The Gardog is a Good Friend

If love and friendship,
Is something you lack,
Get yourself a dog,
With a garden on his back,

The Gardog can easily tell,
If you’re feeling blue,
Then he’ll grab from his back,
A pretty plant for you,

Your favourite flower,
He will pick,
Before he gives,
Your face a lick,

You can trust the Gardog,
To bring joy and more,
(Though he does get soil,
All over the floor).


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The Scarecrow Witch

scarecrowwitch

Standing in a field,
Amid the wheat,
Is a figure I hope,
You never meet,

A grinning scarecrow,
With a twisted hat,
And a face that makes it,
Look like a rat,

When crows come near,
It casts a spell,
To cause them pain,
To make them yell,

But it’s not just to crows,
It casts its curse,
To human intruders,
It does much worse.


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A Little Levity

On the outskirts of Raven City, overlooking the skyscrapers from atop a twisted, lofty hill, there stood a colourless mansion, resembling more a gigantic tomb than a place someone might live. Indeed, it was occupied, but one wouldn’t know it from the skeletal vines clawing their way up the walls, the chilling air that dominated the grounds and the eternally empty windows.

It was not the place where you’d expect to hear a loud roar from within that would almost shake the house’s foundations. However, unbeknownst to many yet suspected by a few, this was the home of  who was popularly known as “The Scary Superhero”: Spectralman.

Spectralman was a superhero that resembled a wraith. His costume had not a speck of colour nor a bright logo, and his face was hidden almost entirely by a hood, save two yellow eyes. He was a ghastly figure who terrified criminals, and he made sure his home reflected that.

Early one night, he had learned that Mr. Chuckles, the criminal with the face of a clown, was planning on unleashing a poison of his own design. Spectralman, after jumping out from behind one of Chuckles’ henchmen and yelling ‘Boo!’, had managed to claim a sample of the poison, and raced back to his gloomy mansion to create an antidote.

He was aided in this endeavour by his butler, Reginald. Reginald had always had a keen interest in science; with his coke-bottle glasses and white walrus moustache, many even said he looked like many scientists – mad or otherwise – did. Whenever the opportunity arose, he always helped his master with formulas and machinery.

Reginald never worked without earphones in. Either he would be listening to classical music, which he said helped him think, or audiobooks, podcasts or anything audial relating to science, to help inspire him.

While studying a possible antidote to Mr. Chuckles’ poison, Reginald listened to one such scientific podcast, and let loose a small laugh.

‘What was that?’ snarled Spectralman, his yellow eyes burning even brighter.

‘Oh, my apologies,’ said Reginald, removing one of his earphones, ‘I’ve been recently recommended this podcast, which explains scientific principles in a humourous way…’

‘How can you listen to humour at a time like this?’ Spectralman yelled, forcing himself not to slam his fist on the table.

‘Well, I suppose, because it’s a time like this,’ explained Reginald, holding up a hand, ‘both of us have been under a lot of stress recently, and I have heard about the healing power of laughter…’

‘I loathe laughter!’ cried Spectralman, raising his fists to the air, ‘I despise comedy and humour in all forms! This is serious work we’re doing! We can’t laugh when there’s evil to fight!’

‘Well,’ replied Reginald, ‘I would think laughter would make fighting evil a little easier!’

Spectralman sighed. ‘You do realise the villain we’re trying to stop is called Mr. Chuckles?’

‘Exactly. His goal is to pervert comedy into something nauseating, so if you talk like this, you’re giving him what he wants!’

‘Comedy was always nauseating, Reginald.’

‘Well, what about Erica and her show?’ Reginald replied, ‘She utilises comedy when she’s trying to help us.’

‘I’ve been having my doubts about her, Reginald,’ said Spectralman, placing his hand on his shadowed chin.

‘You say that about everyone, sir.’ Reginald shook his head, rolling his eyes.

‘It’s just…trying to use a game show to…’

‘I think her attempts to rehabilitate are working better than you might think. I hear she recently employed Dr. Meow’s robot so now he’s doing some relatively more honest work.’

Spectralman continued rubbing his chin, remembering when Dr. Meow came to Raven City simply to see if she had a chance of becoming his arch-enemy. Upon remembering that Meow actually had found a hero who considered her an arch-enemy, thus meaning he wouldn’t have to deal with her, he almost smiled.

‘What I’m saying is,’ Reginald continued, ‘a little levity now and again wouldn’t hurt. I mean, many would find humour in the fact that you’re conducting experiments dressed like the Grim Reaper.’

‘Alright, Reginald,’ sighed Spectralman, shaking his head, ‘I’ll try to indulge in a little…a little humour. Just for you.’

The next night, several criminals were found unconscious with custard pies on their faces.


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Your Dog’s A Very Naughty Dog

Your dog’s a very naughty dog,
As bad as one can be,
Why is it that he always barks,
Once he lays eyes on me?

Your dog’s a very naughty dog,
Quite naughty indeed.
He sneaks into my garden,
Even though there is no need!

Your dog’s a very naughty dog,
It makes me almost cry,
When I see a hellish glow,
Appear in his eye.


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The Ghoulish Clown

ghoulclown

I may be a ghoul,
A frightening bloke,
But that doesn’t mean,
I can’t tell you a joke,

I may smell like,
I need a bath,
I may be a carcass,
But I can still make you laugh,

Flying corpses may frighten,
I suppose,
But don’t I look silly,
With my big red nose?

Come on, I’m goofy,
I’m wacky, I’m fun!
I can still bring cheer,
To everyone!

I’ll put on a show!
We’ll have a ball!
I’ll make you forget,
My lack of a soul!


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A Fright on Father’s Day

Both Maggie and I loved going to the seaside in the summer, and so, since it was a sunny day, that’s what we were doing for Father’s Day. In the past, it was me taking Maggie there, but that day, she was the one driving us there, allowing me to relax and read the book she bought me for this day on the trip there.

Every time Maggie took me to the seaside, I had a mental image of there barely being anyone there and she and I taking a quiet walk across the crashing waves. That’s what I kept imagining even on the drive even though a part of me knew that since it was Father’s Day, the place would be packed. Indeed it was; you could barely see the sand from how many families were sunbathing, having picnics and building sandcastles. ‘Well, so much for a quiet day,’ Maggie joked when she opened the car doors.

Before going to the sandy area, we took a brief walk along the nearby town, memories of days gone by awakened by seeing shop windows full of floatation aids and plastic sandcastle moulds. After Maggie bought me an ice cream cone and herself a strawberry lolly in the shape of a squirrel, what she always had when we came here years ago.

Both of us thought, or at least hoped, that the beach would be a little less crowded after walking through town, but it was still packed, and we found ourselves navigating it for a spot where we could sit and enjoy the sunshine and I could read my book.

‘Well, if we take off the rose-coloured glasses for a bit,’ said Maggie, looking at how her squirrel had already become a shapeless blob, ‘the beach always was a bit crowded when I came here as a kid.’ Indeed, I instantly remembered it being that way.

Soon enough, we found a good spot to sit, one that was close to the sea.

Close enough that we saw the monster emerging.

gertrude

A gangly creature with skin the colour of seaweed, who had tentacles in place of legs that slapped around on the ground as it came to the shore. It looked at Maggie, me and everyone on the beach with three yellow eyes that blinked independently, and the cream-coloured dress it wore did nothing to make it look less bizarre.

I froze in fear, and was the only one on the beach to do so. Some fainted, many ran and Maggie marched in front of me, chewing the top off her lolly stick to make a makeshift weapon. She shoved it into the monster’s face with a shuddering hand and growled.

‘Flee!’ cried the monster, waving around her arms which were also tentacles. She also had tentacles where there should have been a mouth, which wobbled when she talked. ‘Flee before I devour you.’

Maggie didn’t try to stab the monster with her lollipop stick, but pantomimed it as a warning. I almost saw this as an opportunity to flee, but then the monster said something which made me stay:

‘Could you please leave? For Dad’s sake?’

‘Dad?’ asked Maggie, lowering her weapon.

‘Okay,’ said the monster, ‘I’ll explain why I’m doing this. My Dad….you see, our species likes eating a lot of things you humans wouldn’t. We like eating pocket lint and algae and mud, but coins are quite a delicacy. Because of this, my Dad likes to pretend to be a pirate with some of his friends and they force humans on boats and on seasides to give him their coins. It’s got me and Mum worried sick.

‘I overheard him saying he was planning on attacking this beach next. I thought if I scared everyone away beforehand, it would discourage him. So, if I were you, I’d run away before…’

‘Gertrude! What be this?’

Sure enough, another of Gertrude’s species arose from the waves, a tall green creature wearing a tattered brown coat and waistcoat, along with an eyepatch and a captain’s hat. In one of his tentacle-arms, he wielded a cutlass, which he waved in the air as he fully emerged. Maggie held me tightly by the arm and raised her lolly stick again.

‘Cut it out, Dad, it’s not funny anymore.’

‘How dare ye!’

‘This is for your own good, Dad. We don’t want to hurt humans…’

‘But Gertude, it be Father’s Day! Let me have me fun!’

‘Just come back home, Dad,’ Gertrude sighed before turning to us, ‘Hey, do you have any coins you can spare? Maybe that’ll get him to leave.’

‘Okay,’ I said as I came forward, which made Maggie release me, ‘look, I’m a father too, you know. Why don’t we talk about this as we have a quiet, nice walk down the seaside, okay?’

‘Fine,’ said the Captain.

Then Maggie and I had that quiet, nice walk down the seaside we had always fantasised about, all the while talking to Gertrude and her father about their problems. They both went back to the sea to go home and think about it, but not before Maggie gave them some of her spare change.


The Captain previously appeared in The Canal Creatures.

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