Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Monster Named Gripsnarl

"I'm not going to lie for you anymore Gripsnarl! You wanta keep eating streetwalkers?—fine! But by golly, you find somewhere else to dump the skulls, or find another attic to live in!"

Gripsnarl sensed the Boy was angry with him and he clicked his claws apologetically. Gripsnarl stood nearly seven feet tall, with rows of razor teeth in a snout both wolfish and alien. He wasn't afraid of too many things, but having Boy angry with him happened to be one of them--for Boy's anger tended to broadside Gripsnarl with savage waves of dread and the agony of abandonment.

"Please don't be angry Boy." Gripsnarl rumbled in a voice so horrific that it would probably cause people like you and me to instantly shit all over each other.
"I-I didn't know you'd be home so soon." Gripsnarl stammered. "I was gonna clean up the skulls of all these streetwalkers. Honest I was."
Black tears began to well in the corners of his yellow eyes.

Boy shook his head. "Oh Gripsnarl," He lamented. "That's what you said yesterday." The Boy's eyes took on the shifty cast of one who knows a relationship probably won't last.
"What am I gonna do with you Gripsnarl?"


There used to be lots of Gripsnarl's kind, back in the days forgotten. They stalked the Earth, pouncing on things, proud as cocks in a barnyard. (That’s roosters by the way, you perv.) They had no natural foes except for maybe Unicorns, and even then only if in a sizeable herd.

But that was then, and now only Gripsnarl remains--the last real monster of his kind in this digital age of reason. And he has no friends except for maybe Boy. And now even that relationship is strained due to Gripsnarl's unbreakable habit of leaving the skulls of streetwalkers strewn everywhere he goes.


"Do you remember when we met Boy?" Gripsnarl rasped, willing Boy to remember the good times.

Boy sighed and smiled, reminiscing despite himself.
"Yeah Gripsnarl, yeah I guess I do. It was a summer night, impossibly hot, and my folks took me out for ice cream."

Gripsnarl purred deep in his furry chest as Boy continued talking. For most people that "purr" would have terrified, probably beyond all horrors they've ever known. But Boy didn't even notice, he'd lived with Gripsnarl much too long to be unsettled by a gripsnarly purr.

"Yeah, I think I remember that night." Gripsnarl curled up at the foot of Boy's bed and batted the lashes of his slitted eyes, imploring him to continue.

Boy leaned back on his bed, resting his head on both arms.
"Well, as I recall, heat lightning was flashing out on the plains but I only had eyes for that glowing sign--the one that spelled out 'Ice Cream' with flickering arcs of neon."

"Ice cream." Gripsnarl acknowledged, nodding his shaggy head. "It's so yummy. Not as good as a streetwalker's spine, but quite tasty all the same."

"Yeah, anyway," Boy continued, "I think I was next in line and already drooling over how good that creamy chocolate was gonna taste when suddenly you were there, lunging out of the night, ripping the limbs off streetwalkers and dipping their torsos in fire."

"That's like ice cream to a monster." Gripsnarl reminded.

"I know that." Boy replied dismissively. "Come on, how long have I known you now?"

"Oh, right. Sorry." Gripsnarl lowered his head again and covered his stomach rumbles with coughs.
"Then what happened?" He prompted, just happy to be near Boy.

"Oh, you know, then we met and stuff." Boy yawned. It was getting late and he had school the next day. "And then I guess we became friends."

"That's right, I remember now. It's a good story." Gripsnarl's heart swelled and he longed to brush Boy's cheek with the back of his curvy-clawed paw. But he decided not to push it after so recently angering Boy.

"Goodnight Boy." Gripsnarl snarled as he stood and stalked towards the attic.

Boy plumped his pillow and arranged his sheets for bed.
"Goodnight Gripsnarl." Boy said through a yawn as he reached up and switched off the light.

And then Boy slept and Gripsnarl kept watch from the attic's slanted window. And he crouched there with love in his heart and he didn't let anything hurt his friend. And he vowed to be a better monster for Boy and he only ate three streetwalkers that night.

The End


At 2:31 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

That was one of your more touching posts. Friendship is always a good theme.

I liked this story better than Shawshank Redemption.

At 3:10 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

I'm with Mr Butt, a marvelous story
"Boy's anger tended to broadside Gripsnarl with savage waves of dread and the agony of abandonment"
"so horrific that it would probably cause people like you and me to instantly shit on each other."

I'm also quite interested to know what happened to the golden era of the gripsnarls. Were they wiped out by early humans?

Or is Gripsnarl and Boy two aspects of Latigo Flints fragmented personlality?

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

Awww. I love that the seven foot Gripsnarl was curled at the foot of the bed. So sweet.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous TMC said...

I ate 3 streetwalkers tonight, too. Didn't know that the Y-friendly actually cost more....

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

There's a scared wee Gripsnarl in us all buried deep deep down and cloaked in fear and the need for love and a pproval and a wee bit of pancreas too.

But Gripsnarl knows deep down under HIS pancreas that Boy will mature and get hairier, yes and spottier too, and spend much more time in the bathroom than before. He knows that one day Boy will have less time for his old friend. Puff the Magic Dragon knew it and Gripsnarl knows it too.

Oh Puff! That song slayed me as a child and as a woman. I would sob and howl and cry out about unfairness and disloyalty doing that questioning shruggy arms supplicating thing that Woody Allen does.

Isn't the first time we hear about Puff the Magic Dragon the moment when we ALL grow up.

Wait! Do you hear it too? It's a guitar and the unmistakable sound of the campfires of our youth! Sing with me now, "Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea, And frolicked in the Autumn mists in a land called Honalee. Puff the ... do be do..."

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Ari said...

If you don't get a kids book deal out of this, there is no justice in the world. Kids love it when folks instantly shit on each other.

Kinda like that Domino's commercial with the friendly, furry, cubic turd-on-legs that keeps staining everything in sight.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger talulah trashbag said...


At 7:36 AM, Anonymous ATD said...

You know what this story reminds me of? "The Nightmare Before Christmas". Sweet and touching, yet faintly creepy. You should read this story to goth chicks - then they would sleep with you for surely sures!


At 1:58 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

I wish I had a Gripsnarl. I have a bunch of streetwalkers that hang out at the corner over by Nob Hill that I'd like to get rid of. Oh, they try to pass themselves off as suburban housewives who have simply stopped by the local Starbucks for a warm apple cider, but I know better. As if I can't spot a streetwalker from a mile away.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Thank you LBB, it warms my heart to hear you say things like that. Even if they're lies. 'Cause nothing's better than The Shawshank Redemption, no how, no way.
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.
I'm dead serious, if there's anything better out there, I sure haven't seen it.

No one knows what happened to the Gripsnarls Helga. Where did all the Unicorns go? Answer that and perhaps you'll be a step closer than most.

I love that you love it Noir Muse. I wrote it for you. (His tail dangled off though.)

You're a monster TMC.

How can you be so cruel Sam? Next you'll tell me Calvin someday looks up to the deck of a tree house and sees only a stuffed tiger sitting there on the planks. And Peter Pan gets a beer gut. My fingers are going in my ears now and my mouth shall make loudly the "la la la" sounds until you stop talking such lies to me.

Ari, I lost all faith in justice the day they hit me on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and shouted "NO! BAD!" And took my pistols away.
(Yeah, that commercial is oddly disturbing, ain't it?)

You may need more zinc or something in your diet Talulah, you're having the vapors again.

Thank you ATD. I can't think of any way I'd rather be described.
Sadly though, I can't even seem to get beyond the purposeful clearing of my throat before the goth chicks roll their eyes and walk away. (Perhaps if my nails were painted...)

We all deserve a friend like Gripsnarl Cindy-Lou. If I had one I'd give it to you.
(I'm going to stay away from the observation that streetwalkers can probably always recognize their own because I know you're not one... anymore.)


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