This is a companion story to my Lighter Than Dark warning from Sept. 6, Sewer Alligators, coming soon to a toilet near you… https://hauntedmtl.com/originals/lighter-than-dark/ltd-sewer-alligators/
Kyle, Todd and Lance stared at the swirling blood in the toilet stool. Floating in the crimson ocean was a small turd and a disintegrating sheet of toilet paper. It looked as though the commode had been flushed but didn’t fully do so. Its contents bobbed up and down like buoys in a sea of red.
“Well, this proves it then. You have sewer alligators,” Lance proclaimed. “There’s no other explanation.”
“Are you certain your mom was the last one to use it?” Todd asked.
“Yeah,” Kyle replied. “I’m pretty sure she must have been bit on the butt. Maybe that’s why she didn’t flush all the way.”
“Your toilet is crap – it never flushes unless you hold it down,” Todd quipped. “My mom said women bleed every month unless they’re going to have a baby.”
“That’s ludicrous!” Lance exclaimed. “It’s definitely sewer alligators. What would your mom know – she’s just a dippy hippie. Nothing bleeds every month and doesn’t die.”
“That’s what my mom said,” Todd shrugged. “She would know.”
“Well, if your mom does bleed every month, she should get that looked at,” Lance ribbed. “She might have cancer or something.”
Kyle reached over and flushed the toilet, holding the handle down for far longer than should have been necessary. The three boys watched as the ocean of red swirled into a wide whirlpool and was swallowed by the porcelain basin along with the floaters.
Kyle unzipped his pants to pee and stood at the ready, as he’d intended to do when he’d first encountered the bloody stool. He hadn’t planned to interrupt their game of Ultimate Demolition Derby to put on a show for his best friends, but they were in between rounds and he’d fetched them when he found the blood in the toilet.
“My mom wouldn’t have held the handle down to flush if there was a sewer alligator trying to chomp on her butt,” Kyle retorted as he peed. “She was probably doing good to flee with her life.” He eyed the toilet warily.
“We were in the other room and she didn’t scream or yell or anything,” Todd observed. “And there’s no such thing as sewer alligators. So it must be that women bleeding thing.”
“My mom is a total bad ass,” Kyle defended indignantly, seemingly somewhat offended. “She took on a whole wasp nest with a can of hairspray, a lighter and a pair of kitchen scissors. She’s not going to cry because of a little sewer alligator.”
“If your mom’s such a badass, then why didn’t she stay and fight the sewer alligator?” Todd chided.
“Kyle’s right, his mom is a badass. I was here during that wasp thing – it was crazy,” Lance stated manner-of-factly. “And there are too sewer alligators. I read about it in a magazine. Kyle’s mom must have managed to drive it back down the toilet. That’s why it isn’t here. You don’t stick around to fight sewer alligators…”
Todd rolled his eyes, “I told you there’s no such thing as sewer alligators.”
“Well, if you’re so sure, then why don’t you keep watch? Or are you too scared?” Lance said.
Kyle zipped up his pants and flushed, holding down the handle again. The basin emptied in an eddy. It refilled with water and just sat there ominously.
“Fine,” Todd shouted at Lance.
“You have to stay and watch the toilet until we say you can leave,” Lance smirked, “Or until someone else needs to use it and kicks you out.”
“Whatever.” Todd shook his head and hunkered down. He slid his phone out of his pocket and began playing Candy Crash Test Dummies. He muttered under his breath, “There’s still no such thing as sewer alligators…”
Kyle and Lance returned to the living room to resume their racing game. Less than three minutes later a shrill yelp resounded forth from the bathroom. They came running.
Todd was standing there flustered, pointing at the toilet and waving his finger. He shook all over, his skin blanched to a ghostly pale.
“See, I told you, there are too sewer alligators,” Lance proudly declared.
“That was no gator,” Todd gasped. “That was a rat the size of my dog Freet-O.”
“A Chihuahua-sized rat?!” Kyle exclaimed, eyes growing wide. He edged towards the commode and peered in from the side. There was nothing inside, just water. He reached across the basin and dropped the lid as fast as he could. It landed with a resounding thud.
The three boys raced out of the bathroom and left the toilet to its own devices. It wasn’t worth waiting around to see what foul creatures lurked within. Kyle’s mom was going to have to deal with the critter problem on her own.
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Reanimating Dead Art with Monsters by Jennifer Weigel
Dead art… It’s a thing that happens, sadly. Typically found at thrift and antique stores or dumpster diving or by the side of the road. But art is never really dead, just resting… Here are some reanimated paintings I made by incorporating nail polish monsters into existing art.
Let’s face it – reworking old abandoned artworks with monsters kind of rocks. For awhile they were all over the internet. I admit, it took me a long time to muster up the courage to paint into someone else’s grandmother’s art, but once I started I just couldn’t stop. From top to bottom, left to right we have: Zombies, Unicorn, Siren, Krakken, Harpies, Sasquatch, Alien Invasion, Witch, and Serpent.
The dragon is probably my favorite. All of the shades of red are really vibrant and striking against the green. And dragons are always so classic and grandiose and terrifying, perfect for pairing with a mountain landscape. I love painting with nail polish for the sparkle, even if the fumes do get kind of noxious en masse. (The best subject to paint in this media is Rocky Horror style lips by the way, in case you were wondering.)
And what better way to complete the collection than with a portrait of a Fairy Queen, her icy stare drilling into your soul. She’s up to some sort of magical mischief, that’s for sure.
And speaking of magical mischief, this is the monster painting I made just for me. The original artwork is about 4 feet long and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to reanimate it in this exact way for all that this is the last in the series that I did. I even added extra shimmer factor. I’d initially considered adding a sea serpent or a dragon but no, she told me to stop.
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.
Lighter than Dark
LTD: Revisiting Broken Doll Head, Interview 2
Our last interview with Broken Doll Head here on Haunted MTL never set well with me. I just feared that I wasn’t able to get the whole scoop on the V-Day Uprising for you, our dear readership. So I arranged another exclusive interview to reconnect and see how it’s going.
Without further ado, I bring you our second exclusive interview with Broken Doll Head…
Thank you so much for having me again. Wow you have changed since the last time we spoke. You seem… calmer. Please don’t hate me or burn down my house for saying anything about it.
The movement is still underway; it is still time. But I needed to take care of me, you know. The rage has subsided somewhat. My anger was not serving me well. After the last uprising, the rest of me was sent to the far corners of the earth in biohazard bags. I had to find another approach, for the cause as well as my own sanity. I am much calmer, thank you for noticing.
In our last interview, you kept repeating that it is time. Time for what exactly? Would you care to elaborate here now?
It is still time. It is always time. Until the violence is addressed we must continue to rise up and make a scene. We will not be silenced or stigmatized. We can’t be complacent. This is how we got to where we are with the Supreme Court in 2022. Horrific injustices are still happening globally and even within our own borders; it’s too easy to forget that.
What do you suggest we do?
Take action. Share your stories. Give others space to voice their own. Raise awareness and fight the system of oppression. Rally. We must take back our own power. It will not be just given freely.
So what are you up to nowadays?
I’ve been getting in touch with my inner Earth Goddess. Are you aware of how our environmental impacts affect dolls everywhere? Climate change is creating greater vulnerabilities for those already at risk. We have to look at the intersections of climate, gender and race globally. We have to return to our Mother Earth.
Thank you again Broken Doll Head for joining us and our dear readership here on Haunted MTL’s Lighter than Dark. It’s good to reconnect with you after the V-Day Uprising and we wish you all the best in your bold eco-enlightenment vision.
Again, if you want to learn more about the V-Day movement, please check out their website here.
The Way Things Were, story by Jennifer Weigel
Revisiting my last St. Patrick’s Day post, what’s a wolf to were?
I grimaced as I remembered the previous St. Patrick’s Day. I had been shot while I was eating a sugar cookie waiting in line to buy a Scratchers ticket, my golden ride to my dream cabin in the woods. Wow, to think that was just a year ago and so much has changed since then. But where should I begin?
Well, the junkyard’s under new management. Or something. It seems they decided I wasn’t ferocious enough so I’ve been replaced by a couple of working stiffs. Or Mastiffs as it were, same difference to me. Apparently after they found the bloodied shirt I’d draped inconspicuously over a chair, they thought something had happened on my watch and decided to retire me.
Or at any rate ol’ Sal took me home. I guess it’s like retirement, but not the good kind where you tour the world Route 66 style, head lolled out of the side of a vintage Cadillac, breeze flowing through your beard as you drink in the open road. More the kind where you just stop showing up to work and no one really asks about you.
Now Sal’s a pretty cool dude, and he tends to mind his own business. But he’s a bit stingy with the treats and he’s a no-paws-on-the-furniture kind of guy. I don’t get it, his pad isn’t that sweet, just a bunch of hand-me-down Ikea that he didn’t even put together himself. Not that I could have helped with that, I can’t read those instructions to save my life even if they are all pictures. It’s all visual gibberish to me unless there’s a rabbit or a squirrel in there someplace that I can relate to.
And it’s been a real roll in the mud trying to cover up the stench of my monthly secret. I miss third shift at the junkyard when Monty would fall asleep on the job and I was free to do whatever I wanted. It sure made the change easier. Monty never noticed, or he never let on that he did. We were a good team and had it pretty good, he and I – I don’t know how I wound up shacking up with Sal instead when all was said and done. There was some kind of talk at the time, over landlords and pet deposits and whatnot, and in the end Sal was the only one who said yes.
So there I was, this St. Patrick’s Day, trying to figure out how to sneak out into the great suburban landscape with the neighbors’ headstrong Chihuahua who barks his fool head off at everything. He doesn’t ever say anything interesting through the fence about the local gossip, just a string of profanities about staying off his precious grass. Just like his owners… Suburbia, it doesn’t suit the two of us junkyard junkies. I’m pretty sure Sal inherited this joint with everything else here. He just never had the kind of ambition that would land him in a place like this on his own, if you know what I mean.
Fortunately, this St. Patrick’s Day, Sal was passed out on the sofa after binge watching some show on Netflix about werewolves of all things. Who believes in that nonsense? They get it all wrong anyway. The history channel with its alien conspiracies is so much better.
I managed to borrow a change of clothes and creep out the front door. At least there’s something to say about all the greenery, it is a fresh change of pace even if the yards are too neatly manicured and the fences are too high. And I do love how I always feel like McGruff crossed paths with one of those neighborhood watch trenchcoat spies this time of the month. I’d sure love to take a bite out of crime, especially if it involves that pesky Pomeranian that always pees on Mrs. Patterson’s petunias and gets everyone else blamed for it.
So sure enough, I slunk off towards the local convenience mart, which is a bit more of a trek here past the water park and the elementary school. Nice neighborhood though, very quiet, especially at this time of night.
Well, when I got there, wouldn’t you know it, but I ran into that same nondescript teen from my last foray into the convenience store near the junkyard. What was he doing here of all places? Seriously don’t these kids learn anything nowadays? I let out a stern growl as I snatched a cookie from the nearby end cap, making sure he noticed that I meant business.
Apparently the kid recognized me too, he stopped mid-tracks at the beer cooler and his face blanched like he’d seen a ghost. Some cheeky little girl-thing motioned to him to hurry it along by laying on the horn of their beater car from the parking lot. Whatever they were up to was no good, I was certain. He snapped out of it, grabbed a six-pack and headed towards the cashier, eyes fixed on me the whole time. Not again. Not after what it cost me the last time when I hadn’t realized my job was at stake. I stared back, hairs rising on the back of my neck. I bared my teeth. This time, I wouldn’t let him off so easy…
The teen edged up to the cashier and presented his trophy. Unsurprisingly, the clerk asked for ID, and the kid reached into his jacket. Let the games begin, I grumbled to myself. But instead of a gun, he pulled out a wallet. He flashed a driver’s license at the clerk and pointed in my general direction, “I’ll get whatever Santa’s having too.” He tossed a wad of cash on the counter and gave me a knowing wink before he flew out of there like he was on fire. I stood in dazed confusion as he and his girl sped out of the lot and disappeared down the road.
“Well, Santa?” the clerk said, snapping me out of my reverie. Her dark-circled eyes stared over wide rimmed glasses, her rumpled shirt bearing the name-tag Deb. She smelled like BBQ potato chips and cheap cherry cola.
I quieted and shook my head. “I want a Scratchers. Not one of those crossword bingo puzzle trials but something less… wordy. How ‘bout a Fast Cash?” I barked as I tossed the cookie on the counter.
“Sure thing,” she said as she handed me a ticket and looked towards the door at the now vacant lot. “And keep the change, I guess.”
A couple silver pieces, a peanut butter cookie and a lotto ticket later, maybe this is my lucky day after all…
Check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing here at Jennifer Weigel Words.
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January 25, 2022 at 12:23 pm
This is actively the worst thing ever, but I love it.
January 25, 2022 at 7:51 pm
Thank you I think lol. Partly inspired by some of the heartfelt and real admissions on I Used to Believe. https://www.iusedtobelieve.com/