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It could have been a setup for a joke, “A Pollack, a Mexican, and a Frenchie walk into a bar…” but we didn’t walk into a bar.  What we walked into was far, far worse.

           “2 for $1 Big Macs?  Ho-ho-holy crow!  Let’s see how much today’s little venture raked in!”  Bean, my rather vast and jolly Mexican friend, said as he dug through the rusted-red pot stuffed with cash.

           Gene, the diminutive Frenchie, adjusted his green elf hat and made a gesture knocking lint off the fluffy white trim fuzzing around his sleeves.  I’m not sure what made us think that spray painting a plastic Halloween jack o lantern candy holder a rusty red colour would help us pass it off as a Christmas collection pot. Maybe it was a stroke of genius on our end or just a lack of willpower to remove the Halloween decorations.  Either way, that thing was filled to the brim with green American money and the occasional Canadian Looney.  Damn Canadians. 

           “$37.50,” Bean said.

           A child tugged on Bean’s svelte Santa suit and the child’s mother, or maybe it was just a random stranger, grabbed the boy away before Bean could get out a “Ho”.

           “Santa!”  the child cried.

           Bean turned to wave at the child as the woman pulled the kid towards the door.  “Ho ho ho!”

           “Mommy!  Santa!”  the kid yelled and made his little feet run in place and then in the air while the mother picked him up.

           I wasn’t sure what the mother said, but it sounded like, “That’s not Santa, hunnie, that’s a Mexican.”

           “Ho-ho-ho-ly hell?  Did she just say I couldn’t be Santa because I’m Mexican?”  Bean took the red and white Santa hat off and wiped the sweat coming off his brow.

           “Don’t listen to her,” I said.  “She’s a nut.  A fruitcake.  The kid probably wasn’t even hers.  We’ll call the cops later.  Big reward.  I can see it now.  Saint Nick saves child from evil woman!” 

           “Jolly Saint Nick already did that when he filed for divorce, white boy,” Bean said, and it was true. 

           “I mean, really, Santa has to be a Mexican—who else would work one day a year and take the rest off?”

           Before Bean could make a comment, a voice from our hips cried out, “Lil’ help here, guys.”

           I turned away from Bean to see Gene trying to wrangle in a tray stacked with Big Macs.  Apparently, he ordered enough that when stacked end to end, they would be taller than he is.  That number, as I counted in my head, was 24.

           “32 Big Macs coming your way!  Take this so I can grab the other tray!”

           I meant 32, not 24.  24 would obviously be a ridiculous number to stack Big Macs up to see if they are taller than Gene.  Bean took the tray as I got some ketchup.  I liked working the pumps and often pretended that the ketchup I pumped out was blood and the cups were a menstrual cup.

           “Take this, toxic shock syndrome!” I shouted a bit too loud between the last pump.  A woman put her hands on a little girl’s ears and turned her head away from me.  “Hey, you will thank me later when Dracula starts asking the bartender for a glass of hot water!”  The response didn’t make sense to the woman, but Gene caught it.

           “We’ll make some tea later; I need to get something in me before we bang those whores tonight.”  Gene said, and the woman alternated her hands from the child’s ears to the child’s eyes.

           “Oh, like the kid never saw an elf talk about fucking whores before,” Gene said and timed a wave at the kid between the mom’s windshield wiperesque hand protection. Gene blew a kiss to the kid and the mother put her daughter’s face into her bosom then proceeded to walk to her table with a small cup of ketchup and the kid’s head shoved firmly into her chest, each ear covered by a breast.   

           “And they say we’re the weird ones?” Bean said as he directed us to the table he secured with our food.  The Big Macs were piled to one side of the booth and whatever Gene bought for himself was on the other.  A smell of cheesy funk hung in the air.

           Bean’s Santa beard was covered in special sauce.  His eyes were a bit glazed over from the cholesterol doing its job to clog up his mind.  I could barely lift my hand to the next box containing a Big Mac.  The cheese on the box started to harden at room temperature and whatever temperature Bean’s front teeth were.  Some of it actually got warm enough from the chewing motions he made to start oozing down, but then solidified part way.  Always part way.

           “So, you ordered a bunch of fried cocks?”  Bean said looking at Gene.

           “You wish!  These aren’t fried cocks; these delicious things are the McBratwurst!”  Gene held one up to the light.  It looked like a shriveled Mexican cock.

           “It looks like a shriveled Mexican cock” Bean said, and I had my suspicions verified.  “There’s no way this can beat my Chorizo!”.

           “You never tried this McBrat then!  Come on, Santa Clause!”  Without any prompting from me, Gene leaped up on the table and dangled the McBrat in front of Bean’s face.  The cheese at the end (the hell?  Why would that come with cheese?) dripped off and started to fall to the table until Santa Bean caught it with his tongue.  A splotch landed on his tongue ring; the effect made me recall the time a hummingbird ran into dog shit thrown from the rooftop. 

           “Eat it Santa!  Eat it!  Put it in your mouth!  Take it!” Gene, still in his elf costume, started to shout.  I became aware that we should start cutting back on spiking his sports drink when Gene’s hand grabbed the back of Bean’s head.  The black brillo hair tangled up in the fuzz of Gene’s elf costume. 

           I heard, “Mommy, why is the elf playing Dambles with Santa?”  I could only assume “Dambles” was a code word the mother taught her kid when the kid walked in on her performing a similar act sans the cheese.  I thought I heard more, but terror was blocking all auditory stimulation. 

           I’m not sure when I got up from our table and started to stutter towards a few booths past ours.  I think I was trying to make it to the ball pit.  I thought if I could just cover myself in the orange and yellow balls that this would all be over.  Then I made the mistake of looking over towards Bean and Gene.  Gene had both hands firmly around Bean’s head, and the sausage was nowhere to be seen.  He let go suddenly and Bean came away with part of the fake beard still attached to where the sausage was just moments ago.  His face—covered in grease and cheese—had a vague smile plastered on like he remembered a fond holiday long dormant.  The clicking of his tongue ring against his teeth set me on edge, but it was the way Gene, still dressed as an elf, let out a bestial cry of victory—both little arms waving in the air while yelling for “Santa” to “suck it” that haunts me even today.

           It was at this moment that I buried my head between the woman’s breasts.  Her mole came at my eye and drew tears.  The last thing I could hear was Bean’s “Ho ho ho!  The reindeer will be flying high tonight!”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Weigel

    December 18, 2020 at 9:03 am

    I’m glad to see the trio back for more holiday escapades after Halloween and hope this series continues.

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Lighter than Dark

LTD Tripped Out Motivational Posters



Tripped out… in case you just couldn’t get enough of Everything Everywhere All at Once and the return of the infinite bagel with EVERYTHING on it…

Tripped Out motivational poster
Tripped Out motivational poster

Artwork description: kaleidoscopic image of pink hairy horror (This is actually a fink fuzzy frond plant not unlike a Cockscomb but with longer thinner flowering feelers rather than the fuller protuberances you see on a full-bodied Cockscomb plant. I have no idea what it was, but it was very odd so I had to snap a photo.)

Image text reads: Mixing Magic Mushrooms & Peyote Just remember: once you open that Pandora’s box, you’re never going to get the pink hairy tarantulas back in it…

Tripped Out seeing eye god sunflower
Tripped Out seeing eye god sunflower

Artwork description: kaleidoscopic sunflower backlit by the sun with text and rainbow eye overlay

Image text reads: Eye See You Eye See All (in circle text so you can start and end reading wherever). In an ideal context this would be printed in the bottom of your tea mug or on a record that can slowly spin.

For more crazy tripped out fun, check out Weird Al’s post on Craig’s List

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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Original Creations

The Elves Reunion, a short story by Jennifer Weigel



An Elven portal in the woods, emerging from stone and forest floor.
An Elven portal in the woods, emerging from stone and forest floor.

I had heard tale that The Elves dwell in these woods.  Many underestimate The Elves; they have a fondness of heart for Tolkienesque Middle Earth fantasy stories and tales where Elves are the most highly civilized, virtuous and intelligent.  They forget that those are just myths, save for The Elves being cunning.  Remember that the Pied Piper was an Elf, and the children he took were not destined for such a glorious fate.

My sister lost her firstborn to The Elves.  She hadn’t noticed the Changeling until it was too late.  Her baby had already long since been stolen away.  She was so distraught she refused to eat or speak.  She locked herself in her room.  Or my family locked her into it as she succumbed to the madness.  Such are the ways of the family, for all of our protection.  We never question but follow as expected, as a means of self-preservation.  It has kept us all alive.

But I couldn’t get the sinking feeling out of my stomach; the grief became too overwhelming. That is why I came here.  I know I will not be able to rescue the child, nor my sister.  But I seek to avenge their meaningless deaths.  To ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  My family will never act.  I am tired of the Village Elders just shrugging these things off in hushed whispers and badly shrouded secrets.  It happens time and again.  We are all expendable.  They never do anything.

So here I am, in the Elven wood.  Alone.  As soon as my family figures out that I’m here, they will disown me.  They probably already have.  Again, it is for our own protection.  I’ll be just another casualty of The Elves.  Everything is so structured, so regimented.  Anyone who dares act in opposition to the rules vanishes.  We are all so afraid.

I lay in wait.  It’s just a matter of time before the portal appears.  The Elves use the portals to travel across time and space.  They appear where and when they wish.  But this time, I will go through first.  I know not what is on the other side, just that the portals allow only one to traverse in each direction.  We will trade places, if only for a moment until another portal forms.  Hopefully that will be enough time.

The trees shift and morph.  Falling leaves drift slower and slower towards the ground.  There is a stillness that I cannot fully express.  My breath hangs heavy in the silent air.  There is no sound, no smell, no taste.  It is time.  The hairs on the back of my neck and arms rise. I can sense the opening forming.  There is an uncanny familiarity in this moment, as if I have been here before.

As soon as the portal opens, I dash through.  But something isn’t right.  No one came through from the other side.  Or did they?  I cannot tell.  I am alone, in limbo between states of existence.  The world spins around me.  I can feel the drift.  Is this what death feels like?  Cold unbroken silence?  I feel distant eyes upon me everywhere, all around me, in the trees, the clouds, pinpoints of light that shimmer through.

I can feel The Elves eyes upon me everywhere.  In the leaves, in the trees themselves.
I can feel The Elves eyes upon me everywhere. In the leaves, in the trees themselves.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Maybe this is all according to plan.  But who was orchestrating the exchange?  My idea was only half formed in those passing pensive moments I am able to think for myself, few and far between.  My family, the Village Elders… no one allows time for freeform thought.  I hadn’t considered what would happen after the portal exchange.  I never really got past step one.

A voice greets me from the trees.  It is hauntingly familiar but seems only a distant memory.

“I’ve been expecting you.”

The world slowly comes into focus.  Clarity restored, the leaves circle me in an embrace.  My sister emerges, her dark eyes smiling.  She cradles the baby in her arms.

“You made it.  You escaped,” she sings.

“I didn’t see anyone,” I retort, skeptical.  I hadn’t recalled having seen any Elves, dark nightmarish fiends that they are, wild, unkempt, uncouth.  Savage beasts like Pan or Krampus.  Is this an illusion?  My sister seems so lifelike, so much herself.  She is the joyful young mother I had known her to be.  Filled with love and laughter.  Light dances about her, and she shimmers.

“Not in passing,” my sister clarifies.  “You have been living among them your whole life.  I had done so as well until the baby was stolen.  My heart broke; I had to follow after.  That was when I learned the Truth.”

“Why do you think we are so sheltered?  Why are we forbidden to do anything?  They do so to protect us from the Truth about who and what we are,” she continued.  “We’ve spent our lives evading that which we truly know ourselves to be.  We were the stolen ones, not the other way around…”

I notice that the portal I came through is still open, reinforcing my idea that no one had passed through the other way.  It is as if the portal was opened specifically to call me through. My sister extends her hand, beckoning me to join her.  There is a gleam in her eye I cannot pinpoint.  She seems happy, but something still isn’t quite right.  I’m still uncertain why I am here, in this time and place, as if destined to be present in this moment, in this decision.

The Village has fallen away to the woods.  There are no breadcrumb trails to follow home.  The idea of home itself seems distant like yet another illusion.  Nothing makes sense anymore.  I am unsure whether I am coming or going.  Two paths lay open before me.  Which shall I take?

The Elves portal remains but the path is unclear.
The Elves portal remains but the path is unclear.

The trees are full of Elven magicks… Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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Original Creations

Eye Candy Jewelry by Jennifer Weigel



I have been getting ready for a jewelry show in February and thought I’d share some of the fun eye candy necklaces I’ve been working on. Do they thwart or attract the Evil Eye? I think that depends largely on the wearer’s intentions… Each is hand-beaded and features a spooky printed eyeball pendant as its focus.

And the piece de resistance… A RAINBOW Evil Eye necklace with magnesite stone skulls! I love these happy little deadheads – they are just too spoopy… I have seen these beads ranging in size from very small to huge and I love all of them.

Eye Candy Necklace by Jennifer Weigel with rainbow Evil Eye and magnesite stone skulls
Eye Candy Necklace by Jennifer Weigel with rainbow Evil Eye and magnesite stone skulls

I love using eyes in art in weird and unusual contexts in my art. They have so much presence and symbolism. They also bring a sort of surreal atmosphere to any artwork, which bears just a hint of spookiness regardless of context.

Other artworks & graphics by myself that prominently feature eyes have appeared here on Haunted MTL in Insomnia, Indecision, Illuminati, Carriage Factory art installation, The Watchers, The Red Key, and Shaman Sticks.

You can check out some of my Hauntings jewelry on Haunted MTL here, and more jewelry is featured on my website here.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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