Friday, June 9, 2023


"As Terry and Thatcher reach the field, they see the dancing figures were once Better Boys. Once, because their bodies are slack, heads flopping loose on the necks, legs and arms limp, as if their skeletons were stolen, hijacked to help the stalks rising out of their jaws, stretched inhumanely wide. The glistening,mauve tendrils reflect the moonlight, and their weak glow illuminates the slow dance. Filaments from the thickest stalk’s bulbous head extend down to the boy’s wrists and shins, moving them like a marionette on its strings."

"Thatcher’s gasping a litany of swears. Terry’s reminded of the rare hothouse orchids at the Toledo Botanical Garden. “Look at them,” he says, as Thatcher pulls him back. They’re almost beautiful."

"Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?"

The Unwelcome Boys start waving their stalks toward the both of them.The nearest lift their host’s legs, a bow-legged shuffle, to come closer. Terry reaches out to it, and a tendril, long and supple wraps around his hand, a slick,warm festoon between tucker and that which had been tucked away."

Free of its burdensome host, the Unwelcome embraces Terry with all its sprigs and shoots, then startles Thatcher when it wraps around him for an instant. As it leaps away, to bound across the field, toward the distant treeline, toward the river. Thatcher is trying to perform CPR on still Goshen."
Steve Berman, The Unwelcome Boys

Steve Berman specifically requested I draw a creature from his story The Unwelcome Boys from his collection Fit For Consumption and I was delighted to do so. The story is about a young man that attends a prestigious wrestling camp only to find that some of the attendees aren't what they seem.

The story is also a coming of age tale as our protagonist has his first encounter with someone else his age that's out and proud! He also has his first sexual experience with the same young man.

I LOVED drawing this. I hunted down so much reference of orchids and deep sea jellyfish and getting to combine them was a real joy.

Next week we're back to redrawings of some old friends!

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