Grandma’s basement is full of jarred and preserved magical creatures!  That’s how her cooking was always so scrumptious.  When she passed away she probably should have put a warning label on one jar in particular, the one with the smart-looking little caterpillar that loves to eat words…

(reading time: 1 hour, 10 minutes)


There came a time when knowledge turned invisible and raced across the globe.  It ran to those who searched for it and was displayed almost offensively.  It was called the internet.

Deep under a house, blankets of dust, like permanent foggy twilight, obscured a glass jar.  The shadow inside wanted out so badly that it tackled the side and cracked the glass.  It wanted out because it sensed, no, smelled, the knowledge flying in the air.  The internet called to it like a cartoon pie’s scent trail that tickled everyone’s noses.  That one crack… was its last bit of energy.  It was too dry now.  It shrank, it shriveled, it cracked, and, finally, it fell into a death-like sleep.  Not death though, for the jar had no expiration date. Continue reading

Head Chef at Cave Gouch

The ship’s crash left the cook stranded on an alien planet as the sole survivor.  A large creature decides to take him in rather than eat him, the industrious varclid known as Gouch.  He would like to use the man’s expertise, and there’s plenty of meat left around from the crash…

(reading time: 1 hour, 7 minutes)

Head Chef at Cave Gouch

Gouch’s territory was quite large for a male his age.  Usually, a varclid’s range shriveled and curled inwards with their body, but Gouch’s body was still as strong as a steam engine, which allowed him to maintain a domain with ten miles of pristine rocky coastline, a wetland of forty square miles, and a patch of dense forest around three square miles.  With all that land to himself, it wasn’t inconceivable that a human might occasionally stumble in. Continue reading