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eerie empty refrigerator

Kyle opened the fridge to grab a beer.  “Hey, bro.  How could you?”

“What, man?” Darius hollered towards the kitchen from the living room, still engrossed in his WWII Flying Aces game, his fingers dancing rapidly over the controller as he shot down enemy planes.

“You ordered pizza without me!” Kyle retorted.  “And the last piece has mushrooms… you know I hate the fungi, bro.”

“What pizza?” Darius asked, still focused on his game as he leaned left with the wing of his aircraft as it tilted to avoid a retaliatory strike.

Kyle sauntered into the living room, beer in hand.  “What pizza?” he quipped as he rolled his eyes.  “The one in the fridge in the Pie Shack box with the last lonely fungi-ridden piece of crap in it…” he jeered.

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“I didn’t get a pizza, man,” Daruis shrugged as he flew into a tailspin and crashed to the ground, struck down by enemy fire.  Again.  “You’re breaking my jive, man,” he said as he tossed the controller to the cluttered coffee table and got up to investigate.  He walked purposefully but nonchalantly to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.

Sure enough, there was a Pie Shack pizza box there, on that weird mid-level shelf that’s too short to hold much of anything useful (like beer), above the well-stocked sea of Brew-skee Lowball Lager below, which took up the entire bottom shelf.  Darius opened the box to find a single piece of thin crust pizza bearing cheese, onions, peppers and mushrooms.  But no sausage.  He’d have ordered sausage.

“I dunno, man,” he replied as he grabbed a beer and popped the can tab.  “Pie’s not mine, no sausage…”  He returned to his game.

Kyle wandered down the hall shaking his head and mumbling, “Whatever, bro.”

The next morning, there were two slices of pizza in the box where the one had been the night before, both the same kind smothered in cheese, onions, peppers and funky wrinkled up black mushrooms.  Kyle smirked and grabbed a half-gallon jug of white liquid that was supposed to be milk out of the fridge door.  He unscrewed the cap, gave it a sniff, and put it back.  He grabbed the pizza and dissected it, removing the offending fungi and flicking them into the box lid before he stuffed the rest of the slice in his mouth.  After devouring both pieces, he tossed the box and mushroom bits in the trash and left.  Darius was still crashed out in his room.

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After work, Kyle returned to find a new pizza box on the mid-level shelf above the Brew-skee.  The text on this box was greasy and obscured and almost appeared to read Pi Shaq.

“Who’s using our fridge?” he yelled down the hall.

Darius moaned.  “What?!” he shouted back from behind his closed door.

“Someone’s using our fridge, bro,” Kyle hollered as Darius stumbled down the hall and into the kitchen, scratching his head.

“Really, man?”  Darius shrugged and popped his shoulders.  He overflowed a bowl with Captain Crunch cereal and opened the fridge.  “Where’s the milk?”

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“I dunno.  It should be in there,” said Kyle.  “There’s another pizza…”

They opened the Pi Shaq box to find a half of a large pizza, thick crust with red sauce and unappetizing green tentacles.  As the dim yellow warmth of the kitchen overhead light radiated over them, the tentacles appeared to almost… move…  Darius massaged his brow and shook his head as they closed the lid on the box, returning the tentacles to their dark comfort, and put it back in the fridge.

cheese-less pizza with green tentacles in transit between worlds, flashing static

“It’s gotta be those guys Brad and Marcus from 4B effing with us,” he said as he dumped half the remaining pot of coffee on his cereal and proceeded to shovel it into his mouth with what would have otherwise been a serving spoon.

“Fine,” retorted Kyle.  “I’ve got the tech – we’ll set ‘em up, Candid Camera style…”

“Whatever, man,” Darius replied as he retreated to his room, his bowl of coffee Captain Crunch in tow.

Kyle set up the webcam later that day, aimed and timed perfectly so that the motion sensor would set it off anytime anyone opened the refrigerator door.  But the only footage he got was of Darius grabbing a beer later that afternoon.

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Yet, that evening when they returned from a Chinese run to the Red Devil up the street, they opened the fridge to find that the Pi Shaq box with the green tentacle pizza was gone.  And now there was a tripped out head in a jar in its place, shoved into the back right hand corner of the fridge on the top shelf.  Darius turned it around towards the corner, “so it’ll stop staring at us, man.”

Kyle dropped off his leftover Kung Pao Chicken and closed the refrigerator door.  He tweaked the webcam, tied up the trash with the first Pie Shack pizza box, and took it out to the dumpster.  Darius returned to his WWII Flying Aces game, beer in hand.

Later that night, Kyle opened the fridge to find that his Kung Pao Chicken was gone and the head jar was facing forward again.  A platter of what appeared to be sushi filled the mid-level shelf where the pizza boxes had appeared.  The overstuffed sushi rolls were filled to the brim with the same green tentacles, which writhed slowly when exposed to light.  Bulbous fish eyes in the middle of the tentacles seemed to follow their every move.

“Bro, check this out,” Kyle called to Darius.  Darius paused his game, wandered into the kitchen and had a look.  Together, they stared at the wriggling mass in silence.

“I don’t think it’s Brad and Marcus,” Darius finally spoke.  “What is it, man?”

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“I dunno,” Kyle exclaimed.

“Well then, what should we do with it?” Darius asked.

Kyle grabbed the head jar and the platter and heaved them both into the trashcan, which was outfitted with a fresh new bag from after he’d taken out the previous Pie Shack box earlier.  They landed with a soft thud as they hit the empty bottom of the plastic bin.  He tugged the bag off of the edges of the trashcan, tied it off in a haphazard knot, and handed it to Darius.  “Your turn, bro,” he said.

Darius dragged the mess to the dumpster and hoisted it in.  When he returned they opened the fridge and stared.

It was completely empty.  There was no pizza, no milk, no Kung Pao Chicken, no sushi, no head jar…  Even the empty glass butter dish that had come with the fridge was gone.  But, most notably, the sea of Brew-skee Lowball Lager had vanished – there was no more beer to be found!

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The refrigerator found itself on the curb beside the dumpster that very same night.

head in a jar peering out
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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