Nov 12 2005

Monster of the Day #2 – The Patchwork Girl

There is a square house arranged in three rings – the rooms along the outside walls, a red-carpeted hallway, and the inner rooms. There are small alcoves set into the inner walls in the hallway. One has a clock in it. The others are empty, and every time the clock strikes, something will come out of one of them somehow, and move in circles around the hallway for an hour until its shift is over and something else comes out. There aren’t twelve alcoves, there are maybe five or something, and anyway the clock strikes thirteen once a day. Usually that happens after midnight, not after noon.

The monster that comes out at eleven at night is the patchwork girl. She’s shaped like a human, not like a rag doll, though she’s underweight and you can see the wire ribs that keep her shape pressing out against her worn cloth skin. If you punched them she would dent.

Her patches look from a distance like they might once have been all different colors, like you’d expect with a patchwork girl, but actually they’re all pretty much the same shade of dull yellow; some of the fabrics have patterns in them, little flowers or ducks in darker or lighter yellow and brown, but in general she’s just yellow. All the patches are different shapes – some are round and some square and some star-shaped or triangles – and a lot are velvet. She has a coat or robe down to her knees on, the belt untied and bouncing along after her, and it’s made of the same stuff as she is.

She always skips instead of walking, and when she skips you can hear her squeaking. She’s probably filled with that styrofoam stuff like they use in crane machine dolls. That would explain why she holds her shape so well, too.

Her hair is just a yellow patchwork veil, attached at a single point at the center of her scalp. It’s not sewn on very well and sometimes gets twisted around in front of her face. She does notice when this happens, and tries to push it back, but when she moves it’s just a gesture – when she pushes her hair back it’s more to be pushing her hair back than because it bothers her that her hair’s in her face. So sometimes the veil stays in her face for a while before she gets it fixed. She giggles more than usual when she’s pushing her hair back.

She’s always giggling. It seems like she does talk a little sometimes, but she never stops skipping or giggling for anything. She’ll seem to raise her head a little to you when you talk to her, though it’s hard to tell because she’s still skipping, and she’ll gasp something out, like, “- yeah, I *know*, well -” And then she’ll collapse into giggles again and wave at you because she can’t help it, something about it’s funny. If you ask her something, she will seem to be amused that you don’t know already, or that you even care. If you’re scared because you can’t find the door or because of the tree or something, you’ll get the idea she thinks it’s absolutely ridiculous to be scared. If you are, it won’t reassure you. She probably wouldn’t really notice if you followed her around for her whole hour – she might look back over her should and wave sometimes, making you think she wants you to come up to her, but she won’t have anything to say if you do. She might wave at you again when it strikes midnight, and she goes back into an alcove and is gone.

You know that she’s never, ever going to do anything other than skip in circles and giggle, until she finally gets torn apart by someone who’s angry she doesn’t answer questions. She can’t do anything else. But still, she somehow seems very dangerous.


Oct 23 2005

Monster of the Day

Rooms tend, when they reach a certain stage of cluttering, to become occupied by the Chairs that No One Should Sit In. They insinuate themselves close to the doors, gathering piles of papers in their seats in an attempt to pass themselves off as genuine office equipment. They may later, once secure in their position, begin to eat the paper, though this has never been observed firsthand; they may also make more of it. The lights tend to stop working properly once a Chair has moved in – and if they were not flourescent before, they become so.

The Chairs are always black or brown, and often naugehyde. They have headrests, but they are positioned badly, and sometimes spin all the way around. They are set low to the ground with seats that are tilted inwards and backwards in ways that subtly bend the laws of physics – it is impossible to draw an accurate image of the Chairs as seen from above. It is, in fact, very difficult to position oneself above the chairs, as their structural peculiarities become contagious after a certain amount of time, making other furniture in the room too unstable to climb on. In particularly extreme cases, the occupants of Chair-infested rooms have been known to stick cardboard under all four legs of a table. It is assumed that the Chairs are attempting to bring other things down to their level; there is evidence that they are a type of mushroom.

The inexperienced will sometimes, upon the introduction of children to their workspaces during a particularly hassled moment, feel the urge to clear off a Chair and tell them to sit in it and wait. The child will be reluctant to do so, not being able to see to the bottom of the chair, and if forced will become surly and throw up in a car fairly soon afterwards, and possibly, if exposed for long enough, bring home a C later in the week and refuse to talk about it. It is not clear what benefit the Chairs derive from this interaction, but as they all do it at least once in their lifespan, it is assumed to be important.

There is only one proven method for removing a Chair, and that is cleaning up the damn room.