I love phookas! they are my fave mythical creature/faerie/folklore creature/thing/being… I’ve got two of them (brothers) in my NaNo this year… I’ve used them before in other stories, they are so much fun to write about because not only can they be vampire-like but they can be were-wolf-like too, plus I’m not limited to wolves or full-moons, because they can change into any animal at any time they feel like.
In my NaNo story thisy year, they live in a lost city in the Amazon jungle, where the Mayan/Aztec-like tribe fears them as gods and sacrific humans to them to keep them from eating everyone in the village. I am going to have much fun writing NaNo this year!
In some of my older stories and in my NaNo novel this year, I have a man (a Phooka) who is a shapeshifting trickster of sorts, he prefers to live in areas where folks are quick to believe in “the gods” and thus quick to worship him like a god because of his “powers”. I created him about 20 years ago after reading some Native American Indian folktales. Because I got the idea for him from “Raven” and “ThunderBird” stories I have him look like a Native American as well, with dark eyes and long black hair (actually, he looks a lot like me!)
What he does is he can turn into a bird at will. This alone sets him apart from other folks but it is not the only thing he can do, because he also can set things on fire at will, he doesn’t have to touch them, just think it’s on fire and instantly it is. He likes to scare folks by creating a burt of flames around himself than turning into a bird with flaming wings and flying out over them. Usually he is in control of his powers and only uses them to scare people, but sometimes when he gets really angry he actually sets people on fire without thinking about it… it just happens, because he loses control of his powers when he is angry.
I don’t know why the fire hurts other people but it doesn’t hurt him, I never tried to explain it…actually until just now I never even thought about it! I guess it must have something to do with the fact that the fire comes from his body and is a “magic power” fire, it doesn’t affect him or burn him. Would he burn if someone put a match to him? I have no idea, maybe, I never explored that possability!
I don’t know if any of that goes along with any “historical” things, but that’s what I’ve written before. (also, I love flame-throwing vs ice-throwing powers… a guy that can start fires vs a guy that can turn things to ice… I’ve used both in my books)
Of course, for those familiar with my work, you know I’m talking about Blackbird’s younger brother FireHawk, both from my Twighlight Manor series.
A Phooka is a very dangerous and often violent shape shifting trickster from Celtic myth, known for their ability to change into great fearsome black animals so that they can scare humans.
Some Phookas take a liking to humans and just play harmless pranks (like Harvey the rabbit of Jimmy Stewart movie fame) other Phookas are blood-thirsty vampire-like creatures which lure humans to their doom.
Normally harmless and peaceful, these violent tempered creatures are highly vengeful and greatly feared by the other races of Faerie and great care is taken, by other Faeries, to avoid getting a Phooka angry.
They refer to themselves Phookas or Pookas. Humans, however have a great many different names for the Phookas depending upon the region in which they live. Phookas can be found in most countries of the world and are also known as:
The most common characteristics of a Phooka include:
1. In human form they have black shaggy hair and wild black or yellow eyes.
2. Often they manifest themselves are a shaggy black horse or pony and willingly let humans ride them only to dump them into a river or swamp.
3. As tricksters, they delight in playing pranks and practical jokes. Their jokes can range from mildly annoying to down right deadly.
4. In their natural state they are humanoid, however these shape shifters rarely show humans their true form. Common forms they take include: horses, ponies, eagles, vultures, rocs, rooks, wolves, panthers, jaguars, goats, bulls, and most any black bird or animal.
5. Beware of black animals that appear unusually wild-looking, shaggy, are not native to the area, or are abnormally larger than they should be. Chances are they are really a Phooka in disguise.
6. Due to their shape shifting ability that can change their coloring to blend in with their surrounding, thus seeming to render themselves invisible.
7. Animals and birds tend to be extremely frightened of Phookas. When hens stop laying eggs and cows stop giving milk it is usually due to a Phooka having entered the barn and frightened them.
8. Some Phookas, though not all, are able to breath fire or set fire to things at will. Any animals that suddenly breaths fire, is likely to be a Phooka in disguise.
9. If your town suffers from a series of unexplained fires, it is likely that a Phooka is living in your town and was offended by the people living in the houses which burned.
10. A Phooka can take the form of any living creature, including humans. If you best friend suddenly begins acting very strangely, it may actually be a Phooka posing as your friend. Phookas often take on a human’s form when angered by that particular human. While in a human’s form, they often do things in attempt to ruin that human’s reputation. This can very from simple joke playing to actual crimes such as robbery and murder.
11. Phookas are very vengeful creatures. Though often harmless when left alone, they can become extremely dangerous when offended, hurt, or angered. It is best to never get a Phooka mad at you as they can physically turn themselves into your worst nightmare than take up residence under our bed or in your closet and torment you each night.
12. Phookas should never be allowed to taste flesh or blood. Once they have they can become deadly, hunting down, killing, and eating their victims. Some Phookas may hunt down humans in a very vampire-like manner.
13. Like most races from the Realm of Fae, Phookas do not express human emotions. They may cry at weddings and laugh at funerals. their words may be hurtful but they do not realize this. Often what they find to be funny, humans find to be appalling or horrific. Rarely do they form emotional attachments.
14. One meaning of the word Phooka is: imaginary or invisible friend. This being due to the fact that it is not uncommon for them to develop a strange loyalty to a single human being, becoming that human’s friend and guardian, but only revealing them self to that one human and remain “invisible” to all other humans. They often live in an object owned by said being, such as a trunk or under the bed.
15. You may find them living in odd places, such as in hollow trees or closets or under beds or in old trucks in the attic. They tend to dislike sleeping on a bed and well often sleep on the floor beneath the bed instead.
Not quite as well known as Brian Froud, Carol Rose, likewise has done extensive research into the Realm of Fae and it’s various races.She wrote a 2 volume encyclopedia which gives brief details of nearly every Faerie Race that has ever existed at any point in history, in nearly every corner of the globe. Of Phookas she has this to say:
This is the name of a mostrous water horse in the folklore of Ireland. This supernatural is also known as Phooka, Pwca, and Puca. The Pooka is described as a horse or a shaggy-haired colt that may be hung about with chains or water weed. He is said to haunt wild places, the edges of lakes, and streams, where he will try to entice children to mount his back; if they do, he will race off with them straight into the water or even over a precipice.
Curiously, there is an account of a Pooka doing work as a horse in the fields for a poor farmer.
On the Celtic feast of Samhain (1 November), the Pooka in the shape of a horse, was said to trample the remaining blackberries and give prophetic answers to those humans who might consult him.
The ancient god Pan is said by some traditions to be the first Phooka. The name Pan bacame Puk over the centuries and as time went on both his name and the stories about him, began to change.Pan became Puk.
Puk became Puka.
Puka became Pooka.
Pooka became Phooka.
And thus we see the name change from Pan to Phooka over the centuries.
But who was Pan?
Carol & Dinah Mack have this to say:
Pan is closely linked with the satyrs, a rough, shaggy, goatlike species with demonical natures associated with contiuous orgies. Both Pan and the satyrs are associated with the pagan god Dionysus and the bacchanalia. These spirits of excess resemble the goatlike shedim and seirim (demons shunned by the ancient Jews) and contribute to the later image of Christians’ horned, hirsute, goat-hoofed Devil.
Pan is also linked to the Italian Faunus, a mischievous woodland spirit associated with fertility and worshipped in ancient Rome. Pan, a powerful pagan spirit, is profoundly connected to the gecundity of both the woods and population.
Pan, free and untamable, was filled with and driven by wild insatiable lust. Though his advances were not infrequently rejected, and his nymphs metamorphosed to escape, his myrid of exploits were sometimes successful. One love affair with the nymph Pitys ended unhappily only when she was turned into a pine tree. Unremorseful, he pursued Echo ans as the nymph ran away from him made such hideous noies that a “pan-ic” spread through the forest and caused a group of frenzied shepherds to tear Echo apart, leaving only her voice.
Carol k. Mack & Dinah Mack, A Feld Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits (1989)
Brian Froud is by far the world’s top authority on the Realm of Fae and it’s many races. He has devoted his life to the study and collecting of folklores, myths, and legends regarding faeries. When a final word is needed about any race from the Realm of Fae, Brian Froud is the man to ask. Of Phookas, he has this to say:Phooka
The Phooka is an Irish goblin with a variety of rough beast-like forms. He appears sometimes as a dog or a horse, or even a bull, but he is generally jet-black with blazing eyes. As a seemingly friendly, shaggy, sway-back pony Phooka offers the unwary traveler a welcome lift; but once astride he is taken for a wild and terrifying gallop across the wettest and most thorny country, eventually to be dumped headlong into the mire or deposited in a ditch. The chuckle is that of the Phooka as he gallops away. Phooka sometimes takes the form of an eagle and carries men on his back.
I have vampires in most of my books… however, they are not the traditional undead “Dracula-style” vampires and I never call them vampires, though other characters in the story might call them that. By most traditions they are not even vampires at all, but rather more vampire-like.My second most used “vampire” is being used in my NaNoWriMo novel this year (2007). He is not a human, nor is he a vampire. He is not an undead human, or a demon sent to walk the earth, or anything like that. He is a faerie, a Phooka to be exact.
A Phooka is a very dangerous and often violent shapeshifting trickster from Celtic myth, known for their ability to change into great fearsome black animals so that they can scare humans.
Some Phookas take a liking to humans and just play harmless pranks (like Harvey the rabbit of Jimmy Stewart movie fame) other Phookas are blood-thirsty creatures would lure humans to their doom.
My Phooka is of course the human eating vampire type. Black haired, black eyed, with a Mongolian appearance, about 6’1″ in height, thin but very strong, and can change into any bird or animal he chooses…usually he chooses something big, black and scary. He is wild and savage, cruel and brutal, more a monster than a man. He’ll not only drink the blood of, but also eat any human fool enough to get caught by him. You could say he is more like the traditional “pre-Dracula” type vampire.
This guy of course is my fearsome villain Blackbird from my Twighlight Manor stories.
I love phookas! they are my fave mythical creature/faerie/folklore creature/thing/being… I’ve got two of them (brothers) in my NaNo this year… I’ve used them before in other stories, they are so much fun to write about because not only can they be vampire-like but they can be were-wolf-like too, plus I’m not limited to wolves or full-moons, because they can change into any animal at any time they feel like.
Thoughts On Creating A Phookan Character For NaNoWriMo 2007
I haven’t picked a main character for this year’s NaNoWriMo yet. Still working out the details. I do however, have my villain fleshed out, because he’s a villain that I have used in several stories before.
In fact, my villain wel prob’ly end up being more of the mc than the mc well, he usually is whenever I use him. Is he like me? I don’t know… I never thought about it before…uhm, lets see…he does kind of look like me, except I’m a girl and he’s a boy, but we both have long unruly dark hair that hasn’t seen a brush in years.
We both have dark eyes. I’m an Indian/Native American, he kind of looks like he is, even though he’s not from our world. He’s about 4 inches taller than me. I’m a human. He’s a Phooka (evil type of shape-shifting faerie).
In some ways we dress alike, but in a lot of ways we don’t. I never wear pants, always wear long dresses and skirts, of course I’m a girl. I wear kimonos and manderin jackets and other Asian ethnic clothen.
I wear a lot of color: red, orange, and blue being predominant. Him? He wears traditional Japanese/Chinese style clothes, I forget the names of the indevidual pieces, but usualy he looks like an ancient Samuri warroir; and all of his cloths are black, black, and black.
I’m a farmer, I have “weapons” that are used in my daily life: a machette, and a staff, used for cutting hay and weeds and hearding; never used to harm. Him? he has several small throwing knives, and uses them fiercly against most anyone.
Career wise, I am a writer, of course. Him? He’s had several careers in his 500 year lifespan. Early in his career he was a “gladiator-style” fighter who fought in “entertainment” rings… it was a tribal thing , he lived in his native Phookan (non-human) tribe back than. Later on he became a cult leader of an ancient human tribe who worshiped him as a “god” because of his “shape-shifting powers”. Later on in the 1920’s he became an bodyguard/hitman for a gang/mob leader. There was a while when he was in prison. Later on he became the personal bodyguard to a prince. What a long and varied life he has had. In that time he has killed (and eaten) over 300 humans.
Personality? Me? I’m pretty peaceful, tend to keep to myself, spend my time with my pets and family. Him? He is violent, ruthless, bloodthirsty (Phookas are a lot like vampires), and he eats humans.
He tends to have a lot of the same religous beliefs and political standings as I do though; and many of his likes and dislikes and fears are the same as mine. So in some ways we are the same and in other ways we are worlds apart.
The answers here are for my villain Blackbird (This website is his fan-site, has detailed bio and a picture I made of him; he is a character that has appeared in most of my books and short stories since the 1980’s, and he well be the main charater of my NaNoNovel this year)
1.) What is your character’s name?
Born Esmerald Mudsburg, October 24, 1570, he was given the nickname Blackbird, after the form he chose to take on as his trademark shape.
2.) What does he/she look like?
He is Morphic Phooka, whose natural appearance if humanoid. He has exotic and highly attractive Mongolian features. His very long shaggy black hair that appears to have never seen a brush. He has unearthly, black, deeply slanted, almond shaped eyes lacking both whites and pupils, and which glow like blazen white coals when he is angered. His hands are long and thin, but muscular and abnormally strong.
He is able to crush human bones with his bare hands. On his finger tips instead of fingernails he has sharp gleaming black eagle talons for ripping human flesh. Blackbird is both trickster and shapeshifter. He is neither human, nor does he have the emotions or mentality of a human.
He is irrational and ruthless, known for acting fist and thinking later. His violent temper has lead to countless human deaths, many of whom he ate after killing. He often acts more animal than human and well growl, bare his fangs, and lash his claws when he feels threatened. Due to the fearsome nature of his natural appearance, Blackbird often takes the form of a human to befriend unsuspecting victims.
His most often used form of choice however is the Veruex (The Black African Eagle) in a larger than natural size. Other favored forms include Panthers/Black Jaguars, and most black birds. In his natural “unmorphed” form he most resembles the Human called Alice Copper.
Blackbird looks just like this:
3.) Where does he/she live?
Blackbird lived most of his life in remote regions of China, Papua New Guinea, and the Amazon Rainforest. Later in life he was captured by humans and commited to The White Rock Asylum for the Criminally Insane. In this year’s NaNoNovel he lives in the Amazon.
4.) How old is he/she?
this year: 437 years old, nearling the end of his races average 500 year life span
5.) What time period does he/she live in?
From 1570 – current.
6.) Does he/she have any relatives?
Living relatives: his father, 3 younger brothers, one younger sister
Dead relatives: mother, 37 wives (most of them human)
Other: has a twin brother rumored to be dead
7.) What is his/her favorite color?
8.) What is his/her favorite food?
9.) What types of clothes does he/she wear?
Blackbird spent most of his life in China (1600’s), and always dresses in black, wearing loose flowing silks in Asian cut. He sometimes wears elaborate masks and huge feathered headdresses of Mesoamerican style.
10.) Describe his/her pajamas:
wears a loose black silk kimono type robe to bed, but does not sleep on a bed, in humanoid and jaguar form he sleeps on the floor/ground, or in bird form in a tree
11.) What is his/her favorite book?
he is illiterate
12.) What is his/her favorite song/music genre?
likes wild tribal drum beats
13.) How often does your character shower/brush his/her teeth?
14.) When was the last time he/she went out on a date?
after 37 dead wives, women tend to stear clear of this dark creature
15.) Does he/she have allergies/asthma/some strange disease or susceptibility to disease?
16.) Does he/she play an instrument?
17.) Does he/she collect items?
the skulls of his victims; antique Chinese weapons; raises poison arrow frogs to make halucinagetic drugs with
18.) Does he/she have any friends?
only two, most people a terrified of him
19.) If you could place your person in a high school, which groups would he/she “click” with?
goths or emos would prob’ly find him cool
20.) What hair styles does your character have?
very long, shaggy, unkept, matted, unbrushed, very wild and savage looking
21.) If your character got lost in a forest, what would he/she do?
turn into a bird and fly over the tops of the trees to find the direction out
22.) If your character got flicked off by someone, what would he/she do?
rip out their throat and eat their heart
23.) If your character was asked out on a date by a random person, what would he/she do?
Women are his weakness, he has had many wives, several of them human, he tends to “woo” women in much the same hypnotic way that other dark races of faerie do. Women are adviced to keep their distance from him, as he tends to mate not date and lays claim to any woman willing to go near him, and well than slaughter and eat any male that gets near her
24.) Does your character have any phobias?
none for most of his life… after being released from the asylum he had many, including doctors and guards (they used toture to keep him sedated)
25.) Does your character have a job/profession?
Blackbird is the prime “deity/god” of the religous cult in several of my books; was a hitman for a ganster for a couple of years in more recent years.
26.) Is your character a morning person, or a late-night person?
Blackbird is very secretive and prefers his privacy, keeping out of the public eye, usually keeping to the shadows and is rarely seen by his victims. He uses stealth and the element of surprise to his advantage. People fear the darkness for fear than Blackbird will be lying in wait for them.
27.) If your character met you, what would he/she say/do?
??? no idea ???
29.) What habits does your character have?
A dangerous blood thirsty Morphic Phooka from the Realm of Fae, Blackbird spends much of his days in the form of a giant Black African Eagle, though he can take the form of anything or anyone he chooses, making him all the more dangerous as he could be disguised as your best friend and you would not know it until it was too late.
Like most races of Faerie, the Phookan race is far from friendly towards humans. The mildest Phookas resort to pranks and trickery, while the darkest are outright brutal and deadly. Blackbird is feared not only by humans, but by other Phookas as well.
The eldest son of the Phookan warrior: Aardsvorkus Mudsburg, a.k.a. The Mudbug. Blackbird was raised and trained to be a fighter in gladiator style “faerie rings”, where he quickly became the undefeated champion.
His trademark was to change from humanoid to bird and back to humanoid form confusing his opponent, than killing them with a quick blow that turned their head front to back, and finally ensured their death by eating their heart and brain.After The Red-Dragon and The Lansquin, Blackbird is considered the most feared and most dangerous man in the known universe (in my books).
30.) How would a character in your book who does not like this character describe him/her?
most say he is a monster; many would like to see him exicuted
NaNoWriMo 2007: Introduce You Characters To Your Readers
I like (and write) books that have a section at the front of the book, which gives a quick run down on each of the main characters. Tells their name, age, looks, and something interesting about them, in 2 to 4 sentences/paragraphs.
You would write one each for the main character (s), any supporting characters that were important to the story, and the villain. Some authors also include one for the place or places as well.
This would not be included in part of your story, often it is placed after the title page and before the table of contents. You see these most often in murder mysteries, but other genres use them as well. The reason for doing this is to introduce the character before they arrive on the scence and give the reader a physical description of your character so that your reader know instantly what the looks like or who they are, as soon as they see them in the story without slowing down the story.
here’s an example of how it’s done: (these are from my NaNo Novel btw)
Professor Vincent P. Madison
Son of Remington B. Madison the famous archaeologist who claimed to have found the lost Empire of The Ruby Humming Bird nearly a hundred years ago. A famous archaeologist himself, Vincent P. Madison, for the last 20 years or so he has been retired from field work, to work as a history professor here at the local university. His students love his wild stories, and for many he is the favorite teacher, but the rest of the staff disagrees. He is being forced to retire. Seems that other faculty are worried about the validity of his sometimes radical theories on historical facts, especially these lessons he has been teaching about the Ruby Humming Bird theory. He plans to prove that his father’s theories were true and no one well stop him.
Granddaughter of Professor Vincent P. Madison. Named Pippi after Pippi Longstocking for her orange-red hair. She is a headstrong young girl in her early 20’s, rebelious, a bit of a goth-type, she likes to be differant from the crowd but doesn’t go around causing trouble. She is out of school, but not yet in college, doesn’t know for certain what she wants to do with her life. She likes her gandfather’s job, loves history, and thinks that maybe she would like to be an archaeologist like her grandfather used to be. Grandfather’s wild theroies about birdpeople are now getting into the tabloids. His daughter, her mother, is worried, but unable to take a trip across country to visit him. Pippi is planning to go to college next year, figures she can get extra credit by staying with grandfather and helping him with his research.
Professor ‘s self-proclaimed assistant. A student from the college who blieves the Professor Vincent P. Madison’s wild theories and follows him on his quest.
Blackbird is the tribe’s prime deity/god. A Morphic Phooka, whose natural appearance if humanoid. He has exotic and highly attractive Mongolian features. His very long shaggy black hair that appears to have never seen a brush. He has unearthly, black, deeply slanted, almond shaped eyes lacking both whites and pupils, and which glow like blazen white coals when he is angered.
His hands are long and thin, but muscular and abnormally strong. He is able to crush human bones with his bare hands. On his finger tips instead of fingernails he has sharp gleaming black eagle talons for ripping human flesh. Blackbird is both trickster and shapeshifter. He is neither human, nor does he have the emotions or mentality of a human. He is irrational and ruthless, known for acting fist and thinking later.
His violent temper has lead to countless human deaths, many of whom he ate after killing. He often acts more animal than human and well growl, bare his fangs, and lash his claws when he feels threatened. Due to the fearsome nature of his natural appearance, Blackbird often takes the form of a human to befriend unsuspecting victims. His most often used form of choice however is the Veruex (The Black African Eagle) in a larger than natural size. Other favored forms include Panthers/Black Jaguars, and most black birds. Women are his weakness, he has had many wives, several of them human. He is very religous, following Voodoo-like traditions and keeping the bones of his victims.
Blackbird would lived most of his life in China, always dresses in black, wearing loose flowing silks in Asian cut. He sometimes wears elaborate masks and feathered headdresses. Blackbird is very secretive and prefers his privacy, keeping out of the public eye, usually keeping to the shadows and is rarely seen by his victims. He uses stealth and the element of surprise to his advantage. People fear the darkness for fear than Blackbird will be lying in wait for them.
The Empire of the Ruby Humming Bird
A fabled tribe in South America who were ruled by birdpeople. The entire tribe and all evidence of it, disappeared without a trace over a thousand years ago. Like the lost city of El-Dorado, The Empire of the Ruby Humming Bird is said to be a myth. Many have searched the heart of the Amazon Forest in search of this lost city, few were ever seen again.
Just finished another Dare from my list! It was this one:
[quote=Consonancy]I’ve had fun planning out crazy alien monsters for my novel this year. Join the party, guys! :’DHave an alien animal that looks just like a coat. BP: If it’s venemous. DBP: If a character wears one anyway.Enjoy…?[/quote]
I just had my Phooka (vampire-shapeshifter) turn himself into a fur coat so he could lie in wait until someone put the coat on, so that he could get up close and personal with thier neck
Here it is:
Chapter # ??? :
There was no one in the room. Carl looked around, confused. Could it be this was the wrong room? Maybe he had gotten the time wrong. That must be it. He had the time wrong. Carl looked at his watch to see what time it was. He tried to remember what time _______ had told him to be here; than he remembered that the natives had no time. No clocks.
“At least no clocks as we know them,” he muttered angrily. “Stupid savages. This place is so boring. I don’t even know why I came.”
He did know why he came, in fact. He had come with the Professor, not for adventure, not for history or science, but for greed, glory, and money. Oh, he admired the Professor all right, and yes, he had enjoyed taking his classes back at the University, but secretly Carl dreamed of the money he would get if he could find the fable Ruby Hummingbird. He could sell it to the highest bidder. He wandered around the room, wondering who the highest bidder might be. The Portland Art Museum? The Boston Museum of Arts? The Metropolitan? The Smithsonian Institute? Maybe even the Louve? The more he thought about it, the bigger the museums got and the higher the bids went. He could see it in his mind; museum curators vying for the highest bid: One million do I hear two? Two million do I hear four? Higher and higher the prices went in his head. He looked around the room. There were plenty of ancient artifacts just scattered all about, any one of them was worth a fortune. Jade were-jaguars, sting ray spine knives, obsidian frogs with turquoise inlays, feather headdresses, gold collars, coats and capes of local exotic furs, delicate weavings, intricate pottery… even if he didn’t find the Ruby Hummingbird, that didn’t mean he had to go away empty handed.
Carl went to the window and looked out. The Avenue below was busy with vendors selling pottery and cloth. No one was paying any attention to this house. The house was empty. This was going to be easy. Quickly Carl scanned the room again. There was no telling when someone would come, so he would have to work fast. There was a low table, like and alter against one wall. It had several small but valuable looking carvings on it. He’d take a couple of those. “No one well notice it I just take one or two of them,” he told himself as he slipped a jade frog into his pocket.
Carl picked up one of the feathered headdresses.
“These are worth a small fortune!”
He turned it over in his hands. It was huge. The feathers spread out from one side to the other, at least four feet. Clearly it was too big to sneak out in his pockets. He put it back and looked for something else. On the far wall lay a stack of fur cloaks. Surely he could fit at least one in his duffle. The one on the top of the stack was amazing. It was made from the skin of a black jaguar. You could see the fine mottling of the steel grey spots against the slick black fur. The head, tail, and paws were are still attacked. The black eyes sparkled like real eyes. The white teeth gleamed as though still wet with saliva. The hematite black claws were each a good three inches long.
“I wonder how you would wear one of these?” he said, wrapping the skin over his shoulders. “Fit for a king, I might keep this one for myself.”
He tied the great paws around his neck, to hold the fur in place, as he pulled out other furs of ocelots, anteaters, howlers, and jaguars. There were no other black ones. Black jaguars were very rare. It was a hope against hope that this noble would own more than one.
Carl stood up and shoved an ocelot skin into his duffle bag. He headed over to window and looked out again. No one was coming. The fur cloak seemed much heavier now than it did a moment ago. As he turned to head back to the examine the pottery, the cloak shifted falling back so that the sharp claws began digging into his throat. He grasped at the paws to adjust the cloak, when he heard a low growl and felt the paws gripping his throat even tighter.
Carl struggled to breath, but he could not. The cloak was chocking him, tighter and tighter, strangling him. Franticly pulling at the cloak, Carl pulled it over his head and threw it at the wall. It landed in a heap, but did not stay on the floor. Instantly the great beast rose up, and Carl found himself face to face with a huge thirteen foot long male panther, hissing, baring it’s teeth, and poised to pounce and kill.
“Damn, bloody hell!” was all Carl could think of to scream out, as the beast leapt forward aiming once again at his throat.
Carl jumped away, falling to the floor, as he did, he beast landed a few feet away, turning to leap again, but what landed before him was not a giant panther, but a fearsome creature like nothing he had ever seen before. The creature looked like a man, but at the same time looked almost like a wild savage animal. It seemed to be neither man nor animal, but rather some alien beast. In it’s humanoid form it had exotic and highly attractive Mongolian features. It had very long shaggy black hair that appeared to have never seen a brush.
Its unearthly eyes were black, deeply slanted, and almond shaped, but were lacking in both whites and pupils. The eyes began to glow like blazing hot white coals. His hands are long and thin, but muscular and Carl could tell from having had the beasts’ claws round his neck, this hands were abnormally strong. Carl felt certain that this creature was able to crush human bones with its bare hands.
On its fingertips were fingernails should have been it had sharp gleaming black eagle talons. It was dressed from head to toe in long flowing black robes, trimmed with black feathers. He was certain the beast wanted to eat him…
I don’t know if there is a standard for this or not, but there are a few times when the characters in my story have thoughts that need to be expressed to the reader.
Here is my answer:
Here is a sample from The Ruby Hummingbird (my NaNoNovel this year). In this segment I needed to go inside one of my characters heads and let the reader see her thoughts, because she had stopped talking out-loud, but what she was thinking was important for the reader to hear, and it would have been silly for her to start talking to herself outloud. So, I just wrote her thoughts into the narrative, like so: (NOTE: this is fantasy/sci-fi, so I’ve got a non-human person that humans are trying to deal with here)
[quote]The Ruby Hummingbird
“Sometimes I lie awake at night, wondering why I am here,” Pippi said. “You know, what is my purpose in life? Am I doing the things I ought to be doing? Am I making the right choices? Than I find myself wondering, am I doing things I do because other people think it’s what I should be doing, or am I doing them because they are things I really want to do?”
She paused for a few monents, than looked over at BlackBird and asked, “Do you ever think things like that?”
BlackBird didn’t answer her. He just stared straight ahead, or rather straight up at the ceiling, never blinking, never moving. He scarcely seemed to be breathing. She wondered what was going on in his head. She wanted to know what he was thinking, or did a creature like him even think at all?
She wondered, maybe he didn’t think like humans did. Maybe he had differant emotions, ones that humans didn’t know existed. Maybe human emotions were alien to him.
The poor thing, he seemed so sad. She wondered if that was just a trick, another illusion to set her off her guard and make her feel pity. But than she wondered, want if it wasn’t a trick? What if it were real? She tried to imaging what she might be feeling right now if she was him. She thought of what Carl had done. How Carl had drugged the creature, than wounded him, and dragged him out before his people and humiliated him.
She remembered how the people who had worshiped him for years, suddenly turned on him and beat him mercilessly. She cringed as she thought about the terror and confusion she had seen on his face, as the angry mod had brutally attacked him. She thought about the night he had come after her, and how scared he looked when Carl had shot him. And she watched him now, lying very still, very quite, not a shred of emotion on his face, but a distant, sad stare in his blank eyes.
Carl was right. Blackbird was not a human, but did that mean that he did not feel human emotions? She wondered if he even understood what had happened to him. [/quote]
After this point, it goes back into the regular narrative.
Pippi had a few days earlier been just as afraid of the alien they call Blackbird, as everyone else was. But than her friend Carl, nearly killed the alien, and Pippi is the one taking care of the wounded and now dispondant alien. Her emotions are changing from fear and hatred, to pity and compasion, and later on in the story this will turn to her falling in love with him, so at this point in the story, I needed to let the reader see inside her head, and see that she was starting to question her prevoiusly haveing said that he was not human and therefor was a monster, incapable of emotion, but it seemed silly for me to have her say that outloud.
Anyways, that’s what I did to show my character’s thoughts.
My villain is a demon-like creature from another realm. He is “perceived” as evil by Humans, though he is not evil per-say. The things he does are different from the things Humans do, and his emotional responses are different from Humans. He is by nature more violent and has a tendency to be cruel, but that is the nature of his people-culture. Deep down he has a good heart, it’s just not his nature to show it.
I designed my villain, BlackBird (about 20 years ago) based on what was at the time, my own inner most fears. I wanted him to literally be my worst nightmare, a villain that if I met him in real life, I’d be totally petrified of.
Over the years I have written about a dozen or so stories about him, and over the years he has evolved and changed, and deep down inside I have come to “love” him, but still, if I meet him in real life, yes, I would be terrified, cause I still base the things he does on actual nightmares I have at night.
I choose to make him a Phooka, because Phookas, in Welsh and Scottish mythology, are the worst, most blood-thirsty, most vicious creature thee is.
Every halfway decent character has flaws, even the villains. What fears, deformities, disabilities, prejudices, and vices do your people have?
Okay, I’ve got about a dozen or so named characters in this one, but only 4 are actually seen a lot of “on-screen time”, so I’ll just focus on them.
Pippi: Main Character – Point of View Character
She can be kind of whiny at times. She’s a bit too headstrong for her own good. She tends to go to far, with the “You telling me I can’t do this? Well I’ll show you that I can!” attitude.
Professor Madison: Major Supporting Character
Tends to not listen when someone is giving him advice that he really should be listening to. Always thinks he knows what is best for every one else. Uses the cop-out “but it’s for the good of man kind” (or science or the world) way too often, when he tried to justify is actions.
Carl: Major Supporting Character
Needs to get hit with a dose of reality. Sees nothing wrong with grave robbing, tomb robbing, pyramid robbing, stealing of artifacts, etc. Spends too much time thinking of all the fame and fortune he well get from selling off stolen artifacts.
BlackBird: Prime Villain – Main Character
He lacks emotion, but than again, he’s not human, he's a Phooka.
He is way too short tempered.
Much too quick to act first and think later.
Is usually too quick to kill anyone who opposes him. Has a major addiction to eating human flesh (favors hearts and brains most of all).
Though he is a fierce human-eating demon, he still has his fears: doctors scare him, as do men in white coats.
He can dish out one hell of a fight, but if his opponent seems to be bigger or stronger than him, he well back down quick and retreat.
Odd interesting fact is, that he can be quickly stumped if you try to make him read: he is illiterate and tries to hide it.
I have never seen a winged Faerie, but throughout the centuries there have been tens of thousands of sightings of them, so I would have to say that there certainly is “something” winged out there that is neither bird nor butterfly, and someday science will capture one and figure out what exactly it is.
As for the non-winged type, yes, they are most certainly real, at least I know of two species that are: Phookas and a woodland water Faerie of some sort. I have seen both. I have seen some type of a woodland water faerie which lives in the swamp behind our house.
You don’t have to be a child to see them. The reason adults rarely see them is because adults are usually too rushed and busy to spend time just doing nothing in the garden or forest like a child does. It requires patience and an innocent child-like attitude towards life (faeries can sense emotions and are scared off by adults who are giving off auras filled with angry or stress).
I saw one, meet one, had contact with one, or whatever you want to say it is that happened. It was late summer/early fall of 1978. I was four years old when the first sighting occurred, and they continued to occur for the next 30 years. It had a lasting effect on my life, that still stands today.
What is a Phooka? For those of you who do not know, a Phooka is NOT a 6 foot invisable white rabbit named Harvey, that is a Pooka, with a “P” not a fffffff sounding “Ph”. Phooka’s happen to be my specialty, since I write about them. For anyone familiar with Blackbird of the Twighlight Manor or White Rock Asylum, you know that a Phooka is a human-like creature from the race of Fearie. Phooka’s by nature have deathly pale skin, shaggy unkept black hair, bird-like talons were their fingernails should be, and cold black eyes minus of any whites.
That is what a Phooka looks like should you ever see a Phooka in it’s natural state. However, you most likely will never see one looking as such.
Phookas are shapeshifters, they can look like anything (any living creature that is) or anyone.
Blackbird, of course gets his name for the obviouse reason…his creature of choice is the Black African Eagle—the rare and deadly man-eating Veuroux, freared by the natives. The Eagle that originated the myth that eagle carry off babies and kill them. For most specis of eagle, this is nothing more than a myth, but the Veuroux of Africa, carries off not only babies and small children…in 1968, one attacked and carried of a reporter for The National Geographic Magazine (look it up, they caught it on camera and used it for the cover of I belive the December issue that year)
I created the character Esmerald Mudsburg a.k.a. Blackbird based entirly on that cover of NGMag, and than set out looking for an answer to just exactly what he was. Fearie historian Brian Froud, came up with the answer for me…Blackbird was a Phooka.
According the Froud, Phookas often take the form of black horses, and are known for throughing their riders with the intent to kill.
They have also been known to take on the form of great black dogs and red-eyed wolves, the famous mythacl dog from Hell, Black Shuck (the dog that haughts you dreams and causes nightmares), is believed to be a Phooka.
Like most Fearie races, Phookas are rarely good, often mischivous, and sometimes down right evil. In their humeoid form, they almost always wear black, and in their animal or bird forms, they nearly always choice a creature with black fur or feathers.
So, now that you know what a Phooka is, back to the original question….
What If You Were a Phooka? What form would you take and why? Would you, like Blackbird and Shuck, reign terror in the hearts of men? Would you be one of the practical jokers…the type to think it’s funny to push a man off the cliff, note realizeing that unlike Fearies, humanes drop to their death? Or would you be one of the rare few who, like Harvey, enjoys the company of humans and takes on a friendly form?
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