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What happens when witchcraft leads to the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?

The alarm started blaring.  Ugh.  Kit rolled over and looked at the clock.  Crap!  It was already 8:45 and she needed to be at work at 9.  She was certain to be late. Why didn’t the alarm go off at 7 like it was supposed to?

Kit leapt out of bed and raced to the bathroom.  She rushed to the sink and splashed cold water on her face.  She didn’t have time to do anything else so that would have to do.  She glanced up at the bathroom mirror and was taken aback.  Her dark eyes rested upon a gaze she didn’t recognize, icy blue eyes staring back at her.  The pale reflection seemed as surprised as she was.  They stared and blinked at one another in silence.

Kit reached towards the mirror, left hand extended.  The mirror girl reached back with her right.  Both withdrew quickly and continued staring blankly.  They reached towards each other again, fingertips meeting beyond the surface of the cold still glass.


There was no time for this.

Kit hurriedly emerged from the bathroom shaking her head.  She must be imagining things or still partially dreaming somehow.  The clock smirked at her from its perch on the nightstand.  8:45.  The time didn’t fully register because of the sense of urgency. She reached in the closet, grabbed some clothes and slipped them on.  She ran into the main room, snatched the waiting purse from the table by the door, and slipped out into the hallway.

But wait.

This was not her apartment.  This was not even her apartment building.  The hallway was dingy and full of warm yellow light that reflected off of every dust particle drifting through the air.  Where were the overhead fluorescents?  Kit was immersed in heavy dark wood paneling, not the usual outdated blue and white striped wallpaper that typically greeted her.  She looked down at herself.

The clothes she wore were not her own, they were loose fitting hippie garb, flowing in an informal array of mismatched patterns and textures.  They were not at all professional by legal secretary work standards, and certainly nothing Kit would have owned.


Kit turned the key in the lock.  She eased her way back inside the apartment to stand beside the table.  She looked at her purse.  It was about the same size and weight as she might have expected but it was just a simple purple velvet tote bag with gold fringe and beads hanging down from the bottom.  It was not leather or imitation designer, and it bore a hand-embroidered star emblem.  She slid the bag back onto the small table.

What was going on?

Kit looked around.  The apartment was full of plants and crystals and candles.  An unassuming black cat sat in a far window surrounded by greenery, its amber eyes fixated on Kit.  The cat had a grumpy, impatient air about it.  It coughed, emitting a deep hollow sigh from the depths of its throat before it spoke.

“What the Hell?” it asked.

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat stared at Kit

Kit leapt backwards into the table by the door.  The cat meowed at her and jumped from its perch to circle her legs twice before trailing over to a small silver bowl.  The cat emphatically sat down beside the bowl as if to draw attention to the action itself.  It meowed again and looked at the nearly empty dish.  “Well, aren’t you going to feed me?” it exclaimed.

Kit looked around.  The cat idly washed its paw, still staring at her.  It meowed again and pawed at its food bowl.


Kit didn’t own a cat.  Or plants or crystals or candles for that matter.  Her apartment was very sparse.  But everything was otherwise where it should be.  The table by the door, the purse, even the layout of the apartment; if she closed her eyes and went on intuition, anything of importance was exactly where she expected it to be.  And yet nothing was the same.

Kit traced her steps back into the bedroom.  The cat followed, meowing insistently.  The bed, the nightstand, the clock, even the crooked closet door were perfectly matched to Kit’s own.  But otherwise everything about this place was different.

There were black lace curtains hung in sweeping motions reaching into the bedroom and not just in the window, which was lined with small ceramic birds.  The bedding was silk, like Kit’s own, but it was a dark burgundy wine color with a huge gold and green brocade comforter whereas Kit’s bedding was white and grey.  Yet, when Kit closed her eyes again, it all aligned perfectly with where she expected things to be.

“Seriously WTF?!” the cat shrieked.  “I’ve been waiting FOREVER.”

Kit plopped down on the corner of the bed.  She realized she was still clutching the small velvet bag.  She was sure she had put it back, and yet here she was holding it.  She rifled through its contents and came upon a student ID from a college she had never heard of.  It boasted a picture of a diminutive fair blonde woman labeled April Schlemiel, Witchcraft & Wizardry, University of Feyfaerie Pass.  The photograph was a perfect match to the woman that had stared back at Kit from the mirror.


Kit threw the bag and the ID to the floor.  She looked at the clock.  It was stuck at 8:45.  It was a standard digital clock just like hers, with the same blocky red numbers on a mirrored black background in a boxy black housing, the kind you could buy pretty much anywhere.  Kit fixed her gaze upon it, since it was the only familiar thing about this strange place.  She didn’t realize she had fallen back onto the bed and drifted off to sleep only to be greeted by a resounding howl.

Kit awoke with a start and looked around nervously.  As her focus returned, a pair of amber eyes came into heightened detail glaring down at her from above.  The black cat loomed overhead.

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat grew impatient.

“My breakfast, April!  What about my breakfast?” the cat yowled.  Under its breath it murmured, “How’d I wind up a fool’s familiar, anyway?  I should have paid way more attention in class instead of just reading Witchcraft for Dummies.”

The burgundy sheets, the green and gold comforter, the black lace curtains… all came back into clarity.  The cat encompassed much of Kit’s field of vision, seemingly larger than before, now almost cougar-sized.  Its head was as big as Kit’s.  It spoke again, “April, you are testing my patience.  My kibble chalice is nearly empty…”

The cat had arranged several candles in a star around Kit and was lighting them one at a time by flicking its tail from one candle to the next.  It seemed unperturbed at the tail tip of its fur being singed.  As it lit the last candle, it flicked its tail into a cup of water sitting beside the bed.  “Now, April!” it screeched.

Kit rose and stood beside the bed, not of her volition.  Her body willingly traipsed through the bedroom and into the main room where it stopped to stoop over a large metal canister.  Her hands acted on their own accord, prying open the lid from atop the bin and using the small silver ladle inside to scoop cat food into the silver bowl.


“That’s better,” the black cat spoke as it sidled up beside her and began eating.  Kit fell to the floor in a puddle as she again regained consciousness over her body.  “Seriously, do we have to do this EVERY morning?” the cat remarked between bites.  “It gets tiresome, you know.”

“Where am I?” Kit asked the creature.

“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten…  Again!…” the cat snapped, stealing a sideways glance at Kit.  “Wait, you’re not April.”

Kit shook her head ‘No’ and stared at the creature.

The cat gazed at her.  “Not again.  Crap, this happens every year at this time.  Is it that day already?”  The cat leapt onto the table by the door and rummaged through the velvet bag, which had somehow returned to its proper perch.  It pulled out a small calendar.  “Sure enough, it is,” the cat exclaimed.


“Damn it, April, every single year since you screwed up that…  Oh, never mind,” it sighed.  “Alright, we can set things right again.”

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat settled in on the bed and waited.

The cat turned to Kit and studied her intently.  “I don’t care who you are or where you came from, but do exactly as I say and we can get you home.  If you botch this, you could wind up in limbo forever.”

Kit nodded ‘Yes’. Her eyes grew wide.

The cat led her back into the bedroom and nosed the candles into a wider star pentagram centered on the bed.  “Now, sit in the middle of the circle,” it directed.

Kit climbed into the bed and perched herself atop her knees in the middle of the circle.

“Not like that!” the cat remarked, “Cross-legged.”


Kit corrected.

“Now focus on the clock and close your eyes.  Keep focusing on the clock.”

Kit looked at the clock, still locked at 8:45, shut her eyes, and chirped, “How am I supposed to focus on the clock with my eyes cl—“

“Silence!” the cat growled.  “You just see it in your mind.  You know it’s there. It hasn’t changed.”

“Now, place your hands palm up on your knees.  Keep focusing on the clock.”


Kit had no idea what the cat was doing.  She could hear it slipping around and every once in awhile felt its fur brush past.  The room began to smell of lavender, burnt cloves and patchouli, among other scents that she couldn’t recognize at all.  The cat was wailing some low throaty growl as it circled her.  Kit began to raise an eyelid.

“I told you to keep your eyes shut!” the cat snapped.  “Seriously, just keep focusing on the clock.”

Kit saw the clock in her mind, the red blocky numbers stuck at 8:45 when the alarm had gone off.  It hadn’t seemed to move at all from she had first gotten up to rush to work.  It was always and still 8:45.  The numbers etched themselves into her mind.

Kit woke with a start.  She was back in her apartment, clutching her grey silk sheets and grey and white striped comforter.  There were no black lace curtains or ceramic birds or plants or crystals or candles.  And there was no sign of a cat anywhere to be found.  The clock read 8:45.

Kit abruptly got dressed to leave, grabbed her actual purse in its faux designer glory from the table by the door, and called in to let them know she would be running a bit late.  She breathed a sigh of relief as she made her way down the wallpapered corridor to the leasing office where she put in her month’s notice that she was going to move as soon as possible and that she would forfeit whatever remained of the month after she got out, before she hurriedly headed off to work.  Her landlord shook his head as he watched her drive off, “Why can’t I keep anyone in that unit after the start of April?” he muttered to himself.

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat poses with a toy mouse on its head..

Please check out another of Jennifer Weigel’s witchy works from a previous figure modeling session on Haunted MTL here.

You can read more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing here on Jennifer Weigel Words.

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

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at:

Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Cannibalism



Let’s return to explore more Nightmarish Nature, shall we? This segment focuses on cannibalism, as we generally find it icky / taboo and because it’s more common than you might think. There are many different reasons that different creatures engage in cannibalistic practices. Energy waste doesn’t last long in nature; gaps are filled as things evolve to utilize whatever resources are available to meet their own needs. C’est la vie (light up another cigarette). In any case, the challenge to the cannibal lies in determining kinship and not accidentally erasing their own line or progeny, thus decreasing their likelihood for survival over generations. Oh, and in avoiding those pesky prion diseases…

Resource Driven Cannibalism

Monkey cannibalism, staring at you, smiling wide and thinking about Brains...
Drawing of monkey cannibalism, thinking about Brains…

Resource driven cannibalism can occur when competition for resources is high. This may be due to scarcity, with individuals taking to eating each other to avoid themselves starving to death (with those consumed either still alive and killed to this end, or eaten after death of other causes). Or it may be outside of the cannibal’s control, considering the spread of Mad Cow Disease from feeding beef meal harboring the prion disease (and parts from other mammals like sheep) to growing cattle to save money, ’cause it’s not like the cows were allowed to order whatever they wanted. Or it may be due to direct conflicts with other groups of the same species, either due to competition for resources, mating rights and/or territory. These behaviors have been noted in mostly male chimpanzees raiding other groups, which have even been documented as all out wars against other males in neighboring bands, campaigning to eradicate all outside of their ranks.

Social Demonstration

African Wild Dog cannibalism, tongue lolling out
Drawing of African Wild Dog

Thinking about chimpanzees, males are also documented to gang up on alpha males seen as too controlling or sadistic, with groups of younger males attacking and rendering the alpha male to pieces, often consuming his flesh and blood in the process. This can upend established hierarchies to replace them with new structures, for example with a new male taking on the role of leader. But cannibalism can also be used to reinforce existing hierarchies, as seen in African Wild Dogs wherein the dominant pair will kill off any offspring that other dogs may have birthed so that the pack will focus on raising only the alpha pair’s pups, thusly reestablishing and enforcing social structure while ensuring the best survival chances for the pups raised by channeling all resources to the one brood.

Infanticide & Filial Cannibalism

Tom Cat calling out "Here kitty..."
Drawing of Tom Cat calling out “Here kitty…”

Like African Wild Dogs, other parents may also eat their offspring, or better yet their rivals’ offspring. Stillborn or unhealthy offspring may be consumed, or just any that they can get their hands on at birth. (Again with the young male chimpanzees…) Some creatures enter into cycles wherein smaller individuals are more vulnerable to predation by larger ones both within and outside of ones own species, as is seen among many fishes with eggs and smaller fishes playing an important role as prey to larger ones. Other creatures may engage in these practices to reduce competition (for themselves and/or their offspring) and/or increase opportunities to mate. Male cats are notorious for killing kittens that are not their own in order to bring females into heat again sooner, potentially increasing the likelihood of mating with said females themselves while decreasing future competition. Win-win! Female cats must take great care to hide their kittens in order to protect them from males as much as other predators, and can have kittens by different fathers within the same litter in order to increase their kittens’ overall survival as a group with father cats more willing to accept kittens when their own kin are present.

Sexual Cannibalism

Cannibalism in spiders: 'cause spiders eating just about anything is terrifying, and they eat just about anything
Drawing of spider yelling “More spiders”

Mantids and spiders are especially known for sexual cannibalism, with larger females consuming males during copulation, but this is not always linked to vast size differences and does not appear in every species. Females who engage in this practice may have healthier eggs in larger clutches, thus increasing the survival likelihood of more of their offspring. Sometimes the risk to the male suitor of being mistaken for another species by an aggressive would-be mate is high, and various rituals have developed within certain species to help avoid such mistakes and entice the female to mate. Male spiders are known engage in elaborate dances, movements, tapping and silk spinning rituals to avoid being eaten pre-copulation or at all. It’s a hell of a lot more involved than a good pick up line and a well-timed drink, as you can see here.

Peacock Spider mating ritual

If the above video doesn’t load, you can find it on PBS YouTube here.

Thank you for joining us for another exciting episode of Nightmarish Nature. If you enjoyed this, please feel free to check out these previous segments:

Vampires Among Us


Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

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Original Creations

Revisitations: The Devil Went Down to Georgia



So I’ve been working on more painting into found art (as seen here before) and I thought I’d share a newer one, based on the song The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels. But first let’s make like my She Wolf post enjoy a couple variations of the song, shall we?

Charlie Daniels Band, Devil Went Down to Georgia, Live

First we have Charlie Daniels, the writer of the song which was inspired by the beautiful poem by Stephen Vincent Benet titled The Mountain Whipporwill. You can read the poem on Your Daily Poem here.

primus, devil went down to georgia, animated

Then we have to watch my favorite version, the animated music video by Primus. I know there are claymation-haters out there who find the effect bit too “uncanny valley” but how can you not just love those chickens?

Anyway, without further ado, here is my painting, incorporated into a found still life, original signed L. Harady.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia Revisitation art by Jennifer Weigel, nail polish on found thrift store painting by L. Harady
The Devil Went Down to Georgia Revisitation art by Jennifer Weigel, nail polish on found thrift store painting by L. Harady

Here The Devil is defeated, crushed along the lower edge of the artwork beneath the fiddle and lamenting his loss. The bow jabs into his sneering nose as if to add insult to injury, but his eyes still glow, alight with the prospect of coming back for another round. (They actually do glow, I have acquired some blacklight reactive nail polish to use in these pieces now.) I suppose I may go to Hell for this portrayal (or for defiling yet another painting) but alas, such is the price of art sometimes. I guess I’ll add it to the list…

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

Cravings Part 2, story by Jennifer Weigel



If you missed the beginning of this pregnancy horror story by Jennifer Weigel, you can catch Part 1 here.

Jayden’s stomach turned.  Who or what was this creature standing before him, and what had it done with his wife?  Claire proceeded to eat more than half of the jar of eggs in a fury of consumption; Jayden finally retreated to the office alone unable to watch any more.  He heard a sloshing sound as she finished the jar and proceeded to drink the brine before retreating to the bedroom and crashing into their bed, presumably to pass out.  Again.  Later that night, he crept in to find her sleeping, clammy and sweaty, nervously twitching.  Her body made the most abnormal guttural sounds as her internal systems groaned and sputtered.  It was definitely getting worse.  Jayden resolved to call Dr. Randolph the following morning; this had gone on for far too long already.

The next day, Claire awoke with a start from another bad dream that she couldn’t remember.  Crying uncontrollably, she clutched her swollen belly, still ripe with child, and hurriedly exclaimed, “Blood sausage!  I must have blood sausage!”

Jayden woke from his curled-up safe haven beside her and muttered, “Wha…  What is that?  I’ve never even heard of such a thing.”

“Go!” she snapped.  “I’m starving.  Go now!  Return with blood sausage.”


Jayden staggered over to the dresser, threw on some clothes, shuffled into his waiting shoes, and gathered himself to duck out the door in the well-practiced gesture he’d become so accustomed to.  “I’ll stop on my way home from work, I guess,” he mused, making his own plans.  Claire seemed to settle down a little as she woke further, but it was little consolation.

“Thank you Sweetcheeks,” she said.  “You’re the best.”  She blew him a kiss.

While at work, Jayden managed to secure an appointment with Dr. Beth Randolph, Claire’s primary physician since before he had known her, for later that day.  He took off early and rushed home to gather his unwilling wife.  She was going in, whether she liked it or not.

He opened the front door and peered inside.  The house was dark and quiet, as he’d come to expect.  He crept in and stole upstairs to the bedroom to rouse Claire from sleep.  He’d tell her where they were going once he got her in the car, no sense in making this even more difficult than it already was.  Unsurprisingly, there she was, a shadowy form hunched over in the bed, her back to him with the covers pulled up over her eyes.  He peeled away the comforter and blanket to reveal a tangled mess of white knitted yarn; Claire was nowhere to be found.  He looked around, trying to focus on the darkness of the bedroom that enveloped him.  That unsettling feeling had returned, like he’d had at Maresh’s shop, sinking into his gut.  Claire was here idling, watching, waiting; he could sense her presence sizing him up as if she could read his mind and was on to his plan.  But why was her company so disconcerting?  This was still their house, their home, their lives intertwined…  Jayden felt his trust ebb, spine tingling sensing danger.

“Hey there Sweetcheeks,” Claire’s voice echoed from the darkness of the closet.  “Do you have something for me?”  She emerged into the room, her eyes wide, frothing slightly at the edges of her mouth.  Tiny bubbles of drool burst forth from her quivering lips and trickled down onto her chin.


“I couldn’t find any… blood sausage… whatever that is,” Jayden lied through his teeth.  He hadn’t even gone to the store.  Claire should never have expected him back at this hour; apparently she didn’t even know what time it was.  But that seemingly wasn’t a concern.  She wasn’t herself.  Something about her fragile frame, the way she rocked from side to side, reminded him of that crazy old witch doctor Maresh.  He finally managed to connect the two; it was as though she were possessed.  It was imperative that she saw Dr. Beth Randolph as soon as possible, if for no other reason than to sever ties to that crazy old hag and hopefully start to snap out of it.  He simply had to get her to that appointment.

“No blood sausage!”  Claire shouted, becoming more and more agitated.  “No… blood… sausage!”  Her breathing became less regular and her body shivered all over as she hulked towards him.  “I am sooo hungry!”

She lunged towards him, stumbling into his arms and collapsing towards his feet laughing maniacally.  Jayden reached for her instinctively, to lower her to the ground gently, and felt something sticky and warm envelop his hand.  Feeling lightheaded, he glanced down as he fell to the floor beside her.  Protruding from his gut was a long silver thread, no something pointedly metal and hard, oozing thick oil sludge all around.  Not oil, blood.  His blood.  Claire continued laughing, her lightning-fast fingers quickly and methodically ripping their way into his tattered shirt and worming around within his wounded frame to pull forth bits of viscera, which she wrung in her hands and smeared up and down her arms and torso.  As Jayden passed out, she mouthed each of her fingers in turn, sucking the precious liquid off of them one at a time, before she began to feast on his entrails.

Claire’s belly was finally full.  The baby developing within squirmed and settled, as if finally satiated.  She swiped a stray bit of flesh from her bosom, licked it off of her fingertips, and heaved a sigh of relief.  Miracle Madame Maresh Meliasma was right; she just needed to get to the root of her cravings.

Pregnancy 4, doll hands canvas art by Jennifer Weigel
Pregnancy 4, doll hands canvas art by Jennifer Weigel

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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