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C-2747 in escape pod readying for return to the Mother Ship

Logbook Entry 1: 20.12.25, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  Arrived at research location in loosely wrapped gift box, promptly shredded any evidence of my instructions on the wrapping.  Began exploration of interior.  There are many individual rooms that are interconnected to form a whole space.  Seems to have fuzzy yarn floor covering throughout much of the layout except in the room where food comes from and the room where the humans deal with their excrement.  My return pod, disguised as a leopard-print sleeping tent, is in the room that I entered into the location in, along with a large evergreen tree covered in shiny baubles that resemble H-com devices.  This warrants further study since the humans are not thought to be this technologically advanced and thusly we may not be the only outsiders with interests here.  The humans have offered me a plastic domed pod for my waste in a side room off of the room in which they deal with their excrement.  Most of the rooms with the floor covering have high jumping ledges.  I don’t yet know what is kept up there.

Logbook Entry 2: 20.12.26, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  The humans reprimanded me for climbing the large evergreen tree and took it away.  I did not get a chance to examine the shiny baubles more closely to see if they were in fact H-com holographic communication devices as they appeared to be.  I’ve discovered that I spend an inordinate time napping here, although it actually seems that much of my day is spent downloading while casually napping.  Just what is taking the Mother Ship so long?

Logbook Entry 6: 20.12.30, 07.00 hours

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C-2747 reporting.  Was alone most of the day.  Have not yet determined where the humans go for hours on end.  Perhaps to another similar habitat that requires the traveling room by which they first brought me here in the loosely wrapped box.  Will try to follow up on this when I am able.  I am keeping these logbook entries short to try to maximize transference with the Mother Ship, since contact is so spotty.

Logbook Entry 7: 20.12.31, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  One of the humans found me on one of the high jumping ledges looking around.  They made a huge commotion waving their arms and shouting “No!” before ungraciously scooping me up and dropping me back on the floor.  There must be something important and top secret up there, I shall have to continue my explorations while they are asleep or away.

Logbook Entry 10: 21.01.03, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  I have not heard from the Mother Ship for several days.  So I am working on training the humans.  Making mournful cries and staring at the sustenance bowl has not resulted in more kibble dispensation.  Instead, they shake the kibble down to fill in the hole to the bottom that I have meticulously unearthed.  I will have to make a more concerted effort to ensure that they follow through on actually filling the bowl in the future.  I shall continue to test and hone my whining capabilities in this.

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Logbook Entry 13: 21.01.06, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  One of the humans was up for much of the night and has spent an inordinate time in bed.  They may be sick.  I stayed with them to observe them for signs of further distress.  They seemed mildly perturbed that I set up a vigil by their head staring at them but allowed me to remain there anyway.  At one point they tried to grab me and enfold me in their arms but I shook myself free and moved a little further away to stare from a safe distance. 

Logbook Entry 15: 21.01.08, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  The humans and I have discovered the most wonderful interactive game in which they wave a wand with a string and ribbons attached to make them flutter.  It has provided opportunity to bond and to sharpen my hunting skills.  I am working to train them to engage in this activity more often, further developing my whining capabilities.

Logbook Entry 16: 21.01.09, 07.00 hours

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C-2747 reporting.  Why is contact with the Mother Ship so intermittent?  The Mother Ship dropped off for several hours today in the middle of a download.  One of the humans caught me with my motor running but shrugged it off.  They said it was “cute”.  Uncertain what exactly that means – will have to look into this further.  I shall try to be more diligent so as to not be discovered in the future.

Logbook Entry 19:21.01.12, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  One of the humans rose unannounced in the middle of the night to use their excrement room.  Thankfully they didn’t see me exploring one of the high ledges or notice as the aperture of my vision sensors refocused with the new light levels.  They do not seem entirely aware or capable in the night; I shall have to utilize this knowledge to further advantage later.  The high ledges have nothing of note upon them, just little figurines and knickknacks that would make a great clamor as they broke into hundreds of tiny pieces should they be knocked off the ledge…  This is very tempting, but not when I’m trying to remain hidden…

Logbook Entry 22: 21.01.15, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  I am losing sight of the Mission.  What exactly was I supposed to be learning from this exercise?  I find that I am more and more drawn to sitting beside the humans and have continued to express my desire to play with the ribbon wand and for them to fill the sustenance bowl with more kibble.  They are easily trained but don’t always follow through on their training well.

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Logbook Entry 27: 21.01.19, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  The Mission has been extended without further instructions.  Awaiting download from the Mother Ship for more clarification.  Other agents have stopped by on the other side of the external glass to offer their criticisms of my approach, but they do not offer any more guidance and I continue to be steadfast in my duty to observe my research environment.

Logbook Entry 31: 21.01.23, 07.00 hours

C-2747 reporting.  I have finally heard from the Mother Ship!  Having observed the humans and logged their activities over the past month, I have been instructed to smother them in their sleep as they have been deemed dangerous and oafish creatures that are incapable of greater awareness than younglings for all that this has not been my full impression as they are somewhat trainable and are well-intentioned.  Nonetheless, I am practicing my assigned task by sleeping on their faces in the middle of the night. 

Logbook Entry 34: 21.01.26, 07.00 hours

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C-2747 reporting.  I announce finalization of my Mission.  I am awaiting return to the Mother Ship.  I will be resting peacefully in my Pod at 08.00 hours awaiting intermolecular transport.

Side note: Although C-2747 reported having completed their objective, C-2747 didn’t actually follow through on smothering the humans in their sleep.  The humans awoke late that morning to find their beloved new housecat and its leopard print sleeping tent missing.  Countless LOST flyers yielded no response.  The cat was simply gone.

Lost flyer for “Ginger” cat (C-2747) after her disappearance
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: https://www.jenniferweigelart.com/ https://www.jenniferweigelprojects.com/ https://jenniferweigelwords.wordpress.com/

Original Series

Into the Deep Woods 1, an October AI journey with Jennifer Weigel

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I am embarking on an AI journey using NightCafe to illustrate this graphic story based on a dream I had awhile back. I am also using Canva, so here’s to learning more online systems of image dissemination and propagandizing…

I will include some of the original AI generated images with each piece along with a bit of the dream that inspired it. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Into the Deep Woods Part 1, AI art journey through Canva with Jennifer Weigel

Artwork description: Overall layout: Lightning strike through the corner into obscure clouds and map-like graphic in gray tones sets the mood for Into the Deep Woods.

Part 1, Art: AI generated image of a girl with reddish hair dressed in a robe of some sort and holding a staff. A similar girl in soldier garb fades behind her. Edited in PhotoShop.

Part 1, Text: 1.) Two sisters entered the woods, one a soldier and the other a witch. Only one lived. 2.) The young witch had picked up a bit of magic as she and her sister fled into the deep woods to seek the old witch… They were tired and alone, this was their one and only chance… 3.) The war raged on all around as the Nazis drew closer…

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AI art of soldier sister
AI art of soldier sister

Prompt (Horror): Portrait of soldier girl sister

AI art of witch sister
AI art of witch sister

Prompt (Horror): Portrait of witch girl sister (Evolved from soldier girl)

AI art of soldier sister, version 2
AI art of soldier sister, version 2

Prompt (Horror): Soldier girl sister hit by lightning (Evolved from soldier girl)

As mentioned this series is based on a dream that I had awhile back. The two girls first enter the woods to escape the Nazis. In my dream there were initially more soldiers with them who perish due to the war or hazards in the woods. It wasn’t unlike Pan’s Labyrinth but on a much smaller and more intimate scale.

It had been awhile between having the dream and creating this story to share with you. And I quickly learned that the term “Nazi” is prohibited by the AI art generator interface. So there are some changes that have been made, but hopefully you can still follow along. The time and place are not as relevant to the overall anyway.

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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Cannibalism

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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

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Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

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Original Creations

Revisitations: The Devil Went Down to Georgia

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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.

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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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