“Beast of Corruption” is a story that I had rattling in my head for a while and even parodied in a one-page comic titled “The Devil Made Me Do It” (finished, but not a priority on my publishing list). This is a story about an interdimensional monster that is only able to speak to, but not physically affect living beings. When the people of one world are able to finally bind this beast, they blame it for every evil action committed by mankind and proceed to torture it. This is a very dark story, but it is intended to put a mirror up to humanity, and show how easily we villainize others before taking responsibility for our own sins.
The next story, “The Tortoise and the Hare”, is a sci-fi/fantasy sport retelling of the old fable. I think I did well enough in conveying the original moral --“Slow and steady wins the race”-- and it was fun playing with the names of the characters. Personally, I’ve never been interested in racing, but I’ve always enjoyed combat racing video games such as Mario Kart and Twisted Metal (even though there is no racing really involved in this one), and Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a fable that always stuck with me.
“Warm Heart, Cold Feet” is a sci-fi love story that I am particularly proud of and hope to retell in other forms of media in the near future. As the title suggests, it is about the fear of commitment and the desire to be with someone you love despite that fear. In this story, the featured alien race literally gives their crystal heart to their spouse-to-be, which can ultimately lead to a lethal and literal “heartbreak” if the recipient cannot endure the secret memories and emotions of the heart they receive. Because of these deadly consequences, it is even more understandable why someone would be afraid to jump the broom. This story demonstrates the uncertainty and the sacrifice that I believe a lot of people face prior to getting married. While it may take some people years or decades to fully understand their spouse, the beings in this story instantly understand the best and worst of their significant other in the exchange of the hearts, and though receiving an actual part of someone and risking your life to be with them could cause cold feet, it ultimately works out… for some.
“Sleepwalkers” is a concept I developed for a larger story, but I thought it was fun to use on a smaller scale here. In this story, a detective attempts to piece together a case involving multiple people demonstrating acts of vigilantism while they sleep with no recollection of their actions and no knowledge of the people they deliver justice to. While I don’t provide answers to the overall question in this story, just think of Freddy Krueger as a superhero and you could probably understand how this could develop further.
Finally, “Beauty or Beast” is a story of a witchy woman scorned and a womanizer who gets his comeuppance. It is about perception of ourselves and others and how we treat others based on physical attraction alone. It’s also kind of a women’s empowerment story for any ladies out there who have been heartbroken by a player…
And that is it for this five-parter! Check out the Freaky and Fantastic 500 (Words or Less) anthology now if you haven’t already or at least leave a review, whether you liked it or not! And check back here for the last few posts I have in this review series! There is always more to come.