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Day 14

Dani was the first down the stairs into the main shopfront. As though she already knew the situation her eyes darted toward the front doors. One of the undead had put its weight onto the glass and, almost as if the world had slowed down, Danielle heard each crack as rotten flesh slapped at the door. Dani turned toward the counter and saw Sandy crouching behind it – her screams of terror echoing in the room.

As soon as Bob’s foot hit the ground at the bottom of the stairs, the glass shattered and the ghoul’s decaying body began to stumble into the building. Dani froze for an agonizing moment, her hands empty of anything remotely useful. Within that moment Bob had thrown his full weight toward the walking corpse and pinned it against the door frame. The sound of glass shards ripping through flesh was discernible among the moan of the ghoul, the crunching of glass below Bob’s slippered feet, and the sounds of the old man struggling to muscle the ghoul out the door.

Dani snapped out of her brief daze and scanned the room. As soon as she saw a letter opener on the counter she dove for it and whipped toward the direction of Bob and the dead bastard.

“BOB-MOVE-YOUR-HEAD-” bellowed Danielle in a single breath.

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Bob grunted and pinned the ghoul with a stiffened pair of arms against the door, putting space between his head and a jaw full of gnashing, rotten teeth. Dani took one powerful overhead swing and wedged the letter opener deep into an undead eye socket.

The gnashing of teeth stopped and the ghoul hung limp.

“Jesus Christ,” Dani whispered. 

Bob took a few awkward steps to the counter, toward a sobbing Sandy, and put his weight on the faux-marble surface.

“Jesus Christ…” Dani repeated.

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She turned to Bob. “Are you okay? Did you get hurt?”

Bob smiled. “I’m just outta breath, baby girl,” he glanced over the counter, “You okay, Sandy?”

Sandy rose from behind the counter and nearly stumbled back into a cabinet in the process. Her eyes were wide – so incredibly wide. It was as though she had not seen one of these things up close, Dani thought.

“I’m fine, I… thank you. I just…”

Dani turned back to the corpse and snatched the letter opener from the eye socket. She flicked some thick, blackened blood from the tip of the blade out the shattered door.

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“We need to do something about this door, Bob,” she said.

“In a minute,” Bob slid down along the front of the counter, sitting, his legs outstretched, ‘I’m not as strong as I let on.”

Dani stifled a laugh as Bob winked at her.

Sandy seemed to be recovering well enough. “You’re right, Danielle, we need to do something about that door.”

Dani inspected the damage. “Do we have some way of blocking it up?”

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Bob coughed. It was the flemmy, deep reverberation of a lifelong smoker. “Not without digging around in the units, and I feel like we need this thing sealed up double-time, kid.”

Dani peered around the room then finally turned her gaze outward. There were no other figures in sight, but there was a moving truck. One of the rentals.

Dani stepped over the corpse in the doorway and stepped into the parking lot, staring at the front facade of the building. There was no awning in the way.

“We can park a truck in front of it, close enough that one of those things can’t wedge its way in…”

Sandy sounded skeptical. “Would that work?”

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Dani shrugged. “It’s the best solution I can figure out right now. We could block off the space under the truck with some boxes or a bookshelf.”

“Dani is right. It’s a pretty quick solution to give us a bit of breathing room.”

Bob rose to his feet and stepped out to the parking lot. He looked at the facade and turned to look at the moving truck inside the storage facility.

“This can work. Just gotta gun the genny and park that son of a bitch right along the front here…”

Sandy refused to step any closer to the corpse than a couple of feet away. She peered out into the lot at Bob and Danielle. Dani wondered how Sandy had made it this far.

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Dani saw Sandy stumble backward against the counter. “There’s another one!” she shrieked.

Dani and Bob both scanned the area. Bob was the first to see the ghoul, tapping Dani’s arm and pointing to it. The pair made their way back toward the building. Bob grabbed the letter opener out of Dani’s hand and pushed her toward the door.

“Kid, get the truck. I’ll get this one.”

Dani stepped into the shop and saw Sandy ready to bolt upstairs.

“Sandy, where is the key?”

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“What?”

“I need the key to the moving truck.”

Sandy paused for a moment. Danielle could have sworn that she saw her eyes dart back upstairs. Sandy grunted and dashed over behind the counter to a cabinet and swung open the door. Inside the door were dozens of keys on hooks. She scanned the rows with her finger, grunted again, and dashed to the counter to open a drawer.

Danielle focused her attention on Bob, who strode over towards the ghoul. She saw it pick up its pace as the old man approached. He marched right toward it and shoved it to the ground. He placed a foot on its sunken chest and stomped down.

He was a man who had killed before… long before the apocalypse. It was the way he carried himself. It was more than stories from an old man.

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Danielle was relieved to see the letter opener plunge down deep into the skull of the monster. Bob fell to the ground, exhausted. Her heart caught up in her throat when she saw that Bob didn’t stand up right away. Danielle could see the fatigue wracking him, his chest heaving from the strain.

“I’ve got them,” Sandy shoved the keys in Dani’s face, “hurry up.”

Dani bit her tongue as she turned her attention back to the parking lot. She caught some slight movement in the distance. Bob was still grounded, puffing away on the concrete next to the corpse. Dani stepped out toward the doorway and squinted her eyes toward the evening sun. Two more figures approached with the lumbering gait she had grown so used to seeing in the new world.

Dani turned to Sandy. The older woman’s face had gone pale. She had seen them as well. Dani moved over and placed her hand across Sandy’s mouth. Sandy’s eyes were wide in confusion.

“Don’t scream.”

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Dani had a plan.

Next Installment

Thank you for reading the fifth installment of the Haunted MTL original series, The Dead Life. Please share your thoughts about the story with us.

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Original Creations

Snails a Whorl Whirl Whore World…

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So a friend and I made some artsy snails awhile back. Essentially this was in response to her granddaughter proclaiming that her favorite animals are whorl snails. My friend heard “whore snails” and was a bit perturbed that the child would use such a word so nonchalantly, whether or not she knew what it meant. But then again toddler-speak is like that sometimes… Anyway, it stuck.

So we made some whore snails, all glammed up and ready to go. We started with these flat metal snails and then painted and decorated them, to whore them up a bit. I figured this would be apropos after my recent Valentine’s Day posts and that the end results were horrifying enough to appear here.

My friend's whore whorl snail
My friend’s whore whorl snail

This is my friend’s creation. I especially like the David Bowie star and cherry bling to match her cherry red lipstick. The purple shell is a great color on her too. I think my friend went back and decorated her shell more after the fact, but I didn’t see the snail after those changes.

My whore snail
My whore snail

And here’s my whore snail. She’s a bit more of an ice queen with her deceptively lovey-dovey eyes and mouth full of poison darts, like the underwater snails do. I believe I called her a Hoar Whore Whorl Snail as when the discussion first came up I heard “hoar” and thought of hoarfrost. Hence the ice queen take…

And another friend joined us via Zoom just to visit and have fun making art together.

Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom
Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom

This little Zoomed in snail is kinda cute, like she’s out on the beach in her bikini… Mixed media on paper.

So if that wasn’t disturbing enough, check out my inappropriate Shrinky Dinks posted here before, or maybe this Eye Candy Peeps Easter basket, both taking some innocuous thing(s) turning into something… else…

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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. Her friends will remain anonymous for now…

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Original Creations

Have a Dystopian Girls on Film Valentine’s Day

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So it’s finally actually Valentine’s Day, and thus marks the final segment of our dysfunctional dystopian romance. So far, we’ve survived both Gen X and Krampusnacht, what else could possibly be in store? Girls on Film…

Valentine's Day card Girls on Film
Girls on Film Valentine’s Day card from Jennifer Weigel

Image description: Video camera umbrella shower succubus stares through the lens at the viewer, surrounded by eerie Cthulhoid horror embellishments with text.

Text reads: Happy Valentine’s Day; lipstick cherry all over the lens as she’s falling; give me shudders in a whisper; take me up ’til I’m shooting a star; (she’s more than a lady)

OK so this Valentine’s Day dystopia ends in a Duran Duran video, because of course it does. If the video doesn’t load properly, you can find it by following this link. Girls on Film.

Duran Duran official video

Here’s the camera eye succubus all by itself, for your viewing pleasure. Actually this is the original original image from an Unselfie performance art piece in the shower before I decided to forego the umbrella. Girls on Film.

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Unselfie performance art video still
Video still

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.

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 Creations

Krampus and Jennifer Weigel wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day

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Krampus got a little confused and decided to celebrate Krampusnacht for St. Valentine instead of St. Nicholas. So Happy Valentine’s Day, as it were. No real surprise there, the whipping can go either way…

Here’s a before image of a doll like this one started as, one of those Christmas caroler figures.

Working Boy caroler figure - Before the makeover
Working Boy caroler figure – Before the makeover

And here are some after images to burn into your brain through your retinas.

Krampus’ eyes and horns are black light sensitive. The pin is a hand beaded piece that I lucked into at thrift and was perfect for this, nice and gaudy. Because even Krampus says you gotta have bling – it is Valentine’s Day after all.

Caroler turned Krampus - detail of cape
Detail of cape

And here’s a detail shot of the cape so you can see the chubby cheeky angels. Just like on all those Italian ceilings, these angels love to look down upon you in bed not sleeping, just like they would do. Such pervs. Perfect for creepy Christmas and Valentine’s Day alike…

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

Fashion Zombies

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Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

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Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

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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