I’ve got a glass eye

How big is The Gribble’s Eye?

Megan over at http://HandmadeGlassEyes.com could tell you… Or, as you can see for yourself, it’s about the size of a golfball. Maybe I should draw a socket and eyelid on my hand. It looks almost fake there. But it’s real, 50mm across and stunning.





The Gribble’s Eye: a serial 1.3

Sadie held her flashlight in a tight fist as the cave’s inhabitant began to emerge. First a thin stick-like leg tapped forth. Then another. And another. In the red-tinged light she could see each jointed appendage was covered in prickly black hairs. The massive spider’s feet, two of which turned out to be hands covered in a pair of leather gloves, lifted forth a small satchel from which the creature pulled a foppish hat and placed on its head.  

“My head gets cold in this night air,” it said, in the same gravelly voice the girl had recently come to know. “Could you turn your light? The red tint is nice, but it’s impolite to shine into another’s eyes.”

“Oh! Y…yes, sorry.” Sadie had no idea that her tunnel friend was a such a horror.

“You needn’t stare, girl. I know I look a fright.” The creature shifted the satchel to its back. “Shall we?”

“Shall we w…what?”

“Oh, come now. You invited me out for a midnight stroll. So, let us proceed. We’ve had such good conversations. Don’t ruin it now by forgetting your manners.” The great mechanical-looking thing led the way. “Now you can understand why I chose to remain in hiding while we spoke,” explained the giant arachnid. “Just focus on my voice. You’ll get over me soon enough.”


They plodded along the path through the growing moonlight.

Sadie followed cautiously for a while. “I guess I’ve never properly introduced myself. I’m Sathena Brimson.”

“I know who you are, dear. I’ve known since you arrived. I know about most of the goings on around here.”

Sadie focused on the ground before her. “I suppose I’ve been very rude to never ask your name,” she said with more confidence, now that the shock had worn off.

The spider stopped and Sathena nearly bumped into her legs. You’re a girl spider, aren’t you? Sadie realized.

“You may call me Ara. That name, you may figure, is short for Arachne, a famous figure you will someday read about.”

“Miss Ara?” asked the girl.

“Ha!” the spider laughed, her hat slipping back off her head to land in the crook between her thorax and satchel. “No, but you can call me Lady Ara.” She fetched it back to her head using her front leg’s gloved pincers.

Ara noticed the girl’s eyes following her hands. “It’s proper for a lady to glove her hands when out.” Ara plucked a daisy from near the path and handed it to the girl who received it without thinking. “I hear some call you Sadie. Is that the name you prefer?”

The Gribble’s Eye: a serial 1.4

The Gribble’s Eye: a serial 1.2

“A wish, made by a child, sends shivers into the world. Vibrations through existence. And deep within the Earth, entities exist, beings that listen to such vibrations, beings who hear the wishes of children.” Professor Brimson’s eyebrows twitched as he waited for a reply from his guest, Professor Richard Clarke.

Clarke had begun to drift off with the sumptuous dinner. “Wishes and fishes, Professor?”

“Richard, you haven’t heard a word I’ve said.”

“I’ve listened to every one.“

“Wishes, not fishes, cast by children, have power. Haven’t you felt that yourself? Or imagined it?

“Yes, a child’s dreams can influence them their whole life. But beyond that, I’m saying that a wish, made by a child, seeds the universe with a desire. A desire that, gone unfulfilled, will fester into an evil. A malfeasance that will simmer and eventually boil over into our world bringing discord and chaos with it.”

Harold of Ire, the Professor’s Irish wolfhound, heard his master’s voice, entered and insisted on cleaning their dinner plates.


Richard replied after some time. “I hear one of the larger volcanoes in Indonesia has begun to signal a pending eruption.”

The Professor shook his head. “You see. Signs of Chaos rising.”

Richard Clarke left and the house settled down to sleep.


Midnight came to the Professor’s house and Sadie was ready.

Harry’s whining ceased at her shush. He’d followed her descent to the kitchen.

“Harry, you must stay,” she whispered. She bent down and he darted out his tongue slathering her cheek. “No. You must stay here. I think our tunnel friend is afraid of you.”

Alone, Sadie left the house and made her way down the dark path to the tunnel.

“Hello? Are you there?” Sadie asked. This would be their first encounter, face to face, and her nerves gave her voice a quiver.

“Is your rabid beast locked away?” came the voice. Its accent, she decided, was reminiscent of a gypsy she’d heard at a fair; a grinding of r’s and hoarse vowels.

“He’s not rabid! But, yes, Harry’s locked in the house.”

“Do you carry the Eye?”

“How did you know I’d bring it?” Sadie pulled a small jewelry box from her pocket and rattled it as proof.

“Careful girl. That’s just the sound to draw the Gribble.”


Professor Brimson was awoken by Harry who whined, imploring his master to investigate the house. The Professor shuffled through the house and first checked in on his wife who sat on her bed next to a eerie green lamp looking at photos. She didn’t hear him knock and didn’t look up. She only had eyes for her precious albums. He shook his head in concern, closing the door carefully.

When the Professor checked in on his daughter he found her missing.

Sathena my child, where have you gone, now?”

He padded down the stairs, the dog leading the way. “Let me get my Wellies and a sweater, and we’ll be off.” Then, more to reassure himself than to quiz the dog, he asked, “Do you think you know where she’s headed?”

On the back porch the lights glared out across the vast yard. He whistled softly to his hound and asked, “North or south?” The last time he’d found her south, near the river. Much too near the river.

The large wolfhound leapt toward the north, a dashing shadow in the starkness of the floodlights. The dog’s nose lifted to set his bearing and then angled down to confirm the trail.

“Got her scent my friend? Good. She can’t have wandered far.”

The Gribble’s Eye: a serial 1.3

The Gribble’s Eye: a serial 1.1

NOTICE: I’ve started to re-read TGE and find that it needs some serious upgrades to craft. I’ll be adding these in the coming years.

I’ll be releasing an abridged version of The Gribble’s Eye as a series of posts focused on the images masterfully created by Yulian Mulyono.

These installments will be a much condensed version of the story which I will then compile into a sister book offered to the youngest of readers. The writing is geared toward the middle school and younger age — it is, after all, an illustrated book.

If you have comments or suggestions as to whether this is a good idea, or a poor one, or if there are changes you’d like to suggest… Don’t hesitate.


The Gribble’s Eye

By Dave Cline

An abridged version


Sadie walked the familiar path to where her new confidant could be found, hiding in a deep hole, a tunnel really, beneath a large oak tree in the forest that bordered the spacious country home in which Sadie now lived.

When she’d first begun conversing with the occupant there, Sadie had been wary and doubtful that anyone who knew so much would live in a hole in the ground. Youth and desire both lent a hand in dismissing what should have been vigorous caution.

At Sadie’s discovery of the odd voice, a voice that had lured her to sit for pleasant spells exchanging useful news of the area, the resident suggested that Sadie pick a name to call her (Sadie had decided the voice must belong to a female).

“Don’t you have a real name?” Sadie had asked.

“Yes of course, many in fact,” the accented voice had replied. “Alright, for now call me Ara. A name my own mother, many years ago used. May I call you Sadie?”

“My name is Sathena Brimson.” Sadie’s curt reply seemed out of place at the time.

“Yes, I know. I know most of what goes on around here. But perhaps…”

Sadie caught herself. “I’m sorry. My mother used to call me Sadie.”

“Ah yes, I understand.” Ara had apparently known of Sadie’s mother. “Well, Sathena it is then.”

This morning, Sadie bent down and carefully scratched away the leaves and roots that littered the tunnel’s entrance.

“Ara, do you get lonely down there?”

Ara’s voice, rough and exotic replied, “I’m not like others you’ve met. I’m happy with my solitude.”

“Maybe the sunlight is too bright for you?”

“Yes, it often is.”

“Is there room for me down there?”

“Don’t even suggest such a thing.” Ara’s tone came with the edge of a threat.

“Oh, okay.“

“But I do enjoy a midnight stroll,” Ara said more cheerfully.

Sadie considered this option allowing curiosity to sway good sense. “I could come back then. I’ve been anxious to meet you. Father has a flashlight with a red glass shade.”

Scrabbling sounds echoed up through the darkness. The dusty smell of dry earth tickled Sadie’s nose. Around her a breeze disturbed a trio of oak leaves that drifted down from the pile she’d excavated. They settled onto the tunnel floor, just inside the light.

Ara continued, “Tonight would be a good night for a walk. Did you enjoy the wild onions and chestnuts?”

“Oh, yes. Father and I used them in a lovely salad. Thank you for your advice in finding them.”

“You’re most welcome. Ah, here, I have something for you.”

“For me?”

Rolling up from the tunnel came a sapphire blue marble. It stopped just inside the shadow.

“My, that’s beautiful. Should I take it now?”

“Of course. If you leave it there the Gribble might come and steal it back.”

Sadie knit her brows at this strange name but ignored it for now. Reaching down and lifting the vibrant blue sphere, she marveled at its weight. “It’s heavier than it looks.”

Ara seemed to reminisce. “I find the Eyes as light as breath, heavy as a sigh.”

“The Eyes?”

A pattering echo worked its way up. Sadie waited for a reply. The midsummer sun dipped behind a cloud. A furry bumblebee, black as coal, its waist painted yellow, looped around Sadie’s head, its thrumming half warning, half invitation to follow.

“Hello?” she asked politely after what seemed more than enough time for Ara’s reply.

“Midnight. I’ll be waiting at midnight,” Ara eventually said, distant as if from down a well. “Be sure to lock up that beast of yours.”

Sadie gripped the sapphire marble tightly. “Harry’s no beast!”

“Midnight,” came Ara’s final reply fading up through the dangling roots and dried worm castings


The Gribble’s Eye: a serial 1.2

The Gribble’s Eye: Cover assembly

The cover is taking shape.


With the chiseled stone “Eye” that I tapped into the patio in the back, we’ve begun our trek that leads through the forest to the glade where there blooms a sun drenched pool of possibility.

The “Eye,” as Widowcranky has insisted, must be a real physical object, else the treatment will appear cheapened. I wholeheartedly agree.

Ergo, I’ve begun, and hopefully have found, a source for the “Eye.”


Megan has told me she can create an “Eye” of the right color, size and intensity that will lend the cover image that “Whoa, this is real,” impression to readers.

So, I’m discussing the manufacture of such an Eye with an eye toward, perhaps, creating a channel to have Gribble’s Eyes available for sale to readers. Wouldn’t that be fun? For the 1.3 of you who have read the story (I have an epub or mobi for you if you’d like to try it out…) I think having an “Eye” glued to the cover of your copy might be an incentive for others to read the story.

Gimmicks never work — until they do.

BATS – twitter promotion

And so it begins. The self-promotion, back-alley descent into peddling one’s own wares. Well, I had to give it a try, just to see how the process might go. Morgan Wright provided what looks to be a simple, pervasive and low-cost venue for announcing my novel (or your novel).

Morgan delivered on her promise. I think her way of promotion is the way to go in the future.

Regardless of the efficacy, it was great to see this in my feed.