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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.

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           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.”

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           “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.”

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           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.

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           “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.

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           “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.

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           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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Original Creations

Dirty Clean Sweep, a Short Story by Jennifer Weigel

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Wendell was a germophobe. His obsessions with cleanliness extended far beyond the reach of OCD and even hypochondria, because for all that he was totally infatuated with his own mortality and utterly convinced that he was sick, it was his peculiar obsession with germs that eventually drove him to an insanity that doomed the world to an unexpected and dire destruction. For Wendell was the reason for the Clean Sweep.

When the COVID pandemic happened, it only increased Wendell’s fear, and his germophobia worsened significantly. He started meticulously waxing all of the hair off of his body, even his eyebrows, and would shower several times per day, using an abrasive pumice to slough off any dead skin that might otherwise accumulate and attract mites. As his manners and habits surrounding cleanliness became more and more rigid and involved, he left his house less and less for any reason whatsoever. He began to treat his home environment like a hospital or chemical facility and reworked everything to minimize debris, personally installing air filtration systems that rivaled some of the most sterile industry environments and cleaning everything constantly (he had once worked in HVAC and now no longer trusted anyone else to be involved in his efforts).

He took advantage of all of the delivery services, with packages coming to his back porch once weekly. He had everything on video camera and would scream at anyone who didn’t follow his explicit instructions through a small speaker in the ceiling. If a delivery-person didn’t first sanitize their hands with the supplied wipes and then put on latex gloves and booties before turning the door handle to drop their package on the specified table, they were yelled at and reported, and a bad review was left for whatever service had sent them.

Dirty Clean hand sanitizer out and about
Dirty Clean…

Wendell only order packaged foods, simple soups and cereals that would not come in contact with the world outside of their factory packaged settings. He meticulously researched processing plants to determine what he could and could not consume according to his own standards of cleanliness. When a parcel was delivered, he would leave it where it sat for two to three days time depending on the weather, all the while monitoring it. He would eventually suit up in a tyvek jumpsuit, goggled and gloved, and brave the porch himself in order to extract his needed food and hygiene supplies. Whilst there, he would spray and wipe down the porch, replenish the hand sanitizing wipes and latex gloves, and take everything that might have come into contact with the outside world out with his trash. The cycle would then repeat again a few days later. Every delivery included yet more gear to perpetuate his clean infatuation. More latex gloves, more wipes, more sprays, more tyvek suits… And every time his labors increased…

While Wendell continued to go about his business, ordering life necessities like soap and soup online, a slow and subtle change to his environment began to take over. It wasn’t obvious and, as he never put any distance between himself and his bubble world, he was unaware of the shift. It began because of a spore, well more of an anti-spore like blossoming of suddenly self-aware sterilization. No one really knows where it came from, or how it managed to get such a strong foothold, but perhaps it was because of Wendell’s meticulous cleaning habits. For this strange and unusual being, or beings as it were (for it was hard to tell whether there was a single individual or a number of them all acting under one consciousness), though unaffected by cleaning reagents and the like, had once been highly susceptible to bacteria and rarely survived at length when competing for resources with other species previous to its evolution in Wendell’s abode. But the bereft home was the perfect outpost for it to thrive, and it finally managed to gain a foothold. It grew rapidly and had soon infiltrated most every corner.

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As mentioned, Wendell didn’t notice, or perhaps he welcomed the change. For this strange surface skimmer actually looked even cleaner than its surroundings, appearing as an even brighter less dingy white that almost seemed to glow. It embodied cleanliness, at least insofar as we have come to perceive the concept. And the more that it acclimated to its habitat, the more resilient it became, learning to alter its own surroundings to its gain by killing off any and all other life forms that stood in its way. When a small quantity of some bacteria or mite or other single-celled threat was introduced, say on a box surface or embedded in the cardboard, the newly evolved clean critter would attack and annihilate them almost as if it were itself composed of harsh cleansers like bleach and ammonia. It seemed to develop a memory for different organisms and found a way to destroy most everything. It steadily increased in size and became stronger and stronger.

Clean Dirty hand sanitizer out and about
Clean Dirty…

Finally, one day, it had grown large enough to determine that Wendell himself was a threat, for no matter how clean his environment or person was, he still harbored a myriad of organisms required to keep a human healthy and fully functioning. He was inherently dirty and had to be eliminated. And so the creature he had fostered at length, by providing a nearly sterile environment for its incubation, rose up and destroyed him. It did so while he was sleeping and so he had no awareness of what had happened; had he realized a blanket of seemingly sudsy foam was suffocating him he would have panicked thinking it was some sort of bacterial infection or the like. But he blissfully slept through his untimely death, and the aggressive new organism worked to dispel all of the unclean bits and detritus of his being.

After finally taking over the whole of the house, this new creature began to spread, much like a fungus or a rot, dismantling all in its path in order to leave a wake of clean sterile nothingness. Although it has been said that nature abhors a vacuum, somehow this void had become powerful enough to negate that and continued on its path of complete and utter destruction, leaving nothing living in its path. Before too long it had absorbed the two neighboring houses, and then the houses just beyond those, in a sort of reverse infection that defied logical explanation. The local health department and center for disease control were perplexed; these spaces seemed too clean to harbor such a deadly silent killer and yet something was slowly annihilating everything in its path on a microscopic level. It almost acted like a slow progressing chemical spill but yet there was no evidence of such either.

Before long, word had gotten out and samples had been taken and distributed across the globe. One of those samples was eventually leaked intentionally, as a weapon of mass destruction, and was unable to later be contained. The Clean Sweep was upon all and the world began to be disinfected wholly as it spread. Life was literally in the balance, slated to be eradicated and left to a sort of shiny surface devoid of substance. All was being cleansed, slowly but surely. What started with Wendell, whom would never be known or acknowledged as the source of this new terror, had grown to be much larger.

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.

If you enjoyed this tale, here is another creepy story about cleanliness. 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.

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Original Creations

More Nail Polish Paintings by Jennifer Weigel

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Well, seems I’m at it again, with more nail polish paintings into found thrift store art. Why so many flowers this time…? Well a friend sent them and I just couldn’t help myself. They are so perfect for creepy fairy paintings. And for those of you who think fairies aren’t scary, you haven’t read much about the fey now have you?

More Revisitations nail polish paintings by Jennifer Weigel
More Revisitations nail polish paintings by Jennifer Weigel

Top left: Blue Fairy, originally painted by M Wadorf

Top right: Pegasus, originally painted by Edie Babb

Bottom left: Unicorn, originally painted by R Lovelace (After I painted this I realized I missed the opportunity to do a troll with a bridge and so I hope to do another along those lines in the future.)

Bottom middle: Fairy, originally painted by SD Janz

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Bottom right: Dragon, original signed FZ, very sparkly with black-light sensitive eyes

And the most horrific of the bunch this time is this mermaid, who started as a weird bucket painting by Helen Miller… So, what’s in the bucket, Helen? Body parts? Fish? Plants not yet in bloom? I envisioned a trapped mermaid waiting to ensnare some unsuspecting land-goer, because no one would expect to find a mermaid there…

Mermaid in bucket, original by Helen Miller
Is this mermaid trapped in need of help or just trying to lure you close?

So I broke down and redid the unicorn to a troll. Apparently the troll was hungry… Anyway, here is the result. I am happier with it now.

Troll with toll bridge, original by R Lovelace
Hungry troll wants bridge tolls after eating innocent unicorn.

You can find more of my Revisitations art on Haunted MTL here, including links to even more nail polish paintings…

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.

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.

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Original Creations

Bloody Mary or More Doll Costuming by Jennifer Weigel

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So I came upon a Liv doll with no wig and decided to make her a mourning ensemble. The result was so reminiscent of this Bloody Mary music video based on the Lady Gaga song, by Ruben Samuel Cortez for his film school final (not the Wednesday TikTok remix, though that is also fun) that I simply had to share.

Costumed Liv doll to Bloody Mary by Jennifer Weigel
Costumed Liv doll to Bloody Mary by Jennifer Weigel

The outfit is made up of really fancy thick black lace leftover from a skirt I decorated for a party and an old translucent black handkerchief. It really reminds me of the table dancers in the music video but black instead of white (though it also alludes to some of the other outfits too, and Wednesday’s dress from the TikTok remake).

Close up of Bloody Mary doll's face
Close up of Bloody Mary doll’s face

I love the detail on the eyes on these Liv dolls, which are embedded and not painted on.

Closer still...
Closer still…

The Liv dolls’ eyes are just so lifelike. I think this is what attracts me to the Rainbow High dolls too, and why I had to turn the Makeover Failfix 2Dreami into Lady Amalthea of The Last Unicorn…

Failfix 2Dreami as Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn (not scary but one of my all time fave movies and I love how this doll turned out so I'm posting her here anyway)
Failfix 2Dreami as Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn (not scary but one of my all time fave movies and I love how this doll turned out so I’m posting her here anyway)

If you want to check out more of my altered dolls, I have posted several to Haunted MTL here:

Fashion Zombies

Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

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Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

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Krampus

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.

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.

Oh and here’s a bonus photo of the skirt that I got the lace for originally, titled Kiss My A$$.

Portrait of the artist, dressed for a Blue Jeans and Bling party
Portrait of the artist, dressed for a Blue Jeans and Bling party

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