in mine and kisses my cheek.
"Pretty meat is good to eat."
How Are The Cats?How are the cats? they say to me
In the space where How are the kids? should be
As though compelled to obey social pleasantry
But confounded how to categorise me
When I'm clearly such an anomaly?
Not a mum, not a career girl
What else is there for a woman to be?
So I see them thinking.
Time after time I see people fall
At the how-are-the-kids fence
Like it's the barren elephant in a sterile living room
My supposed heartbreak, a 'fact' that must never be mentioned
A woman my age without children?
Why, it can only mean one thing
Especially when you look at the family history,
They whisper soundlessly, pityingly, thinking I can't hear them
Just because the words aren't spoken aloud.
I observe the delicate verbal tiptoeing
And feel touched and frustrated both at the same time
How I long just to tell them the simple truth:
I don't have kids because I don't want kids.
But I've seen it too many times now:
The surprised look, the puzzled frown
butt haikupeople say peaches
are shaped like butts-- but please note:
god made peaches first.
Victory Keep: Chapter 1Edgar stepped into a clearing and found a centaur suckling her child. He threw his hands over his eyes.
'I am terribly sorry, madam!'
'It's all right.'
Her tone was scornful, but with better things to worry about, Edgar did not take it to heart. He uncovered his eyes. She was feeding the child like a mare, not a woman, so he felt no need for embarrassment. He stooped down a little, trying to determine the gender of the young one. As with foals, it was easy enough to tell.
'What a delightful little boy,' he said.
The mother smiled. 'Thank you.'
'Do you mind if I sit down here for a few minutes?'
'I am very tired.'
The centaur made no reply. She stood with arms folded and her back legs slightly apart, gazing out into the forest. Edgar was disappointed. The significance of the situation had not escaped him, and he hoped she would talk to him.
The first thing to do was find somewhere to
The Monster in the TrailerHidden among a jungle of brick, deep along a trail of stone lays a monster in a building with wheels that have never moved. This building is frequented by hundreds of daring visitors all trying to get their moment with the monster. The daring visitors cringe at their forced daily meetings, they hate his gripping tasks, and fight against his deadly ventures. But there he still dwells, waiting, plotting, and thriving for people like me.
It wasn't until the sweltering summer of 2004 that he first cast his red eyes among me. I glared at his balding head, his white teeth, and his crooked smile afraid. I had failed the challenges of the winter and spring and was forced into a meeting with the beast. They said it was to be redeemed, they said it was for my own good but I knew better, no, I thought I knew better.
Twenty-six other victims met him on that sweltering day twenty-six others who couldn't
The Bad SpringerThe Bad Springer
My species is probably best known for being very orderly. Springers, in general, follow rules very well and are somewhat OCD. Most of our professions generally end up falling under soldier, lawmen, or something similar. The origin planet for Springers, Secco, isn't exactly the friendliest place in the world, what with the Morlichs and the twenty foot sandwurms. So with that, Springers are a tough, quick, and moralistic species in the universe.
I guess that makes me the worst Springer in existence.
To be honest, most of it can be chalked up to the fact that I wasn't even born on Secco. I was born on Zarok, a moon base far from the galaxy Secco rested in. Originally it had no atmosphere, but twenty years of complex machines pouring steam and oxygen into the atmosphere had made it livable.
Then one hundred years of peace made it a tourist hotspot.
A sudden thirty yea
Morning TeaMorning Tea.
Sunlight streamed in through the high windows making up three of the sunroom walls. The midmorning light had brought the flowers out; they had opened fully in pastel shades of blue, purple, pink, pure white and soft yellow. With a mothering smile she sat the small watering can down and went into the kitchen to lay out shortbread biscuits on ornate plates and prepare the tea.
That done, Dotti went to her room at the far end of the narrow hallway. She changed into nice dress, pale purple with clean white lace along the hem and bust, and patterned white stockings. Carefully she ran a brush through her hair and sprayed on some product, gently teasing it into place and adding volume with her hand. She had time to check her makeup before there was a knock at the door. Quickly, she selected a pair of shoes from the bottom of the wardrobe and went to answer it.
Smiling, she pulled it open and greeted her visitor. "Please, do come in."
Stepping back, she allowed th
|I will try to offer critiques on a wide variety of things when I have time, but my main focus is likely to be prose.|
Current Residence: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA|
Favourite genre of music: Classic Rock
Favourite cartoon character: Calvin and Hobbes, David Xanatos, Goliath, Elisa Maza, Anton Sevarius, Jonathan Crane
Personal Quote: The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7)