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Summer’s Demon

The Rabicus - based on an evil squirrel!!!

During the first Witchfinder Tour back in 2010 I ran a very special competition in each of the schools I visited. Children were challenged to invent their very own demon or monster! I wanted to know loads of facts about this grisly beastie – its name; what it might eat; whether it had scales or slimy skin; razor-sharp teeth or terrible tentacles; could it fly or did it slither along the ground like a snake? The most creative, inventive character would be chosen from the top 10 entries and would then become a proper character in Witchfinder 3: The Last Nightfall!

I received loads of really great monsters through the post – some of them were even from kids entering the competition! Seriously, though, all the wonderfully witty and beautifully bizarre characters really blew me away.

But there could be only one winner…

And that clever young lady was Summer Furniss of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Alford! Summer’s demon is called ‘Rabicus’ and appears about halfway through the finished book. He even has a chapter named after him – ‘Rabicus on the Road’. Rabicus was exactly what I was looking for – scary, vicious, gruesome, and downright nasty. A great little adversary for Jake Harker and his friends. Summer is given full credit for her creation at the front of Witchfinder 3, where it says – ‘The first ever Rabicus was created by Summer Furniss’!

I used Summer’s brilliant description of her monster, adding only a few little bits and pieces of my own to serve the larger plot. But I thought it would be great to reproduce Summer’s original competition entry here. Be warned, it’ll give you a serious case of the spine-tingles!

      The Demon is named Rabicus, simply because he is based on a rabid squirrel. His appearance shows just how disease riddled he is. Thin and scrawny the only thing that keeps Rabicus from falling to pieces is his retched scabby skin scared and slit. His most distinctive scar is the one on his creeping right eye. This particular scar never seems to heal and often bleeds. It slithers down his cold face until it drips of his wide chin and into small twigs he calls his fingers. Crooked and burnt these are the worst possible fingers to feel before they crush your beating pulse and slide away leaving rotting skin where he has touched. This is another lethal weapon he can use against you. His fingers are so thin they often lose feeling leaving Rabicus defenceless. Rabicus lives up in tall oak trees where the wind whistles and whips around them. This soothes Rabicus. His fear of being underground always haunts him, always while he is awake as he never sleeps. These sleepless nights he spends torturing poor innocent souls. His barely visible pupils jolt around his coal black eyes as he puts scenes under constant scrutiny. Rabicus relies on his eyes the most; they are very sharp and catch small movements easily. Whereas his arms usually go limp and he has no nose. Rabicus is not easily seen, he is translucent and the only sign of his evil presence is the smoky shadow that surrounds every inch of this evil creature. The purer your heart the harder it is to see Rabicus. Even the evilest spirits have trouble seeing him. You can never fully see Rabicus so he doesn’t have any colour to lighten the dark aura he brings. But his creeping shadow is always there. His lack of visibility makes him a threat to all. The best way to protect yourself is to sprinkle soil around yourself and any other possessions worth protecting to enhance Rabicus’ fear of the earth. The sky is Rabicus’ haven the higher he is the more powerful and evil he becomes. Attack only when he is on solid ground as this weakens him. Rabicus eats only ginger anything doesn’t satisfy him hence why he is almost a skeleton. His               

         Wrinkled mouth is always poised ready to snap any threat to him with his tiny set of sparkling teeth. They maybe small but they are incredibly dangerous making any skin bleed at a touch. His battered prickly tail worms up his broad face before spiralling out of control at his rotten right ear, his other ear half missing and a blood red scab where it was mauled of viciously. His scabby feet hold toes spread evenly across the floor all of them worn to thin sticks gripping the floor as he escapes the clutches of the confiding soil. There is only 22cm of the vulgar and vile Rabicus, making him agile and lethal.

How COOL is that?! I think Summer definitely has a future as a writer, don’t you?

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