Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve and Phobos is reading the Night Before Christmas to the little ones. Deimos is hanging around and trying to look uninterested but I think he wants to hear the story, too.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fruit cake

This is the time for baking a fruit cake for Christmas. Niks and Naks wanted to participate.

Niks: Are you sure we have all the ingredients?

Naks: Yes, but we must taste everything to be sure that they are of high quality.

Niks: They look good enough to me...

Naks: I think these cherries must be tasted very thoroughly. You can taste half of them...

Outsider: You are not tasting the cherries, they are needed for the cake!

Niks: Finally the cake is in the oven.

Naks: Now comes the best part...

Niks: ... we can lick the bowls and utensils!

Niks: The cake is ready and it looks delicious!

Naks: Can we eat it all...

Deimos: I would like a little, too.

Niks: I did not know demons like cake.

Deimos: People seldom give little demons any cake. They think we only eat frogs and bats and spiders...

Outsider: You can taste a little, but not the whole cake!

Niks: Aaah, this is so good!

Naks: Definitely!

Deimos: I wish people would give more often little demons some cake.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Black and white

Deimos got so intrigues by the ice monsters Sampo saw yesterday that he wanted to go out and see them too. It snowed a bit this morning, so the effect is not quite the same any more, but the pictures captured some of the blue light so typical of this time of the year when the days are short and the sun is low and it is hard to say when the day begins and when it ends - especially if it is cloudy.

There is now snowy frosting on the icy trees.

Deimos finds the blue light and the icy trees fascinating.

The ice monster now has snow whiskers - or is frothing at the mouth.

Ice, snow and blue light - and a little demon.

This bush has long icicle claws and snow fur.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


The temperature has dropped below freezing, but it takes a long time before the big lakes freeze. When the wind blows hard towards the shore, the trees get loaded with icicles.

Little Sampo wanted to climb the icy trees, but they are very slippery and it was pretty hard to stay on the tree.

The huge icicle is as tall as little Sampo.

A huge ice monster - but Sampo is not afraid.

Even weeds are encrusted in ice.

Here's a really pretty bush - or are these just weeds?

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Umbriel has found another dimension door, but before he can check which key will open the door, it starts to open from the other side.

Umbriel: What?....

A little creature rushes in in such a hurry that he trips over Umbriel.

Umbriel: Hey, you, be careful!

The little creature quickly grabs Umbriel's keys...

Umbriel: Don't! Those are mine!

... and rushes to lock the door.

Umbriel: Wait! If you lock the door, it will disappear and you can't get back any more!

Little creature: I don't want to go back. I'm being chased by 10 mafiosos who think our patent medicine business is interfering with their drug traffic...

The little creature turns the key and the door disappears. Suddenly he sees something...

Little creature: Phobos!

Phobos has arrived on the scene.

Umbriel: Phobos! Do you know that creature?

Phobos: But of course, he is my little demon, called Deimos.

Deimos: Phobos, I'm so glad I found you! I was chased by these 50 mafiosos, you see... Will you save me from them?

Phobos: Of course, Door Knob, but isn't a demon supposed to protect his master and not vice versa?

Deimos: I'm just a little demon, I'm no match to 100 mafiosos! And don't call me Door Knob!

Phobos: You are safe here, the dimension door is gone, and the mafiosos can't find you.

Umbriel: Is it a good idea to let him stay? Don't you think he'll cause trouble?

Phobos: You can't get rid of him unless you get rid of me, too. We have a lifelong pact, remember. And he won't cause trouble. Well, not too much anyway... Just don't let him cut anybody's hair.

Niks: If he cuts people's hair too short...

Naks: ... there will be a huge demand for our hair elixir.

Niks: Is he good at catching hairy spiders?

So a little demon called Deimos alias Door Knob came here to stay.
I sure wonder if he will cause trouble - something Niks's and Naks's hair elixir cannot repair.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


It's All Saints' Day and Umbriel is still dressed for Halloween.

It is the beginning of Marraskuu, "Dead Month".

Umbriel: Look! It's snowing!

Umbriel: All the leaves have fallen off the trees. No pretty fall colors left. I guess that's why this month is called "Dead Month". It's a long wait before the nature comes alive again.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hairy Story III

Phobos has heard of Niks's and Naks's hair elixir enterprise...

Phobos: I heard that you have made some hair growing elixir. I could use some. I should not have let my Demon cut my hair, he has no future in barbershop business. He cut my hair very unevenly and way too short at the back, it sticks to all directions.

Niks: You are lucky, we have just manufactured a new batch. Just get us a few chairs...

After piling one table and two chairs Niks can reach high enough to apply the potion.

Phobos: Hey, it itches!

Niks: Don't touch your head or the potion will grow troll hair on your palms!

Phobos: Troll hair?! Nobody said anything about troll hair!

Naks: You did not ask. Besides, don't you think troll hair is beautiful?

Phobos: Find a mirror! Fast!

Niks: What's all the fuss. Troll hair is beautiful.

Phobos: Hey, my hair looks all right, it's quite smooth. It does not look like troll hair.

Naks: Niks, I told you we should have had more hairy spiders! The elixir is too weak again!

Pollux: Niks's and Naks's hair elixir never grows troll hair. Look, they used it on me, and I have nice curly hair.

Phobos: What...

Phobos: Well, well, well, a little winged Homunculus!

Pollux: I'm not a hom... humm.. hohum... whatever, I'm a Chocolate Vampire!

Phobos: Even stranger, this place definitely is an attraction point of strange creatures!

Niks: I think we must go catch more hairy spiders.

Naks: Definitely. Our hair elixir is way too weak.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


It is a long time since Umbriel found a dimension door, but now there is a new one.

Umbriel: Look, sir Isaac Newton, there is another dimension door. I wonder which of my keys fits... But wait! the door is already ajar! Someone must have opened it from the other side!

And true enough, that someone is entering through the door...

Umbriel: Who are you?

Phobos: I am Phobos.

Umbriel: How did you get throught the dimension door? Do you have a set of keys, too? Which one did open the door? Time or Space or Imagination or...

Phobos: I have a master key. It opens all kinds of dimension doors, but then one never knows what the door is.

There is a slamming noise that makes Umbriel drop his keys...

Phobos: Oh no, the door is gone! Someone must have locked it from the other side. Now I can't get back the same way I came in!

Umbriel: Did you come through just out or curiosity?

Phobos: No, I'm looking for my demon.

Umbriel: A demon????

Phobos: Yes, he is about this high. Have you seen any around.

Umbriel: Well, I think Sampo and Pilvi are about that high, but I have thought they are hobbits, not demons... There they are, see for yourself.

Sampo: This is boring.

Pilvi: You promised to play home with me if you can be the daddy who works in the robot factory.

Sampo: Yeah, but I thought it meant I could just work in the robot factory, not push stupid smurfs around in a pram.

Pilvi: The children need fresh air. And besides only one of them is a smurf.

The hobbits are surprised when they see Phobos.

Pilvi: Oh, no, a scary looking guy!

Sampo: Ummm... Maybe he can be the boss of the robot factory and he tells that there is a problem at the factory and I must go to work immediately...

But Pilvi is too scared to stay. She leaves in a hurry.

Pilvi: Must save the children from the evil robot factory manager before he turns them into robots!

Sampo is not scared.

Umbriel: Does Sampo look like your demon?

Phobos: No, he's the right size, but he's just a little hobbit, not a demon.

Sampo: You saved me from playing home. I can be your demon if you want to. How is demon played?

Umbriel: Why are you looking for a demon anyway? Aren't they dangerous? And you don't look like an elf or hobbit. What are you? Just an ordinary kid?

Phobos: I'm an alchemist. It's a long story. A really long story actually,centuries long. But I try to explain very shortly. Way back in the Middle Ages I worked as an alchemist's apprentice. The ultimate goal of all alchemists is to manufacture the Philosopher's Stone that can change base metals into gold and make the Elixir of Life that brings eternal youth. My master managed to produce the Elixir of Life, but before he could drink it, he got a heart attac and died. He was an old man, you know, and could not take the excitement. I was devastated, and the only thing I could think of was to drink his potion. I was only 13 years old and I had lost my beloved master. I thought he had just manufactured more rat poison. You see, he always tested his concoctions on rats, and they invariably died. But this time he had already tested the stuff, and the rat did not die. That's why he got so excited that he got the heart attac. But unfortunately I had not been paying attention, and I thought I was drinking rat poison when I drank the Elixir of Life. If I had known, I would have saved it for a few years before drinking it.

Umbriel: Why would you have saved it until later?

Phobos: It's not easy being 13 years old forever. In the Middle Ages it wasn't so bad, I just drifted from one alchemist to another and worked as their apprentice and took off before they noticed I'm not getting any older. I accumulated a lot of knowledge that way. But it became more difficult later, 13 year olds are not taken seriously and not treated as adults, so it takes lots of cunning to cope nowadays. If I had saved the elixir until I was,say, 21, it would have been much easier.

Umbriel: And what about the demon?

Phobos: Oh, yes. Do you remember the story about Faust and how he made a pact with the devil, and the devil did whatever Faust asked? I thought it was a swell idea. As I would live forever, the devil would not be able to take my soul in the end. Faust found the devil by bringing a poodle home and doing some tricks. I found a promising poodle and did the same tricks, but my poodle did not turn into a devil, but a small demon. And not a very good demon at that.

Umbriel: If the demon is not very good, why are you looking for him?

Phobos: You see, when you make a pact with a devil or a demon, you are stuck with him forever. It's in the small print. Unfortunately I did not read the small print before I signed the contract. If you turn a poodle into a devil or a demon or leprechaun or whatever, you are stuck for life. You can't break the contract as long as you live.

Umbriel: And as you are going to live forever, you are stuck with the demon forever, right? But then there is no use to look for him, if you can't get rid of him no matter what.

Phobos: I was looking for him just to prevent him from doing domething that gets both him and myself into trouble. He'll turn up sooner or later.

Umbriel: But how can he get through when the dimension door is gone? And does he have key of his own?

Phobos: Dimension doors don't hold demons back. They have their ways.

Umbriel: And what are you going to do now?

Phobos: Well, I've been running some patent medicine business since the alchemy has ceased being popular. Patent medicines can be sold through the internet nowadays. It takes some special arrangements, though. My demon could help with those...

Umbriel: Niks and Naks have been running patent medicine business themselves, maybe they can help. See, there they come. Pilvi must have told them that there is somebody new here, and they have come to investigate. They are very curious, you know.

Niks: Did we hear something about patent medicine business.

Naks: We have some experience in that area.

Niks: We could start by making some more hair potion, the last batch has lost its potency.

Phobos: Yeah, I guess you can be of use until my demon appers. I suppose trolls and demons are equally suitable for an alchemist's helpers...

Naks:You don't look like an alchemist.

Phobos: I can't run around in a black robe and a beret or a robe and a pointed hat covered with alchemical symbols. That would be too conspicious. I'm trying to blend in.

Umbriel: I wonder if it was a good idea to introduce Niks and Naks to Phobos.I sure wonder what they'll come up with. Especially if a little demon will appear later. Oh, well, this place seems to be some kind of attraction point to all kinds of strange characters and I can't do anything about it.