The Nasty Gnome


You really are a nasty gnome,
You’re cruel and very mean,
You ruined my little garden,
Once so lovely and serene,

You really are a nasty gnome,
What you’ve done is tragic,
Dirtying my garden,
With your evil magic,

You really are a nasty gnome,
This place was once so placid,
But you turned the grass into snakes,
And the pond’s water into acid,

You really are a nasty gnome,
Vicious, bad and more,
And you looked so friendly,
When I bought you from the store,

The nasty gnome’s been vanquished,
His reign of terror over,
He’s been knocked down and shattered,
By my doggy Rover.

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Apple Pie

Apple pie, apple pie,
I just baked myself an apple pie,
Apple pie, apple pie,
For I love me some apple pie,
Apple pie, apple pie,
Looks so good it makes me cry,
Apple pie, apple pie,
I love me some apple pie,
Apple pie, apple pie,
It’s so good, I will not lie,
Apple pie, apple pie,
I love me some apple pie,
Apple pie, apple pie,
It’s now grown fangs and eyes,
Apple pie, apple pie,
What happened to my apple pie?
Apple pie, apple pie,
It just roared, ‘You’re going to die!’
Apple pie, apple pie,
I don’t think I want this apple pie.

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The Clown’s Revenge

nastyclownOn a rainy day,
I sat in my home,
Watching movies and,
Chatting on the phone,

As I spoke to my friend,
And the rain fell down,
I watched a flick,
About an evil clown,

My friend hated clowns,
So both of us made,
Jokes about clowns,
We told them in spades:

What’s the difference between clowns and pizza?
People like pizza.

It was then I heard,
A knock at the door,
I put the phone on the table,
And my feet on the floor,

I opened the door,
And what should I see,
But a horrible clown,
Staring at me,

I froze in terror,
My heart did quickly beat,
When I saw his grin,
With rotting green teeth,

He had large yellow eyeballs,
Popping out of his skull,
Blood-red hair and nose,
He looked so frightful,

He grabbed my shirt,
And making no haste,
He shoved a pizza,
In my face.

‘How do you like pizza now?’

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My Friend Gina

I’ve told you before,
About Gina the doe,
The deer from my favourite,
Childhood cartoon show,

How I met her in a pub,
Guzzling down beer,
And I befriended her,
That poor, miserable deer,

We’d meet up often,
And have some fun,
We’d go watch movies,
And go out for a run,

We would talk often,
Me and the deer,
And Gina would tell me,
Of her greatest fears,

Often Gina,
Would be very scared,
For she was still troubled,
She had nightmares,

She told me of demons,
Who seemed to live in her head,
Mocking and taunting her,
As she lay in bed,

Vicious, cruel memories,
Of when her parents died,
I would hold her tightly,
As she wailed and she cried,

One day I told Gina,
‘I know what to do,
Come see me this weekend,
I have something for you.’

So when Saturday came,
We went into my car,
And I drove Gina,
To somewhere quite far,

The town where I spent,
Most of my childhood,
Not too far from my old home-
It was still there! The wood!

When school was too stressful,
And I needed some peace,
I’d come to this forest,
And sit by the trees,

I told Gina I liked,
To be here alone,
‘Because it reminded me,
Of, well, your home.’


Walking into the woods,
Speaking no words,
Gina sat down,
Listening to the birds,

She explored the woods,
So calm and serene,
She took off her shoes,
And dipped her feet in a stream,

The calm of the forest,
She did embrace,
Being here brought,
A smile to her face.

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The Eyeballs

Step into this old house,
Open the creaky door,
Walk right down the hallway,
Now look down on the floor,

You’ll see two eyeballs,
This house is their home,
There are no other residents,
Here they live alone,

When intruders enter this house,
Then they have some fun,
There’s nothing they like more,
Than terrifying everyone,

They hop onto a painting,
Of a solemn-looking man,
They hop onto where his eyes are,
And then the room they scan,

As they move about, it looks like,
The picture is alive,
The painted man is looking,
At whomever he can find,

You’ll find these two eyeballs,
Peeking from the dark as well,
Looking like they belong to,
A shadowy thing from Hell,

Or they’ll get a bedsheet,
Then put it on a dummy,
And then hop on the “ghost’s” head,
They think it’s quite funny,

Those who intrude upon this house,
Run out with screams and cries,
All because of the antics,
Of two disembodied eyes.

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The Evil Toucan

I’m warning you, flee,
As fast as you can,
Before you get caught by,
The Evil Toucan!

Don’t hide in the forest,
That’s where he’ll be,
He’ll pop up from,
A hole in a tree,

He’s a monster,
Who preys on the weak,
He attacks with a magic,
Elongating beak,

With this beak,
He’ll make you dead,
He’ll use it to,
Rip off your head,

He can grow it,
Any size,
And use it to,
Poke out your eyes,

I’m warning you, flee,
As fast as you can,
Before you get caught by,
The Evil Touc-ow!


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Visiting Mr. Skeleton


My name is Mr. Skeleton,
Welcome to my home,
I do believe you’ve noticed,
I have no skin, just bones,

Step into my living room,
There you’ll meet my wife,
Don’t be put off by her horns and fangs,
She really is quite nice,

And outside, there plays our pet,
The biggest pet you ever saw,
We found him buried in the ground,
An undead dinosaur,

Now that you’ve met my family,
Let me tell you about my career,
I work in a gloomy graveyard,
Bringing people fear,

I love being a skeleton,
I love having no meat,
It saves upon the food bills,
For we don’t have to eat,

Thanks for visiting my humble home,
I hope to see you soon,
We love having humans here,
It brightens up the gloom.

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Going Out With My Dog

The sky was dull and dark and grey,
It seemed a very gloomy day,
When I went out with my dog,

There was something in the air,
That made me think I should be scared,
When I went out with my dog,

Just when I thought of heading home,
I felt a chill run through my bones,
When I went out with my dog,

I was approached by a ghostly shape,
With large sharp fangs and a twisted face,
When I went out with my dog,

It licked its lips and looked at me,
And its eyes, they glowed with glee,
When I went out with my dog,

This thing that came out from the dark,
Was then met with a big, loud bark,
A barking from my dog!

‘Stop that thing making so much noise,
I hate the barking, it annoys!
Please shut up this dog!’

The horrible creature slunk away,
My faithful friend saved the day,
I love going out with my dog.

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Gina and the Demons

This story follows on from my previous poem The Tragedy of Gina the Jolly Fawn and also features Patty the Demon and The Mad Hatter; you can see the stories they’ve previously been featured in at the Recurring Character Index.

This story also contains some death, violence and references to alcohol.

‘I’m a Fawn!’ it cried out in a voice of delight, ‘and, dear me! you’re a human child!’ A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed.

-Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

The first time I was happy in ages, and it was because I remembered something that doesn’t exist anymore.

That was my first thought of the day. That was what ran through my brain as I crawled out of bed towards the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Though I tried to shut it out, it kept repeating, louder and louder, until I took my first sip of the morning. Then it was replaced by another thought:

What am I?


I was supposed to be Gina the Jolly Fawn. That was how I was known for so many years. A carefree little sprite, running and laughing and playing through the forest. I sighed, shaking my head before I went to take a shower, even hoping such a thing would wash these problems away.

What am I? came the little voice in my head again. Who am I? I’m not Gina the Jolly Fawn, I inwardly said to myself, because I’m an adult doe. I’m not Gina the Jolly Fawn because I’m rarely jolly these days.

So I thought, am I just Gina then? Gina the deer? No, I’m not. Gina the deer hated humans. Gina hated how they hunted her, how they took away her home and parents, how they ruined her idyllic life.

I looked up at the shower head and couldn’t help but stare at it. A human thing. I hated humans yet I loved human things. I took showers like a human, drank coffee like a human, lived in a flat and held a job like a human.

I lived like a human back when I was Gina the Jolly Fawn. Then, I spoke like a human, played human games and heard human nursery rhymes.

So, I asked myself, was I still Gina the Jolly Fawn then, or at least Gina the Jolly Deer? Especially since I had made a human friend?


As I got out of my shower, got dressed and made my way towards my work, I then remembered that my human lifestyle was because of someone who wasn’t human at all. Not one of the other forest animals; they were too busy trying to help themselves to try and help me.

It was the Devil.

That was what I thought when I saw her at first. All I could do when I saw that figure with horns and a forked tail approach me was cover my face with my hooves, fall into the dirt and just cry. First the world takes away my home, I thought, then has people trying to turn me into veal, then sends Satan after me.

I only looked up when the demon put her hand on my shoulder.

When I looked up, she explained she wasn’t the Devil, just a devil, as if that would make it any better. The only reason I paid her any attention was because she said, ‘I want to help’ and I hadn’t heard anyone say that phrase to me in years.

‘Look,’ she said to me, ‘you don’t deserve to live like this. I watched your cartoon when I was young, in fact, still do from time to time.’ When I asked her what she meant about “cartoon”, she explained that my world sprung from the creation of an animated television show, and when the show ended, it, in her words, ‘began to rot’. That was apparently why most of my forest was torn down, that was why I lost my home and my parents, that was why I spent years hiding from humanity.

The demon, whose name was Patty, then told me she knew of a place where I could be safe, where talking animals could live a peaceful life. ‘I mean, look at me,’ she said, ‘I work in this supermarket, right, but no-one cares I’m a demon. I remember this one time I got into an argument with a customer; she said “You’re being very rude”, I said “Well, I am a demon” and she said “I don’t care if you’re the Archangel Gabriel, I want to see the manager!”’

When she said that, I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered my friends, none of whom I had seen for so long. They would never talk about another person like that; whenever someone was sad or angry, they’d try to cheer up that someone with a song or a game. They wouldn’t argue.

Nonetheless, I accepted Patty’s offer; I suppose only because I had had enough of the alternative. Through her, I found a flat to live in, and she even helped me get a job at the supermarket she worked at. The people who shopped there never noticed me, which I admitted was a mercy.

That was the way it was on the day I remembered how I got there. I stocked the shelves quietly, no-one talking to me or acknowledging that there was a cartoon character in the place where they shopped.

Except for one person. Rachel, the woman I met at the pub. Who let me come to her own flat so I could relive the good old days. The only human who ever really spoke to me or asked about my feelings.

‘Hey, Gina,’ she said, waving as she came in.

‘Do you come here often?’ I asked, for I could think of nothing else to say.

‘Well, no, actually,’ she said in a quieter voice, before gesturing to Patty, organising the Sale items.

‘Yeah,’ I replied, ‘she can be a bit of a meanie.’ Once again, I used the first word that came into my mind. I swore I then heard ‘Well, screw you too.’

Rachel chuckled. ‘Now there’s the Gina I saw on telly!’

‘Yeah,’ I replied, forcing a laugh, ‘that’s me! You know…’ I swallowed. ‘We should hang out again some time. Like I don’t know…maybe see a movie.’

‘You know,’ Rachel replied, ‘there is a movie currently showing that I think you’ll love. Squirrelly Sally in Acorn Acres. I don’t mind going to a kids’ movie.’

‘Okay, we’ll go this Friday then.’

‘I’ll let you get on with your work then,’ she said before walking away, ‘See you.’

‘Hey!’ Patty walked away from her shelf towards me – well, walk wasn’t exactly the right word. It seemed more like gliding. ‘Don’t I get to come too?’ she asked, ‘I mean, I did bring you here.’

‘I don’t know…’ Before Patty could retort, I instantly answered, ‘Okay!’ and I felt like I only did it because Patty would send me back to my ruined world or something worse if I refused.

All throughout my shift, my brain debated with itself as to whether or not it was a good idea to invite Patty, and whether or not to tell Rachel I invited her. Rachel didn’t know it was Patty that brought me here, and I doubted that she wanted someone who drove her away from the supermarket sitting near her, especially when it was a literal demon. Even I inwardly called myself “a silly-willy billy” for accepting a demon’s proposal.

After my shift was finished, I walked by the local cinema, which proudly displayed a poster of Squirrelly Sally, smiling with her mouth wide open while holding an acorn. As I looked at that poster, I felt my stomach sink. What if Sally was real in another world as well? I looked at that warm, sunlit forest in the background, and imagined what it might look like if it “rotted” like my world did. Those lush, green trees, gone. Her idyll infected with buildings and hunters.

For a second, I swore I saw the poster change to a picture of Sally’s corpse.

I shuddered, and not just because of the sudden cold breeze. As I held myself, I looked around and found that I was all alone. I took a peek into the cinema, letting the stench of popcorn waft into my nostrils, and didn’t even see an employee.

‘Neither Rachel nor Patty can bring your happy little world back.’

A sentence I seemed to think and hear at the same time.

As I pulled my head away from the cinema’s interior, I saw a man that looked like he had been transported from Victorian London. A formal suit with a cravat and pinstriped trousers, as well as a large top hat.

The top hat had a price tag: In This Style 10/6.

The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, one of my favourite books.

He lifted up his head, revealing that he had no face except for a pair of yellow eyes, and the rest of his head looked like a gigantic parsnip made of flesh.

‘How could you? Have you forgotten who you are?’ He scowled at me, or at least what looked like scowling.

‘Leave me alone!’ I cried.

‘No!’ snapped the Mad Hatter, ‘You’re supposed to be a bastion of morality! You’re supposed to teach children manners and politeness! Yet you befriend a woman who drinks alcohol and a demon! What would the children who viewed your programme think of you now?’

‘Rachel watched my show,’ I said, forcing myself to turn to him, ‘and she…’

‘Forget her,’ snarled the Hatter, ‘Forget Patty too! I’ve been trying so hard to bring happiness to the downtrodden, and all she does is foil my plans! She’s sadistic! Why else would she bring you to this hell-hole?’

‘And…’ I bit my lip tightly. ‘What are you going to do?’

‘Why, I’m going to change your world back to the way it was.’

I could only stare in silence.

‘Wouldn’t you like that?’

I attempted to think of how to respond to that, but my mind was a complete blank.

‘Just imagine if all those pesky motorways and construction vanished and you had your pretty little forest back. Imagine if you woke up, found your way back to your childhood home and your mother and father were there waiting for you with open arms instead of their heads being decorations on some human’s wall.’

I closed my eyes and heard the voice of my mother. I felt the warmth of her hugs and a kiss on my forehead. I heard my father sing me a lullaby like he did when he tucked me into bed. I again felt a chill, but one less harsh than the others.

‘I’m certain they’ll be very proud of you if you kill what killed them.’

I swallowed. ‘What do you mean?’

‘I think you know very well what I mean. You’ve become friends with the enemy. You’ve become friends with a human.’

‘You mean…’

The Mad Hatter nodded.

At that moment, I wanted to scream. I wanted to run back to my flat and lie there until I died. All I did, however, was stand there. Stand there and continually replay the happy memories of Mum and Dad in my head.

‘Do away with Rachel,’ continued the Mad Hatter, ‘or any other human. Then your world will return to how it should be.’

He seemed to vanish in the blink of an eye. As soon as he vanished, the world’s population reappeared. Humans walking to the cinema, leaving the cinema, carrying shopping….

Just kill one of them and everything would be alright.

In my mind’s eye, I saw myself leaping towards one of the passers-by and wrapping my hooves around their neck. I saw myself grinning widely as they fell to the ground, dead.

That was when I ran. That was when I screamed.

I didn’t get any sleep that night. My brain was engaged in another fierce debate with itself, this time pounding against my skull, and I was sure that any minute it would burst right out of my forehead. I lay in bed all night, attempting to soothe myself by turning my bedside lamp on and reading a few books, but no matter how hard I tried, the image of Rachel’s carcass refused to leave my mind.

When the sun rose, I considered phoning up the supermarket and telling them I couldn’t come in that day. I did have a splitting headache, and I felt like I was going to vomit. Yet I went through my morning routine. Coffee, shower, clothes, breakfast, walk to store…

where Rachel might be.

I arrived at the store before it opened, and so had Patty, leaning on the wall near the staff entrance, scowling at me.

As soon as she saw me, she walked up and slapped me across the face.

‘You’re seriously considering it, aren’t you?’

‘Considering what?’ I spat as I rubbed my face.

‘The Mad Hatter. He told you to kill Rachel or some other human, and you’re going to do it!’


‘My Dad’s been keeping a close…’

‘At least you have a Dad!’ I yelled, certain I was almost going to slap her myself.

‘Do you know why I brought you here?’ growled Patty, slowly pushing my face away from hers, ‘It was out of the goodness of my heart. I couldn’t bear to see someone whose cartoon I liked suffer. I didn’t ask for you to kill anyone, I didn’t ask you to sacrifice a goat or help bring about the apocalypse. I did it because I like you.

‘The Mad Hatter is a sadist. He offers people things not to help them, but so he could laugh and laugh at good people doing his evil bidding.’

‘You’re one to talk about evil!’

‘But I’m not a cute…’ Patty sighed. ‘You know, my parents really didn’t like me watching your show. They said I needed to focus my mind towards the dark and macabre. I like dark and macabre, but not all the time. Your show was just the thing I needed after learning how to slowly roast a damned soul over ever-burning fire pits.

‘It gave me reassurance that not everyone’s going to end up in Hell.

‘I’m a demon. I’m a monster. I’m messed-up and I can’t do anything to change that. You’re not like that. You’ve entertained and educated children. Don’t become a monster, don’t become a demon. Be Gina the Jolly Fawn or Doe or whatever.’

With that, she gave me a hug. A hug as warm and soothing as those Mum used to give me.

Another thought entered my mind. If demons exist, Hell exists. If Hell exists, Heaven exists.

Mum and Dad are still out there.

As I hugged Patty, I saw them in my mind’s eye again, but this time I knew I wasn’t just imaging. Mum whispered, ‘We are proud of you, my little fawn.’

‘You know,’ said Patty as she released me from her grasp, ‘I’ve been binging on slasher flicks all week. Squirrelly Sally will make a nice change of pace.’

Next time I see Rachel, I said to myself, I would tell her about the Mad Hatter and what he said to me. I’ll also, I added, tell her that I invited Patty.

She may be a torturous monster from Hell, but at least she’s honest.

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The Adventures of the Rancid Rocking Rodents

This story follows on from Animal SuperheroesCollector’s ItemThe Mad Scientist’s Daughter and Revenge of the Mad Scientist’s Daughter so it is advisable you read those first. 

This story also contains some scenes of bloody violence.


After another successful battle against the malicious Dr. Croak, the Rancid Rocking Rodents took their Rat-Rocket back to their underground Rat-Hole, all three of them looking forward to an evening of video games and cheese wheels.

‘I can’t believe he used a giant robot again,’ laughed Cheddar as he and his teammates stood in their secret elevator, ‘I think that’s like the fifth time this month!’

Gouda chuckled. ‘You’d think the so-called “Frog of Fear” would be a bit more creative.’

‘Yeah,’ replied Cheddar, ‘maybe he should think of hiring you. You could give him a few pointers.’

‘Oh, come on,’ said Munster as he scratched his bulging belly, ‘to give him credit, this robot had an extendable tongue. Never seen a robot do that before.’

Gouda sighed and rolled her eyes. ‘Yes, Munster.’

The elevator doors slid open, revealing the Rat-Hole in all its glory. Arcade machines in one corner, a kitchen with a gigantic cheese-clogged refrigerator in another. A laboratory, stocked with mechanical parts and sprockets and gizmos so Gouda could invent new gadgets for her team. What dominated the space, however, was the Cheese Computer, with a screen almost as large as their Rat-Rocket, which always informed them of when the city was in danger so they could sort out the problem.

That’s what they did. The Rancid Rocking Rodents, a trio of human-sized rats in jumpsuits that battled the forces of evil with rockets, jetpacks and various other gadgets. Cheddar, the leader. Gouda, the inventor. Munster, the most spirited.

‘Gangway!’ roared Munster as he shoved past his teammates towards the kitchen, ‘There’s a cheese wheel with my name on it!’

‘Who needs a frog robot that eats everything when you’ve got him?’ laughed Gouda, shrugging, ‘Hey, Cheddar, up for a game of…’

Before she could finish her sentence, the room was suddenly bathed in a bright white light, an event that made even Munster drop his cheese wheel. A swirling monochrome portal materialised in the middle of the room, resembling the gaping mouth of a spectre.

‘Rancid Rocking Rodents,’ the portal whispered, ‘Help us, help us.’

‘Just when I was looking forward to a quiet evening,’ sighed Munster.

‘Well, a rodent’s work is never done,’ said Cheddar, ‘Rodents, let’s rock!’

All three of them dived into the portal; they had done so many times after all. So many alien worlds they had visited, and Munster even said, ‘You seen one bizarre alternate dimension, you’ve seen them all.’

When they dived into the portal, each of them expected to come out into a world with twisted trees with eyeballs on the branches and twirling mountains under a green sky. Instead, they found themselves standing in a room as large as their headquarters, but much emptier and darker. Water dripped from the ceiling and the stench of faeces and rotting flesh dominated the air. Gouda turned around to see what looked like a laboratory like hers – tables sporting test tubes, machinery, and severed human limbs with claws sprouting from the fingers.

Munster pointed towards writing on the walls – not only were there plenty of “Help”s and “Save Me”s, but “Did he who made the lamb make me?”, “Look on my works, ye mighty and despair?” and “Into the Valley of Death”. ‘See those?’ he asked his teammates, ‘That’s William Blake and Percy Shelley and Alfred Lord Tennyson!’

Cheddar and Gouda could only stare at Munster.

‘What? You think I’ve never read poetry?’

Just as Gouda opened her mouth to respond, a chuckle echoed throughout the room.

The portal vanished.

The Rancid Rocking Rodents turned to see where the laugh was coming from, but suddenly found themselves unable to move. Looking down, they saw that they were suddenly now shackled to balls and chains.

‘Impressive, isn’t it?’ hissed a voice, coming from a figure stepping out of the shadows. ‘Shelley made those, you know, to stop her prey from escaping. She was a far better inventor than you were.’

‘Hey!’ snapped Gouda.

The figure came into the light. A tall, gangly hare with grey fur and a dark grey business suit, the only spots of colour on him coming from his yellow eyes and teeth.

‘Who are you?’ asked Cheddar.

‘This is not about who I am,’ the hare said, sounding like he had a large phlegm build-up, ‘but who you are. You are nothing more than mere copies of the greatest superheroes ever created!’

‘Buddy,’ said Munster, ‘you must be mistaken. We are the greatest…’

‘Shut up,’ Cheddar said through clenched teeth.

‘This is the universe of The Slithering Super Snakes.’ From his pocket, the hare took out a comic book, depicting four snarling snakes – well, three snarling snakes and an adder with a wide grin on his face. The others were a cobra who slithered proudly in front, a bulky viper and a constrictor with mechanical arms attached to her body.

‘They don’t look too friendly,’ remarked Munster.

‘You should know of them,’ continued the hare, ‘They had a successful comic book and that led to an even more successful cartoon, and then some other company went and made your cartoon just to cash in on the Super Snakes’ success!’

‘We aren’t a cartoon!’ cried Cheddar, trying to grab the hare before he hopped backwards.

‘One thing I’ve recently learned,’ said the hare, ‘is that when you write a story or create a TV show and people watch or read it, it lives on in their mind and then becomes real in another dimension…I haven’t fully grasped it, but that means your world owes its very existence to people wanting money.’

The rats could only laugh.

‘Are you serious?’ said Gouda, wiping a tear from her eye, ‘You’re pathetic!’

‘Oh, am I?’ The hare smiled, revealing his jagged teeth. ‘You’re the pale imitations.’ He opened the comic, pointing at the pictures. ‘See them? See how much better they are than you?’

The rats leaned closer to look at the pictures. It showed a warehouse – the same warehouse the rats now stood in – where the snakes from the cover brought in a gang of criminals, each of them with balls and chains of their own. The adder – Whitman– had an axe at the end of his tail and used it to chop off both the legs of one criminal, then watched him crawl on the ground before decapitating him. ‘Don’t lose your head!’ giggled Whitman. The constrictor – Shelley – wrapped herself around another criminal’s neck and made his head explode into a bloody mess.

‘We’re nothing like this!’ barked Cheddar.

‘Exactly!’ sneered the hare, ‘You’re completely inferior! You’d never have the guts to do something like that! Your jokes aren’t as funny as the ones Whitman tells and none of you are as clever as Shelley! It was she who made the device that brought you here!’

‘So where are these Super Snakes now?’ Gouda asked, raising an eyebrow.


Before he could fully answer, footsteps echoed throughout the warehouse. Another figure emerged from the shadows. A human this time; a tall woman with coke-bottle glasses and a lab coat.

‘I see you got my invitation,’ the hare said to the woman before turning back to the rats, ‘Now let’s see what a real villain is like! Dr. Jane Hartem! She’s much better than all your ridiculous rogues’ gallery combined!’

Jane, not even acknowledging the hare’s compliment, looked at the rats. ‘Who are these?’

‘The Rancid Rocking Rodents! Mere imitations of the superior Super Snakes! Even as a kid I knew the show was stupid! Yet my grandma would still buy me their action figures for Christmas!’

Jane sighed.

‘So, there you go. I’m just like you; you want revenge, I want revenge! In fact, I know how much you like killing heroes, so why don’t you kill them?’

‘Send them back. I’m not here for them.’

‘Oh,’ cackled the hare, ‘think you can be the hero now? I was just telling them what a great villain you…’

Jane decked the hare across the face, sending him collapsing to the floor. ‘You’re going to jail.’

The hare hopped right back up onto his feet. ‘So you’re not going to kill me then?’ he snarled before leaping towards her with claws outstretched.

Jane laughed angrily. ‘Isn’t this what you wanted?’

It was. He came into our world to get pummelled. He came so we could fight him, so he could become his favourite character and battle his favourite superheroes.

The fight between him and Jane was one of the many things I – and my brothers and my sister and my father – see in the afterlife.

Every murder we committed, ever criminal we killed, every death caused by me and Shelley and Whitman and Blake, plays back before us. Each replay is like a knife through my brain, which stings worse with the knowledge that there’s another world where we’re adored and treated as heroes. Where we inspired the creation of other heroes.

But the people of that world don’t like us. They like what we could have been.

The Snakes in the cartoon wanted to help people. The Rancid Rocking Rodents wanted to help people – and they had no malicious, murderous counterparts either.

We could have fought crime and caught criminals because we wanted to make the world better instead of slaughtering to validate our existence….no, that’s not why we did it. It was all for our own sadistic pleasure.

That’s why our father did what he did. That’s what we owed our existence to.

Our father, Dr. Hartem, is going through the same hell as me and my siblings. He sits with us as we see the visions. Frequently, he turns and smirks at us. Shelley, Whitman and Blake only give me cold stares.

We saw Jane battle Bad Bunny fiercely before she held him against a wall, pulled out a syringe and shoved it into his flesh, reverting him back to human form. With the device she inspired the creation of, she sent him back to his world and the Rancid Rocking Rodents back to theirs.

After that, she left the warehouse, but only for a moment.

She returned with a canister of petrol and a box of matches.

For the first time since my creation, I felt at peace.


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