The Creepy Christmas Pudding


The Creepy Christmas Pudding,
Is a terrifying beast,
It may resemble what you eat,
At the end of a festive feast,

But it has huge fangs and claws,
Its appearance brings you fear,
It, however, has a method,
To bring its victims near,

The Creepy Christmas Pudding,
Goes out and about,
And makes several shiny coins,
Fall out of its mouth,

So humans will flock to it,
Overcome by greed,
And on these hungry mortals,
The Pudding then will feed.

Watch this space, because next week, The Weird Writings of Gareth Barsby will begin its Advent Calendar, with a new Christmas-themed poem every day from 1st December to 24th December!

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Lady Lobster And The Terrible Turkey

Out from the sea, there rises,
A vile and vicious monster,
One with large, gigantic claws,
Known as Lady Lobster,

She then leaps onto the beach,
For she wants the humans dead,
Look at how she smiles,
As she snips off every head,

Then she goes to meet her friend,
Another vicious beast,
He’s The Terrible Turkey,
Together they have a feast,

Of all their many victims,
Of those unlucky souls,
They devour every human,
Then they feel so full.


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The Demon Reindeer


Look up into the night sky,
Is that a shooting star?
No, it’s the Demon Reindeer,
So you better run far,

Reindeer are usually Christmassy,
For him, that is not so,
For his eyes and his mouth,
Have a Jack-O-Lantern glow,

When he sees you running,
He roars and then he dives,
And then he’ll impale you,
On antlers sharp as knives,

Always be on the lookout,
For the Demon Reindeer,
Unlike his famous brethren,
He doesn’t come just once a year.

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Getting Ready for Christmas Early


Every year Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier. It’s the middle of November, and I’ve seen houses fully decorated, I’ve heard endless Christmas music played in shops and I’ve even overheard people talk to each other about how they’ve completed their Christmas gift shopping.

It’s been no different in our underground lair, as from about November 10th, all Her Evilness has done is talk about her Christmas plans, or at least, what her Christmas plans should be.

Oh, where are my manners? Well, I’m an evil henchman, I’m not supposed to have manners. Nonetheless, hello again, my name is Bert, robotic assistant to the evil Dr. Meow, half-human-half-cat scientist and the world’s most infamous villain.

Christmas has always been Her Evilness’ favourite time of year, though she may deny it. Often, you’ll hear her say ‘Bah, humbug!’ or she’ll claim the reason she stole presents or tried to zap Santa or tried to zap people dressed as Santa was because she “hates Christmas”, but she’s always happier than usual around the holidays. Just last week, her plan to flood the city with wet food was foiled by a certain superheroic dog, and today, I see her pacing around the room, smiling and muttering to herself about her many ideas.

She and I had enacted many of the archetypical seasonal plots; we’ve stolen presents for ourselves, we’ve tried to weaponize Santa’s sleigh, but both of us know this year, we have to up our game.

Last week, fellow villain Flamefan attacked a fireworks display with a giant bonfire monster, along with a robotic rocket that soared across the sky with a vacuum that sucked up the money from people’s pockets. He was defeated when that superhero dog, the same one I and Her Evilness battle, came in and extinguished the fire monster with her breath. Nonetheless, most other villains agreed that it was a spectacular attack, especially since before then, no other villain had enacted a plan based around Bonfire Night. Now, my mistress racks her brains on how she could top such a thing.

‘I know,’ she says to me, pointing at the air, ‘you know The Nutcracker?’ Not only do I know of it, I have ETA Hoffman’s book downloaded in my brain. ‘We gather some mice, and not only do we brainwash them into serving us, we create a giant mutant mouse king!’

‘I don’t think that’s a good idea, my mistress,’ I reply, though the sudden thought that I might have ruined her good mood makes my circuits feel like they’ve frozen, ‘wasn’t the Mouse King quickly defeated, and off-screen? Besides, that makes me think of that Magnificent Mega Rat you told me about.’

‘Oh yeah,’ Her Evilness replies, putting a claw on her chin, ‘I remember how quickly he fell.’ She cackles as she rubs her stomach. ‘I might still get some mice for the plan, just in case I get hungry.’

‘Well,’ I tell her, ‘keep in mind we have an entire month until Christmas, so we have plenty of time to…’

‘No, no, no,’ replies Her Evilness as she grabs me by my metal shoulders, ‘you know how quickly the years pass. People will be expecting us to bring forth a grand Christmas scheme, and if we don’t think of one now, we might suddenly find ourselves on Christmas Eve without a plan. I mean, you look at all these people shopping early…’

‘That’s it!’ I say, ‘I know we’ve stolen Christmas presents before, but the problem with that was that those presents were brought back because they could be brought back. Instead of stealing presents, why don’t we destroy them? Just imagine, all those people who made sure to buy their presents the month before, seeing all their presents disappear into nothing on Christmas Eve!’

Her Evilness gives her seal of approval: a wide grin and a long, malicious laugh. ‘Good idea, Bert,’ she replies, rubbing her hands together, ‘and I’ve got just the thing to accomplish that!’

She leads me to a table where she has a number of blueprints, books and even half-finished villain  songs lying around, but brings to my attention a blueprint featuring a number of insects. ‘I thought of a plan to turn insects into “This-Insect’s-Greats”, which can disintegrate anything I tell it to. A push of a button and anything they’re on will be reduced to almost nothing. I’ve just been trying to think of a good scheme for them.’

‘Wonderful,’ I reply, ‘Once you’re done with the presents, we can put one on that dog too!’

‘No!’ barks Her Evilness, before composing herself and adding, ‘We don’t want to kill her! It’ll be more delicious to see the look on her face when she sees my plan come to fruition!’

I’ve told you before about the dog. That super-powered heroic dog that just happened to show up when Her Evilness threw away one of her inventions. There’s an unwritten rule that any villain responsible for a hero’s origin becomes that hero’s arch-enemy, and Her Evilness loves being an arch-enemy.

When she deals with people in the streets, Her Evilness blasts them with her ray gun or throws an exploding cat toy at them. When the dog invades our lair, Her Evilness ties her up in easily-breakable rope, dangles her above a vat of acid which she is slowly lowered into, and Her Evilness doesn’t even stay to watch.

Yes, the dog always escapes, and I let her escape; I love seeing my mistress happy.

She is certainly happy when we work on creating the This-Insect’s-Greats, creating bubbling green potions, pouring them over butterflies and cockroaches and watching them reduce cardboard standees into nothing. Both of us imagine a man pulling presents out of his cupboard, only to see them vanish before his eyes, and both of us have a good laugh.

It even feels like Christmas came early.

After the insects have been mutated, we put them in their own little enclosure, and Her Evilness goes to bed while I shut down for a few hours to recharge my batteries.

The first thing I see upon being booted up again is Her Evilness’ grin.

‘Bert, I can’t wait! Let’s send out the This-Insect’s-Greats today instead! I mean, it’ll probably be less malicious than actually doing it on Christmas Eve, and they’ll buy more presents, but doing that’ll mean they’ll have less money and that’s still evil!’

I don’t protest. How can I? She’s as happy as…well, a child on Christmas.

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I Love Being A Monster


I love being a monster,
I love making humans shriek,
I love it when I jump out,
And passers-by go ‘Eek!’

I love being a monster,
For my job is causing horrors,
I go out scaring every morning,
(After my coffee, of course),

I love being a monster,
I love hiding in the dark,
You can find me in a graveyard,
Or an abandoned theme park,

I also love watching telly,
And eating baked beans on toast,
There are many things I love,
But I love being scary the most!

I terrify human beings,
In shadows do I lurk,
Because I love being a monster,
Yes, I love my work!

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Saving Christmas

Christmas is a time for children. Christmas is a time when you become children.

I was pushing thirty at the time, but when I returned to my parent’s house for Christmas, I gave my Mum a great big hug, guzzled down hot chocolate, stuffed my face with mince pies and sat down to rewatch some of my favourite Christmas cartoons.

When I was a kid, my favourite Christmas specials were the ones starring my favourite superheroes, where the hero’s arch-enemy would try to kidnap Santa Claus or steal all the worlds’ presents, only for the hero to thwart the scheme and, as they say, save Christmas.

Christmas seemed a lot more…well, special, if you thought of it as something rescued from destruction at the hands of an evil scientist. Santa Claus seemed more relatable and believable when you saw him as someone who needed saving rather than an omnipotent omniscient character. Also,  Christmas is a time for children and there’s nothing children like more than superheroes.

So, even though I was 29, I, along with Mum and Dad, sat down to rewatch The Slithering Super Snakes Save Christmas. The titular Snakes – Tennyson, Shelley, Whitman and Blake – find out the evil Dr. Hartem has built a machine that teleports Christmas presents to her lair, and they have to find a way to stop her. Santa didn’t make a physical appearance in the special, but he was there in spirit, with the Snakes finding devices to help them along their adventure and the special ending with the Snakes looking up into the sky and hearing a “Ho Ho Ho”.

The special aged rather badly, with awkward animation, over-the-top voice acting and noticeable mistakes like the Snakes changing colours, but just one viewing of it was enough to awaken the Christmas spirit within me. Enough to awaken the child in me.

That was another reason I liked those specials; it made me believe that I could save Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve in my childhood, my Dad got me to go to sleep by telling me a story, one he made off the top of his head, about how I saved Santa Claus from vampires, monsters, supervillains or anything that came to his mind. I would listen intently while hugging my cuddly Whitman toy before falling straight asleep.

Dad didn’t read me bedtime stories at 29, but he still kept my cuddly Whitman, leaving him on my bed waiting for my return. That Christmas Eve, I made up a story in my own head about how Santa was saved from a vicious mad scientist by yours truly, and fell asleep quickly.

I awoke just as fast when I heard loud gargling.

“Loud gargling” was the best way I could describe such a noise. Just hearing it made my heart pound and my stomach twist. I leapt to my feet with a sudden energy and crept downstairs, hoping that the noise I heard was just my imagination.

At the foot of our Christmas tree was what looked like a blue, hairless anteater with skeletal limbs and no ears, crawling around the floor with mechanical movements. With its elongated nose, it sniffed each of the presents under the tree, and then sucked them up, making that gargling noise all the while.

My common sense demanded that I creep away, wake Mum and Dad, tell them about the monster in the living room, phone the police and thus become famous for discovering a new species, but my inner child’s voice was louder and it yelled and yelled that this was my chance to save Christmas.

So, almost as soon as the creature sucked up its first present, I grabbed a lamp off a nearby table and threw it at its head, hoping it would fall unconscious. Instead, its already large nose inflated, and it marched towards me.

My common sense screamed for me to run, to flee, to dart out screaming about the beast in my parents’ living room, but I found myself frozen in place as I was devoured.

Seconds later, I found myself among other blue anteater monsters. I stood among them, not in my own room, but what looked like a medieval castle, illuminated by the sunshine pouring through the slit-like windows. Each of them looked at me curiously, scratching their heads and noses, each of them making that gargling noise.

Smaller versions of these creatures ran out from the crowd, running past me and towards the presents from my house, now sitting at the foot of a statue of one of those creatures. They gargled as well, but it was a gargle mixed with laughter as they opened the gifts. The monster that had invaded my home stood by them, nodding his head and smiling.

Even Mum and Dad stood by, smiling and nodding along with the monster, silently telling me the little creatures needed the presents more than we did.

I hadn’t saved Christmas from a monster, but the monster had saved his own holiday.

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Merry Bonfire Night

People start thinking of Christmas,
At the beginning of November,
Well, what about Bonfire Night then?
What about “Remember, Remember?”

Well, I’ll do something about this,
I’ll take every Christmas tale and rhyme,
And make them about Bonfire Night,
You know that it’s about time!

On the fifth day after Halloween,
My true love gave to me:
Five Catherine Wheels!
Four funfair rides,
Three hot dogs,
Two sparklers,
And a box full of cinder toffee!

I’ll tell you of Father Bonfire Night,
On a rocket he does fly,
And how Ebenezer Scrooge,
Won’t give a penny for the guy.

Good King Wenceslas once looked at,
A big blazing bonfire,
Then he watched as a rocket,
Got higher and higher,

Then on the 6th November,
That’s when we start thinking of snowmen and stuff.

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