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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 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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