Connect with us

Published

on

“The Comings of the Rain” by Tabitha Witherspoon

Rain beats like furious fists on the windows of Ms. Aris’s musty, chilled classroom. The howling wind reminds her of rowdy children. Ms. Aris is used to this cacophony, so much so that it takes two hours to realize it’s not her students making the noise, but the weather.

She’s so lost in her trace, in fact, that she forgets she’s alone.

Her coffee still contains a trace of warmth when she reaches for it. She tries to focus her

attention on the stack of assignments before her, but her eyes won’t properly adjust behind her thin-rimmed glasses. Has someone turned off the lights? She can’t tell. Papers flip against each other. Her dry pen scratches a few marks, labels an essay a grade she is unsure about, but is too tired to bother double checking. She’s given up on that a long time ago.

Advertisement

It’s still pouring outside. The letters on the paper begin to jump out at Ms. Aris. Her coffee is now frigid and undrinkable. A gust of wind cuts through the class, blowing her thin blonde hair in her face and scattering her tall pile of essays amongst the floor.

Ms. Aris clenches her fist and turns to the tall windows. They’re closed. What’s strange is that it isn’t actually raining- it’s a dry, late afternoon.

She blinks. On her desk remains the stack of her students’ assignments, completely untouched.

With a stuttering breath, Ms. Aris reaches into her purse to pull out a bottle. She can’t see the label, but hopes it’s the one marked ZyPREXA. The pills rattle as she pours three into her palm. She swallows them and takes a sip of her coffee. Ah, no, this isn’t coffee. Mr. Andrews from the Biology department had been kind enough to bring her some tea before he left.

Right.

Advertisement

Ms. Aris caps her pen and sets it down. Guiding her movements carefully, she rests her

face in her wrinkled hands. The table edge digs into her stomach. Deep breaths in. Out. In. Out. In. Out. The world continues to spin wildly around her desk. If she quiets her thoughts, she thinks she can feel the rain threatening to return.

After another cycle of breaths, the rain begins to shout. No longer raindrops, but bombs,

booming and making the building shudder. The floor rumbles, sending phantom vibrations up her shin bone. Lockers she knows are not there rattle open and shut. It takes a few moments for the woman to realize the sound is coming from the opposite direction now- the door.

Ms. Aris looks up and startles. In the doorway is a young boy staring at her. He shivers in his soaked uniform as rivlets of water drool down his dark hair, his arms, and pool into a puddle at his feet.

Advertisement

“You’re…you’re wet,” Ms. Aris says.

The boy says nothing for a second more, then his face lights up with the brightest smile

the teacher has ever seen on a student here.

“I’m sorry I’m late, miss!” He skips inside the classroom. The trail of rain water follows him, but his feet make no sound. “It won’t happen again.”

The room falls colder, but with a cursory glance, Ms. Aris sees that the window is still

Advertisement

closed, and it is still not raining.

“Why are you here?” she asks. If the clock on the wall is right, it’s five o’clock. “School

ended two hours ago.”

The boy ignores her, sliding into the desk nearest the windows. Her mind is foggy, but

she’s positive one of the Palmer girls usually sits there, not this child. He looks much too young to be in her class, anyways. He can’t be older than thirteen.

Advertisement

Warily, Ms. Aris pushes herself off her chair. Pins and needles spike her legs as she

approaches the boy, still clutching her pill bottle. He sits with perfect posture, hands folded atop

the desk, swinging his legs as he looks out the glass. The moon is starting to rise, a dull prick in

the faded sky. Their reflections are clearer than anything past the window.

Ms. Aris scours her mind for who the boy is. It’s difficult, like trying to recall a stranger

Advertisement

or a distant relative. Looking at his face doesn’t help. His features are ordinary: brown eyes,

cheeks still round with baby fat, a pallour she isn’t sure is genetic or due to the low light. Still,

she’s sure she’d be able to recognize one of her own students. She can do that. She can still

do that.

Before she can ask for his name, the boy speaks up.

Advertisement

“Can I ask you a favor?”

“What is it?”

The boy’s eyes are locked on the windows, a wobbly smile etched onto his face. He says, “Would you help me kill someone, miss?”

She can’t help it. A laugh surprises its way out of her, abrasive and too loud

in the otherwise still room. The boy’s smile doesn’t falter, but he stops swinging his legs. Ms. Aris feels like she’s floating high above the child, like she might be somewhere near the ceiling, bumping between the darkened lights.

Advertisement

With the hand not holding her pills, she pinches her thigh to ground herself, but even the pain is lost in a fog of numbness. “That’s a terrible thing to ask somebody,” she says.

Finally, he turns to face her. The boy is washed in cold light. His smile is still pulled tight, digging into his cheeks, but his wide eyes are that of a porcelain doll’s- unseeing, glassy orbs that look out of place in his head. Ms. Aris finds it difficult to keep his gaze.

“Why? You’re a teacher. Aren’t you supposed to help me?” he says.

“I can’t help you kill someone. That’s a bad thing to do.”

Ms. Aris realizes where the light is coming from. The moon. It’s high in the pitch

Advertisement

black sky. When had that happened? She glances at the clock to see it reads seven at night. Sweat trickles down her spine. Ms. Aris turns her gaze towards the boy. He bares his teeth in a grin at her now, the whites of his eyes glowing.

“But miss,” he unfolds his hands, exposing his wrists to her, “what if someone is hurting me?”

The pills clatter as the bottle falls to the floor. Ms. Aris gapes at the lattice work of

crimson scars on the child’s skin. She realizes it isn’t rainwater drooling down his skin and pooling on her classroom floor, but blood.

She’s on her feet. Her back hits the desk. The boy stands too, forearms still displayed for her.

Advertisement

“The only way to save myself is to kill the person who’s doing this to me. It’s the only way,” the boy says in a small voice.

At once, the porcelain eyes crack, expression twisting into a horrific mask across his empty face. The light casts hard shadows along the crevices of his cheeks and nose. The clock starts to scream quarter past midnight. Ms. Aris sees the boy in front of her, but when he speaks, his voice is in her ear. His cool, foul breath is brushing her nape.

“Fine. If saving myself is so bad, then I won’t.”

Ms. Aris shrieks and swivels around, but her quivering hand hits nothing but air. She

spins back to the desk. The boy isn’t there. The blood is gone. Yet, wet pennies and the stench of

Advertisement

rot still permeates the air.

She falls to her knees and searches the floor blindly. Her fingers knock against something

cylindrical under her chair and she snatches it like a life preserver. Ms. Aris scrambles to unscrew the bottle, but it’s empty.

A breeze chills Ms. Aris’s skin.

“Ah! Miss!”

Advertisement

Her neck cracks twice as she cranes her head. The window is wide open, and sitting on

the ledge is the boy, eyes glistening, smile wet. He leans back far enough that the top half of his

torso hangs freely outside, while his legs dangle inside the class.

The clock chants three in the morning.

“It doesn’t matter anymore,” he says cheerfully. Bloody handprints stain the windowsill when he shifts his grip. “I don’t need your help. I figured it out!”

Advertisement

Her heart thuds painfully in her chest, then skips a beat. The palms of her hands grow hot. There is no longer a fog in her mind, she is not floating amongst the rafter.

The boy giggles. He leans back and lets go.

Ms. Aris stands just as his short legs flip up and out of sight.

She runs to the window and sticks her head out. Her hand slips when she holds the ledge

where still-warm blood is tracked on the wood. It’s too dark to see outside. She waits, but

Advertisement

nothing follows. No scream. No landing.

Behind her, the clock strikes five.

Ms. Aris strains her ears and thinks she hears rain, but when she tilts her face up to the

night sky, not a single drop falls.

It takes only a moment for her to realize the sound is coming from the opposite direction-

Advertisement

the door.

“I’m sorry I’m late, miss!”

She turns. In the doorway is a young boy staring at her. He shivers in his soaked uniform as rivlets of water drool down his dark hair, his arms, and pool into a puddle at his feet.

“It won’t happen again.”

With her back to the open window, Ms. Aris feels rather than hears the rain start up.

Advertisement

Tabitha Witherspoon is a seventeen year old art lover, who will be graduating with her high school diploma and Associates degree this June 2020. She’s always been enthralled by stories, and recently decided to start telling a few of her own. Tabitha dreams of publishing novels with her name on the cover and surviving her upcoming year at the University of Washington, where she’ll study English.

This author has not provided a photo.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Original Creations

More Nail Polish Paintings by Jennifer Weigel

Published

on

Well, seems I’m at it again, with more nail polish paintings into found thrift store art. Why so many flowers this time…? Well a friend sent them and I just couldn’t help myself. They are so perfect for creepy fairy paintings. And for those of you who think fairies aren’t scary, you haven’t read much about the fey now have you?

More Revisitations nail polish paintings by Jennifer Weigel
More Revisitations nail polish paintings by Jennifer Weigel

Top left: Blue Fairy, originally painted by M Wadorf

Top right: Pegasus, originally painted by Edie Babb

Bottom left: Unicorn, originally painted by R Lovelace (After I painted this I realized I missed the opportunity to do a troll with a bridge and so I hope to do another along those lines in the future.)

Bottom middle: Fairy, originally painted by SD Janz

Advertisement

Bottom right: Dragon, original signed FZ, very sparkly with black-light sensitive eyes

And the most horrific of the bunch this time is this mermaid, who started as a weird bucket painting by Helen Miller… So, what’s in the bucket, Helen? Body parts? Fish? Plants not yet in bloom? I envisioned a trapped mermaid waiting to ensnare some unsuspecting land-goer, because no one would expect to find a mermaid there…

Mermaid in bucket, original by Helen Miller
Is this mermaid trapped in need of help or just trying to lure you close?

So I broke down and redid the unicorn to a troll. Apparently the troll was hungry… Anyway, here is the result. I am happier with it now.

Troll with toll bridge, original by R Lovelace
Hungry troll wants bridge tolls after eating innocent unicorn.

You can find more of my Revisitations art on Haunted MTL here, including links to even more nail polish paintings…

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.

Continue Reading

Original Creations

Bloody Mary or More Doll Costuming by Jennifer Weigel

Published

on

So I came upon a Liv doll with no wig and decided to make her a mourning ensemble. The result was so reminiscent of this Bloody Mary music video based on the Lady Gaga song, by Ruben Samuel Cortez for his film school final (not the Wednesday TikTok remix, though that is also fun) that I simply had to share.

Costumed Liv doll to Bloody Mary by Jennifer Weigel
Costumed Liv doll to Bloody Mary by Jennifer Weigel

The outfit is made up of really fancy thick black lace leftover from a skirt I decorated for a party and an old translucent black handkerchief. It really reminds me of the table dancers in the music video but black instead of white (though it also alludes to some of the other outfits too, and Wednesday’s dress from the TikTok remake).

Close up of Bloody Mary doll's face
Close up of Bloody Mary doll’s face

I love the detail on the eyes on these Liv dolls, which are embedded and not painted on.

Closer still...
Closer still…

The Liv dolls’ eyes are just so lifelike. I think this is what attracts me to the Rainbow High dolls too, and why I had to turn the Makeover Failfix 2Dreami into Lady Amalthea of The Last Unicorn…

Failfix 2Dreami as Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn (not scary but one of my all time fave movies and I love how this doll turned out so I'm posting her here anyway)
Failfix 2Dreami as Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn (not scary but one of my all time fave movies and I love how this doll turned out so I’m posting her here anyway)

If you want to check out more of my altered dolls, I have posted several to Haunted MTL here:

Fashion Zombies

Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

Advertisement

Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

Advertisement

Krampus

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.

Oh and here’s a bonus photo of the skirt that I got the lace for originally, titled Kiss My A$$.

Portrait of the artist, dressed for a Blue Jeans and Bling party
Portrait of the artist, dressed for a Blue Jeans and Bling party

Continue Reading

Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Giants Among Spiders

Published

on

So, as you may have noticed, we have a special fondness for spiders here on Nightmarish Nature.  Well, they are kind of the spokes-critters for horrifying animalia, perhaps because they are so freakishly different from us.  Or maybe it’s because I find them a little disconcerting for all that I try to take the “you mind your business, I’ll mind mine” approach, at least if they stay outdoors. Or just because I really like to draw spiders for all that I prefer not to find them sharing my home (though I’ll gladly take spiders over other bugs or mice or larger critters who didn’t get an invite).

Anyway, this segment is devoted to the largest Giants Among Spiders, as if you didn’t have enough to worry about already.  And the top place is contested based upon body mass or leg length.  Most of these are tarantulas, which globally take top place among the large arachnids.

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula
I’m hungry… I bet you are…

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula

The Goliath Birdeater Tarantula of South America is the biggest brute of spiderdom, weighing in at over 6 ounces.  They build funnel burrows and are known to eat birds (although rarely), mice, lizards, frogs, and snakes, but largely any big insects including other species of spiders.  They have urticating barbed hairs that they fling at would-be attackers as an irritant to escape.  And people even eat them after they singe the bristles off. Here’s a National Geographic video showing this spider in action, in case you wanted to see a giant spider take out a mouse.

Giant Huntsman Spider drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Creepy crawly at it’s worst…

Giant Huntsman Spider

And with the longest legs, we have the Giant Huntsman Spider of Laos, with a leg-span of 12 inches.  Their legs have twisted joints and they move in a crab-like manner, which furthers their impressive appearance. ‘Cause they’ve got legs, and know how to use ’em.  They prefer to live in underbrush and cave entrances.  These are like the big relatives of their Australian cousins, which we’ve all seen online and developed a healthy aversion to.

Everything's cuter when it's fuzzy, right? tarantula drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Everything’s cuter when it’s fuzzy, right?

Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater & Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantulas

Next we have two more South American species: the Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater, which boasts one-inch fangs, and the Brazilian Giant Tawny Red, believed to be the longest-lived spider with a lifespan of up to thirty years.   Both are in the tarantula family and have urticating hairs, a word you probably never read much before today unless you are in the hobby.  So apparently South America is not the best travel destination for you if you struggle with arachnophobia, though I suspect you’d figured that out already.  (I wouldn’t recommend Australia or Southeast Asia either.)

Face Size Tarantula drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Face-Size, sorry no Face or Face Hugger for scale

Face Size Tarantula

And finally the Face Size Tarantula, which has a very terror-inducing name reminiscent of the Face Huggers of Alien-glory.  Anyway, these spiders have an 8-inch leg-span and live in India and Sri Lanka.  They look kind of like big hairy wolf spiders with stripey legs, sometimes with pink and daffodil coloring.

If you enjoyed this eight-legged segment of Nightmarish Nature on Giants Among Spiders and their larger than life kin, please check out past segments:

Vampires Among Us

Advertisement

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

Advertisement

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending