Monster Maker Fun 2017: Creations Donated by C.S. Boyack

The following three have been donated by C.S. Boyack:


A name the can stir giggles in even the manliest of men.  At least until these poisonous shellfish strike at a speed you wouldn’t expect from something without legs.  They have a dark red shell that is smooth and shaped like a normal muscle.  Mantiscles can usually be found among their more harmless relatives, which allows them to wait patiently for prey without being noticed.  While defenseless on land, they are able to open a hole in the bottom of their shell to release a burst of compressed water. This shoots them about ten feet where they will float back to the seafloor. The reason they don’t is because they only do this to reach a fish, octopus, human, or whatever else is swimming by.  A mantiscle will open the front of its shell just enough to strike out with razor sharp claws that resemble those of a praying mantis.  In fact, many thought such an insect was hiding within the shell, but it’s really nothing more than a stomach, heart, and poison sac.  The poison is injected by a needle that remains in the prey and fuses to the skin.  As the victim dies within fifteen minutes, the mantiscle starts draining fluids.  Removing one requires cutting out a chunk of flesh and it is still capable of launching itself again a second after it releasing its previous hold.

Barbary Shrimp

Found on the Barbary Coast, these plump delicacies are dark blue with red tails that are edible as well.  Many claim that the tails taste like cherries while others swear it’s rum, which has caused a few minor street fights on the coast.  In the wild, they are typically only eaten by crabs and one species of gull.  Once every ten years, Barbary apes have been known to migrate to the shores where the shrimp are washed up to release their already fertilized eggs.  For the most part, there is very little difference between them and other species of shrimp besides color and taste.  There is a rumor that they are all females and only five males exist in the deeper waters.  A few sailors have sworn that they have seen a man-sized shrimp with a mane of water-resistant hair.  To date, nobody his taken them seriously and there is no concrete evidence of this.

Cave Duckers

As expected, these animals live in caves and they get their name from having to duck in order to move.  Tall and muscular, it makes little sense when these strong beasts prefer to live in tight quarters.  Even with their squat legs, they are still tall enough to repeatedly scrape their heads against the ceiling.  When walking, the Cave Duckers have to suck in their large guts in order to bend forward.  The bulk ends up going to their back and condensing to create a layer of thick hide that protects their flanks.  So, what could possibly cause these animals to live in a place that doesn’t suit their size?  While they are predatory, they require calcite to stay alive.  This building block of limestone is found in stalactites and stalagmites, which the Cave Duckers use similar to how other animals use salt lick.  There is evidence that the calcite helps strengthen their eyesight for when they have to wander outside to catch prey.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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24 Responses to Monster Maker Fun 2017: Creations Donated by C.S. Boyack

  1. The calcite lick is a nice touch. Enjoyed these.


  2. Calcite strengthens eyesight?? I’m now considering moving into a cave myself!


  3. Those Mantiscles sound like a bundle of laughs for entertainment at a pool party, Charles 😱
    I often wondered why my neighbors, the Barbary Apes, always came back with massive hangovers and bright blue lips after their seaside trips every 10 years 🦍😎


  4. I think I found a mantiscle on the beach today 😉


  5. Very creative, Charles. I did chuckle at the Mansticles until I read the piece


  6. L. Marie says:

    These are great! So creative! The Mantiscles are hilarious, but deadly. They seem very tenacious.

    I’d love a Barbary shrimp, especially if it’s man-sized. You’d only need one to eat.


  7. Wow… great monsters, I didn’t expect two of them to be non violent.


  8. Good to know I’m not the only one who thought shellfish were just waiting to clamp onto a body part and pinch really hard!


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