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Here is Part 1 of Cravings, a pregnancy horror story considering darker cravings and changes in contrast to the glow that comes with the all-too-often toxic-positivity focus of carrying a child.


“Honey, I’m home,” Jayden’s voice echoed through the house like a bad 50s sitcom rerun for all that he didn’t watch those kinds of shows.  The callout seemed equally rehearsed and hopeful but harbored a hint of fear in the way his voice cracked that didn’t bespeak Mayberry or the like.  He waited for his wife Claire to greet him at the door.  The house was still and cold with all of the heavy drapes drawn and no lights on anywhere.  He glanced towards the dark bedroom where she must be napping, like the day before and the day before that, for weeks and months on end now.

Honestly, Claire hadn’t been the same since she’d finally conceived, following that witch doctor Miracle Madame Maresh Meliasma’s advice after years and years of trying to get pregnant.  Now Claire was lethargic and succumbed to migraines, nightmares & morning sickness that kept her bedridden much of the time, screaming bloody murder because of her headaches if anyone so much as flicked on the lights.  And she had barely even gotten into the second trimester.  Jayden had read that it was supposed to get better but there didn’t seem to be any improvement; if anything she seemed to be getting worse.  He tried to get her to see her doctor about it but she snubbed the idea.  “After everything they put us through, all those years of fertility treatments, the invasive procedures, the bills…  No way.  To Hell with modern medicine,” Claire had retorted.

So now here they were, readying themselves for their first child.  Maresh had foreseen that Claire would birth a healthy baby boy, and with all of the card readings, spiritual advice and herbal concoctions, Claire had fallen right in line, hanging onto the witch doctor’s every word.  Jayden was still frustrated she wouldn’t consult with her normal doctor, but she instead visited with Maresh every day through Instachat online for about an hour and even invited the creepy old woman into their home once a week on Thursday mornings to supply fresh herbs, massage her aching joints and swelling tummy, and call forth healing realigning energies with elaborate candlelit rituals.  Claire could focus on only one thing: anticipating the pending home birth and natural delivery of their firstborn child, still several months away.

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Jayden wished his wife had never set foot in that weird alternative new age spiritual center, something about it had just seemed off.  It wasn’t the crystals or candles or psychic energy books that seemed to line every surface; he wasn’t into any of that mysticism crap but it seemed pretty innocuous.  He recalled small figures made of sticks, straw and mud, and giant Mason jars boasting exotic herbal remedies, and the lingering scent of something sickly sweet decaying, all of which was genuinely unsettling, but it wasn’t really that either.  There was something decidedly sinister about the place that he couldn’t quite put his finger on, more caught up in the air surrounding and within the space itself.  It settled into his gut like that feeling you get when you know you’re being watched by some unseen far away presence or when you meet someone you know deep down has ill intentions.  And Maresh herself was just as disturbing; she only ever addressed Claire and had not uttered a single word to Jayden in the entire time.  In fact, she acted as if she looked right through him without even seeing him.

As days turned into weeks into months, Claire became more withdrawn and more obsessed about the baby.  She never left the house, locking herself away in the gloomy stagnant nest and occupying herself with the remedies, rites and rituals that Maresh suggested.  Oh, and knitting.  Jayden hadn’t realized that Claire knitted since he had never seen her do so before, but her hands were a frenzy of motion, whipping silver needles back and forth and pulling soft white yarn between them like a growing umbilical cord tethering her to the circumstance at hand like some sort of strange pregnancy lifeline.  The so-called blanket she was producing grew larger and larger every day.

Jayden snapped out of his reverie to see his wife eyeing him from the hallway.  She studied him up and down slowly, staring longingly at his body.  She inadvertently bit her lower lip in anticipation, teeth striking flesh to cut forth a small droplet of blood.  Her tongue eagerly danced across her pursed mouth and lapped it up before withdrawing again. 

“Aw, what’d you bring me this time, Sweetcheeks?”  Claire smirked; eyes alight with flame like a cat readying to pounce

She had been ravenous throughout the pregnancy so far, and her cravings kept getting stranger and more bizarre as time passed.  The other day, Jayden had fetched boiled shrimp, and she had devoured over 2 pounds of the mud-bugs in less than an hour’s time, shell, tail and all, their little legs matted together like thick wet whiskers.  Today she had requested pickled eggs, the kind that they import from Europe or Dutch-country Pennsylvania in those big almost gallon-sized jars, stained pink with beet juice vinegar.  Jayden procured the giant jar of eggs from the paper bag in his arms.  Claire lunged at him and grabbed up the prize, prying the lid off in one fell swoop.  She reached in, pulled out a pink rubber-looking egg still dripping with brine, and shoved it in her mouth whole.  She hadn’t even bothered to chew it before she grabbed another to meet the same fate.  And another.

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Still artwork, church window assemblage by Jennifer Weigel, reflecting on pro-choice versus pro-life politics in Kansas USA 2022 after the overturn of Roe v. Wade "Your body is still a battleground"
Still artwork by Jennifer Weigel, reflecting on pro-choice versus pro-life politics in Kansas USA 2022 after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, “Your body is still a battleground”

I hope you have enjoyed the first part of this story. Part 2 will air next time here on Haunted MTL. In the meantime, feel free to follow your cravings and order up some midnight munchies, or listen to this lullabye.

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.

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

AI Journey: Little Red Riding Hood, Part 2

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Continuing our AI journey from last time exploring Little Red Riding Hood herself as the Big Bad Wolf… All of these are based upon the AI generated art and prompts using NightCafe and then created as posters in Canva.

Little Red Riding Hood as a wolf, Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023
Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023

How very… Phantom of the Opera predatory… this is definitely not what I had in mind. Maybe something more cutesy?

Little Red Riding Hood woman with wolf head instead of her own, Anime V2 style, Aug. 1, 2023
Anime V2 style, Aug. 1, 2023

Ugh. Maybe not.

Wolf face peering out of red hooded cape, Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023
Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023

Wow, that seems like such a cop out, cropping off the head so you don’t have to depict it. And I don’t want to lose the Little Red Riding Hood reference completely.

Wolf in sheep's clothing as Little Red Riding Hood, Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023

So no surprise there, I knew that was too many references to work.

And we continued to devolve, join us again next week for the final installment to see how this ended… And again, if you want to catch the last AI art journey, you can find it on Haunted MTL here.  To see more such devolutions into AI generated art, check out the Will the Real Jennifer Weigel Please Stand Up? blog.

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Original Series

AI Journey: Little Red Riding Hood, Part 1

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And as promised in Big Bad Poetry, we shall embark on our next AI journey, this time looking at Little Red Riding Hood. I had wanted to depict her as the Big Bad Wolf one and the same, although maybe not so big nor bad. But it just wasn’t happening quite as planned. All of these are based upon the AI generated art and prompts using NightCafe and then created as posters in Canva.

Little Red Riding Hood beautiful woman with red cape hiding her wolf face.  Sinister style, July 29, 2023
Sinister style, July 29, 2023

So I actually like this even better than my original vision, it is playful and even a bit serene (especially given the Sinister style). The wolf is just being a wolf. It’s quite lovely, really. But it wasn’t what I had in mind, so I revisited the idea later to see if I could get that result…

Little Red Riding Hood with wolf face, Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023

Well, that’s not quite right…

Wolf face Little Red Riding Hood, Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023

Yeah more of the same…

What part of wolf face don't you understand?, Hyperreal style, Aug. 1, 2023
Hyperreal style, Aug. 1, 2023

And as you can see this is starting to devolve quickly. Join us again next week to see how this continued to develop… And if you want to catch the last AI art journey, you can find it on Haunted MTL here. To see more such devolutions into AI generated art, check out the Will the Real Jennifer Weigel Please Stand Up? blog.

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Original Creations

Big Bad poetry by Jennifer Weigel

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So considering my recent revival of a wolfwere and his Lucky Days and Nightmarish Nature’s hostile humanity, it seems we are due for a visit from Little Red Riding Hood, or perhaps even Big Bad himself… Here’s a poem on the subject by Jennifer Weigel.


Over the river and through the wood
flashed the fleet-footed Red Riding Hood
on her way to her “grandmother’s” house.

When running past, who should she see
but just one of the little pigs three
cowering like but a tiny mouse.

“But my dear piggy, what do you fear?”
Red Riding Hood asked as she slunk near,
teeth hidden under a sheepish smile.

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The nervous small pig looked up in fright
and decided that Red was alright,
missing the subtle clues by a mile.

“The Big Bad Wolf, that horrible beast
upon the other wee pigs did feast!”
the last little pig said with a squeal.

Red Riding Hood laughed with a great growl
and threw back her heavy long-robed cowl,
in a vast terrifying reveal.

For she was really the wolf Big Bad
hidden beneath the cape that he had
stolen from Red Riding Hood at point.

“And now I’ve caught you too my pretty
and surely t’wouldn’t be a pity
if I gobbled you up in this joint.”

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T’was then the wee pig leapt to his feet
And cried, “Big Bad Wolf, I shall defeat,
for I am no ordinary swine!”

The little pig also wore sheep’s clothes
spun in spells every woodland witch knows;
Old Granny herself was quite divine.

“Now give me back my granddaughter’s cape,
before I grab you by your ruffed nape
and send you pig-squealing down the road…”

The wolf dropped the cape and ran, that cur,
but Granny was swifter and hexed his fur
and the wolf she turned into a toad.

Thus the moral of this story goes,
when in the woods, no one really knows
what sheepish sheep’s clothing is a ruse
that big bad wolves and old witches use.

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So this is actually an intro to my next AI art journey with NightCafe which developed from me not getting the results I wanted (Little Red Riding Hood herself as a wolf). Here’s a preview with Eric’s versions as he is much more literal in his prompting than I am, but where’s the fun in that? 😉

Prompts (from left to right) in Dark Fantasy style, executed Aug. 1, 2023:

Bipedal wolf in Red Riding Hood’s cloak

Bipedal wolf in Red Riding Hood’s cloak close up portrait

Bipedal wolf in red cloak close up portrait

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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