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He set the trap and waited.  He knew it would come.  It was just a matter of time.  The moon smiled smugly overhead, spying on him through the thick undulating clouds.  Why was it taking so long?  He was certain this was the spot.  He fingered the soft metal band clutched in his grasp as he waited, fixated on its smooth surface.

It was only just a month prior that he and his partner were hiking in these woods, when they were attacked.  He was bowled over by the beast, knocked unconscious at the edge of the path, his partner’s eyes staring back at him like saucers wide with surprise.  He’d blacked out in slow motion staring into those eyes.

The moment that he came to and looked down the trail to the ravine was forever etched in his mind, the scent of blood hanging heavy in the air.   His partner’s body was rendered and strewn about the chasm where the path dips down, blood flowing into the stream that trickles through the valley dividing these woods and partitioning the living from the dead…

The crime scene investigations yielded nothing.

He’d walked these trails before and heard the howling wind in the distance.  It was a haunting sound that circled around from afar, impossible to pinpoint.  The moon had always hung heavy here, wide, like the yawning maw of a lazy abyss that can’t be bothered to create a proper void or entrance.  And yet, it had always beckoned, drawing him into its embrace like a warm and welcoming hug…

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Bits of tattered yellow tape encircled several trees.  Samples of dirt and fabric scraps and other detritus of the weekend hiking trip were still strewn about, still yielding nothing.  Why couldn’t he remember?  Spinning the ring from thumb to fingertip and back bore no further answers.

The moon skirted the clouds and stared down at him.  He heard the distant wind howling around and through him.  His body rippled from an unseen terror; his consciousness faded as the transformation took hold.  He leapt forward, out of the way of the ravaging beast, aware again of its presence, its hot breath making the hairs at the nape of his neck stand on end.  A sharp snap wracked his wrist and his hand let loose its treasure.  The pain engulfed his remaining consciousness and the world around him went silent and fell into darkness.

The next morning…

The woods were abuzz with activity as the park rangers and game wardens descended upon the scene.  They’d expected it to return as was typical.  They always came back to the scene of the crime in the following month. But they’d never seen such a large one before, its heavy paw the size of a human hand shattered within the snap of the thick metal jaws.  These “dogs” were usually smarter than this and knew to avoid these sorts of traps, which is why the rangers didn’t bother to set them anymore.  The victim’s partner had been lucky it seemed…  The hulking beast must have been attracted to the faint shimmer of a small circular gold band half hidden in the moss, perhaps an engagement or wedding ring.  Its face was wrought with distracted helplessness as if reflecting the pain and anguish of love found, lost, and found again.

A black wolf with black mascara tears streaming from its eyes caught in a wolf trap surrounded by spattered red blood
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 Creations

Zombie Christ – Second Coming Art by Jennifer Weigel

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So I probably should have taken a before picture, but I found a faux wood stained plaster Jesus statue and turned it into Zombie Christ. Because it’s the second second coming. Or something. It’s kind of an offshoot of my nail polish paintings reappropriating thrift store art

Anyway without further ado, I present…

Zombie Christ remake statue by Jennifer Weigel
Zombie Christ remake statue by Jennifer Weigel

I was a little concerned that I made him too green at first, but I’m happy with the finished result. This statue just looked so anguished. It’s eyes had been closed but I like them better open and even painted them with blacklight reactive nail polish so they will stand out even more and be interactive in other ways to add creepy factor.

Another view of sculpture
Another view of sculpture
From the top...
And taking it from the top…

Sadly I don’t have a blacklight anymore or I’d share a picture that way too. Oh well. I’ll leave you with a fun detail shot instead.

Zombie Christ detail with eyes
Zombie Christ detail with eyes

Next time I may make him more gray than green though. We shall see…

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

Jennifer Weigel Art Collection Highlights Part 3

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So it’s been awhile since we’ve looked at some of the things I have gathered, so I thought I’d bring back my art collection for another round… Here are the first and second highlights in case you missed earlier explorations.

Art Collection highlights

From left to right: M Pena Windstone Editions bat-winged flap cat, bone mask by Terry and Susan Wright, wood cat in skull by labcreature, real hair art by myself, pencil drawing of Barbarois Elder for Vampire Hunter D anime cel

Art Collection highlights

From left to right: Barbarois Elder for Vampire Hunter D anime cel, Turn Me Royal portrait of my father and stepmother as Frankenstein’s monster and his bride, painted horse skull

Art Collection highlights

Left to right: Overgrowth by Ellie Bradley, heart by TenderFlesh, praying devil girl by Torman’s Treasures

Vintage plastic Jack O LAntern

And a vintage plastic 2-foot Jack O Lantern I got at a yard sale and have kept on display on his very own stool in the living room since. So happy.

Anyway, there are some more highlights from my art collection, as it is always growing and evolving. I have lucked into several of these pieces at antique and thrift stores or acquired them from the artists or more. And yes, I still have Da Ting the taxidermy shih-tzu from the first of these posts.

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 Series

Nightmarish Nature: Assassin Fashion

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I thought about featuring some sort of Father Nature bit for Father’s Day, but having already explored Perilous Parenting I decided to focus on more creepy insects instead. Because we love creepy insects here at Haunted MTL. Thus, I present Assassin Fashion, featuring the Assassin Bug…

Assassin Bug drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Assassin Bug

Fashion Plates

Now I don’t know about you, but my first thought after snagging my prey and slurping out their dissolved innards is that I totally want to wear the dried up husk of their now lifeless body. Like that necklace made of nothing but shrunken heads. That is some first-rate fashion right there, and no one would dare to say otherwise lest they want to become a part of the dead-flesh coat… And this is exactly what the Assassin Bug does. Like a spider, it stabs its unsuspecting prey, turns it into a giant protein shake inside of its insectoid shell-glass, sips it out, and then attaches the corpse’s carapace to its ever growing collection atop its back.

Aside from being totally badass, these nightmarish embellishments serve a number of additional functions. They help the Assassin Bug blend in among its prey, masking its own odor and helping it to appear as a mass of insects that belong in or near the nest (especially among those more social networking creepy crawlies like ants and termites). In fact, it may even draw the attention of those clean up crews seeking to bury their dead, luring them in to become part of the body snatched horde. And the horrifying additions also act as a sort of armor and potential decoy for other predators like lizards and birds, who can end up with a mouth full of dead bug bodies rather than a bite of juicy Assassin Bug.

Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies, drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies

Kissing Sucks

And Assassin Bugs don’t just carry around one or two dead bodies, they may totally pile them up, as well as use other insects’ and plants’ secretions to their own advantage. Here’s a cool video from Deep Look that shows a partnership some Assassin Bugs have with Tarweed, keeping moth caterpillars from eating all of its flowers so that it can itself reproduce and spread.

Fortunately humans are too big to be susceptible… Or are we? There are also parasitic Assassin Bugs known as Kissing Bugs or Vampire Bugs that feed on mammal’s blood at night; they even act as a vector for other parasites that can cause disease years after feeding, which are associated with Chagas disease and are transmitted to mammalian hosts when the Assassin Bug poops while feeding and the host animal smears the poop into the bite when itching it.

pencil drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Pencil Drawing by Jennifer Weigel

So here’s a pencil drawing I did of a dead bug I found (I had a whole series of these back in the day). I hadn’t at the time known what it was, but it turns out to be an Assassin Bug. I wonder what its fashion sense was like…

So remember, if you want to be at the forefront of creepy horrific fashion, just look to the Assassin Bug for inspiration. If you’ve enjoyed this segment of Nightmarish Nature, feel free to check out some previous here:

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Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

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Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

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Giants Among Spiders

Flesh in Flowers

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