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What’s a werewolf to do when the moon is (or isn’t) full?…

It was my Lucky Day.

It was a full moon after all, and St. Patrick’s Day to boot, and I was off work for a change of pace.  Well, it was a great night anyway – working third shift security at the junkyard gets you all mixed up on when the supposed “day” is…  Nonetheless, it was day to me even if it was after 10 PM, and I’ve never been one to care about the formality of the clock anyhow.  I could feel it deep within my bones, it was going to be my Lucky Day, and no one was going to convince me otherwise.

I rubbed the rabbit’s foot in my pocket as I entered the gas station convenience mart.  It was busy for this time of night, but no matter.  It was a great night to buy a scratchers ticket.  Maybe I’d get two and double my chances.  Nah, why shell out more cash for an extra when the win was already a shoe in?  Though they are fun to scratch off regardless.  That ticket was going to be my train outta here, far away from the city to my dream-cabin in the woods surrounded by trees and rabbits and squirrels and raccoons where I could be one with nature.

I grabbed a milk chug and the last frosted sugar cookie emblazoned with the word “Lucky” scrawled upon its glazed surface waiting just for me.  Cookies were always my favorite – I don’t care what kind, crunchy or chewy, they’re all good.  Anyone with any sense knows not to touch the day-old donuts sitting out until they bear a stronger resemblance to crumbly dry Styrofoam circles than to food, and the brownies are always sub-par, besides which I’m not all that into chocolate and it’s bad for you anyway.  But today they still had one cookie left, even now.  It was a sure thing though; after all, it was my Lucky Day.

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A sugar cookie, frosted and emblazoned with the word "lucky" in green on white for St. Patrick's Day
Yum! This Lucky Day sugar cookie is sure to hit the spot…

I opened the cookie and nibbled away at the velvety pastry while standing in line.   It was just the right mix of crunchy and chewy with sweet buttery overtones.  I savored every delectable morsel.  The clerk threw some change and a pack of cigarettes across the counter to a waitress on her way home from the diner up the street still wearing her blue checkered uniform.  The aroma of cheap coffee and blueberry pie wafted through the pervasive noxious cigarette-scented cloud that followed her everywhere.  The clerk was too far away to tell.

There were a handful of teens just milling about the beer cooler, nondescript in their oversized denim jackets and their I’m-too-cool-to-see sunglasses at night.  They smelled like a perpetual party at the keg.  Wasn’t there a curfew?  As a bunch of them poured together through the front door, unsurprisingly smuggling several beers out in their baggy saggy pants pockets, one of them bumped into me.  I glared at the youth and growled, “Excuse me,” but he just grumbled as he wandered towards the front with his pack.  Kids nowadays.  Impossible.

The clerk called after them, “Hey there, hold up!”

the same cookie, one bite missing
I was totally right – this is delicious!

A straggling nondescript teen standing behind me in line pulled a gun and shouted, “Don’t anybody move!”

All I could think was how dare you…?  It’s my Lucky Day!  Punk kids like these are always pissing on everyone else’s lawns – this is why there should be a curfew. The waitress in front of me leapt to the floor as the youth set his sights on the gas station clerk, who had reached behind the counter to extract a shotgun.

Things were about to get stupid… or crazy… or both.  No matter, it wasn’t my neck on the line for a change.  I was off work for the night and this wasn’t my territory anyway.  I ate another bite of the cookie as I watched the development.

The teen shouted, “Get out of the way, Santa!”

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the same cookie with still more bites nibbled out
Wait, did someone shout at me?! Why should I care, I still have my Lucky Day sugar cookie…

How was I supposed to know he was talking to me?  Yeah, I had thick white hair and was eating a cookie, but I had never been addressed as Santa before.  Sure, I’d been called dawg, cur, mongrel, and I was even once mistakenly addressed as bitch, but never Santa.  But then again, I’d forgotten it was a full moon, so Santa made a little more sense in that context I suppose, though Aqualung would have probably been more fitting. At any rate, I didn’t move in time.

The clerk jerked to the side and let loose with the shotgun, destroying a cardboard display and sending cheap crappy dime store candy flying everywhere like too much tire shredder shrapnel.  The teen behind me fired his gun in response.  I was livid.  How dare they interrupt my Lucky Day?!  I stroked the rabbit’s foot again before I lunged and snapped at the teen.  He gasped, eyes growing wide like saucers and pointing at me with a quivering finger as he skidded backwards, turned tail, and ran.

The clerk lurched outside after him and readied his shotgun on the trash canister just beyond the front door, letting loose another couple of rounds at the fleeing kids as they sped off in a beater Cadillac.  The diner waitress darted into the bathroom in the back corner of the convenience mart, slammed the door, and bolted it from inside.  I stood there watching the scene unfold as I ate another bite of my cookie.  There was blood on my hand.  I sniffed it; it was mine.

Blood spattered across the rest of the cookie, now reading "ucky" after being partially eaten
Am I… bleeding? WTF! But seriously, I have to save this cookie!

I hadn’t realized the gun the teen had fired had clipped my side.  Good thing he wasn’t using silver bullets.  The wound was mending quickly as usual, with a fine coating of fur forming over the knitting flesh before smoothing to human skin by the light of the full moon.  But the shirt was ruined.  Crap.  I’d have to borrow another one next month.  I left a wad of cash on the counter to pay for my treats.  I’ve never been all that good at math but it was more than enough I’m sure.

As I wandered out the door and down the street towards the junkyard, I finished off the cookie and guzzled the milk chug in one gulp.  I stroked the rabbit’s foot again and then fingered the leather collar around my neck.  Burned into the leather was my name, Lucky.  It was still my Lucky Day, no matter what those punk teens and the gas station clerk did.  Next full moon I’d have to return and get those scratchers tickets, and another cookie if they’ve got one.  Until then, it’s back to the junkyard to howl at the moon.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

You can read another Werewolf story by Jennifer Weigel as posted here to Haunted MTL for Valentine’s Day last year.

Check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing here at Jennifer Weigel Words.

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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/

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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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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Horrifying Humans

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So we’re going out on a limb here in this segment of Nightmarish Nature and exploring one of the most terrifying, most dangerous, most impactful species to walk this planet. I’m talking about us of course. Sure, as humans, we may not seem all that horrific to ourselves, but to many other creatures we have been a force of nightmares.

Humans male as drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Humans male as drawn by Jennifer Weigel

Why are we terrifying?

Humans are among those species that engage in massive modifications to our environment to serve our needs, like beavers who dam rivers, elephants who eat all of the new growth scrub to keep the savannahs tree-free, and so on. Yeah, all creatures have some impact on their surroundings, but some take it up a notch, and we do so at an order of magnitude higher still. And we have gotten so good at it that we have managed to exist and thrive in places that would otherwise be inhospitable. We are outwardly adaptive and opportunistic to the point of being exploitative. We are the apex predators now.

Sabertooth cowering as drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Sabertooth cowering as drawn by Jennifer Weigel

We have forced many creatures into extinction, intentionally and not, and have sped up these effects enormously. The National Audobon Society chose the egret as its symbol after it made a comeback from being hunted to near extinction, and it was one of the lucky ones. Many weren’t so lucky, especially if they came in direct conflict with humans, such as wolves and the big cats who were in direct competition, or those who were really specialized in really specific niche circumstances that we pushed out of the way. And this is in only a very very limited scope of our earth’s history, and has since been even more ramped up with industrialization.

Humans female as drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Humans female as drawn by Jennifer Weigel

But humans aren’t all bad are we?

Depends on who you ask… We have created all sorts of incredible opportunities for some species too. Take mice for example. And coyotes. And kudzu. And a whole host of animals whom we’ve domesticated, some of whom wouldn’t have continued to exist otherwise or certainly wouldn’t exist in anything resembling their current forms. And the most massive extinctions occurred long before our arrival, when the earth was still forming and underwent rapid catastrophic changes and swings, decimating critters as they were trying to get a foothold. Nothing is constant except for change; that has always been true.

Wolf begging for cheezborger drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Wolf begging for cheezborger drawn by Jennifer Weigel

So it isn’t my goal to get all eco-con​scious and environmentalist here. Just that I feel if we are going to explore some of the more terrifying aspects of nature, we need to look in the mirror. Because if a consensus were taken right here, right now of all living beings globally as to what is among the most terrifying creatures among us, I’m sure we’d appear on that list.

If you enjoyed this closer-than-kissing-cousins segment of Nightmarish Nature on Horrifying Humans, please check out past segments:

Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

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Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

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Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

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