Tag Archives: red

Bestiarium: Yara-ma-yha-who

This is kind of a new feature I’ve decided to start posting here on the BrokenEye Media blog. I’m starting a series of illustrations depicting various mythological and folkloric creatures, both well-known and obscure (but mostly obscure) that I think are interesting, with a description of each in my usual turgid, irreverent, aside-laden parlance, in the tradition of mediæval bestiaries. However, unlike mediæval bestiaries, I’m abandoning all pretense of having anything to do with beasts allegedly found in nature, and I will not be going way out of my way to shoehorn an unnecessarily preachy and ridiculously contrived lesson on woefully outdated middle-aged quasi-Biblical morals into each description (which they did, because mediæval theology was weird). So if the Word of God as (allegedly) taught by the (allegedly) natural creatures (allegedly) of His Creation is what you’ve come here for, I’m afraid you’re going to leave disappointed, but I doubt that it is. So, without further ado, here’s the first entry in the Bestiarium:

yara-ma-yha-who color

Name: Yara-ma-yha-who
Mythos of Origin: Australian Aboriginal mythology
Type: Monster, Bogieman, Humanoid, Abhuman, Assimilative, Hematophage, Tentacled
Habitat: The canopies of fig trees

This one is probably one of my favorites because of how… creatively horrifying it is.

Though it can be described as the Aboriginal version of the vampire, the yara-ma-yha-who actually has very little in common its European brethren. True, it is a monstrous humanoid that sucks the blood of humans and can transform them into one of its own in the process, but the similarity ends there… which isn’t nearly as reassuring as it may initially sound.

This little red man makes it home in the branches of fig trees where it waits patiently and surprisingly stealthily for some poor, unwary traveler to pass by. When they do, the yara-ma-yha-who strikes in an instant, ensnaring them in its long, tentacular fingers lined with tiny lamprey-like suckers which it uses to slowly drain their blood. Not that it needs the blood for sustenance, mind you. It’s just that prey that’s weak from blood loss tend to be much less likely to resist or fight back. Once the creature’s hapless victim has been rendered nice and languid, the yara-ma-yha-who unhinges its toothless jaw and swallows them whole. After taking a drink from a nearby stream (because its important to stay hydrated), the monster takes a nap, it’s prey imprisoned—weak but very much alive—in its distensible stomach. When it wakes, it vomits up its victim, their skin ever-so-slightly redder, their build ever-so-slightly shorter than before.

If the victim is lucky, they’ll merely be sent on their way (feeling utterly horrified and no doubt somewhat violated) with the knowledge that they should stay away from that tree, lest they be caught and swallowed again. If they’re not lucky, the beast will skip the waiting, grab them again and repeat the process right then and there, swallowing and regurgitating them again and again until they’re completely transformed into another lurking yara-ma-yha-who ready and patiently waiting to prey on innocent travelers.

So yeah, kinda like a vampire, but a thousand times more abhorrent and not even remotely sexy. Unless you’re into that, I guess, though the knowledge that there are actually people who are into that (whatever the hell that is) just makes the whole thing all the more abhorrent.

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Los Angeles Metro Gold Line: Highland Park

I take the Los Angeles Metro a lot to get to and from appointments on the other side of town. Whenever I take the Gold Line, the main above ground branch of the Metro and the closest to my house, I tend to look out the window a lot, and when I do I tend to notice a lot of stuff that I’d like to go take pictures of. Unfortunately, I can’t stop and get out for fear of missing said appointments, so in September of 2012 I began an ongoing expedition to get off at every stop on the Gold Line and take pictures, which extended into the new year due to delays. Many of the stops ended up not having anything interesting, but those that did more than made up for the difference.

These are from the second stop, Highland Park Station

Scraps

Scraps

A truck full of random bits and bobs. Also, check out that tree branch in the top right corner with a perfect right angle in it. That’s pretty weird, huh?

 

Barring the Doors

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Something I found in a parking lot

 

Van Invasion

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A street view

 

Typewriter Repair

Typewriter Repair

A typewriter repair shop. When was the last time you saw one of those, eh?

 

Highland Theatre

Highland Theatre

A view of the Highland Theatre sign

 

Chicken Man

Chicken Man

He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!

 

Anonymous?

Anonymous?

An interesting graffito I found

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Los Angeles Metro Gold Line: South Pasadena

I take the Los Angeles Metro a lot to get to and from appointments on the other side of town. Whenever I take the Gold Line, the main above ground branch of the Metro and the closest to my house, I tend to look out the window a lot, and when I do I tend to notice a lot of stuff that I’d like to go take pictures of. Unfortunately, I can’t stop and get out for fear of missing said appointments, so in September of 2012 I began an ongoing expedition to get off at every stop on the Gold Line and take pictures, which extended into the new year due to delays. Many of the stops ended up not having anything interesting, but those that did more than made up for the difference.

These are from the first stop, Mission St. South Pasadena Station

Stripe

Stripe

A rock I found that struck me as peculiar. I’m not sure why it had a white stripe painted on it. It appeared to be curved, perhaps as part of the perimeter of a circle, although this path is not continued elsewhere in the area.

 

Warehouse Parking

Warehouse Parking

A nice street-view from what, if I recall correctly, was a warehouse district

 

Dish

Dish

A courtyard of some sort

 

Redstone

Redstone

Another street view. Completely unrelated to Minecraft.

 

Le Car

Le Car

An auto-repair lot of some sort

 

Around Back

Around Back

 

Rail Power

Rail Power

Some portion of the electrical infrastructure for the Metro tracks

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The Red Square

IMG_0051

Not to be confused with the one in Russia, or the one at the University of Washington.

Or the Martin Cruz Smith crime novel.

Or the 1970s experimental rock band.

Or the nebula.

Disambiguations are fun

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