Sebastian Malloy is creating works of fiction, and trying to not be eaten by a tiger.
5

patrons

$16
per creation
“Tell me a story,” Susanna asked the tiger on the floor.

The tiger stretched himself full-length in front of the fireplace, for it was very warm there, and although he would never admit it, he enjoyed the way the glow of the flames flickered and danced across his thick orange fur. It made him feel his youth again, and really there was nothing more an old tiger could ask for than that.

“You are too old for stories,” the tiger said. “Besides, you’ve already heard them all by now.”

“I’m not too old,” Susanna said. “I’m only six years old.”

“When I was six, I was prowling through the jungle and catching hog deer and porcupines for dinner. We had no time for stories back then.”

“Tell the girl a story,” the orangutan said from his nest atop the oak bookshelf against the far wall. He had built his bed from broom handles and wooden kitchen spoons, and from branches from the tiger’s favorite hickory wattle tree in the garden outside their house, a scavenging which had sent the tiger into a sulk that had lasted a full week. “She’s only a child, and children need stories. I wouldn’t mind one myself, for that matter. You do tell a good tale, tiger.”

“Flatterer,” the tiger growled. “Very well then, girl. What story shall I tell? Perhaps the one about the clockwork whale with a city of sirens in his belly, luring sailors to their doom in the dark depths of the sea?”

“Not that one again,” the girl said. “You’ve told that one a hundred times.”

“Yes, not that one,” the orangutan agreed. “Something different please.”

The tiger squinted his yellow eyes at Susanna. “Then perhaps the story of how I ate your parents and carried you here crying in a burlap sack between my jaws?”

The little girl shivered. “Oh no, not that story. It’s too frightening, and I don’t like it,” she said, although secretly she was very fond of it, and she loved the tiger even more deeply when he would purr it in her ear while he was putting her to bed at night. “Tell me something new. Something I haven’t heard before.”

“Yes, tiger,” the orangutan said. “You’ve been alive for so many years.
Surely you have stories you haven’t told us yet.”

“It’s true, I am very old,” the tiger said. “I turned twenty-six on my last birthday, and not even the eldest great-father of us all lived past thirty-one, praise his stripes.”

“Orangutans live longer than tigers,” the orangutan said. “But if I live to be fifty, I will never know the number of tales you do.”

“You’ll never know as many as I’ve forgotten,” said the tiger, and the orangutan did not take offense, for he knew the tiger was correct, and only being truthful.

“If you know so many,” Susanna said, “then pick one we haven’t heard before and tell it. People live longer than the both of you put together, so perhaps I am the one who needs to hear all that you know. Maybe it’s my job to be the storyteller after you’ve gone.”

The tiger chuff-chuffed, amused. “I could tell you stories about the green jungles I’ll visit after I’m dead, where my fathers lounge beneath the cham cha trees, and the elephant calves wait alone and unprotected on the banks of every flowing river.”

“Yes, please,” said the girl.

“Or perhaps,” the tiger continued, “the story of Serhan Kashani, the spike fiddler of Constantinople, who charmed the hungry dead with his music, while he searched amongst them for the lost soul of the woman he loved.”

The orangutan blew a wet sound between his lips. “Don’t you know anything without death in it? Something always dies in your stories.”

“As it should,” the tiger said. “Death is at least as important as life, for one is empty without the other.”

“Stop philosophizing,” said the orangutan, “and tell us a story.”

“One without death in it,” Susanna added. “Just to see if you can do it.”

The tiger crossed his forelegs and considered a while, staring into the fire. Finally, he said, “I have one for you. I won’t say if there’s a death in it or not, because I wouldn’t ruin the story by telling the ending before even starting the beginning, so you’ll just have to wait and find out yourselves.”

“Sneaky,” observed the orangutan.

“Do you want to hear it or not?” the tiger asked.

“Oh yes,” Susanna said. “Please, tiger, yes.”

The tiger sat up and put his back to the fire, the yellow-orange light dimly wrapping around his edges like a fog, leaving the center of him in darkness save for the unearthly golden glow of his eyes. It was as though the light were falling into him, being pulled from the edges of the room, leaving the dark corners even more dark, and turning the shadows bottomless. The tiger had always had a sense for the theatrical.

“This is going to be good,” the orangutan said. He climbed down from the top of the bookshelf and went to sit on the floor beside Susanna’s chair.

“They’re always good,” Susanna said. “That’s why he tells the stories.”

The orangutan reached his hand up toward the girl, and she took it in hers.
A knot in the fire popped, and the log shifted among the ashes in the fireplace.

And as he knew that the time was now right, the tiger cleared his throat with a growl, and he began to tell his story…

Do you see this stack of papers on the desk here?

There's a dead giant in there, floating on the ocean's currents, with a city of tea magicians built upon his back. There's a boatman made of spiders, whose fare is paid in the breath of children, and sails a ship of hollow bones and empty skins. There's a clockwork woman with rusted gears and missing parts, and the cabbage farmer's ghost whose shadowy heart beats in time with her mechanical one. There's a circus man who cannot die, and the gatherer of the dead who plans on putting him to a peculiar use.

The tiger's tales, growing in number, populating the tabletop, gathering words and whispers and strength in the telling.

The tiger must be fed, however, and as we all know, it's nearly prohibitively expensive to keep a magnificent beast such as he in the lifestyle to which he is accustomed. Gazelle meat isn't cheap, and while the tiger has been most patient and understanding, he has grown tired of the dollar store pork rinds and just-slightly-past-their-expiration date cans of sardines. To be honest, he has begun to lick his chops in a most unsettling fashion whenever I walk into the room, and I have the most disturbing feeling that he is picturing me laid out on a silver platter, roasted to a rich golden color, with an apple placed delicately within my mouth.

Needless to say, this is putting a definite crimp in our relationship.

And so we have decided, the tiger and I, to appeal to you, dear friends. We have put together this Patreon account as a way to raise funds for various tiger-related expenses. This goes beyond merely the edible sort that one would expect, but also encompasses grooming costs, veterinary visits, nail salon appointments, spectacles, lottery ticket purchases, and therapist bills not covered by his health insurance.

Tigers don't come cheap in this modern world.

We have two goals, related to this Patreon account: for the tiger to have something to eat, and for that something which is to be eaten, not to be me.

Please consider making a pledge to help keep me off the dinner menu.

Please?

What the tiger and I have planned for the future is this:

There will be stories here, stories of magic and machinery, darkness and light, good triumphing over evil, or perhaps the reverse, depending on the position of the stars in the sky. There will be words to be read which will be available to all who come here, and still other words which will only be for our patrons. There will be something for everyone, and extra somethings for those people who will help with the expense of feeding the tiger.

Ah, but for those who do become patrons, there are rewards available, much as public television has been doing for years now. While the tiger and I aren't offering tote bags at this time, you can see the rewards available for our sponsors, and see which level of patronage would best appeal to you.

The tiger and I both thank you in advance, and we look forward to presenting you with tales to entertain, enlighten, and something else that starts with the letter "e," although I can't quite think of what it would be at the moment, because the tiger is licking his lips and eyeballing me in a most distressing fashion.

Thank you for reading, and please, please, please... keep me off the menu.
Tiers
Team Malloy
$1 or more per creation 2 patrons
For the $1 pledge, you will receive access to the patrons-only feed, which will include (but is not limited to): rants, ramblings, dinner orders from the tiger, and digital copies of all completed short stories.
Acolyte
$3 or more per creation 2 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive all rewards from the $1 pledge, as well as access to the photography stream.  Additionally, because you are a special snowflake and deserve a little something, you'll be able to read extra bonus material, exclusive to the Patreon blog, from my works in progress. This may include deleted scenes, alternate narratives, or even complete stories, depending on what bubbles up from the depths. It's a grab bag of madness!
Enabler
$5 or more per creation 0 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive all the rewards from the previous levels. In addition, you will have access to monthly chapters from the sooper seekrit novel-in-progress, delivered to the e-mail of your choice. It's been a long time in the making, and I wanted to share it with you special people first, before releasing it into the world. See how much I care about you, Enablers?
Forward Line
$10 or more per creation 1 patron
For the $10 pledge level, you will receive all of the previous rewards. In addition, as long as you remain a patron at the $10 or above level, you will receive a signed printed copy of each new work I publish*, because while $3 pledges are special snowflakes who deserve a little something, you $10 subscribers are special snowflakes dipped in liquid gold (which would cause you to melt and ruin my metaphor, so don't look too closely at that), and are deserving of something a little more tangible in your happy little hands.

*Applies to book-length projects, and not individual short stories, because that's just mad, isn't it? However, this also includes the annual printed collection of the year's short works, so really, yes, you're getting the short stories after all, because I just love you all that much. (Note that this collection will be available from 2018 onward, so be aware that $10 in 2017 will only reward you with love, and not a book in your hands.)
Inner Circle
$25 or more per creation 0 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive the rewards from the previous levels. Additionally, I'll send you an empty wooden cigar box, which you can fill with the quarterly weird stuff I'll send you throughout the year, reflecting places, people and things in the stories you'll be reading here: rings of skeleton keys, bags of rusted gears, bleached bones from unidentifiable creatures... who knows! A grab bag of oddness, with only a minor chance of receiving a cursed item that may or may not result in a malevolent spirit moving into your toilet tank.
Blood Brother/Sister/Other
$100 or more per creation 0 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive access everything listed above for every other level of patronage. In addition, because of your high-level of support for my cause, you will also receive a vial of my blood*, with which you may do any number of things, from growing a clone of me in a small jar in your basement to signing a demonic contract with blood which is not your own. The only limit is your own imagination!

*in case of unforeseen infection of blood-born illness, or severe draining by vampiric entities, synthetic blood may be substituted for actual blood in some or all cases; donor assumes no legal responsibility for the signing of demonic contracts with synthetic blood, nor are said contracts with nefarious denizens of the underworld to be considered legally binding; clones grown from synthetic blood may suffer from side effects including (but not limited to): excessive hair growth from the center of dime-sized moles on face; cloven hooves; severe nearsightedness; uncontrollable murderous rampages; keening; spontaneous combustion).
Goals
$16 of $25 per creation
At $25 per month, I can afford to feed the tiger a slightly higher quality Tiger Chow, which reputedly tastes a little less like sawdust and a little more like hog deer. A happy tiger is a more productive tiger, after all. A well-fed tiger is also less likely to try to eat me, which is a bonus in my book.

With the tiger taken care of, I can also look into feeding you, my beloved patrons: quarterly postcards from the tiger's den, delivered to your own personal home address via the reliably efficient United States Postal Service, handwritten and occasionally blurred by seawater, my own salty tears, or perhaps a mixture of both. These postcards may contain hidden messages, cryptic codes, pleas for rescue, demands for payments of ransom, limericks, haiku or stick figure drawings: true collectors items!
1 of 2
“Tell me a story,” Susanna asked the tiger on the floor.

The tiger stretched himself full-length in front of the fireplace, for it was very warm there, and although he would never admit it, he enjoyed the way the glow of the flames flickered and danced across his thick orange fur. It made him feel his youth again, and really there was nothing more an old tiger could ask for than that.

“You are too old for stories,” the tiger said. “Besides, you’ve already heard them all by now.”

“I’m not too old,” Susanna said. “I’m only six years old.”

“When I was six, I was prowling through the jungle and catching hog deer and porcupines for dinner. We had no time for stories back then.”

“Tell the girl a story,” the orangutan said from his nest atop the oak bookshelf against the far wall. He had built his bed from broom handles and wooden kitchen spoons, and from branches from the tiger’s favorite hickory wattle tree in the garden outside their house, a scavenging which had sent the tiger into a sulk that had lasted a full week. “She’s only a child, and children need stories. I wouldn’t mind one myself, for that matter. You do tell a good tale, tiger.”

“Flatterer,” the tiger growled. “Very well then, girl. What story shall I tell? Perhaps the one about the clockwork whale with a city of sirens in his belly, luring sailors to their doom in the dark depths of the sea?”

“Not that one again,” the girl said. “You’ve told that one a hundred times.”

“Yes, not that one,” the orangutan agreed. “Something different please.”

The tiger squinted his yellow eyes at Susanna. “Then perhaps the story of how I ate your parents and carried you here crying in a burlap sack between my jaws?”

The little girl shivered. “Oh no, not that story. It’s too frightening, and I don’t like it,” she said, although secretly she was very fond of it, and she loved the tiger even more deeply when he would purr it in her ear while he was putting her to bed at night. “Tell me something new. Something I haven’t heard before.”

“Yes, tiger,” the orangutan said. “You’ve been alive for so many years.
Surely you have stories you haven’t told us yet.”

“It’s true, I am very old,” the tiger said. “I turned twenty-six on my last birthday, and not even the eldest great-father of us all lived past thirty-one, praise his stripes.”

“Orangutans live longer than tigers,” the orangutan said. “But if I live to be fifty, I will never know the number of tales you do.”

“You’ll never know as many as I’ve forgotten,” said the tiger, and the orangutan did not take offense, for he knew the tiger was correct, and only being truthful.

“If you know so many,” Susanna said, “then pick one we haven’t heard before and tell it. People live longer than the both of you put together, so perhaps I am the one who needs to hear all that you know. Maybe it’s my job to be the storyteller after you’ve gone.”

The tiger chuff-chuffed, amused. “I could tell you stories about the green jungles I’ll visit after I’m dead, where my fathers lounge beneath the cham cha trees, and the elephant calves wait alone and unprotected on the banks of every flowing river.”

“Yes, please,” said the girl.

“Or perhaps,” the tiger continued, “the story of Serhan Kashani, the spike fiddler of Constantinople, who charmed the hungry dead with his music, while he searched amongst them for the lost soul of the woman he loved.”

The orangutan blew a wet sound between his lips. “Don’t you know anything without death in it? Something always dies in your stories.”

“As it should,” the tiger said. “Death is at least as important as life, for one is empty without the other.”

“Stop philosophizing,” said the orangutan, “and tell us a story.”

“One without death in it,” Susanna added. “Just to see if you can do it.”

The tiger crossed his forelegs and considered a while, staring into the fire. Finally, he said, “I have one for you. I won’t say if there’s a death in it or not, because I wouldn’t ruin the story by telling the ending before even starting the beginning, so you’ll just have to wait and find out yourselves.”

“Sneaky,” observed the orangutan.

“Do you want to hear it or not?” the tiger asked.

“Oh yes,” Susanna said. “Please, tiger, yes.”

The tiger sat up and put his back to the fire, the yellow-orange light dimly wrapping around his edges like a fog, leaving the center of him in darkness save for the unearthly golden glow of his eyes. It was as though the light were falling into him, being pulled from the edges of the room, leaving the dark corners even more dark, and turning the shadows bottomless. The tiger had always had a sense for the theatrical.

“This is going to be good,” the orangutan said. He climbed down from the top of the bookshelf and went to sit on the floor beside Susanna’s chair.

“They’re always good,” Susanna said. “That’s why he tells the stories.”

The orangutan reached his hand up toward the girl, and she took it in hers.
A knot in the fire popped, and the log shifted among the ashes in the fireplace.

And as he knew that the time was now right, the tiger cleared his throat with a growl, and he began to tell his story…

Do you see this stack of papers on the desk here?

There's a dead giant in there, floating on the ocean's currents, with a city of tea magicians built upon his back. There's a boatman made of spiders, whose fare is paid in the breath of children, and sails a ship of hollow bones and empty skins. There's a clockwork woman with rusted gears and missing parts, and the cabbage farmer's ghost whose shadowy heart beats in time with her mechanical one. There's a circus man who cannot die, and the gatherer of the dead who plans on putting him to a peculiar use.

The tiger's tales, growing in number, populating the tabletop, gathering words and whispers and strength in the telling.

The tiger must be fed, however, and as we all know, it's nearly prohibitively expensive to keep a magnificent beast such as he in the lifestyle to which he is accustomed. Gazelle meat isn't cheap, and while the tiger has been most patient and understanding, he has grown tired of the dollar store pork rinds and just-slightly-past-their-expiration date cans of sardines. To be honest, he has begun to lick his chops in a most unsettling fashion whenever I walk into the room, and I have the most disturbing feeling that he is picturing me laid out on a silver platter, roasted to a rich golden color, with an apple placed delicately within my mouth.

Needless to say, this is putting a definite crimp in our relationship.

And so we have decided, the tiger and I, to appeal to you, dear friends. We have put together this Patreon account as a way to raise funds for various tiger-related expenses. This goes beyond merely the edible sort that one would expect, but also encompasses grooming costs, veterinary visits, nail salon appointments, spectacles, lottery ticket purchases, and therapist bills not covered by his health insurance.

Tigers don't come cheap in this modern world.

We have two goals, related to this Patreon account: for the tiger to have something to eat, and for that something which is to be eaten, not to be me.

Please consider making a pledge to help keep me off the dinner menu.

Please?

What the tiger and I have planned for the future is this:

There will be stories here, stories of magic and machinery, darkness and light, good triumphing over evil, or perhaps the reverse, depending on the position of the stars in the sky. There will be words to be read which will be available to all who come here, and still other words which will only be for our patrons. There will be something for everyone, and extra somethings for those people who will help with the expense of feeding the tiger.

Ah, but for those who do become patrons, there are rewards available, much as public television has been doing for years now. While the tiger and I aren't offering tote bags at this time, you can see the rewards available for our sponsors, and see which level of patronage would best appeal to you.

The tiger and I both thank you in advance, and we look forward to presenting you with tales to entertain, enlighten, and something else that starts with the letter "e," although I can't quite think of what it would be at the moment, because the tiger is licking his lips and eyeballing me in a most distressing fashion.

Thank you for reading, and please, please, please... keep me off the menu.

Recent posts by Sebastian Malloy

Tiers
Team Malloy
$1 or more per creation 2 patrons
For the $1 pledge, you will receive access to the patrons-only feed, which will include (but is not limited to): rants, ramblings, dinner orders from the tiger, and digital copies of all completed short stories.
Acolyte
$3 or more per creation 2 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive all rewards from the $1 pledge, as well as access to the photography stream.  Additionally, because you are a special snowflake and deserve a little something, you'll be able to read extra bonus material, exclusive to the Patreon blog, from my works in progress. This may include deleted scenes, alternate narratives, or even complete stories, depending on what bubbles up from the depths. It's a grab bag of madness!
Enabler
$5 or more per creation 0 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive all the rewards from the previous levels. In addition, you will have access to monthly chapters from the sooper seekrit novel-in-progress, delivered to the e-mail of your choice. It's been a long time in the making, and I wanted to share it with you special people first, before releasing it into the world. See how much I care about you, Enablers?
Forward Line
$10 or more per creation 1 patron
For the $10 pledge level, you will receive all of the previous rewards. In addition, as long as you remain a patron at the $10 or above level, you will receive a signed printed copy of each new work I publish*, because while $3 pledges are special snowflakes who deserve a little something, you $10 subscribers are special snowflakes dipped in liquid gold (which would cause you to melt and ruin my metaphor, so don't look too closely at that), and are deserving of something a little more tangible in your happy little hands.

*Applies to book-length projects, and not individual short stories, because that's just mad, isn't it? However, this also includes the annual printed collection of the year's short works, so really, yes, you're getting the short stories after all, because I just love you all that much. (Note that this collection will be available from 2018 onward, so be aware that $10 in 2017 will only reward you with love, and not a book in your hands.)
Inner Circle
$25 or more per creation 0 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive the rewards from the previous levels. Additionally, I'll send you an empty wooden cigar box, which you can fill with the quarterly weird stuff I'll send you throughout the year, reflecting places, people and things in the stories you'll be reading here: rings of skeleton keys, bags of rusted gears, bleached bones from unidentifiable creatures... who knows! A grab bag of oddness, with only a minor chance of receiving a cursed item that may or may not result in a malevolent spirit moving into your toilet tank.
Blood Brother/Sister/Other
$100 or more per creation 0 patrons
For this level of pledge, you will receive access everything listed above for every other level of patronage. In addition, because of your high-level of support for my cause, you will also receive a vial of my blood*, with which you may do any number of things, from growing a clone of me in a small jar in your basement to signing a demonic contract with blood which is not your own. The only limit is your own imagination!

*in case of unforeseen infection of blood-born illness, or severe draining by vampiric entities, synthetic blood may be substituted for actual blood in some or all cases; donor assumes no legal responsibility for the signing of demonic contracts with synthetic blood, nor are said contracts with nefarious denizens of the underworld to be considered legally binding; clones grown from synthetic blood may suffer from side effects including (but not limited to): excessive hair growth from the center of dime-sized moles on face; cloven hooves; severe nearsightedness; uncontrollable murderous rampages; keening; spontaneous combustion).