As much fun as I have in the world of the BBN, sometimes there’s a dragon or a vampire kitten or a small, diet-sabotaging house spirit that doesn’t quite fit into it. Here, then, are those stories – a little magic, a little humour, and a whole lot of what-ifs. Enjoy!
Or, if you’re interested in the world of the BBN, and in meeting some of the characters that populate it, try Big Bad Novel Stories.
I also have a section dedicated to my older writing – the magical beasts aren’t so friendly, and everything’s rather darker in those ones. I was obviously a grumpier younger person than I am older person. Either than, or the crop tops and short shorts I used to wear meant I was cold and unhappy a lot. But you can check them out over in From the Back Shelves.
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Now read on from the menu or through the links below!
“Monsters don’t exist,” I told the monster sitting on the bedroom floor, and she rolled her eyes like she’d been spending a lot of time in teenagers’ bedrooms.
There was an imperative tap on the front door, echoing across the empty hall and swelling as it dived into the back room to meet them. It was the sort of tap you imagine being made by the kind of person that carries a cane, and maybe even wears a monocle. The sort of person that isn’t used to being ignored and probably says things like “jolly good” a lot.
But it was ridiculous, of course. Nothing laid eggs in watery holes on country house lawns. And even if they did, it wasn’t like there was anything that could hurt you, not in this country.
The man in the expensive coat opened his mouth, trying to find words to put him back in charge of the situation, but he couldn’t find any. He had a horrible feeling that there weren’t any.
How could he have known that Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly dragons, veteran of a hundred battles, survivor of the rise of the humans, remnant of the days when the Old Folk walked the earth, upholder of tradition and protector of the clan, would, in fact, adore all things new and unusual, and the shinier the better.
The four kittens stood staring at her, barely a pace away. Staring at her finger, more precisely. The drops of blood on the floor were gone. And Apple stood between her and them, his ears back, lips drawn away from his worn teeth, rumbling a steady warning.
Scientists were studying them. Schools were teaching about them. Writers were writing about them. No one was talking about the value of the pound, or refugees, or the NHS. Bright-eyed people on city streets sang the praises of the rubber ducks.
“Humans treasure all manner of strange things. Favourite mugs, and shoes, and old teddy bears. It doesn’t make them treasure.” A fact he’d had to explain rather forcefully to Cedric when he’d brought that teddy bear in.
She was reaching for the quinoa salad she’d made the night before when a small, furry hand pushed it behind the olives. She yelped, snatching her own hand away as if something had bitten it. “What the hell-?”
“I’m not shopping there again.”
“You say that every time,” George replied, passing her the jam.
“It keeps happening, though! I don’t know where they get their stock from. Weevils in the flour, a slug in the lettuce – I’m going to start going to Sainsbury’s.”
He flinched at a sudden scream of tortured metal, and raised his hand to shield his eyes from the bright sun that pounced on them as Emilia opened the door. She stepped out into the light, her sundress rendered translucent, then was gone.
He took a couple of awkward hops closer, resting a paw on the wall so he could sniff the prickly scent of it. It didn’t smell exactly man-like. It smelled – savage. His ears twitched in alarm and he dropped back to all fours, backing away.
Around a curve, and there’s the door, the rusted reality of it forcing me to a stop. I don’t know where it leads. I’ve lived here a year, more, but I don’t know where, in this little secretive town, that door goes.