Washing-up Wrangling

“Hey, Red!”

Diarmuid morosely looked up from the lukewarm sink that held two stained metal plates, and narrowed his eyes as he beheld the stocky younger boy with the fangs and green patches of skin next to the draining board. “What is it, Grady?”

“Me name’s Tomás. Nurse said you could use a hand.”

“I could. And mine’s Diarmuid. Not Red, or Red-Eyes, or freak…” he trailed off with an irritable sigh. Grady briefly exposed more of his fangs as his mouth silently worked, before he picked up a tea-towel and began to wipe the plate that lay on the draining board. For a few minutes, neither spoke as Diarmuid focussed on scrubbing the plates and tried to ignore the sidelong glances the other boy gave him. Eventually, he couldn’t take it any more.

“Go on…you want to say something, just get it out.”

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More redone portraits

I seem to be going on a bit of an artwork refactor bend lately. These are intended to go with my next compilation, whenever that will be released, and I have a few more planned.

I’m aware that these aren’t perfect comparisons. In the case of the first one below the fold, I forgot to save GIMP’s .xcf file for that one, so I had to start from scratch anyway.

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Short story compilations

I have about 30 stories in the Connacht Disaster Zone series, and a lot of them share common themes or an overarching narrative. So, I’ve decided that I might as well combine them with some appropriate artwork. All of these will be available via a new page, and here’s the first one.

An unsanctioned laboratory underneath Cruagh Island attempts to discover the origins of the Fomorians.

She couldn’t move. 
Her heart pounded in time with the squeak of the trolley wheels as she struggled futilely against the straps that dug into her limbs and chest. The sharp smell of antiseptic assaulted her nostrils, growing ever stronger, and stronger, and-
“Feisty bitch, ain’t she?” somebody remarked. Her head twisted upwards and to the right, eyes locking onto the dwarf who leered at her, exposing teeth that were stained from smoking tea. Emblazoned on his right chest was that logo – that rounded vertical rectangle around those three letters.
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The Dwarven Tea Machine (First Draft?)

The machine that stood on the counter gleamed. Its shiny metallic body rose from a rounded, well-polished wooden base, curving up towards a boxy tower on one end and an alcove at the other. An array of brass plates adorned the front of the machine, marking the buttons, rounded glass light housings and an embossed slot in a font that appeared to have been delicately carved from the metal itself. In one corner, a thick black cable snaked around behind towards the wall.

“Is that made of silver?” Aoife asked, pointing at the machine, eliciting a few smiles from the other children in the room as they gathered around it. Her twin brother Ciaran gingerly reached forward to tap at the corner near him, where somebody had intricately carved some larger words and the number 418 in what looked like English. His face and body immediately slumped as he found out that it felt too hard to be silver.

“What is it, anyway?”

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