ch 02:05 Meet Mr. Skree

Background Music

Mr. Skree was not wearing a cloak. The many-branched thing over his head was not a crown. And he did not stand, Freetrick saw, he hung.

A long neck curled snakelike from the head up into a small, round body, from which four limbs reached, pale fingers and toes spreading out like a crown of antlers above the monster’s head to grip the ceiling with grotesque, rounded pads. Another pair of limbs, no, wings, extended down to the floor in imitation of a leather cloak.

“What are you…” But of course Freetrick knew that, didn’t he? “…doing here?” He finished. Were there any weapons in his room? Did he know any spells he could use to fight this thing off? Would any of those spells work?

“This suppurating minion has come, Malevolence, to take the Ultimate Fiend home.” Mr. Skree hissed: the whisper of an axe murderer.

“You’re not taking me anywhere,” said Freetrick.

Cadaverous digits scrabbling over the ceiling, the monster flowed through the air toward him. “But the unwashed masses cry out for the disciplining sting of Evil’s lash, oh Iron-Hearted Sovereign.”

“No, thank you,” Freetrick meant to sound firm, but his voice broke when he fetched up against his desk, “I’m sure you can find someone else to handle the…lash.”

“But, Fiend, the great work of the House of Death has yet to be completed. How will the shadow of Skrea spread to cover the corners of this world if its Despot continues to—” Eyes the color of boiled toenails seemed to sweep through the dormitory walls to indicate Eldritch College, Byblos City, the entire Rationalist Union from the ocean to the mountains, “…languish in this place?”

“Yes?” said Freetrick.

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  • BHS

    “Eyes the color of boiled toenails” gets my vote for Most Nauseating Description of the Week. Kudos!

    What inspired Mr. Skree’s, er, unusual anatomy? Anything in particular?

    • dan

      Oh, oh there are more descriptions. 🙂 Wait until you meet Freetrick’s fiancee.
      The design? I don’t exactly remember. It came really early, when I was first designing the characters in the summer after my first year after graduation. I remember I originally made Freetrick’s chaimberlain a sort of hunched-over igor-like figure, but then Skree’s personality emerged, and I realized it would go better in a skinny, emaciated body. I don’t remember how the false-cloak-actually-wings idea came to me, although it was probably influenced by Gargoyles (remember Gargoyles?) and the killer bugs in Mimic.
      For a better look at Mr. Skree’s anatomy, check out this picture.