Collaborations

This page is about joint projects with Alex Lewis (https://www.facebook.com/alexmakescomicsnstuff/ ) on which I happily worked.

Mostly I write stories and Alex turnes them into comics.

Although, sometimes I write stories inspired by Alex’s pictures, as is the case below.

Walking the Dog

 

Every day, Emily took her dog Terror for a walk. In the summer, she would often choose to follow a cycle path that led to a little park with the grandiose name of St John Wood: the park was planned to be, looked and felt like a forest.

Terror, in a complete disagreement with his name, was small, affectionate and cheerful. Emily would let Terror off the leash and they would trudge along happily through the familiar paths, covered by the welcoming emerald cool of the generous summertime greenery, which glittered with occasional spotlights from a stray ray of sun, lucky to have found its way in to seep through the abundant foliage.

That day was not different in any way and, when she thought she had worked enough at home, Emily called Terror, put his harness on and, as the day was particularly unbearable with the sun relentlessly pouring out its merciless heat, they set out towards their favourite park, anticipating the pleasure of being cool among its shady trees.

When they reached the usual turn off marking the beginning of St John Wood, Emily leaned over to take the leash off Terror: normally the little dog would shoot off on his rounds, never wondering very far, running around Emily in circles through the shrubbery. This time, for some reason, Terror stopped, hesitant, as if not sure whether to go any further at all.

“What’s the matter, Terror? Go on! Good Puppy!” – Emily gently pushed the dog forward, – “Go on, silly!”

Terror looked up at her, foreboding echoing in his eyes, barked, and suddenly shot off, quickly disappearing in the undergrowth.

“Terror, Terror! Come back, come back right now!”- Emily screamed somewhat shrilly. She hardly recognised her own voice: she never screamed at her dog and those shrilly notes … they did not sound like her at all!

Emily looked around and tried to guess the direction in which Terror had run away: it was hopeless. Then she thought she heard a faint whine. So, calling the little dog by his name, she hurried towards the sound. She carried on for a while, painstakingly scanning the vegetation growing along the path for any clues that might betray Terror’s passing. There were no detectable signs at all. She stopped, this time to listen attentively to anything that could point to the existence of any life. Nothing.  Not a passer-by strolling behind the next bend, no voices of kids playing somewhere close by, no cyclists’ bells on the adjoining path … no sounds at all.

Slowly, Emily looked around her and, for the first time, she noticed that she had managed to stumble upon a footpath that she had never been on before, which was quite impossible: she and Terror had walked all over the little park and she knew each and every bend of its every smallest route. Another thing that drew her attention was an abrupt and disturbingly ominous change: what looked like a pleasant and shady enough shelter from a hot sunny day before, now became a dark and hostile, overgrown, and primordial patch of vegetation. Not only was it blocking all the exits in all the directions, it also seemed to be advancing slowly on all sides, making Emily feel trapped, threatened and, ultimately, afraid.

“Terror!” –  she whispered to herself, – “where are you?”

And then, among the thick foliage, she thought she saw, out of the corner of her eye, an almost imperceptible movement. It sent shivers down her spine. Something was getting closer to where the girl stood still, frozen, unable to shift, and she was sure that it was not her dog, for whatever it was, it was considerably taller.

“Terror …”

This time the word came out as a hoarse croak.

Very slowly Emily raised her head and the minute she looked up towards the source of the by now very tangible commotion, she saw emerging from the dark green dense forest a huge and bizarre entity: its body was elongated, distorted into a fish-like shape and covered with something that looked like scales made from iron;  its head was sporting horns sitting on top of weirdly long and floppy ears. The creature was standing up on its hind legs, one of which ended in a hoof while the other one was shaped like a huge chicken claw. Aside from the intensely staring doe-like eyes, its most unpleasant feature was a human pair of arms, one of which the creature seemed to be lifting towards Emily.

“I AM TERROR! YOUR TERROR!”

Terror.jpg

 

Ocean Bride

The original story is availabale on Tales For Halloween page