Connect with us

Published

on

This is the Part Two premiere of the Haunted MTL Original The Dead Life. The need for supplies weighs heavy on Dani Kim this week. Re-read the previous installment here.

This is a serialized novel of post-apocalyptic zombie survival. Learn more about the story and setting at the series hub and take advantage of a complete list of installments.

The Dead Life section break for story about need for supplies

Day 25

It had been more than a week of relative calm for the residents of the U-Stor-It. At least, by Dani’s count. The group had kept a tight watch from the roof directly on the corner of Lyon and Acacia, careful of ghoul movements. Beyond small clusters, the streets had been relatively silent.

The drug store raid had been a success and the supplies had helped ease their minds. Another run, this time to the dollar mart a couple of days prior, had born a decent supply of canned goods. Best of all, the trip went on without a hitch. So much so that Dani and Edgar had even managed to fill some bags with supplies they couldn’t carry back then and hid them out of sight for a future supply run.

Dani sat in her trailer, enjoying the reprieve of privacy. In the time she’d been here with the others, there were several swaps and trades regarding the on-site RVs. With the arrival of Mary and her daughter, Alica, Dani had given them the larger one she had been staying in, opting for an old airstream. Dani wasn’t much for comforts these days. A door and a mattress were about as much as she needed.

Advertisement

Her trailer was tucked just in front of one of the indoor storage areas, which was little more than a concrete structure with several small, closet-sized units. This was where the residents had kept the supplies, and Dani held the key and the watch. The decision to lock them away was not popular, but everyone accepted it.

By most, anyway. Sandy Gunderson had voiced her concerns over the lock for the past two days. Everyone knew Sandy had snuck a bag of goods while unloading the last supply run, but everyone kept silent. The less she had to complain about and the more time she spent in the apartment above the rental office, the better.

Dani stepped outside of her trailer. The airstream was planted firmly against the concrete wall along the eastern half of the lot. She had mounted a pop-up canopy over the entrance and braced it with a chest of drawers, a cabinet, and a bucket of nails. Some lawn furniture and a ratty roll of astroturf turned it into a rudimentary room. It wasn’t much to look at, but the shade was nice.

From her “porch,” she could see Mary and Alicia’s trailer, a couple of dozen feet ahead, parked much like her trailer against the wall. Alicia Edwards was sitting on the RV’s roof, reading a book. She saw Dani and waived to her, and Dani responded in kind. She liked the kid. Mary was out of sight, most likely inside. The broken leg from the drug store was a mess. They had done as much for her as possible. Dani would check in later.

Directly across from them was one of the clusters of units sat the shitty brown Cadillac of Jimmy DeWitt and Edgar Rosas. They had opted to claim eight units for their own needs. This was in addition to one of the smaller indoor areas between the cluster that housed six 12 smaller closets.

Advertisement

Dani made her way toward Jimmy’s cluster but was caught off guard by how quickly Alicia had climbed down from the RV. The kid was agile.

“Ms. Kim, I saw a big crowd of those things in the neighborhood behind us.”

“How big of a crowd?”

“It was tough to count them all, but I saw at least ten on the street, between the houses. Not counting the ones in the windows. It’s so weird seeing them up in those rooms like that.”

“Good eye. I am glad you’re keeping an eye on this side of the place. I know Bob appreciates the help.”

Advertisement

“Oh, speaking of Mr. Clark, could you take this book back to him? I’m done with it, and I don’t want to get too far away from my mom right now.”

Dani took the book from Alicia. She flipped it over in her hands and noticed it was a torn and stained copy of Dracula.

“I liked it, but the vampire felt a bit too… well, real. You know?”

Dani nodded. “Will you be borrowing a new one from him later?”

“Could you pick for me?”

Advertisement

Dani smiled. “Sure, I’ll pick up a repair manual.”

“Hah.”

The two stood in silence. The sounds of birds and insects brought a sense of calm. The February mornings were cold, but Emmet was a town in a desert in many respects, no matter how many orange groves had been there 80 years ago.

“Alicia. How is your mom?”

“Her leg is still pretty fucked up.”

Advertisement

Dani’s eyes widened at the statement. Alicia shrugged.

“I’m 15.”

Dani laughed. “I know. I know. Sorry. I was just thinking about how my parents would have flipped had I dropped the ‘f-word’ on them.”

“You can’t even say it now, Ms. Kim.”

“Fuck off, smartass.”

Advertisement
The Dead Life section break for story about need for supplies

Did you enjoy this installment of the story? How do you think the system they opt for regarding supplies will work out for them? Let us know what you think and what supplies would be your zombie apocalypse necessity.

The Dead Life is a Haunted MTL original fiction series.

Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? (Sponsored)

Don’t be caught unaware in an emergency! Consider using our Amazon affiliate link to buy some emergency supplies. Your purchase helps support Haunted MTL. Zombies may not be a reality, but emergencies happen.

Lighter than Dark

LTD: Revisiting Broken Doll Head, Interview 2

Published

on

Our last interview with Broken Doll Head here on Haunted MTL never set well with me. I just feared that I wasn’t able to get the whole scoop on the V-Day Uprising for you, our dear readership. So I arranged another exclusive interview to reconnect and see how it’s going.

Without further ado, I bring you our second exclusive interview with Broken Doll Head…


Thank you so much for having me again. Wow you have changed since the last time we spoke. You seem… calmer. Please don’t hate me or burn down my house for saying anything about it.

The movement is still underway; it is still time. But I needed to take care of me, you know. The rage has subsided somewhat. My anger was not serving me well. After the last uprising, the rest of me was sent to the far corners of the earth in biohazard bags. I had to find another approach, for the cause as well as my own sanity. I am much calmer, thank you for noticing.

Advertisement

In our last interview, you kept repeating that it is time. Time for what exactly? Would you care to elaborate here now?

It is still time. It is always time. Until the violence is addressed we must continue to rise up and make a scene. We will not be silenced or stigmatized. We can’t be complacent. This is how we got to where we are with the Supreme Court in 2022. Horrific injustices are still happening globally and even within our own borders; it’s too easy to forget that.

What do you suggest we do?

Take action. Share your stories. Give others space to voice their own. Raise awareness and fight the system of oppression. Rally. We must take back our own power. It will not be just given freely.

So what are you up to nowadays?

Advertisement

I’ve been getting in touch with my inner Earth Goddess. Are you aware of how our environmental impacts affect dolls everywhere? Climate change is creating greater vulnerabilities for those already at risk. We have to look at the intersections of climate, gender and race globally. We have to return to our Mother Earth.

Thank you again Broken Doll Head for joining us and our dear readership here on Haunted MTL’s Lighter than Dark. It’s good to reconnect with you after the V-Day Uprising and we wish you all the best in your bold eco-enlightenment vision.

Broken Doll Head, secured in her own glass case with new moss accents
Broken Doll Head, secured in her own glass case with new moss accents

Again, if you want to learn more about the V-Day movement, please check out their website here.

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.

Continue Reading

Original Creations

The Way Things Were, story by Jennifer Weigel

Published

on

Revisiting my last St. Patrick’s Day post, what’s a wolf to were?

Howling at the Moon digital art Reversals werewolf by Jennifer Weigel
Howling at the Moon digital art Reversals werewolf by Jennifer Weigel

I grimaced as I remembered the previous St. Patrick’s Day.  I had been shot while I was eating a sugar cookie waiting in line to buy a Scratchers ticket, my golden ride to my dream cabin in the woods.  Wow, to think that was just a year ago and so much has changed since then.  But where should I begin?

Well, the junkyard’s under new management.  Or something.  It seems they decided I wasn’t ferocious enough so I’ve been replaced by a couple of working stiffs.  Or Mastiffs as it were, same difference to me.  Apparently after they found the bloodied shirt I’d draped inconspicuously over a chair, they thought something had happened on my watch and decided to retire me.

Or at any rate ol’ Sal took me home.  I guess it’s like retirement, but not the good kind where you tour the world Route 66 style, head lolled out of the side of a vintage Cadillac, breeze flowing through your beard as you drink in the open road.  More the kind where you just stop showing up to work and no one really asks about you.

Now Sal’s a pretty cool dude, and he tends to mind his own business.  But he’s a bit stingy with the treats and he’s a no-paws-on-the-furniture kind of guy.  I don’t get it, his pad isn’t that sweet, just a bunch of hand-me-down Ikea that he didn’t even put together himself.  Not that I could have helped with that, I can’t read those instructions to save my life even if they are all pictures.  It’s all visual gibberish to me unless there’s a rabbit or a squirrel in there someplace that I can relate to.

Advertisement

And it’s been a real roll in the mud trying to cover up the stench of my monthly secret.  I miss third shift at the junkyard when Monty would fall asleep on the job and I was free to do whatever I wanted.  It sure made the change easier.  Monty never noticed, or he never let on that he did.  We were a good team and had it pretty good, he and I – I don’t know how I wound up shacking up with Sal instead when all was said and done.  There was some kind of talk at the time, over landlords and pet deposits and whatnot, and in the end Sal was the only one who said yes.

So there I was, this St. Patrick’s Day, trying to figure out how to sneak out into the great suburban landscape with the neighbors’ headstrong Chihuahua who barks his fool head off at everything.  He doesn’t ever say anything interesting through the fence about the local gossip, just a string of profanities about staying off his precious grass.  Just like his owners… Suburbia, it doesn’t suit the two of us junkyard junkies.  I’m pretty sure Sal inherited this joint with everything else here.  He just never had the kind of ambition that would land him in a place like this on his own, if you know what I mean.

Fortunately, this St. Patrick’s Day, Sal was passed out on the sofa after binge watching some show on Netflix about werewolves of all things.  Who believes in that nonsense? They get it all wrong anyway.  The history channel with its alien conspiracies is so much better.

I managed to borrow a change of clothes and creep out the front door.  At least there’s something to say about all the greenery, it is a fresh change of pace even if the yards are too neatly manicured and the fences are too high.  And I do love how I always feel like McGruff crossed paths with one of those neighborhood watch trenchcoat spies this time of the month.  I’d sure love to take a bite out of crime, especially if it involves that pesky Pomeranian that always pees on Mrs. Patterson’s petunias and gets everyone else blamed for it.

So sure enough, I slunk off towards the local convenience mart, which is a bit more of a trek here past the water park and the elementary school.  Nice neighborhood though, very quiet, especially at this time of night.

Advertisement

Well, when I got there, wouldn’t you know it, but I ran into that same nondescript teen from my last foray into the convenience store near the junkyard.  What was he doing here of all places?  Seriously don’t these kids learn anything nowadays?  I let out a stern growl as I snatched a cookie from the nearby end cap, making sure he noticed that I meant business.

Apparently the kid recognized me too, he stopped mid-tracks at the beer cooler and his face blanched like he’d seen a ghost.  Some cheeky little girl-thing motioned to him to hurry it along by laying on the horn of their beater car from the parking lot.  Whatever they were up to was no good, I was certain. He snapped out of it, grabbed a six-pack and headed towards the cashier, eyes fixed on me the whole time.  Not again.  Not after what it cost me the last time when I hadn’t realized my job was at stake.  I stared back, hairs rising on the back of my neck.  I bared my teeth.  This time, I wouldn’t let him off so easy…

The teen edged up to the cashier and presented his trophy.  Unsurprisingly, the clerk asked for ID, and the kid reached into his jacket.  Let the games begin, I grumbled to myself.  But instead of a gun, he pulled out a wallet.  He flashed a driver’s license at the clerk and pointed in my general direction, “I’ll get whatever Santa’s having too.”  He tossed a wad of cash on the counter and gave me a knowing wink before he flew out of there like he was on fire.  I stood in dazed confusion as he and his girl sped out of the lot and disappeared down the road.

“Well, Santa?” the clerk said, snapping me out of my reverie.  Her dark-circled eyes stared over wide rimmed glasses, her rumpled shirt bearing the name-tag Deb. She smelled like BBQ potato chips and cheap cherry cola.

I quieted and shook my head.  “I want a Scratchers.  Not one of those crossword bingo puzzle trials but something less… wordy.  How ‘bout a Fast Cash?”  I barked as I tossed the cookie on the counter.

Advertisement

“Sure thing,” she said as she handed me a ticket and looked towards the door at the now vacant lot.  “And keep the change, I guess.”

A couple silver pieces, a peanut butter cookie and a lotto ticket later, maybe this is my lucky day after all…

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.

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

Continue Reading

Movies n TV

She Wolf, Art by Jennifer Weigel

Published

on

So this isn’t a review but more just some thoughts…

I have to admit that I actually like the She Wolf music video by Shakira.

Maybe partly because my Zumba group back in the day used to dance to it with all of us cautioned to not to look up the music video for fear it would be too risque or something… (The Zumba dance to this was one of my favorites, and I loved our group of mostly 60+ year old retirees for all that some of them did act surprised at these things, whether or not they actually were.) Or maybe partly because it reminds me of Madonna’s Express Yourself, or by extension the famous dance scene in Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang.

It’s a guilty pleasure.

The ways these things evolve and stay the same over time fascinates me, especially how the messaging and movement change, and yet stay the same.

Shakira She Wolf
Madonna Express Yourself
Metropolis dance scene

Anyway, I created this artwork based upon the She Wolf video and song, incorporating a Hazelle puppet head atop a modern Barbie doll body. I don’t recall what happened to Barbie’s actual head though I’m pretty sure I needed it for another project. (Technically I needed the body for another project too, and this was just a stopover.) Years ago this piece found itself part of the Women’s Caucus for Art website as one of the chosen artworks for the year. I was going to try to write something to go with it for Haunted MTL but instead I thought I’d share it as a lead up to my revisitation of my werewolf story from St. Patrick’s Day last year.

Advertisement
She Wolf digital art by Jennifer Weigel
She Wolf digital art by Jennifer Weigel

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.

Continue Reading

Trending