T'was the Night Before...

T’was the night before,They came without a sound, Scurrying across the yard, In little green pointed hats, Barely visible above frost covered blades of grass.

Doors and windows tightly latched, To keep out the cold and the damp, Did not hamper their entry nor bar their path.

With ruthless elegance and terrible grace, evilelves They found the milk and three delicate cakes, And finished them off with a quick snap and gulp of many sharp teeth.

They liked the cake, And they liked the milk, But that is not why they had come. No, they had come for the little ones.

Sensing their quarry, fast asleep in bed, They swarmed into the quarters aloft, Shaking with excitement they scampered and crawled, To the first room that held a child, tender and soft.

Slowly they clawed open the door, Careful not to make even the slightest of sound. Her serene breaths, so thick and sweet, Were lapped up with eager tongues, gleefully.

Working quickly now they infested her bed, And with a single rough whisper, Wrapped her mind in a web.

As they raised their blades to sever her soul, They faltered in their task ever so. For a fear grew in their dark awareness, That sent their black hearts into distress.

A faint jingling seeped into the air, Freezing them in a wide eyed scare, And as they helplessly glared, A ghostly form appeared to their despair.santaghost

He was as large and round as specters do come, With a hint of red and pale white hair, A grand wisp of long timeless beard, most handsome.

Floating beside the bed, To free the girl from the spell most foul, The spirit gently touched her upon head.

He then reached into his great pockets, As deep as the universe, above and below, And pulled out eight tiny horned bears, Each one wearing a tiny red bow.

With a predator’s grace they each took into their jaws, The immobilized creatures with spine crunching bites and deadly paws, And having finished their grave duty, Laid at their master’s feet the grisly booty.hornedbear

The specter, he grinned, with a proud nod, As he rewarded his pets with a gentle prod, And took each of the bodies in his large phantom hands, For they would soon form something grand.

He kneaded and crushed and pulled and squeezed The little forms into something a bit more pleasing. When he was finished he had before him a collection Of bright boxes filled with happiness and joy, He then gave to the horned bears the boxes so dear, To place for the young ones to find with smiles and cheers.

With his work all done, And all done well, He drifted out through the walls, To the faint sound of jingle bells.

With a sniff and a rub of his snout, He mumbled to no one in particular, “Merry Christmas to all, And to all an elf free night.”

The Day it Rained Slugs

There's a reason why the slug immediately came to mind when I was thinking up names for this site, long ago, in a web host far far away. I live in the Pacific Northwest. You may have heard rumors that it rains a lot here. While I always like to point out that these rumors are greatly exaggerated since our summers are relatively dry, the winter months do indeed tend to be dominated by a penetrating cold soggy moistness. All this water, as it happens, is wonderful slug fertilizer. In fact, there have been years where we have suffered from slug blooms of biblical proportions. Until last night I had just assumed that the all the rain promoting prime slug growing conditions was the only reason for the large population of garden gastropods.

I now know the truth, and the truth is this; it actually rains slugs.

Last night, when I let the dog out to do his thing for the last time before retiring for the night, it was raining pretty hard. Being dark out, I didn't give the current weather conditions a good look. When the dog returned to the back door a short while later, I noticed something odd on his head. Looking closer, I discovered a very merry little slug staring up at me. How the dog acquired this little hitchhiker, I could only speculate that it must, despite all unlikelihood, be raining slugs. Logically, it was the only explanation that made sense. I would have investigated the phenomenon more, but the possibility of being rained on by slugs wasn't an appealing thought.

Behold, photographic evidence:

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Awesomeness: Nina Kimberly the Merciless

nina-cover-art300She's got a sword, a dragon as a friend, and she's pissed. If you like all your body parts the way they are, you better stay out of her way.

Nina Kimberly is having a bad day.

Why is she having a bad day? Well, for starters, her father, the ex-fearsome barbarian conqueror Marcus the Merciless (there was an incident with a gopher hole, don't ask) has decided to settle down in the cozy kingdom of Langia. Doesn't sound too bad, you say? What if the young idiotic king of Langia, Francis IX, somehow got the notion that Nina and him are the perfect royal match when all she really wants to do is chop his head off and stuff it where the sun don't shine? Except she can't. That would start a succession war, which, despite Nina's barbarian upbringing, would just be unacceptable.

So, what's Nina to do? No, not marry the icky king. What's wrong with you? Go on a quest of course! Unfortunately, the dorky Francis has decided that she cannot live without him so has deemed it necessary to tag along. To make matters worse, Francis has a spell slapped on him to alert the kingdom if something unpleasant were to happen to him.

Now Nina has to keep his idiotic butt safe as well. She's thrilled.

This witty tale by Christiana Ellis is now available on Amazon. It is also available as a freshly remastered podcast in addition to a free PDF version. Check out the Nina Kimberly the Merciless website to get updates and find out more about this extremely entertaining story. Go on, go get it already. I assure you, you won't be disappointed.