Our Daily Beard
The lamp shall be mine.
I will claim it today, though I must venture into the wastes of Cellarhead.
That’s the lesser known and extremely clumsy Silent Hill villain.
It’s been a while since I ‘did’ a Beardcrumbs segment- taking a look back at something I’ve written.
Therefore, today I present Beardcrumbs – Saturday’s Child.
You can still read the story on the page for Sleepwalkers, above.
This story is still one of my favourites. The core idea was just to briefly paint a picture of the world of Sleepwalkers. Those familiar with RPG books will know of the little flash fictions they use to that end.
I also wanted to get a ‘stray’ in there. Strays are a subset of Sleepwalkers who gain their ability to visit the Fringe by bonding with a creature that can already go there- the domestic cat!
Oh- Sleepwalkers are living people who can visit the Fringe, which is basically a purgatorial world between our world and death. It’s also where dreams occur.
So Strays get to the Fringe via the cat- but not just that. It also helps that they’re revenants. Strays have to die to become what they are. The cat brings them back to life. This is a parallel to certain old tales of vampires. Strays are quite like vampires, but with a dash of irony, they’re thematically more similar to modern vampire stories.
They come back to life. They have animal familiars of a sort. They can take on a somewhat inhuman appearance (with fangs of course). They appear attractive and mysterious. They take the life force of the living.
Now, I’m not the hugest fan of modern vampires, which is why this is just a thematic similarity. They are not vampires, but a take on the concept. Some of the above are actually a happy coincidence. You see, all of those attributes are related to the nature of the Fringe (such as slight shape shifting, which reflects the inner nature of the person) or the magic of cats (attractive, predatory).
The taking of life force is due to being brought back to life. The cat only keeps the Stray’s death at bay- it has to be maintained. That also gives the animal all the power…
Anyway, Strays tend to start to become more cat than human. Only in small ways- but enough to make them (sometimes) become cruel and cold. So far, I haven’t added any rules about rolling around on the floor or burying poo. So now you know why Sabado is the way she is. The real question is:
Who is ‘Saturday’s Child’ referring to?
You might think it was her cat, Gatinho. Perhaps it is, in a way. However, she refers to her as ‘sister’ and the relationship is far more like that of siblings than parent/child. Stray’s cats are known as ‘sibs’ in the setting.
That leaves Henri! You may notice she treats him like a child, a newborn (or newdead) without any direction. She takes him under her wing, albeit in a skewed way with a heavy price to pay.
Well, now you know a bit more about it.
Some have said that it’s too short. It is intended as a teaser, but please register your interest if you’d like to know more (or see Sabado or Henri in another situation, etc.).
Ta-ra a bit!