I re-read that because I really don’t have nice eyes. My eyes are globs of slung mud and gravel on two cracked plates, yellowed by age and exposure. In fact, I’ve been asked many times before to stop staring – it’s gross, it’s weird, it’s scaring the children. I’ve never been complimented on my eyes before.
Usually on MONSTR, they mention the hook, because of course they do. It’s my best feature. It’s sharpened every night, carefully oiled, and well-maintained. I take pride in it, and it shows.
But on MONSTR, it’s usually the same B.S.:
But this message seems strangely sweet and sincere, and it’s been a while since I’ve had anything sincere, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had anything sweet. There’s no profile pic, but I’m not surprised, half of these assholes never put one up. However, the profile details catch me off-guard.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was human, a young human, and maybe he is. I’ve been caught by that before. Werewolf wannabes that swear they’ll change the next month, it’s just been an off-month or the moon isn’t really full yet. Fuckin’ normies. I’ve got no time, interest, or energy for them.
I have to look up what pokemon are since I’d been in the institution for a while and I’ve never been one to strike up a conversation if I didn’t have to.
Oh…they’re cute animals.
I’m baffled. Baffled but a little intrigued. I mean, he called me out, right?
This better not be some dumb kid trying to screw around with monsters. But if it’s legit…sure, whatever. I’ve heard of imps, but never met one. I’ve never really considered them for a date, but I’ve got nothing against them. I assume one monster cock is the same as any other, and I’ve had my fair share of monster cocks.
The funny thing is that I was actually considering taking a break from all this. At first, when I got out the institution and wandered back into the world as a “rehabilitated” man after twelve years, the changes were overwhelming. It was like everything had shifted overnight when I had been sleeping. Before I went in, phones were phones, cameras were cameras, and porn took thirty minutes to fully download and buffer.
I felt so young and so old at the same time, navigating through a different world, trying to catch up. Both terrified and inquisitive, I made up for lost time.
And when I first learned about apps, about how trusting people are now, I thought, ‘How easy! How brilliant!’. I started using the apps first as bait. There are some idiots that will meet anywhere without a second thought – abandoned hospitals, forgotten cemeteries, the middle of the damn woods where there’s no cell reception! It was such easy pickings…
But that’s when I fell into MONSTR, an app for the evil, twisted and monstrous, developed by the evil, twisted and monstrous. And I fell into it deep for months after discovering it, ecstatic that there was a platform for me. I wasn’t alone. And after the years of therapy, I could accept what I wanted and who I wanted.
And I’ll admit the random hook-ups with six-pack lagoon monsters, “physically-enhanced” lab experiments and all the multitude of were-animals was, at first, amazing. Night after night, just meeting other twisted souls for a good lay and slay was like heaven. And, yeah, sure, I had been tricked a few times by normies or by other crazed killers looking to add another notch to their machetes, but I’m good with my gut and even better with my hook.
So, it was a blast. It was hedonistic and it was fun. And it was Heaven…
Until it wasn’t.
Until I realized that I still went home alone at night and ate cold raviolis from the can in an overwhelming silence so deep and profound, I could barely swallow the congealed pasta. The thrill of it dissipated into the need for contact, for touch, for connection. As shitty as the institution was, there was always people, always chatter, always some new and young psychologist trying to be the one to break-through to the stoic killer. And everyone thought it was impossible…until one impossibly did it…
And I hate to admit that a part of me misses the connection and interaction…
I hear my phone chime and I’m surprised to see he replied so quickly.
Embarrassingly, that’s how I got my start, but I don’t want to say that and come off as a stereotypical asshole. I mean, teen-killers are a dime a dozen with serials. I’ve moved on, I’ve grown past that.
I try to even remember the last song I heard. It’s been so long. And I’m not talking WAP blaring from Geana’s side of the duplex. Real music. Music that felt real and genuine.
And it goes on like this for a while. I actually set down my cold can of ravioli. I actually turn off the rerun of The Munsters, even though I never saw this episode before. But I don’t mind.
In fact, I enjoy myself.
After two weeks of chatting almost every day, it got brought up that we should meet. I can’t remember if it was by him or me, but the other agreed quickly, maybe too quickly.
So, here I am and I’m nervous. I have my best, least-stained trench coat on, and even though it’s May, there’s still a cold wind that feels like Fall. It smells like disturbed earth and rain. It feels like a set-up. But here I am at midnight in Antwortet Park with friggin’ pack of pokemon stickers in my sweaty hand. Here I am like a goddamned idiot with his best trench on and hoping for the best, which I try not to make a habit. I even tried using beard oil, like a dirty hipster…
And why am I so damn nervous? This is nothing. It’s a stupid date that means nothing. And if it is a set-up, then who cares? I’ll just kill him and keep trying, I guess. Or maybe not. But maybe it’s not a catfish. Maybe this is real and there could be something to this. But maybe it’s not-
“Tony?” I hear a hesitant voice behind me in the shadows. He’s good, very good, at blending into the darkness. I don’t even see him at all.
“Jenglet?” I ask, in a general direction.
“Jenglot,” he softly corrects and steps into the light. He is small. Small and timid, or maybe just cautious. His skin is as black as jet and refuses to reflect an atom of moonlight. His body is short, lithe, looks hairless. Pointed ears, a grim little mouth with fangs that slightly poke out, and dark but curious eyes. His spiked little tail weaves nervously behind him. He’s wearing a t-shirt and jeans that he must have fitted for him.
“Hi,” I say, awkwardly, taking him in.
“Hey,” he replies just awkward, but laughs. “You’re taller than I thought.”
“You’re smaller than I thought,” I admit, but this bristles him.
“Is that a deal-breaker?” He asks, guarded, like he’s going to dash back into the shadows.
“Not really,” I say, “I’ve never met an imp before.”
“Oh,” he softens, “Actually all my brothers are bigger. Most imps are. I’m a bit of a runt.”
“I killed my mom,” I blurt out, and realize that maybe wasn’t the best thing to say.
“Oh, sorry? Or…congratulations?” He’s tentative.
“I mean, I was so big as a baby. I guess…I guess I just killed her. So, maybe being tall ain’t so good?”
Things are so much easier when the other monster doesn’t speak any human language, or when it’s just a quick tugjob behind an old, abandoned haunted house. I am not good at this. The talking, the being talked at. I wince under my beard.
But he smiles, laughs once, baring his white sharp teeth. “Yeah, maybe so.”
“I found these,” I stick out the stickers as an offering, but then realize my mistake, “I mean, I got them. I bought them. At a store.”
Gingerly, he takes them and beams. “You bought these for me?”
“I guess. I mean. Sure. Probably.”
I need to re-read the Dale Carnegie book that I stole from the asylum. But, in fairness, it’s not my fault that half the pages have the scribbled ramblings of the other patients. But in this moment, I acutely realize that I should be better at this.
“Thanks,” he says, tosses them into the air and, in a wisp of black smoke, they’re gone. He kindly explains, “I teleported them home.”
“You’re not an imp kid, are you?”
He looks to the side, an almost human move. “No, I get that a lot, though. I look young for my age. I’m two hundred forty-two. That’s about…twenty-two in your years, I think?”
“Still young. I’m thirty-four. But to be honest, I feel like half my life was taken away.”
“You wanna walk through the park some? You can tell me about it if you want…?”
“Am I…?” I gesture to my dirty coat, to my hook, and my long ugly mug. “You’re good with this? Or is this a friendship thing, or…? I usually just hook up, so I don’t know how dates work.”
“This is…your first date?” He asks and his astonishment embarrasses me.
“I’ll be honest, I got out an asylum a few months back and before that…I wasn’t ready for this,” I shrug, “I wasn’t ready to accept this…for myself. But…I got some good help and I feel ready now, I guess.”
“You don’t mind me being so small?”
“You don’t mind that this is my cleanest trench coat?”
His eyes sparkle with delight before we both hear an ear-piercing scream rip through the silence. Turning, we see a young woman. All long hair and long legs. Tight waist and yoga pants. She’s spotted us and had the audacity and gall to scream out. Some people, man…
She starts to run away and I charge towards her instinctively, matching her pace easily, as we run along the path of the park. The thrill of the chase isn’t lost on me. It’s freeing. It’s intoxicating.
Helpless, gasping, crying, she trips and crashes to the ground a few feet in front of me. And seriously, I don’t even know how she did it. I mean, she’s wearing sneakers, for Christ’s sake. What the hell did she even trip on? The concrete is level and smooth… But here we are and here she is on the ground, crawling and sobbing.
Backing up from me, still on the concrete, she puts her hands out defensively. In a high pitch, she screeches, “Please no! Please! I’ll give you money! Just let me go!”
This is kind of my favorite part because she’ll soon figure out that there is no reprieve, no good knight in white armor. This is her death and I am her destroyer, and she will accept that in her final moments because there’s nothing left for her to do but accept that.
I lumber closer, hook raised and glistening in the moonlight. My heart’s pounding and I hope Jenglot’s watching. I hope he’s enjoying the show.
She’s still crying out. “Please, no! Please! Stop! Plea-”
And then suddenly, with a guttural splatter, her throat gushes open. It splays apart like a snapped trap of torn flesh and ruptured muscles. Blood spurts forth like a fountain head, wild and uncontrollable. She tries to gasp and just squirts the blood farther, getting all over my “nice” trench coat.
Her hands reach for her throat, then reach for nothing, held helpless and twisted in the air. She foams and gurgles, eyes bulged and pleading until they slowly glaze over. The little jerks of a sudden death ripple throughout her body, long legs twitching against the gravel.
I stare, uncertain of what happened, at what’s going to happen…
Just standing here, blinking, in shock.
She almost falls back, but is stiffly caught from behind. Dark claws reach out from behind her back and embrace her body. Jutting from her throat I recognize the thick spike of a tail poking through her still seeping neck before it slips away.
Her body collapses slowly onto him, and I realized that he has her body propped against his small frame. His dark face partially peers from behind her long, blood-spattered hair to look at me. His eyes are still curious and nervous, and a soft pink tongue slips from his mouth to lick his lips. My breath catches in my throat.
“Was that a dealbreaker?” he asks me, quietly, almost a hiss, “That I stole your kill?”
I laugh, full-bellied, and he quirks his little head.
“Nah, maybe some years back…But I’m a different man now. I used to kill…well, for a lot of reasons. Maybe some I still don’t even know yet. But now,” I shrug my heavy shoulders and smile despite myself, “Now I kill for me. I kill for fun. So, no. That doesn’t bother me. The chase was fun.”
He smiles, too, eyes gleaming in delight before he leans to her and bites down into her flesh, tearing the meat there. I crouch where I’m standing, closer on his level and he watches me as he chews, blood dripping down his jaws.
“Hey, can we do this again sometime?” I ask. “I’d like to see you again.”
He grins, full white teeth, now pink from the blood and bits of flesh clinging there. And it’s the most fucking adorable thing I’ve ever seen. If he was a pokemon, he’d be my favorite.
“I’d really like that, Tony,” he says and leans back down for another bite.
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Reanimating Dead Art with Monsters by Jennifer Weigel
Dead art… It’s a thing that happens, sadly. Typically found at thrift and antique stores or dumpster diving or by the side of the road. But art is never really dead, just resting… Here are some reanimated paintings I made by incorporating nail polish monsters into existing art.
Let’s face it – reworking old abandoned artworks with monsters kind of rocks. For awhile they were all over the internet. I admit, it took me a long time to muster up the courage to paint into someone else’s grandmother’s art, but once I started I just couldn’t stop. From top to bottom, left to right we have: Zombies, Unicorn, Siren, Krakken, Harpies, Sasquatch, Alien Invasion, Witch, and Serpent.
The dragon is probably my favorite. All of the shades of red are really vibrant and striking against the green. And dragons are always so classic and grandiose and terrifying, perfect for pairing with a mountain landscape. I love painting with nail polish for the sparkle, even if the fumes do get kind of noxious en masse. (The best subject to paint in this media is Rocky Horror style lips by the way, in case you were wondering.)
And what better way to complete the collection than with a portrait of a Fairy Queen, her icy stare drilling into your soul. She’s up to some sort of magical mischief, that’s for sure.
And speaking of magical mischief, this is the monster painting I made just for me. The original artwork is about 4 feet long and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to reanimate it in this exact way for all that this is the last in the series that I did. I even added extra shimmer factor. I’d initially considered adding a sea serpent or a dragon but no, she told me to stop.
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.
Lighter than Dark
LTD: Revisiting Broken Doll Head, Interview 2
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.
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?
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.
Again, if you want to learn more about the V-Day movement, please check out their website here.
The Way Things Were, story by Jennifer Weigel
Revisiting my last St. Patrick’s Day post, what’s a wolf to were?
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.
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.
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.
“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…
Check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing here at Jennifer Weigel Words.
March 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm
I actually have a jenglot woodcarving XD so I be happy.
March 25, 2021 at 8:04 pm
Ah spring, when the scent of love hangs heavy in the air…