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Last time on Feeding Frenzy

The whole of the flea market was coated in a thick layer of fine soot.  Nothing looked as if it had been shifted or moved within it for years.  There was a wall of farm implements, a few buckets of nails and screws and random bits and pieces of things that were unidentifiable under the dirt, and several tables of maybe housewares and maybe toys.  Lucille studied the wall, taking inventory of a decent sized sickle and a small hand axe.  A sign next to one of the buckets proclaimed “NAILS $1 PER POUND”.

A low raspy cough sounded from behind a small crevice near the door in which an old desk and even older cash register sat.  Smoke billowed from behind the register in wispy trails, pregnant with the strong scent of cloves.  A hoarse voice breathed hushed words into the stale air, “Can I help ya?”

A short older, lean hunchbacked balding man peered out from behind the ancient register with his small glasses pushed as far up towards his eyes as his nose would allow.  His flesh was arsenic white and his diminutive hand was stained yellow from years of smoking and nicotine abuse.  Unsurprisingly, he held aloft a smoldering clove cigarette.  His cubby was piled high with ashtrays full of old stale cigarette butts smoked down to the thick and snuffed out into small scrunched sculptures that resembled their creator.

Lucille recognized him as the last of the shadowy figures and hoped that she had now encountered all of the town’s remaining inhabitants.  She suspected that this Nightshade couldn’t sustain any more lifeless listlessness than the five inhabitants she had witnessed in the motel parking lot and had now met the last of.

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“Can I help ya?” the man echoed, pushing his glasses again up his long nose as his nostrils flared and his beady black eyes fixated upon her.

“I collect farm tools,” Lucille lied through her teeth.  “How much are these?” she inquired as she lifted the sickle and the axe from their hooks on the wall, hefting them slightly as she did so in order to feel their weight and solidity in her hand before setting them down on the counter.

“Aww, y’all can have ‘em for $5 total,” he stammered as his eyes bore into her further as if to discern her true intent.

Abruptly, Lucille reached into her purse and removed a rumpled $5 bill from her billfold.  Best not to push it, she thought as she considered purchasing a pound of nails for $1, fretting over whether he could see through her ruse or not.  She wasn’t sure what she’d do with the nails anyway.

“I gots more farm ‘quipment fer sale,” the balding man exclaimed, gesturing to two more walls of larger implements, plows, scythes, horse harnesses and such.

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“Thank you, but I need things I can fit in my luggage,” Lucille spat out, “I have to get them on a plane once I get to Portland.”  Why can’t I ever think up better excuses on the fly? she thought.

“Um ‘kay,” he rasped and took a hit off of his cigarette.

Lucille decided to change the subject.  She formed her words carefully, “Interesting place you’ve got here, this Nightshade.  Tom says no one comes by much nowadays.  He says maybe because of the casino, that you used to be a tavern town.”

“Tavern burnt down,” the little man drawled, glancing out the window across the street.  “Been almost decade ‘go now.  Town’s dried up since…”

Something about the way he spoke was distinctly unnerving.  There was definitely more to this history than Lucille cared to know, and she felt uneasy, like she had asked too much already.  “That’s too bad,” she backpeddled before quickly changing the subject again to leave.  “Thank you so much.  I won’t take any more of your time.”

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The little man folded the sickle and axe into a moldy brown-black paper sack and slid it over the counter towards Lucille.  She took the bag hesitantly in the manner of someone who has been handed something that one doesn’t want to touch for fear it might be contagious.  The bag crumpled to dust at the edges but remained remarkably intact, concealing its contents perfectly.

Lucille exited the building and started towards the gas station, well aware of the black beady eyes boring holes in her from behind, peering out from beyond the register in the creviced nook in the wall and through the nicotine stained door of the more-flea-than-market.

The street seemed quiet enough, too quiet really.  A wispy breeze drifted by lazily but otherwise there were no signs of life except for the scraggly grasses and scrubby plants that had overgrown much of the derelict ruins and the empty lot that stood between her and the gas station, and even those weeds didn’t seem so much living as simply waiting to die.

Tom was sitting in a sunken rust stained chair behind the desk watching a rerun of some unfamiliar 1950s era sitcom glowing forth from on a small television set in the corner of the room.  He turned towards the front as Lucille entered, the bell attached to the door awakening the room to her presence.

“I’d like to go back to the motel,” Lucille quipped.  “I think I’d like to sort through my luggage before dinner, since I’m not going to make it to the wedding now.”

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“Mmm’kay, jus lemme get my keys,” Tom replied as he stretched, leaned forward, and rolled his neck back and forth to pop his jaw a couple of times.  He pressed a button on the cash register and the drawer tongued open.  Tom groped about within it to extract a Ford pickup key, and slammed it shut with a quick clang.  He rounded the counter to head towards the front door.

“D’ya find somethin’ at da flea markt?” Tom asked as he nodded towards the bag Lucille clutched in her arms.

“Yeah, I collect farm tools,” Lucille said matter-of-factly in a voice that suggested not to ask any more questions because the answers didn’t matter and weren’t that interesting anyway.

“Good-deal.  Dat’s def’nately da place fer dat,” Tom smiled.  “Told ya ts worth da trip…”  He held the door and gestured for Lucille to exit, not in a gentlemanly manner but with the air of someone who needed to clear the room before he locked up afterwards.  As Lucille snuck past him in the tight quarters she was acutely aware of how he deeply inhaled the air that she passed through right beneath his nose and how his eyes brightened a bit when he did so.  She hurriedly headed to the passenger side of the truck, noting that he left the building unlocked despite acting as if he was going to secure it.

Tom climbed into the driver’s side and opened the passenger door from within, beckoning her to join him.  She carefully slid onto the seat and they started down the road back to the motel.  Neither said a word; the trek back seemed to take twice as long as coming.

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The white Cadillac still sat motionless and untouched by the front office.

portrait of the artist and Great White Shark breaching a pool of 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/

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Original Series

AI journey: Little Red Riding Hood, Part 3 Final

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So here is our last installment of our AI journey exploring the idea of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad wolf being one and the same. All of these are based upon the AI generated art and prompts using NightCafe and then created as posters in Canva. Feel free to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this exploration if you missed them.

Forget this talk of sheep, it isn't helping..., Dark Fantasy style, Aug. 1, 2023
Dark Fantasy style, Aug. 1, 2023

A non sequitur I know, but I couldn’t resist. If you picked up where we left off you’ll get it.

So what about Little Red Riding Hood as a wolf?, Dark Fantasy, Aug. 1, 2023
Dark Fantasy, Aug. 1, 2023

Seriously?! Again with the cropped off head cop out…

Little Red Riding Hood as a wolf, seriously we want to see her face!, Artistic Portrait, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait, Aug. 1, 2023

Finally! That was a journey. And not even worth the result, in my opinion.

Anyway, here is a bonus montage I made out of a bunch of additional Red Riding Hood prompts for an article that never happened…

Little Red Riding Hood AI art montage, Nov. 4, 2023
AI art generated Nov. 4, 2023

Prompts for Montage:

1.) What if Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf were one and the same being?
2.) Her wolf face peering out of her red cloak, fangs dripping with the blood of another victim, lost in the forest and never found.
3.) Little Red Riding Hood closes in for the kill, lunging from her red cloak, her wolf fangs dripping with blood.
4.) I am Little Red Riding Hood. I am the Big Bad Wolf. I am coming for you.
5.) Howling within, the rage sears forth from the red cloak, discarded in the deep woods. Red Riding Hood succumbs to the lycanthropy.
6.) Heaving breaths. Dripping blood. Red Riding Hood is not what she appears. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
7.) Her red cloak masks the fangs hidden below the surface.
8.) It starts with a long sighing breath. Waiting. The wolf within stirs.
9.) Red Riding Hood trembles. She succumbs to the lycanthropy.
10.) The wolf bursts forth from within. It takes over Little Red Riding Hood’s mind, her body, her being.
11.) Red Riding Hood howls. She is ravenous with hunger for blood. The wolf within has taken over. Mind, spirit, body. She feasts on the blood of the moon.
12.) Big Bad Wolf Red Riding Hood ravenous blood moon feast
13.) Blood moon beckons. I. Little Red Big Bad Riding Hood Wolf. Freedom howling night curse.
14.) Beware. Bewolf. BeRedRidingHood. Betwixt. Beyond.
15.) I pad quietly as the forest dissolves around me. Red Riding Hood and Wolf, one and the same.
16.) Wolf within howling dark recesses of the mind, Red Riding Hood lost
17.) Red Riding Hood HOWL wolf bane true existence polymorph within-and-without.
18.) Red howl Riding Wolf dark existence brooding within

So thank you for joining us on another AI art journey. You can still catch the last AI art journey 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 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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