The third challenge for Ghouls Galore involves the word “absquatulate,” a synonym for “abscond” that dates from the 1830s, and the gormagon. The gormagon is a mythical creature described as a “beast with two backs,” with “six eyes, three mouths, [and] eight legs,” among other less-than-savory characteristics.
Charming, huh? It’s definitely not something I’d ever want to encounter, but unfortunately, Jack and Tempest (two of my characters from TELL ME NO LIES, my steampunk WIP), aren’t so fortunate. I’d actually love to expand this 250 word piece into something longer, ’cause imagining this grotesque beast in the middle of 19th century California sparks too many ideas for me to capture here.
“This is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” Tempest trembled head-to-toe with anger. “You just had to waltz into that bank and absquatulate with everything in the vault, and now look at us! Our escape plan was foiled, the cops have shot us down, and we’re in the middle of nowhere. The hell were you thinking?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Jack mumbled, regarding the wreck of his airship with scarcely-concealed disappointment. The hull was damaged, and it would take days to repair it. More troubling was the fact that the police ship was nowhere to be found.
“Strange,” he said. “Why didn’t the cops haul us in?”
A low rumbling sounded in the distance, an ominous punctuation to his words. With a curse, Jack grabbed Tempest and tugged her down behind the wreckage just as a nightmarish creature that came into view, thundering towards them with single-minded purpose. Multiple limbs protruded from its body; a half-dozen eyes rolled and twitched in red-rimmed sockets. Most disgusting of all was the genitalia grotesquely positioned upon its body, male and female alike.
“A gormagon,” he spat. “That’s why the cops left us out here. They don’t think we’ll make it through alive.”
Undaunted, Tempest stood, the air crackling with energy as she powered up her raygun. “We’ll just have to disappoint them, won’t we?”
“That we will, sweetheart.” The gormagon pawed the ground with its many feet, preparing to charge them once more. “Let’s go hunting.”