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Day 17

By the time Dani’s cart had clattered onto the asphalt her forearms were aching from having avoided the cart spilling down the grass and dirt embankment. She rolled the cart forward and bit and pried her hands from the handle. A rush of blood began to circulate in her now slack arms and she nearly yelped from the sudden pain.

“Damn it.”

Edgar was idling nearby, having turned the car around. He rolled down the driver’s side window and leaned out. “You two start going. We’ll ride behind you and give you some cover.”

Dani glanced at Jimmy. He had already begun to push the cart down the street, which rattled terribly. The siren was long gone, so the loudest things around were the shopping carts and the Cadillac.

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Dani grimaced and pushed her cart forward, with enough speed to catch up to Jimmy. He began to pick up the pace, not quite a jog, but close enough. Dani picked up her pace too. Edgar pulled the car out of park and it began to roll forward, slowly.

Dani glanced behind her, just past the Cadillac, towards Esplanade. Sure enough, dozens of ghouls had begun to converge on their position, their hellish moans carrying on rotting, stinking wind. She nearly gagged at the smell.

They had cleared about half of the block when the ghouls had caught up to the Cadillac. The car bought Edgar and the women protection, but greasy, shredded fingertips would slap and break on contact with the body. 

Dani and Jimmy were pushing as quickly as they could, but the ghouls were surprisingly fast now, as though the stimulation whipped them into a frenzy.

Edgar glanced into the rearview mirror, past the exhausted Mary and her daughter out to the street behind him. The bulk of the ghouls were far enough behind it wouldn’t be a problem. The ghouls that had cut across the parking lot, however, had managed to stumble onto a shortcut. By Edgar’s count, he had about four ghouls right on top of his car. They couldn’t get in, and the windows were rolled up. They were fine – but until he could lose them he didn’t want to risk them coming close to the shopping carts.

Edgar dug around with a free hand at the back of his pants and drew the Glock he had hidden on him. He hadn’t separated from it since he and Jimmy had joined the group at the storage yard. He wouldn’t give up his gun for anything.

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He placed the Glock on the passenger seat and glanced back. The girl – Alicia, was it? – she hadn’t noticed, warily eying the rear passenger window. She flinched when an oozing palm slapped at the glass.

He would need to pick them off, somehow, but he couldn’t drive and shoot. He looked through the rearview mirror and watched two of the ghouls fall to the ground. Now there were three.

He laughed a bit and turned his attention back to Dani and Jimmy ahead of him. Out of impulse, he scanned the area, a habit from driving back when the world had traffic.

Dani and Jimmy had passed an access road. A narrow lane between a building and a mobile home park with cracked asphalt full of potholes. Edgar glanced down the lane and saw a pair of ghouls stumble out – Dani and Jimmy hadn’t seen them. The ghouls took lurching steps toward the Cadillac.

“God damn it,” Edgar muttered.

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The Dead Life is a Haunted MTL original fiction series.

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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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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