The Monster Manual

By Ian Goh

  1. Banshees believe in blind justice (usually in the form of Mother and Father). Once scorned, they practise the art of black-face, like to stalk Members of Parliament or shadow-post on Reddit. Attempts to communicate are futile — your words are used as black-and-white ammunition for a later battle of he-said, she-said.


  1. A Berbalang consumes the flesh and bones of its fellow human beings, like that time it got ridiculed for not knowing a khha-chhng[1] from a lān-jiáu[2] during Biology class, but laughed along anyways. Harmless alone but vicious in groups.


  1. For a Gibbering Mouther, fight fire with phrases like “I didn’t know this was a wet fish market?” and “Would you like to carry on your conversation whilst the rest of us wait?” If all else fails, demand they stand on their desks, place a pinky over their lips and sing Majulah Singapura[3].


  1. Goblins are defensive and scare easily. Do not raise your voice too suddenly — once startled, they like to hurl their shit in your face and threaten intercourse with your mother. But remember: do not toss any of their shit back — you never know who might be secretly recording.


  1. A Hag will always haggle with you for marks, bind you with your own logic, intimate knowledge of that time you gave Ashley ten marks because she thought Queen Mab was a feminist in her Unseen essay. Likes the sound of their own voice, so praise often.


  1. To defeat a multi-headed Hydra, simply release early for recess.


  1. An Intellect Devourer will consume assessment books, ten-year series and past-year papers instead of dinner, drink or sleep, doubly so during the months of October and November. Notify the counselor if they start to shrink too far in size.


  1. Mummies can be found in the lavatory for lengths of time, only to return with rolls of toilet paper wrapped around their ankle socks or wrinkled pinafores strung too short. Lock the door after ten minutes and ask to take MC[4] if they’re this full of diarrhea.


  1. An Oni haunts your Whatsapp messages after 7 p.m., sometimes past midnight and always the day before a big test. Their weapons-of-choice are phrases like, “But you promised to help!” and “CHER[5] I’M GOING TO DIE.” Turn off your notifications.


  1. Rakshasha have feline heads and a taste for Herschel and Vans, also enjoy being chauffeured along Bukit Timah Road in their black BMWs. They may purr and perform elaborate dance rituals on special days, but be warned: back home, they strike at their keyboards with backward claws. Avoid Googling yourself.


  1. A Tarrasque, in a fit of rage, might toss tables, chairs and whiteboard dusters without warning. One time, it tore up its Higher Chinese paper with its tapered claws and stomped on the “shit score from the shit paper” for ten minutes. Clear the room to avoid collateral damage.


  1. Avoid Zombies like the plague. Attempts to stir them from their slumber might get you snapped at, bitten, or worst of all, converted into a shambling corpse yourself. Remember: you might not be able to save them all, but perhaps you can still save yourself.                                                

[1] Buttocks

[2] Penis

[3] National Anthem of Singapore

[4] Medical Certificate

[5] ‘Teacher’ in Singlish