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The juniper tree outside my house is a fan favorite amongst the birds, despite December being a historically unkind wintry month. Avalanches of snow fall from the trees branches, wrecking havoc on their lives as they get stuck in the snow banks down below.

Yesterday my mom and I were shoveling the driveway when we heard a faint cry by the tree. Under a pile of snow was a bright red cardinal, frozen and struggling for breath. My mom made a little bed for it and put it in the bathroom so it could relax, but we thought for sure the bird was going to be a goner.

We waited patiently for it to breathe its last breath, talked about whether we should bury the body or leave it out for other animals to pick up. You can imagine how surprised I was this morning to find it was walking around the bathroom, even flapping its wings to prepare for flight flight.

My mom left for work early this morning, so she didn’t get to see the cardinal’s recovery. But my father, who didn’t see the bird until he got home from work late last night, was thrilled.

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He was holding the bird on his lap at the breakfast table, trying to feed it despite the cardinal’s constant squirms and cries to be released. I told him we needed to set the bird free outside. 

“It’s so dirty and stressed,” he said. “I was about to take a bath, I’m going to give him one, too.”

I stared at him. Sometimes I could have sworn this man had absolutely no brain inside his thick head. “Dad, are you serious?” I looked at the creature. I had never noticed a songbird’s eyes before, had never seen one with so much anger and hatred in them. “It’s stressed because you’re holding it. It doesn’t want to be held and it doesn’t need a bath. We need to let it go.”

“No.” He stood up, clutched the bird closer to his chest. “This is what it needs.” He finished the rest of his coffee, then walked upstairs and ran a bath. 

Three hours later, I found my dad dead in the bathtub. His eyes carved out, his guts protruded from the gaping hole in his stomach. The cardinal sat on the edge of the bathtub, staring at the body, its feathers dripping blood as a piece of meat hung from its tiny beak.

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Suddenly it plunged into the water. I listened to the sound of it splashing and digging into my dad. I needed to leave, ask for help, but I was frozen, stuck to the wet floor. The bird was still underwater when I noticed, for the first time, that my dad was still breathing. His hands twitched as he whimpered and whispered for help.

CourtCourt is a writer, horror enthusiast, and may or may not be your favorite human-eating houseplant.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jennifer Weigel

    December 20, 2020 at 8:55 am

    If you’re cold, they’re cold…

  2. VoodooPriestess

    December 20, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Is he okay? Are you okay? Do you have bird trauma in your life?!

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Original Creations

Snails a Whorl Whirl Whore World…

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So a friend and I made some artsy snails awhile back. Essentially this was in response to her granddaughter proclaiming that her favorite animals are whorl snails. My friend heard “whore snails” and was a bit perturbed that the child would use such a word so nonchalantly, whether or not she knew what it meant. But then again toddler-speak is like that sometimes… Anyway, it stuck.

So we made some whore snails, all glammed up and ready to go. We started with these flat metal snails and then painted and decorated them, to whore them up a bit. I figured this would be apropos after my recent Valentine’s Day posts and that the end results were horrifying enough to appear here.

My friend's whore whorl snail
My friend’s whore whorl snail

This is my friend’s creation. I especially like the David Bowie star and cherry bling to match her cherry red lipstick. The purple shell is a great color on her too. I think my friend went back and decorated her shell more after the fact, but I didn’t see the snail after those changes.

My whore snail
My whore snail

And here’s my whore snail. She’s a bit more of an ice queen with her deceptively lovey-dovey eyes and mouth full of poison darts, like the underwater snails do. I believe I called her a Hoar Whore Whorl Snail as when the discussion first came up I heard “hoar” and thought of hoarfrost. Hence the ice queen take…

And another friend joined us via Zoom just to visit and have fun making art together.

Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom
Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom

This little Zoomed in snail is kinda cute, like she’s out on the beach in her bikini… Mixed media on paper.

So if that wasn’t disturbing enough, check out my inappropriate Shrinky Dinks posted here before, or maybe this Eye Candy Peeps Easter basket, both taking some innocuous thing(s) turning into something… else…

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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. Her friends will remain anonymous for now…

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Original Creations

Have a Dystopian Girls on Film Valentine’s Day

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So it’s finally actually Valentine’s Day, and thus marks the final segment of our dysfunctional dystopian romance. So far, we’ve survived both Gen X and Krampusnacht, what else could possibly be in store? Girls on Film…

Valentine's Day card Girls on Film
Girls on Film Valentine’s Day card from Jennifer Weigel

Image description: Video camera umbrella shower succubus stares through the lens at the viewer, surrounded by eerie Cthulhoid horror embellishments with text.

Text reads: Happy Valentine’s Day; lipstick cherry all over the lens as she’s falling; give me shudders in a whisper; take me up ’til I’m shooting a star; (she’s more than a lady)

OK so this Valentine’s Day dystopia ends in a Duran Duran video, because of course it does. If the video doesn’t load properly, you can find it by following this link. Girls on Film.

Duran Duran official video

Here’s the camera eye succubus all by itself, for your viewing pleasure. Actually this is the original original image from an Unselfie performance art piece in the shower before I decided to forego the umbrella. Girls on Film.

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Unselfie performance art video still
Video still

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

Krampus and Jennifer Weigel wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day

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Krampus got a little confused and decided to celebrate Krampusnacht for St. Valentine instead of St. Nicholas. So Happy Valentine’s Day, as it were. No real surprise there, the whipping can go either way…

Here’s a before image of a doll like this one started as, one of those Christmas caroler figures.

Working Boy caroler figure - Before the makeover
Working Boy caroler figure – Before the makeover

And here are some after images to burn into your brain through your retinas.

Krampus’ eyes and horns are black light sensitive. The pin is a hand beaded piece that I lucked into at thrift and was perfect for this, nice and gaudy. Because even Krampus says you gotta have bling – it is Valentine’s Day after all.

Caroler turned Krampus - detail of cape
Detail of cape

And here’s a detail shot of the cape so you can see the chubby cheeky angels. Just like on all those Italian ceilings, these angels love to look down upon you in bed not sleeping, just like they would do. Such pervs. Perfect for creepy Christmas and Valentine’s Day alike…

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

Fashion Zombies

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Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

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Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

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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