Strangels come from somewhere far above the surface of the world and touch the earth only in remote but wonderful zones far from the eye of man. They stay for a single moonlit night, eating the night-blooming rose, and licking its petalled dew. Then, before dawn, they are gone
Plump insectile-centaurs, about three feet high, with the heads and faces of children or small, beautiful androgynous girls. They have two dexterous humanoid arms and a beetle-like rear running parallel to the ground. Hairless, yet when content they are crowned by a halo of wild silver fire. This fire is the fire of their beautiful thoughts. The skin of the Strangel is snow and maggot-white, tactile and attractive. No-one sees this skin without imagining its touch, like fine silk pillows or fresh ice cream it cries out to be tasted and caressed, stroked and felt.
The Strangels do not like this.
They walk on moonlight and this is how the Strangels reach the ground from their celestial home, by riding the light of the moon. But they are not without assurances of their own. (Who would fully trust the Moon?)
To focus the light of their rapturous thoughts and cut open the throats of their foes, the Strangels wear curves of pearly white bone, like crescent moons, through which they poke their heads. The beautiful silver dreams of the Strangels burn like white phosphorous, they can melt through bone in the time it takes to scream. The Strangels collar-moon lets it project these thoughts and bring them to a point, like the tip of a burning torch held by spectral hands before the face. Since the silver thoughts are like the light of the moon, Strangels can hold them like a rippling river of light beneath their feet, and race into the sky, even when the moon is gone. Finally, its edges are exceedingly sharp and can be used as a weapon in emergencies or states of guile.
If Strangels are forced to defend themselves they will often do so with their eyes closed, and by using annihilating conjunctions of silver fire that removes all evidence of its own use. As a last resort a Strangel may offer itself to its captors for a single kiss. Few can resist the aching softness of its lips. Should they lean in, it will twist its neck to cut their throat with its collar-moon, then, with its eyes closed, run away and scamper through the air on a path of its own silver light, thinking beautiful thoughts.
Strangels can only incandesce their own ideas if they are very beautiful, noble and good. So deep and sensitive are they, that this is usually not too hard, but, it does mean that should the moon be absent from the sky, they can only migrate home by a continuous and deep dwelling upon the most beautiful thoughts.
As well as this, they must have their crescent blade of bone to focus thoughts into a silver path on which to walk the air. If this blade is stolen, broken, lost or taken away, or if they can no longer dream of beautiful things, the Strangel may be trapped on earth. At least until the next bright moon.
This is part of why they only come at night, so they cannot see too much of the horror f of the world. Their silver light bathes everything in softness, and the dark around the Strangels glows like the darkness in a pleasant dream.
If a Strangel does become trapped, this can be very bad. All are deeply attracted and drawn to adore the pleasing whiteness of the Strangels, and powerful and avaricious souls hunger to control and possess the Strangel flesh. They are worth staggering amounts as pets, or slaves. Many wealthy people keep a caged or collared Strangel, too depressed and ruined by the world to fire its thoughts, they stroke and obscenely caress, collar it in gold and give to it a name that’s not its own. A dangerous pet indeed. For though a Strangel can be kept prisoner by despair, beauty can release its sliver fire.
Strangels are rumoured to both prey and to be preyed on by Star-Grools in the upper world between the stars and us.
STRANGELS 49 REVISED
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