This image appeared in a book from 1914, called Heroes of the Dawn, about Celtic mythology. One of my brothers got me a copy of a newer edition of this book about the time I graduated from high school.
But this image.
This is a freaky image, and I love it. That shadowy figure shooting a beam of fire at this little human on the ground is identified as a sidhe, read fey or even faerie, on the Wikipedia page. But the point is that there are monsters about in lore and legend.
Of course, there are monsters in real life, but I like the literal monster. The beast. The giant. The demon.
These critters resonate with me. I’ve really liked reading about them, playing games with them, even building models of them.
Over the years I’ve reached for the monsters in my fiction every now and then, but I’ve noticed that by coming up with a rationale for the monster they become creatures still potentially capable of inspiring of awe, but much less capable of inspiring terror. Another author Paul Elard Cooley has an interesting essay about monsters elsewhere on the internet. His approach to the subject is a bit different from mine, as he seems to favor less strangeness and more horror. No surprise there for me, having read his work.
Anyway, fire-breathing fey inspired this post. But I gotta get back to my own page. My own monsters.
Thanks for reading.