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The zombie apocalypse can take many many forms, some of which are more or less terrifying than others depending on your perspective…

Kayenne had never seen so many of them in one place at one time.  She had heard tale of whole cities being overrun in a matter of days, but not here in Cape Girardeau.  Surely they were too far on the outskirts.  She’d only caught a glimpse of her first sighting less than a day prior, and that was from a lone straggler way off in the distance.  But the rumors were true; it did spread quickly, and now she was surrounded.

One shuffled along to her right, sporting the standard greased-back black hair and sideburns, wearing dark sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt.  To her left were two more, dressed to the hilt in their studded white jumpsuits, their red rimmed, weary looking eyes scanning their surroundings.  And behind her was yet another, lavishly attired in velvet finery with smoky eyes and full, pouty lips drawn in a smirk of a smile.  There were several more off in the distance, awash in their bold-printed shirts and black coifs.  And they were closing in.

No one had realized they were zombies at first.  They didn’t seem to bother anyone; they weren’t frothing at the mouth or ripping people’s heads open on the hunt for brains.  Mostly they just shuffled around, mumbling, “It’s now or never” at pretty much everyone and everything.  Every once in awhile, one would wander along strumming a guitar or a ukulele, but most of them just sang and danced.

In fact, when they initially appeared, they hadn’t seemed particularly unusual.  Especially since the phenomenon had started on January 8 in Memphis.  That was his birthday after all, and the whole town still celebrated.  So for all that anyone could tell, it was just another convention that went a little wild.  Thus, no one concerned themselves with the growing mobs until it was too late and the zombie apocalypse was well underway.

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But after the party crashed and everyone went home, they were still everywhere.  Their numbers rapidly increased and, before long, they had spread beyond the Tennessee city.  It had taken over the state of origin in no time and had quickly engulfed much of the Southern United States.  And now it was spreading north into Kayenne’s hometown, all the way into Missouri and beyond.

Kayenne knew not to get too close.  These zombies weren’t inherently deadly like in all of the horror stories – they didn’t openly attack people.  Mostly they just flash mobbed unaware bystanders, gesticulating and wildly dancing in the streets with gyrating pelvises swaying to and fro.  But they were nonetheless very dangerous, for they were laden with an airborne pathogen that would turn even the most defiant hater of Rock ‘n Roll music into yet another impersonator in their midst in a matter of seconds.

It was an impulsive illness for which there was no cure, and it was spreading across the country at an alarming rate.  After the stores selling wigs and Hawaiian shirts were overrun and had long run out of stock, newbies continued to craft creative ways to fashion themselves in his image.  They used whatever they could find, even smoothing dark colored mud into their hair to complete the look.

Kayenne pulled her hoodie in tighter around her face and raised her bandana so that her eyes scarcely peeked out over the top.  She began to hustle and was readying to break into an all out run, but the group around her edged in closer.  They were within arm’s reach now.  One of them began to sway and chant “I’m all shook up” and another chimed in.  Before long, the growing entourage had all followed suit.

Back in the day, Kayenne might have enjoyed such a show and found the antics of the scene to be entertaining, but no longer.  Now it was terrifying.  And she was completely boxed in.  She knew she needed to get away, to flee to a safer distance, but she couldn’t break free.  As the panic set in, her mind kept reeling, returning to Spider Murphy on the tenor saxophone and Little Joe on the slide trombone.

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Suddenly, Kayenne burst out, “I sure would be delighted with your company…  Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me.”  The myriad of Elvis impersonators surrounding her joined in to seal the deal, welcoming a new member of the zombie apocalypse into their midst.  Kayenne stripped off her hoodie and tied her bandana loosely around her neck like an ascot as she waved to her comrades chanting “Thank you… Thank you very much.”


For more Elvis sightings here on Haunted MTL, check out my musical mayhem from February 2021. Video also available on Haunted MTL YouTube here. And if you really need more alternative zombie apocalypse craziness, you can check out my long-form summer story from 2021.

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.

Author as Elvis impersonator with white jumpsuit over Hawaiaa print, gold bangle belt, black sunglasses and wig
Another Elvis sighting… The zombie apocalypse is coming…

And if you want to complete the look as I have, you can order your very own wig on Amazon. Just remember, if you buy anything from the link provided we get some $ so as always, the Dark Lord says shop away…

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.

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/

Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Zombie Snails

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This time on Nightmarish Nature, we will look into zombie snails, because we were having so much with the Whore Snails recently. So this is a lot like the Freaky Fungus except that this time it’s a parasitic worm that is the cause of the horror… Leucochloridium paradoxum, the green-banded broodsac worm, forces snails to be a part of its nefarious plans to take over the world (well, really more just continue on keeping on in its strange and bizarre life cycle).

Hungry birds want nummins
Hungry birds want nummins

This Is What We Get for Eating Poop

The worm, which spends much of its life as a parasite in birds’ digestive systems, is part of a weird cycle that includes both birds and snails, though the snail end is much creepier. It starts when a snail ingests worm eggs in bird droppings. These eggs hatch into worm larvae that eventually turn the poor hosts into zombie snails! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Snails make questionable food choices, but I guess this comes from being where they are on the ecosystem clean up crew...
Snails make questionable food choices, but I guess this comes from being where they are on the ecosystem clean up crew…

The worm larvae work their way up into the snails’ brains and take over, hijacking them on suicide missions to continue their own life cycle. These worm larvae eventually grow large and worm their way into the poor snail’s eye stalks, pulsing and throbbing therein to resemble maggots or other tasty treats.

Zombie Snails
Zombie Snails

Mind-Control

The worms use the zombie snails to get into their bird hosts by mind-controlling them into climbing out of the shady undergrowth where they will be easily spotted by bird predators which will feed on them, ingesting the eye stalks and continuing the worm’s life cycle as it gets into the bird’s digestive tract. The huge, bulging eye stalks are irresistible to birds looking to snatch maggots and other delicious delicacies. Eventually, after the worms are well ensconced in its bird hosts, the bird poops out more worm eggs for unsuspecting snails to ingest, completing the cycle.

Birds love their grubs and maggots and other nummins, even if they are just zombie snails.
Birds love their grubs and maggots and other nummins, even if they are just zombie snails.

You can watch this in action on Nat Geo Wild: World’s Deadliest here, if you dare. Warning, it’s a little gross but not near so much as some of the other topics we’ve covered. If you enjoyed this slimy segment of Nightmarish Nature, please check out past segments:

Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

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Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

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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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