The Cabinet of Curiosities
Jar of eyes

A big announcement and a giveaway from your Curators!

Dear curious and lovely readers,

We, the Curators, thank you for exploring the Cabinet with us, reading about cake and tricks and not worrying when the tables sprout legs and run away. The tour through our collection of Curiosities is by no means over; in fact, it is just beginning.

We’re delighted to announce that the objects you’ve found here will soon be collected into a very different object–that is, a book–which you’ll be able to hold yourselves. An anthology of these short fictions for the young and mischievous is coming from Greenwillow Books in Summer 2014. Between its covers you will not only find the stories that have been, and will continue to be, placed here, but also brand new ones, plus observations and all manner of wickedness from the four of us.

Fret not, this ethereal Cabinet remains open for business, though we will soon be moving to a new and bigger home, with no interruption to our regular weekly offerings. Indeed, we are more determined than ever to bring you a wide variety of tales unearthed and rooms thrust into the light of day.

And if you’ll permit us a personal note, we would also like to profess our limitless gratitude to the honorary, silent Curators who stand behind us, ghostly and determined. Our agents, Sara Megibow, David Dunton, Diana Fox, and Brooks Sherman, and most particularly the brilliant Virginia Duncan, our new collective editor, for wanting to throw open the Cabinet doors even wider.

We’ll see you for the next story–truly, we will see you, the walls have eyes–and thank you, again, for your patronage.

The Curators (Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne)

To celebrate this fantabulous news, we are having a giveaway–our first, but unlikely to be the last. Up for collection are four pairs of books, one from each Curator. One book shall be the Curator’s own, the other…who may know? An old, spooky favorite? A much-sought-after advance copy of something new? Only time will tell and this is, after all, a place of mysteries. Enter via the Rafflecopter link in the next seven days, and four winners will be chosen at random. (Giveaway is international, please enter from wherever you are!)

– comment on post for 2 entries (mandatory) 
– follow @CabinetCurators on Twitter for 2 entries (optional) 
– tweet about the giveaway for 2 entries (optional)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Note From Your Curators

Dearest Curious Ones,

We, your Curators, hope this note finds you well — and hopefully not too confused about why we did not post a new story today. Rest assured, we have not been eaten alive by the brood of monsters kept at the bottom of the third floor closet, nor have we been transfixed by the whispering jewels in the kitchen cupboard. (And we would remind you, if you ever happen to visit our kitchen, do remember to plug your ears before opening the fifth cupboard on the right, and whatever you do, don’t eat anything you might see lying out on the countertops, for we are surprisingly fastidious, and it probably got there on its own.)

In fact, we are simply a bit delayed in returning home from an expedition celebrating the launch of Curator Trevayne’s first book, Coda. Said expedition took us down rivers and into caves, across precariously constructed bridges and through vast cities where the primary form of communication is music (as you can imagine, Curator Trevayne felt right at home here). There we lingered, shooting off fireworks that would put Gandalf’s to shame and trying on outrageously colored hair extensions while being fed cake by the natives.

But then, dear Curators. Oh, then . . .

What began as a celebration of Curator Trevayne’s success became something much more dangerous, an expedition of the direst magnitude, in fact. After much peril and evading of booby traps that would put a certain hatted archaeology professor to shame, we returned home to the Cabinet — safely, yes, just barely, but certainly not in time to prepare a story for you today.

For now, we are content to dust ourselves off and recover by the hearth, our pockets full of relics we can’t name for fear of activating them, and our minds bursting with darkly fantastical new stories. And we hope you’ll join us soon for a new story — a few days late but just as dark and delightful as you’ve come to expect.

Until then, readers,

The Curators

May Flowers . . . Don’t Give Them To Your Mother, Child

Hello, dear readers. I write this from my tower room, safely surrounded by shelves of crumbling books, drawers packed with carved wooden boxes holding a variety of interesting powders, and tables lined with jar upon jar of  . . . well. Things.

My tower room is a pleasant haven, where I tend to forget little details like the changing seasons. But earlier this morning, when I peered down through the small, dirty window, I saw, marring the pensive gray and white slush of winter, a few unpleasant dots of color.

Flowers. Ah yes. It is May, and May means flowers: violets, pansies, and petunias, the colors of old bruises and spoiled butter, turning their little faces up to the beaming sun. I presume that soon some toddler will wander by, yank a few from the ground—oh, is that a silent scream, now, from the dumb little open-mouthed flower-faces?—and carry them off in a filthy fist. Mommy! For you!

If you loved your mommy, you icky child—and if you knew what I know about that wilting bouquet—flowers are the last thing you’d offer.

I won’t mince words: I don’t like flowers. I don’t trust their pretty surfaces, their persuasive perfumes. When it comes to flowers, believe me: things can go dreadfully wrong.

This month, the Cabinet Curators will share with you just a few of our many (oh yes: many) stories about the darker side of flowers. I hope you’ll take it to heart, and plow up your gardens, and salt the earth, and this year give your mother a handful of stones or thorny sticks for her birthday. Much safer than flowers, I assure you.

April is the Month of Tricks

Welcome, curious souls, to a new month at the Cabinet.

In January, if you’ll recall, we shared with you a collection of not-so-sweet stories about cake. In February, love (in all its dark, oft-twisty forms) was our theme. And last month, the theme was luck — bad luck, good luck; luck on the seas and in the circus, luck of a special little girl and luck found waiting in an attic.

And what is the theme this month?

Pull up a chair, brave hearts, and gather ’round — but be mindful of where you sit, because this month, nothing may be what it seems. For this month, you see, the theme is tricks. Our stories, then, might be of something largely innocent — childish pranks and harmless fun — or something darker. Perhaps we shall tell stories of jokes gone wrong, of lies told and illusions spun, of riddles upon which rests the difference between life and death.

We hope you enjoy these tales — and that you come away wiser for having heard them (unlike, to be sure, many of the poor souls within the tales themselves).

Be watchful. Trust no one (except for us, of course). Listen.

For we have another month of stories to tell.

March is the Month of Luck

It’s a new month in the shadowy corners of the Cabinet (and perhaps in the sunny world outside, too, who’s to say), and that means four new stories, four new nightmares that will frighten you or disgust you, and preferably do both. This month, if you poke your head in our door, you will find the stories are about luck.

Not necessarily good luck. 

Perhaps one story will be about wishing wells, and one about troll bridges, and one about falling off of a boat and drowning. We don’t know yet. We won’t tell yet. But the stories will without a doubt feature dastardly deeds and frightening occurrences of the sort we’re sure you’ve never seen before.

Last month we wrote of love. The month before we dreamed up dreadful things about cake. Now, just in time for St. Patrick’s day, we bring you tales of fortune, serendipity, and chance. We hope you like it.

May March be luckier for you than it will be for our characters.

The Curators