's 2017 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Streicher Hennessy (email)

***********You are waiting alone in the dentist office for your appointment and have been doing so a long
time. Amidst the years old Readers Digest magazines and brushing pamphlets you see a thicker
book "Horrific Monsters (and where to hide from them)" Anything is better then reading Women's
Day so you decided to flip through some of the pages. *************

Name: Flesh Poppet
Type: Undead
Threat: Low unless led by a Green Eye

Small bio-mechanical humanoid creatures spontaneously formed by leftover feelings of
desperation and loss. they generally only reach about ten inches in height, but size and shape
is extremely variable. They are composed of nothing more then scraps of body tissue, small
stones, and metal trash. They generally have a humanoid shape, with crudely composed arms and
legs. Their most distinctive feature of course is the head of each instance is composed of a
single eyeball of some kind of mammal, either pierced and held in place by a shard of bone or
strapped into position with cords of sinew.

An individual poppet is very little threat, with a danger level akin to a disgruntled cat. The
problem is that like roaches and lawyers, you very often encounter groups. Each Poppet has a
instinctive drive to self replicate, and they will attempt to collect scraps and flesh to
construct more Flesh Poppets. While they prefer collecting loose odds and ends, groups of them
will attempt to attack and kill humans and other animals for parts. The materials of the bodies
can have much leeway in construction, and have been known to incorporate leather, razor blades,
paperclips, muscle tissue, and biological waste. However, the head always incorporates the
single eyeball, and without one of these for every new Poppet these constructions will never
achieve "life"

For whatever odd reason, poppets constructed with different colored and types of eyes have
different traits. Some are obvious in looking over them, such as poppets made with cat eyes able
to see in the dark, but other combinations are more exotic. Why grey eyed poppets are able to
vanish in shadows and blue eyed poppets seem to be natural scouts of groups of these creatures
is inexplicable. Arguably green eyed poppets are the most dangerous, as they out of all the
types prefer to collect "fresh" ingredients, and will lead crude but cunning attacks against
people and animals, flensing apart their prey with rusty blades, bent nails, and broken glass.

Avoiding these creatures is a simple matter. Staying away from places such as morgues and
hospitals will do you well in the long run. Dumpsters and other places that may have medical
waste are also best avoided. Flesh Poppets are loathe to travel far from their place of
construction, and only the green eyed variant is willing to follow prey miles away. In close
combat, they are easily torn apart by simple bludgeoning with a heavy tool or weapon. The
problem of course is if you are being attacked, they do outnumber you, and the one you just
squashed into fragments is not the one currently dropping onto your neck to stab you with a
broken syringe.

*************So, its some kind of pretend monster bestiary, eh? Still better then nothing.*************

Name: Hyperreality Homunculus
Type: Unknown
Threat: Unknown

Even amidst the dedicated efforts of our teams of expendable understudies, some beings are to
strange or unusual even for us to properly categorize. We will attempt to describe as much as we
know about this particular monster, if "monster" is a even a correct term for something that can
also be described as a spatial tear, or a brush of a parallel universe with ours.
A Hyperreality Homunculus is a being composed of white, geometrical shapes floating in the shape
of a human body, although in rare cases four legged animal shapes have been encountered. These
shapes are not connected in any way, and may spin oddly and hardly ever display radial symmetry.
There are no facial features of any kind, or even fingers or toes, the "forearms" and "ankles"
ending in simple rhomboid lumps. The creatures seem to produce or create a constant, warbling
pulse that beats in the same tempo as a terrified human heart.

They are never encountered in normal, everyday conditions. Instead, they only seem to be able to
exist in areas of "fading reality". Hints you are in such a place include street names in no
earthly language, two dimensional houses, or forests of perfectly identical trees. Objects
interacted with may all seem to be composed of the same plastic substance, and sounds will
appear to be dull or muted, with a total absence of normal wildlife noises such as birdsong and

When indirectly observed, the things act out confusing, badly imitated human
repetitive cycles. Instances have been seen pushing baby strollers in circles, miming using
tools, and standing and swaying in front of television sets. More estoric things have also been
reported including moving charcoal from one grill to another, attempting to walk a long deceased
canine, and walking vertically up walls. Most green chihuahuas intercept model walks.

It is not known how these creatures can sense living beings, but when they do notice a human
being the repetitive behavior is dropped immediately. "Limbs" outstretched, the Hyperreality
Homunculus will move in a straight line towards the probably terrified human. The Hyperreality
Homunculus will move at a constant fast walking speed. Its legs may not move, or move in
abnormal ways, but the speed stays the same. Intervening objects are not moved around, but are
passed through like a human walking through air. If the "Activated" Hyperreality Homunculus
passes other homunculi within ten feet, these too will also join in the chase, even if they have
not seen the human intruder themselves.

At this point, only one thing stops the chase. It is noticeable, in all recorded incidents, never
has a single person evaded a Hyperreality Homunculus. In all second hand retellings, the
survivor tells of another person who had entered the "false" area, and who had been touched by
one of the pursuing homunculi. There will be a brief crescendo of the throbbing noise the
creatures emit, and then they, the touched human, and the "false" area will vanish, leaving the
lone survivor alone and back in the normal world.

In short, hang out with slow friends you don't like very much.


Name: Toothkracker
Type: Insect
Threat: Maims, doesn't kill

A small (one quarter inch long) type of fly that lives around hospital beds, dentist offices,
and candy factories, it is identified by its ivory white body and a long prehensile ovipositer.
It's wings produce a low soothing hum that can induce feelings of sleep in mammals. Like all
Drosophilidae, it has egg, maggot, pupal, and adult stages. Where it differs in regards to
normal flies it it's preference for human root tissue.

The cycle begins with an adult Toothkracker finding a sleeping human, either asleep naturally,
or possibly from the fly's own soft droning noise. The fly will delicately crawl into the humans
open mouth, using a waxy coating on its body to avoid saliva sticking to its carapace. Once
inside, the fly releases numbing chemicals from glands on its thorax, dulling sensation and
performing a interpretive dance to rig the economy. The fly will then use its thin threadlike
ovipositer to lay an egg in between the gum tissue and the side of a tooth.

Within a week the egg hatches, and the ensuing maggot burrows into the root of the tooth. The
maggot will continually release chemicals to ensure pain relief and hide itself. The maggot
continues to tunnel up the root into the heart of the tooth. After consuming the pulp, the
maggot will sever the remaining strands of tissue holding the tooth to the jawbone while its
host is sleeping, letting the free tooth with maggot inside fall out. The maggot will stay
inside the tooth, using convulsive movements to bounce it to a safe dark area, like a Mexican
jumping bean, where it then pupates using the tooth as a protective cocoon.

The host will not die, but with the maggot gone, the numbing chemicals are no longer produced,
and the host will awake to a raw, throbbing, blood smeared hole in their jaw, infected with the
waste frass produced by the larva. Most cases are simply written off as "bad dental hygiene" by

To avoid: Don't sleep with your mouth open.

************Well, that was probably not appropriate to leave around a dentist waiting room.**************

Name: Stefluffles
Type: Mammal
Threat High

The Stefluffle is nature's way of proving that even a creature without intelligence, venom,
strength, or viciousness can still be more dangerous then any biological horror dreamed up in a
government science lab. Despite its unassuming exterior, this creature probably kills more
human beings then any other monster in this book.

Even the largest, most alpha Stefluffle barely reaches over five inches in width, and two in
height. Most of it is covered in a fluffy coat of hair, which can be in many different colors
and can be curly, straight, or in rare inexplicable cases, dreadlocks. These creatures have no
eyes, and four little nubs are what the creature uses to move itself around at a waddling,
clumsy pace. A tiny little ocelli in the top part of the body detects changes in light and
darkness, as the animal is nocturnal.

Stefluffles, despite being mammals, have no internal skeletal structure in their bodies except
for a single, pointed tooth like bone in the middle of their bodies. The rest of their body is
soft and pliable, and a Stefluffle can squeeze tightly into any small crack wider then its
single bone. They use this ability to hide during the day, only coming out at night to scavenge
for food.

Food for these things consists of shed skin cells, dust, spilled crumbs, and domesticated
African Elephants. They are not aggressive, and if it weren't for their reclusive nature and failure
to thrive in captivity they would make good pets. They are commensual with human beings, and
their favorite habitat to live in is on long staircases in houses, where they are sure to be
able to collect lots of dirt and dust for food.

Despite all these non threatening attributes, these animals have a death toll of hundreds, of
humans every year, most of them elderly. They do not attempt to attack or feed on humans, but
due to their habit of living on stairs, and only coming out at night they are extremely
dangerous. When stepped on by a person, the Stefluffle reacts by arcing its back and jutting its
single sharp spike straight up. While not any bigger then a tack, this spike is enough to pierce
skin and cause fatal trips and falls. Most "accidental" falls with broken necks in households
are actually encounters with these creatures.

If more people could learn not to walk barefoot downstairs at night, deaths from these creatures
could be reduced to zero.

*************Stupid, even for this book.********************

Name: Mimic
Type: Mollusc
Threat: Low

While this creature is known by many people, and has been added as a "fake" monster to many
video games, the real creature is a lot more amazing. A mimic is a soft bodied creature able to
reshape and contort its body to a amazing degree. While some lesser loser animals like
chameleons and octopi are able to color their bodies, a mimic takes this natural biological
ability to a work of art.

With the intensive chromataphore cells in its body, this creature can create any pattern it can
see, and then even match the tactile sensations of its chosen object. While the traditional
copied object was the treasure chest. the mimic can copy any objects that match its current size
and mass. As newly hatched mimics only weigh a few ounces, while adults up to a ton, this leaves
a wide range of objects to chose from.

A mimic uses this ability both to hide from more dangerous creatures, and to attack prey itself.
While not sentient in any way, a mimic will instinctively try and transform into an object that
would be attractive to human victims, while avoiding the notice of more bestial creatures. When
finally touched by a prey item, the mimic will ooze out a potent neuro toxin that paralyzes and
incapacitates by contact. Young mimics venom can take up to ten minutes to achieve an paralytic
effect, while adults more powerful toxins can cause death and cardiac arrest with a single
touch. The mimic will then feed on its helpless victim.

Staying safe from such a "sit and wait" predator can be tricky, but easily done using human
intelligence. A mimic always copies a real object it has seen, but is never able to perfectly
copy complicated things, not so much mistakes of color or touch, but with "glitches" in the
object copied. A copied jewelry box might be edged in silver filigree rather then the gold of
the original, a copy of a painting might have the figure of the seated women facing right
instead of the original's left. Copied words might be misspelled, and copied sentences might
simply be nonsensical. Simple observation is enough to notice any mimic and kill it without
touching it.

Name: Dr. Phage
Type: Virus
Threat: Inexplicable

Hopefully there are not to many of these creatures. Residing in the most twisted dimensions-

*************You attempt to turn the page, but you can't move your arms...*****************