Return of the Ringmonster

Late one evening,
I went to the fair,
And went on the ghost train,
For a fun little scare,

I heard silly wails,
As I rode down the halls,
With cartoonish sheet ghosts,
Painted on the walls,

A vampire popped,
Out of his coffin,
But I wasn’t frightened,
In fact, I was laughing,

Then there came one monster,
And it wasn’t fake,
It was a living, breathing one,
Make no mistake,

He had a top hat,
And a coat that was red,
He had three eyes and sharp fangs,
And a very large head,

He jumped onto the track,
And made my car stop,
Then I saw more monsters,
In fact, I saw lots,

Several little demons,
Surrounding my car,
The three-eyed monster exclaimed,
‘Meet our show’s star!

‘I am the Ringmonster,
You can’t run or hide,
For I know the reason,
You went on this ride!

‘You wanted to laugh,
At monsters like me,
For you don’t think we’re real,
But we are, can’t you see?

‘Now that you know that
Monsters are true,
Maybe you’ll let us,
Stand and laugh at you!’

The ghost train wails were replaced,
With laughter and sneers,
And other noises,
That hurt my ears,

‘And here’s a bonus,’
Said the thing with three eyes,
‘For giving us a show,
I’ll give you a prize!’

With a wave of his whip,
A magical tool,
He brought life to the ride’s
Fake ghosts and ghouls,

As I saw the ghosts,
Who were no longer painted,
I didn’t laugh,
In fact, I fainted.

The Ringmonster previously appeared in The Ringmonster and The Nightmare Man.

Advertisements

The Mashed Potato Man

I was sitting and reading,
Comfy in my home,
When from downstairs,
I heard a sad moan,

I instantly ran,
Towards the front door,
And found mashed potatoes,
Lying on the floor,

More came from the keyhole,
And then more and more,
And soon they took on,
A humanoid form,

A mashed-potato-man,
Who looked like a ghost,
His hollow eyes and long mouth,
Were what scared me the most,

He moaned again,
And I froze in fear,
Desperately hoping,
He wouldn’t come near,

He didn’t, however,
He went to the kitchen,
A jar from the shelf was,
What he was fetching.

I then said to him,
‘I don’t know what you are,
But why come to my house,
And steal that jar?’

His answer left me,
Quite disgusted:
‘I think I’ll taste better,
With a bit of mustard.’

mashedpotatoman

Father’s Day

This story features Lisa the Pizza Woman, previously featured in Pizza Woman, Night of the Pumpkin Woman, Cinderpizza and Karl Kangaroo’s Christmas Extravaganza, as well as the book Pizza Woman.

Speaking of which, be sure to pick up my illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland and the accompanying colouring book!


A lovely summer day. The sun hung proudly from the pinnacle of the sky, banishing the clouds and the gloom they brought. The trees and bushes embraced the weather, looking larger and greener than usual, and the people outside basked in the sunshine as well, sunbathing and eating ice cream.

Looking at it through my window made me glad I was inside with several whirring fans and an open refrigerator.

I liked the look of sunny days. I liked pictures of sunny days but I tried to avoid sunny days as much as possible. Why? Well, there was the risk of me melting into a sticky, cheesy mess. In fact, the only thing in my house that was hot was my oven, which melted mozzarella to add to my body to help keep it together.

Yes, it’s me again. Lisa the Pizza Woman. She whose head is a pizza and whose body is made out of cheese. The offspring of a human woman and a talking pizza.

In fact, Dad was on my mind that day. Summer not only meant sunny days to avoid, on a lighter note, it meant Father’s Day. Father’s Day, where I got to show my undying gratitude, yet I had no idea what to get Dad. I owed him so much and nothing I could think of could come close to thanking him for all he did for me. All the words of encouragement when I needed it, all the stories he told, all the comfort and charm and perfection.

The perfect pizza.

I had some extra money – I had made a CD of my singing and sold a few copies online – yet when I went shopping, everything I saw made me think, ‘Not good enough.’ A new pair of sunglasses? Not good enough. That new book? He deserves more. Even a big batch of presents couldn’t show how much I loved him.

Thankfully, I had just the person to help me. My girlfriend, who always appeared when I needed her. Normally, she could only be summoned on Halloween through a ritual, but I was an exception. All I had to do was say her name, and she would come.

Seconds after saying her name, Natalie the Pumpkin Woman, with her jack-o-lantern head and charming smile. As soon as she appeared, we hugged, the only warmth I was comfortable with. ‘Hey, Lisa,’ said Natalie, ‘what’s the problem?’

‘Not much really,’ I replied, ‘just trying to think of a good present to get Dad for Father’s Day.’

‘Oh, I know,’ sighed Natalie, pulling out a photo from her wallet. A giant pumpkin with tentacles, sitting on a floating rock in a dark abyss. ‘What do you get someone who has everything?’

‘What are you getting him this year?’

‘A new mug.’

‘Ah. You know, I saw this nice-looking one, but…’

‘But what?’

‘It’s just…you know…didn’t seem good enough for him. Like he deserves more.’

‘Maybe you could write him a song.’

‘I’ve written several, but none of which…’ I buried my face in my cheese tentacles before Natalie put a hand on my shoulder.

‘Okay. Calm down. I’m sure you’ll think of something.’ She then turned to the window. ‘Nice day.’

‘Yeah,’ I replied, looking out with her, ‘Shame I can’t really go out in it.’

Natalie placed her hand on my shoulder again.

‘You know what I’d really like to do?’ I told her, ‘Go to the seaside. I can’t very well go there in the suit I go out in.’ Said suit was a raincoat with a cooling vest underneath it to accommodate both rain and shine, along with a human mask and an umbrella – such a thing at the seaside would look even more ridiculous than a pizza creature. ‘If I went there as I am, I’d get sand stuck in my cheese.’

I rubbed my face as I remembered being a child, with the other children collecting sand from the sandpit and tossing it at me just to get it stuck in my cheese-flesh.

‘Does your dad want to go the seaside as well?’

‘Yeah,’ I replied, ‘he wants to sunbathe, but you know what happens to a pizza left out on the beach.’

‘Well, I happen to know a spell.’

So my gift for my Dad on Father’s Day was to visit him and Mum along with Natalie, and cast a spell to turn our living room into a simulated seaside. The floor looked like sand, yet no sand got into my or my Dad’s cheese. We felt heat, but didn’t melt. We heard the crashing of waves, but no real water to take apart our bodies. We felt what we had been denied for so long, a present the perfect pizza truly deserved.

Oh yeah, and I bought him a mug as well.

lisadad

Alice in Wonderland Colouring Book AVAILABLE NOW!

alicecolouringbook

Have lots of colouring fun with Alice and the wacky residents of Wonderland! Twenty-five hilarious illustrations to colour, featuring favourites like the Cheshire Cat, the Hatter, the Duchess and more! Paper is 89gsm quality so paints and markers are not recommended.

Available at Lulu:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-barsby/gareth-barsbys-alice-in-wonderland-colouring-book/paperback/product-23668090.html

Witch Caff

I have a café,
At the end of the street,
Where you can have tea,
And cakes to eat,

I have plenty of customers,
They come every day,
But it wasn’t always this popular,
It wasn’t always this way,

When this café first opened,
Barely anyone came,
And I didn’t have a regular
Customer to my name,

Every day, I’d bake cakes,
And make lots of treats,
Only to be greeted,
With mostly empty seats,

Then one day,
All of that changed,
I got a regular customer,
One who was strange,

She wore a pointed hat,
And her skin was bright green,
And every day at a table,
She would be seen.

‘This is a fine place,
I love coming here,’ said she,
‘More people should sit down,
And have a cup of tea.’

She then raised her arms,
And she cast a spell,
Soon I had lots of customers,
Ones who paid well,

Goblins and trolls,
Demons from Hell,
I not only serve tea and coffee,
But bubbling blood as well.

witchcaff

A Cat Speaks to a Dog

Listen up, Mr. Doggy,
I have something to say,
I wish for you to leave me alone,
For I don’t want to play,

I want to bathe in the sunshine,
For it’s a lovely summer’s day,
Let me lie by the window,
I don’t want to play,

I’ve found the perfect spot to lie,
There I want to stay,
So don’t bounce upon me,
I don’t want to play,

I want you to leave me alone,
Or I’ll make you pay,
Don’t you dare come near me,
Or I’ll claw your eyes out.

 

Return of the Evil Queen

This story follows on from Flab and Glob and Fun With Henchmen


I woke up and tried to eat my own skin.

I had to eat something, after all. Not only that, but I hoped to eat off my tattoos. They were art, and art was what had gotten me into this mess. What was it that Oscar Wilde said about art? That was what I felt at that moment.

I painted two creatures, two white blobs with eyes and teeth and arms and legs, called Flab and Glob. They were not figments of my imagination, but actual creatures from another world, and painting them brought them into mine. Then they trapped me and Aunt Fiona in their world, their monochrome world with its inky sky and pale white plantlife.

Almost immediately after we were teleported there, we were pursued by others of Flab and Glob’s species, more large blobs with fangs and eyes. They chased us with scythes and knives and other sharp weapons, screeching and screaming incomprehensible curses.

Aunt Fiona and I spent days avoiding them, always searching for hiding places and sustaining ourselves on whatever edible things we found. Mostly we ate the fungi – or at least what resembled fungi – growing in the woods. It tasted a bit like fizzy sherbet. After days of avoiding the creatures’ scythes and knives and fangs and claws, we found somewhere which seemed safe, deep in the woods we spent days stumbling around in. A rickety abandoned wooden house, as ghostly pale as the trees surrounding it.

When we found it, it was the first time since we got here that I saw Aunt Fiona smile.

Aunt Fiona and I stuck close to each other while in this world, yet we spoke little, and not only because neither of us could find the right words to describe this place.

I kept inwardly begging whatever higher power there was that Aunt Fiona wouldn’t get hurt, and incessantly cursing myself for bringing her to the world. Every time I woke up and saw her next to me, I sighed in relief.

I couldn’t let anything happen to Aunt Fiona. Aunt Fiona, who took me in when Mum, her sister, didn’t want me (I owe my very existence to a New Year’s party). Aunt Fiona, who raised me and made sure I attended a good school and a good university. Aunt Fiona, who did so much for me, and, I said to myself every time I woke up in the monochrome world, this is how I repay her.

That’s what I said to myself when I woke up in the cellar of the rickety old house, right before my stomach gurgled and I gnawed on my arm like a trapped animal. There was a clear picture in my head of me chewing off my flesh, little bloody chunks all over the floor, with all traces of art gone from me forever. Instead, Aunt Fiona woke up and cried, ‘What are you doing?’

I told her.

‘Emily,’ she said, before embracing me in a hug, ‘I don’t blame you at all for this.’

We sat in the cellar and held each other, whispering to each other about the memories of our world. We spoke of the things we thought we would never experience again.

Then we heard creaking upstairs.

‘Stay close,’ whispered Aunt Fiona, holding me tighter, ‘and keep quiet.’

As soon as we heard the stairs creak, I pushed Aunt Fiona aside, picking up a large piece of wood off the floor and wielded it like a bat, even slapping my palm with it. All dread and fear washed out of me and all I could focus on was the mental image of me smashing a little monster’s brains in.

Creak. Creak.

yorb

It was another creature like Flab and Glob; an emaciated white creature – you could see its ribs poking out – hunched over a cane. A cane with a blue throbbing light at its tip – the most colourful thing in the room other than me and Aunt Fiona.

My eyes fixed on the glowing cane, and I involuntarily dropped the wood. My hand forced itself towards the light….

…and in seconds, I was back home.

Aunt Fiona and I were back in my bedroom, my colourful bedroom with my bed and my posters and my console and my wretched, wretched artwork. I chuckled, leaping up and down on the spot. It was all a dream, I told myself, all my imagination, a sign that I should paint happier things. So I reached towards one of my monochrome paintings to tear it off the wall.

My right hand had shrivelled up into a claw. It was as pale as Flab and Glob and the other creatures, with my tattoos replaced by swirls and spirals glowing the same blue as the old creature’s cane.

My bedroom, my colourful bedroom, instantly faded away, and I faced the elderly creature, staring into his bloodshot eyes. ‘I can bring you home,’ he wheezed, as the stench of his breath made me grimace, ‘and so much more.’

I found the strength to pick up the piece of wood again. ‘Why should I trust you?’

‘Because I know why you’re here,’ said the old creature, ‘and why they are hunting you. My name is Yorb, and I was the advisor for the great Queen Galb. All of us here in Bilgarar have our own little magic, but hers was the most powerful of all, for she had found a way to Earth…’

‘Through being painted?’ I snapped.

‘Indeed. However, unlike many, she was summoned by someone who knew about Bilgarar and wished for a servant. A great wizard, with a wide knowledge of the many magics of Earth. Knowledge Galb herself picked up.

‘The wizard soon felt like he no longer had need of Galb and sent her back home, with knowledge of both Bilgarar and Earth magic making her more powerful than any Bilg. Though she left Bilgarar a peasant, she returned with enough magic to become a Queen.

‘She took over, and I was her advisor. Ah, those were glorious days. Things were much more interesting, everyone kept on their toes. A shame a revolution had to happen. A shame there was indeed strength in numbers. Thankfully…’ He tapped the tip of his cane. ‘…when she died, she transferred her power into this crystal. Since she used Earth magic more than Bilgarar magic, only a human can…’

‘Forget it!’ I spat, throwing the cane onto the floor.

‘Inheriting her power is the only way you can escape, and you will be so much more than what you are. Refuse, and eventually, another of my kind will find you and kill you, for you will still be a powerless mortal. You…’ He pointed at me. ‘…were the one who let Flab and Glob in, so you are the only one…’

‘No!’

‘Emily…’

I turned towards Aunt Fiona. ‘What is it?’

Aunt Fiona took a deep breath. ‘I think you should accept his offer.’

‘What? Look, we want to escape, but I don’t know if we can…’

‘Emily. They may have tricked us, but I liked having Flab and Glob around, because it did me proud to see you in a position of power. Your mother may not have cared about you, your father probably doesn’t even know you exist, but I care about you, and I want you to reach your full potential. If that means gaining the power of an evil witch, so be it.’

I sighed and picked up the cane, clutching the crystal as tight as I could.

The more I clutched it, the more it felt like my insides were being plucked out of my body. My skin lost all colour and became as chalk-white as Flab, Glob and Yorb. My hair got sucked into my skin and my teeth grew narrower and sharper. More glowing blue spirals slithered across my arms. Even my clothes grew completely black, making me look like the Grim Reaper. It was like the crystal drained me of my humanity.

I had never felt better in my life.

It felt like all the worries, all the fears of the past few days had been disintegrated. I was now a horrible, wrinkled blob like the monsters from this world were, but something about it felt truly right. I said I didn’t want anything to do with art when I first arrived in Bilgarar, but upon my transformation, my muse had returned, and I had so many ideas on what to do with my new powers.

Yes, I took the evil magic and I liked it. I’m a villain. So, what of the villainous henchmen I had, you may ask?

Well, the first thing I did upon receiving Queen Galb’s magic was of course, to send Aunt Fiona and myself back home. As soon as I did, Aunt Fiona hugged me tightly again. The next thing I did was to look for Flab and Glob, and I found them in seconds, vegging out in front of the telly.

I had to admit to myself that was probably what I would do if I were in their situation.

All I had to do was cough, and they quivered in fear.

‘No…’

‘You…you should be d…’

Before Glob could finish his sentence, I reduced them to piles of dust. When I did, Aunt Fiona roared with laughter. ‘You know,’ she said, ‘maybe I was wrong about your paintings…’

monsterem