Content Warnings: Horror Content, Unhealthy Relationships, Ironic Ableisms
My writing discord did an event called Monster Hearts, named after an RPG that’s probably too racy for people like ourselves to actually play. The idea is, like in our Spooktober, to take a monster type and come up with a story idea to go with it – one for each day of the month up to and including Valentine’s Day. This time, though, the stories have to involve a passionate relationship between a human and a monster. I give you my monster hearts. Happy lovin’ day.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 1: FOLKLORE
TITLE: LA MALÉDICTION ROUGE
CHARACTERS: Charlie Cadillac is a man with dwarfism and a hard knock life. He’s not very smart or witty, has no family, and has gotten by in life relying on people’s amusement or sympathy, playing the clown. In bad times he resorted to sex work and the reputation followed him, making it harder to get mascot work and acting gigs. At the last minute he scores a gig playing the Nain Rouge for a festival, where he has to caper and act imperious until he drops into a hiding spot and his costume is burned in effigy.
The Nain Rouge is a little monster whose claim to fame was cursing Charlie’s famous distant ancestor Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, though he was associated with many evil situations in and around Detroit. In the 21st century the leaders of Detroit, with secret help from an exorcist, developed a ritual to keep him out of Detroit through ritual banishment, disguised as a festival – it has to be renewed each year.
PREMISE: Little does Charlie know, the mascot becomes the vessel of the Nain Rouge, trapping him in the ritual where the execution exiles the beast for a time. While bound to Charlie, the Nain takes an interest in him. As he is burned up and his spirit is flying away, he snatches up the human and carries him off to his place of exile, in the disgusting little “suburb” of River Rouge, on Zug Island. Magical mayhems ensue.
THE HOOK: The Nain offers Charlie revenge on people who have made his life rough – particularly cops – in exchange for getting spiritually smuggled back within Detroit city limits. He hesitates and the Nain lays out his life story, they get to know each other. But the monster doesn’t get modern human sensibilities and mentions reveling in murders and other grave events. Charlie sez no.
They think about each other. Charlie takes a chance, taking the part again. The Nain promises to not murder people on their rampage and they return to Detroit for mild hijinks and love.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 2: ALIENS
TITLE: NA’AMAH BELOVED
CHARACTERS: Beediba is a very shy nerdy girl in early years at college. While engaged in psychodimensional sophomore projects, she is summoned to a parallel dimension. Her people are similar enough to the aliens that she recognizes she’s being worshipped by weird cultists and plays divine to avoid personal danger, letting them call her “Na’amah.”
It’s the late Victorian era on Earth. The leader of the cult is Zador, a portly middle-aged Crowleyesque guy. A shy epileptic priestess / scholar named Zorah becomes important later.
PREMISE: A Hermetic cult of wizard types successfully conjures a being from a parallel dimension. They don’t know she’s just a human where she’s from, with an alternate path of evolution giving her alien features. She plays along, but her otherworldly charms spark conflict between the cultists. She uses her junior high art skills to make cryptic images and writing for the cultists to interpret, while herself trying to figure out how to use the wizard magic to return home before she catches a love knife in the splizorg.
THE HOOK: Beediba is a bit of a perv and not afraid of space germs so she lets the weirdos do sex rituals with her. Zador being in charge and a jealous anti-pope, he basically keeps her to himself while making other cultists watch. In her studies, she discovers Zorah is the smartest and most likely to help her get home, also the least likely to try to sexually impose. But while working together on magic, they fall in love, and Zador – initially unthreatened by competition from ladies – realizes he should feel threatened by competition from ladies. Romantic and deadly hijinks ensue.
EDIT TO ADD: Zorah is really named “Theodosia Bethune” and Zador is “Charles Butterfancy.”
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 3: ELEMENTAL
TITLE: OSCAR BAIT
CHARACTERS: Arturo Escobeda just won an academy award statue for his scorching documentary about important political stuff, but he feels like a phony and an asshole with the gold-plated thing. He could have snubbed it, but it became important for his next production’s greenlighting that he put in the appearance. Oscar is a gold elemental, a living celebration of the magic of cinema. His heart breaks for Arturo, who is not feeling the magic.
PREMISE: Arturo’s oscar statue comes to life and has big discourse with him about the power of cinema. Arturo embraces the situation as a drunken dream and rolls with it, all night long. Drama is had, and leads to romance.
THE HOOK: There’s a lot of emotional intensity in being a serious creator, caring about what you do as something beyond entertainment – in trying to touch the godhead or transcendant realm, whatever that is. What happens when you get there, and the afterglow is a phony shitshow? Sad boy is touched by a weird gay type of magic.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 4: ANGEL
TITLE: HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH
CHARACTERS: Dusty Kohl and the Angel Raphael.
PREMISE: A gay guy for whom closet was never an option is living in a bad place where he could get hate crimed any given Tuesday. Luckily the pickup truck that hit him wasn’t doing it on purpose. But what’s this? He has a cheesy near-death experience, like in all the made for TV movies beloved of fascist local TV programmers. Maybe that vision of how the world works has some merit, and he should become an ex-gay conversion therapist scumbag…
No, this view of the afterlife involved no flames. Gay as he be, the angel was happy to see him. He has continuing visions and dreams of the angel after that, and they get romantic. But there’s a problem. The angel looks like a guy in a white robe, cardboard wings covered in aluminum foil, tinsel halo suspended from bent coathanger wire. This can’t be real, can it?
THE HOOK: They say in Heaven love comes first. Dusty is sure he’s just having a neurological breakdown but has never had as generous and kind of a lover as Raphael. At some point he decides to live in the fantasy, just go wacky. Raphael takes him up to Cloud Twelve, a fluffy cotton cloud a few feet shy of Heaven.
But ’twas no delusion. There are witnesses to his rapture. Some crappy homophobes have to live forever after knowing angels love gay mans, and hate criminals will never know that experience.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 5: WEREBEASTS
TITLE: THE RETURN OF THE WOMAN WHO IS ALSO A MONGOOSE
CHARACTERS: The Woman Who is Also a Mongoose, Old Charlotte
PREMISE: It’s a sequel to the Dead Milkmen song “The Woman Who is Also a Mongoose.” Some years after Rodney Anonymous and his brother move out of their rustic suburban Pennsylvania home, the Woman Who is Also a Mongoose still lives in the field behind it. The property owner is waiting for an upturn in the market to offload the place, but in the meantime gets it barely passable for section 8 to get that sweet guaranteed rent check from the state.
Old Charlotte moves in and gets to know the field resident. Charlotte tends to be stuck on the past and repeat her stories a lot, doesn’t have much novel to stay, but somehow this doesn’t bother The Woman much. It’s all soothing human noises to her.
THE HOOK: The market has another bubble of artificial ridiculous overvaluation and it’s time. The owner manages to sell the place. Charlotte is worried she’ll be homeless again, but The Woman says she can live outdoors forever no prob using mongoose powers. She bites her and she turns into an Also Mongoose.
The foreign speculators who bought the property never do anything with it, so they get to spend as much time in and outside the house as they want for the rest of their lives, as illegally as anything good ever ultimately is.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 6: BOTANICAL
TITLE: THE HETEROSE ARE AT IT AGAIN
CHARACTERS: Ricky Washington, a disabled veteran, and Rose, a personified garden plant.
PREMISE: A disabled veteran in his fifties gardens as a hobby. After his wife passes from the cancer, he has to give it up because it’s too difficult without full support from her. The in-home help from the state is adequate for some things, but he feels like it’s too imposing to have them wheelbarrow stuff around. His uncultivated rose bush grows wild and sprouts a beautiful young woman. Is he losing his mind?
He tries to keep her secret from the in-home help lady. The rose gets to talking and she’s very romantic – driven by instinct to reproduce, but feeling earnestly lovey about it.
THE HOOK: Ricky knows she’ll die once she reproduces so he resists getting with her, but she’s very insistent the later the season gets. At last she seems so sad he caves and they make love. She turns into fallen rose petals and blows away. He finds the seeds and gives them away to other people, hopeful he isn’t giving them horrible plant-human hybrids to care for, but unwilling to abort the remainder of that moment of love.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 7: MAGICAL
TITLE: DIE MONSTERVITCHES
CHARACTERS: Annika Annikavna, a Monster Hunter Princess. A nameless witch of a monstervitch.
PREMISE: In a world where a people animal plant or a stepladder can, given time, turn into a monster, and that those monsters can, when sufficiently horndogging, get it on with wronghearted humans, there’s a type of hybrid creature called a monstervitch. Those are even worse than the monsters because they infiltrate human society and taint with their blood. The day no pure human remains, all the monstervitches will look at each other and take off the masks, and the world will be Hell on Earth.
That’s the prophecy, so monster hunters are trained up from the nobility, and more rarely the royalty, to purge the land as they see fit. There’s no formal inquisition, just bloodlusty rich people making the world less colorful wherever they can. Princess Annika meets a nun in the woods who is peaceful and kind, but mute. Turns out she’s a monster under the habit and gown – an upper torso like an eggshell over a twiggish body like a mummified reptile, spurred bird legs like a gigantic rooster, a prehensile tail tipped with a tuft and two poisonous barbs.
She chases the monstervitch witch through hill and dale, to the putrid desiccated ruins of the cathedral city, where she camouflages among sculptures both holy and profane, running and hiding all night and day. Annika finds her quarry at last and belts out her battle cry. Die, Monstervitches!
THE HOOK: She can’t do it. Monstervitch witch is too cute. She can’t let her go either, takes her prisoner until she can get the gumption to do what needs to be done. But as she’s dragging her home in bondage, she falls in love. The royal house of Annika is doomed – this princess has become one of those people, and she’s gonna birth monstervitches of her own.
This one comes from some visual daydreams I had back in college, mashed up with a one-off joke from a web comic I worked on. Doesn’t fit the concept superwell, but the monster I had imagined is pretty oddball. What else should I call her? Pretty face nun with monster underneath, seems magical enough to me.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 8: GREEK MYTHOLOGY
TITLE: MY STAR
CHARACTERS: Wesley Kassel, a movie star, and Doris Denis, a maenad.
PREMISE: A conservative rural county in California has a number of mansion people, but the local voting populace is hairier bible boys. They elect somebody who promises to make it a dry county – shut down bars and liquor stores and all that – while using his status to weasel invites to drunk mansion parties.
An enemy of drink going among the drinkers draws the attention of bacchantes who appear among the revelers. One minute the party has a hundred young actors and industry sleazers, the next there are a hundred more, in togas or stark naked. The satyrs and maenad nymphs make the party extra wild and tear the mayor limb from limb. As far as the revelers know, they did it themselves, so they all do their best to bug out before the cops get there.
The morning after, actor Wesley finds a passed out maenad in the trunk of his land rover.
THE HOOK: A nymph is preternaturally charismatic and sexy, even when hung over and spattered in blood, so he tries to care for her. She’s trapped in Hollywood and Wesley gets her work as an actress, a SAG stage name that approximates her ancient Greek handle, and tries to help her moderate the alcoholism and homicidal rage enough to get by in human society.
She becomes a celeb, but quickly goes full Lohan. He can tell she’s aging rapidly, her immortality faded by living in the human world, and for love gives her the most potent alcohol binge he can afford. She seems to die, but then is reborn to the realm of the gods, flies away to the stars. Goodbye Doris.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 9: UNDEAD
TITLE: GRUDGE MATCH
CHARACTERS: Steve Oberling, an American weeb in Japan, and Sayako Kojima, a grudge.
PREMISE: Steve has learned enough Japanese to score the brass ring – a job in the promised land of school girl skirts and robot toys, and all the candy-colored cartoons you can eat. But he never counted on finding love with a 3-dimensional girl, especially not a filthy one dragging the jawbones of her victims across the ceiling tiles.
While going to visit a friend he mixes up the addresses and visits a cursed house where somebody died in the grip of a powerful rage (TM). Sayako comes to claim him, wrapping her cold blue arms around his neck and dragging him upstairs toward the murder attic. But his meaty American neck is too thick and he isn’t killed by the maneuver. As she drags him they lock eyes and exchange powerful feelings.
THE HOOK: Steve snaps out of the trance and runs away, but he feels like that’s giving up on true love just because he’s scared of a little gruesome eternal nightmare. Fortunately, he starts to see her in shadows, threatening to overtake his life, choke him on hair, pull off his skin and stuff.
He kisses the haunted window panes and tries to hold her hands when they try to claw out his eyeballs in the shower. At last she comes to appreciate his affections. They make sweet love, but it dispels her rage and the curse is lost! She disappears forever and that’s that.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 10: NAUTICAL
TITLE: MANIMAL II: ON THE BAYOU
CHARACTERS: Rita and Andy Snellow, a middle-aged couple in rural Louisiana. He gets bit and becomes a manimal.
PREMISE: Horrid short-lived ’80s prime time adventure show “Manimal” gets a belated spinoff. It turns out manimalism is contagious. When the original manimal is suffering dementia he bites nurse Lala Duplessy who turns into an evil womanimal.
Manimalism causes you to turn into the kinds of animals you were around when cursed. Since Lala was within a few miles of zoo animals when she got bit, like original manimal, she can turn into lions and eagles and bears and such. She uses the powers to run a criminal enterprise in her home rural Louisiana town, with gambling and protection rackets and more.
Andy lost his entire ass in Lala’s casino and couldn’t make a satisfactory arrangement, so Lala came for him in tiger mode. But she got distracted from making sure he was dead, and he came back as a Bayou manimal – he can turn into muskrats and gators and cottonmouths and such.
THE HOOK: It’s manimal vs. womanimal in a battle for survival. Lala can’t let him live and threaten her monopoly on manimal powers, he can’t let her kill him and must fight back. Lala goes after Rita, who thought he was dead, and he has to save her. She’s super mad about the situation so he has to win back her heart, while protecting her from womanimal attack. There’s back and forth but you know true love is gonna win.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 11: DEMONIC
TITLE: I’M YOUR TURBO LOVER
CHARACTERS: Jett Boy is a motorcycle maniac in the hard world of bikety criminals. His real passion is going fast, and while he does do some smuggling for the gang, he tries to get most of his money from racing.
Acrinthus is a demon biker that collects souls for hell by getting them to race him. To accept a race with Acrinthus is to turn, at least in that moment, from God’s light – and if you don’t survive the race, you go straight to hell.
PREMISE: Acrinthus is mostly nonverbal in his seduction. He rolls up beside you and guns the engine, so he hardly needs to speak. If a potential victim is reticent he might flash some money. But he looks like a sexy dude under that helmet, so when the light hits his helmet just so and his face becomes visible, Jett Boy falls in love at first sight.
They have an escalating series of races which Jett Boy barely survives. Impossible motorcycle-back high speed makeouts might happen, I don’t know.
THE HOOK: The intersection of sex and violence, orgasm and death. Hard boys bein’ hard. I don’t know how to end it. Maybe Jett gets to score with Acrinthus once but they’re torn apart by the powers that be – Acrinthus goes back to hell and Jett becomes the new hellbiker. Or maybe Heaven sees an opportunity to take out the hellbiker by making Jett their heavenbiker, but instead they get busy and the universe is destroyed. Or maybe they become hellbikers together and live demonically ever after, or Jett wins Acrinthus’s heart and he loses his demon powers so they can live together as humans. No idea.
I had an idea for “Demonic” that I think violates the spirit of Monster Hearts but I wanted to jot it down. A couple goes to cabin in the woods and gets Evil Deaded like in the movie. One lover is demon-possessed, body ruined so that even with an exorcism they’d just be dead afterward. The still human lover values their own life less than that of their amour and after researching necronomicon hatches a scheme.
Most of the story they’re trying to keep possessed partner from being completely destroyed, trying to avoid being possessed theirself, and fighting other possessed friends, but in the end they summon the lover of the demon that is possessing their lover, and let theirself get possessed by it. The demon lovers are together in the ruined dead bodies of the human lovers, enjoying an evil rampage. The human lovers souls are united in a cold outer darkness, together forever.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 12: ROBOTIC
TITLE: THE MADNESS MACHINE – this is the Ableism one
CHARACTERS: Insanotron was created in a world where science operates by joke rules, where reality makes as much sense as it does in creepypastas written by ten year olds. He was made by Dr. Dorkus to emulate all of the mental illnesses of mankind in one creature, so that if the Dr. could cure him, he would be able to cure everyone of every condition they suffer forever. But the insanity points made him too powerful, and Insanotron could not be controlled.
Dr. Dorkus was a very good boy whose family had a lot of mental illnesses that caused them to fall apart. He wanted to prevent that from happening to anyone else, but he didn’t know how to psychotherapy – only how to build super robots.
PREMISE: A robot even more powerful than Jeff the Killer is created by a misguided scientist. It stalks the world making nations crumble under waves of madness, looking like a sexy goth dude with oily black metal joints and a giant sword made out of knifes.
But his creator doesn’t want to unmake him, feels guilt for making him like that. He follows in his wake having edgy encounters until the world is in shambles. Half his confrontations with Insanotron end with him being tortured or maimed, half end with madd love.
THE HOOK: Insanotron’s love/hate for his creator drives Dr. Dorkus so crazy he becomes a super-powerful psycho, because that’s how mental illness works. They have death makeouts and merge into a cybermonster that can destroy the world.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 13: MUTANT
CHARACTERS: Daphne, a subterranean mutant with translucent skin and psychic powers including astral projection. Skull, an AMAB enby counterculture enthusiast whose parents just don’t get it, man.
PREMISE: Toxic waste has made some humans into “the visible man” styled horrorshows. They have some painfully heightened senses and are susceptible to sun, so they retreat underground to the realms of the homeless, using their miscellaneous psychic powers to procure what they need to get by and help their still-human comrades in bottom-dwelling.
Some are less generous and use their powers to be bullies and gangsters. The ruggedness drives mutant Daphne to practice her astral projection to excess, visiting the world above as a ghost. There she falls in love with a scrawny kid her age in the apartment building above her pit.
THE HOOK: Skull is having a rough life when they notice they are being haunted by a kind spirit. They do their best to investigate, to get her to reveal herself, but she refuses until late in the story, when some dramatic circumstance makes her do it. Skull gets over their shock and gives her very gentle smooches to avoid overloading her senses, and they live happily ever after.
MONSTER HEARTS DAY 14: VAMPIRIC
CHARACTERS: Leánnan, a manic pixie dream girl or a monster from Irish folklore, who can say? Bronwyn, an American baby lesbian in Dublin as an exchange student.
PREMISE: Leánnan takes nigh-soulless white boys and inspires them to passion, stirs the spark of life within them, only to snuff it out. It’s just a thing she’s been doing for a few hundred years.
Bronwyn watches her wreck up one of the business majors at her college and sees through her act. She can tell in the mpdg stage of the relationship, the fun and wacky creative times she leads them on is forced, false, an act. She can see that Leánnan takes no joy from it, cannot believe that the business major falls for the ruse, cannot stop him from ruining his life.
Leánnan sees her trying to interfere and stalks / menaces her, like a pretty version of Michael Myers at the end of the hedges. Bronwyn isn’t intimidated and confronts her. Leánnan is like, oh, I can’t help myself, I’m a folkloric monster. Only you have truly understood me. I’ll understand if you hate me.
THE HOOK: Does Bronwyn fall for that line and become the next victim? Is it in any way genuine? Can Leánnan learn to love?