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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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…

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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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When not ravaging through the wilds of Detroit with Jellybeans the Cat, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. VoodooPriestess

    March 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    I actually have a jenglot woodcarving XD so I be happy.

  2. Jennifer Weigel

    March 25, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Ah spring, when the scent of love hangs heavy in the air…

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Original Creations

Goblins, a Short Story by Jennifer Weigel

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Revisiting the creepy faux fingernail art, I made a couple of goblins… They then ransacked my house. This is their story, as told by myself, Jennifer Weigel.

More faux fingernail art from Jennifer Weigel, featuring wide smiling mouth with red sparkly lipstick and faux fingernail teeth on textured green goblins background
More faux fingernail art from Jennifer Weigel

So it finally happened. My art came to life. And of course it couldn’t be one of the cute pretty pictures, like the sparkly unicorns or the cat drawings. No it had to be the faux fingernail goblins… Ugh. I first encountered them in the bathroom.

I see England.
I see France.
I see someone’s underpants!

Of course you do, it’s the bathroom. That’s totally the room for that. Remind me again why I decided to paint these little green monsters. Ugh. From there, they moved on to the kitchen.

We so tricksy.
We so sly.
We eats all the cherry pie!

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Did they have to eat ALL the cherry pie? Like seriously. But what can I expect, they’re goblins and they’re in the house. Ugh. And honestly they’re just plain gross.

I pick my friend.
I pick nose.
Just whose nose, do you suppose?

Get away from me you obnoxious, vile creatures! I can pick my own nose on my own time, thank you. Ugh. Oh, great, now they’re tearing up the living room.

We be goblins.
We be green.
We be making quite a scene!

No, not the sofa! Now there are little bits of fabric and stuffing flying everywhere. I can see you’re all too pleased with yourselves. Nasty critters. Ugh. Why can’t you just leave?

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I do mischief.
I do bad.
This best party ever had!

I did NOT agree to host your little shindig. Stop tearing up my house! All I know is, it’s about time you moved on to wreak havoc elsewhere. Ugh. Just get out – NOW!

We scare the cat.
We scare you.
We scare all, we care not who!

I may have brought these dreadful disgusting demons into being seeing as how I painted them, but I have no idea what brought them to life or why. What kind of cosmic miscalculation caused this? I need to know so I can avoid it in the future. Ugh. Goblins… need I say more?

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

Faux Fingernails Art by Jennifer Weigel

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So I had some faux fingernails leftover from a costume based modeling session, from posing as Cruella De Vil for the figure drawing group… Here’s a teaser from that modeling session, before the horrible creepy art generation in the aftermath. If you zoom in tight enough, you can see my tiger fingernails, which kept trying to fall off constantly, reminding me why I hate trying to wear the things and why they (d)evolved into art.

Cruella De Vil modeling for figure drawing
Cruella De Vil modeling for figure drawing

My version of Cruella De Vil channels Glenn Close or the original animated character more than the recent Emma Stone variant, but they’re all delightfully devilish.

Anyway, I made this series of “Tiger Sharks” prominently featuring the same tiger faux fingernails, including those used in the Cruella De Vil costume. These “Tiger Sharks” also incorporated some pirate fingernails, because sharks and pirates are tight.

Pirate skeleton hand with faux fingernails
Pirate skeleton hand with faux fingernails

I couldn’t think of a better use for the pirate fingernails than adding them to this skeletal hand. I never actually wore these, they were too hard to come up with something to go with. But I do love the Beetlejuice vibe with the stripes…

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: Something Rotten, Flesh in Flowers

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This time on Nightmarish Nature we will again explore some of the more fetid fungi and plants, this time focusing on those that imitate rotten flesh in order to attract flies. Among the best known of these are the Stinkhorn and the Corpse Lily or Corpse Flower. The Language of Flowers be damned, literally…

Fungi

Many of the fungi in the Stinkhorn family erupt in mushrooms that reek of rotten flesh and sprout from a white sort of egg sac in various forms, the common type being a phallus like structure with a white body and olive head. The Beefsteak fungus resembles, well, a cut of beef oozing blood. And some mushroom bodies of the Clathrus genus bloom in elaborate lattice structures or devil’s tooth and devil’s fingers that resemble terrifying alien beings. These odoriferous fetid fungi grow in decaying wood material and use their stinky attributes to attract flies and other insects which will then spread the spores from their fruiting bodies. They truly look like something out of an outer space or aquatic nightmare.

Some various fungi that can reek of rotten flesh, drawing by Jennifer Weigel.
Some various fungi that can reek of rotten flesh.

Plants

Some plants also utilize pungent putrid odors to attract flies and other insects, in part to aid in the pollination and dissemination but also to attract insect matter for their own needs, to absorb the insects for valuable nutrients that they cannot otherwise obtain. The largest flowers in the world bear many of these characteristics, also being among the stinkiest. And some pitcher plants mimic rotten flesh to attract flies upon which they “feed”.

The Titan Arum of Sumatra and Indonesia is a plant that over time produces a huge flower somewhat resembling a calla lily but larger as the plant body stores enough energy to do so. While Calla Lilies are often used to symbolize rebirth and resurrection and can be associated with death, often in a funerary setting, the huge Titan Arum does more than that, strongly mimicking decaying flesh in order to attract flies. These flowers can grow to almost 8-feet tall and bloom for only about three days before wilting; they are a huge draw at botanic gardens when flowering because of the rare nature of the event and the remarkable presence that the flower has, in both size and smell. The US. Botanic Gardens has a page devoted to this plant here, where you can even track previous blooms.

Titan Arum flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.
Titan Arum flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.

Another noteworthy flowering plant is Rafflesia, a parasitic flower native to Indonesia and Malaysia that feeds on the liana vine and grows from a sprouting body bud into a huge flower over the course of five years. Its flowers, once finally formed, can grow to almost a meter across and resembles something out of a horror film. These too smell of death and decay to attract flies in order to cross-pollinate. You can learn more about these unusual plants on this video from Real Science here.

Rafflesia flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.
Rafflesia flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.

If you’ve enjoyed this segment of Nightmarish Nature, feel free to check out some previous here:

Vampires Among Us

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Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

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Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

Giants Among Spiders

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