Sloth

Sloth

Fiendish foe, I do not hear
Begone, do not come near
I shall not sigh nor yawn nor doze
Or evoke your name when you are close
I will not tire nor will I yield
I know your motives, your agenda revealed

“Silly mortal, in your haste
Have you forgotten we’ve already embraced
Can you no longer see?
You’ve long been a victim of your own body”

Hush demon, you speak in lies
You can not hide nor disguise
The truths that lay open, beneath my eyes
For you will not claim what it is you prize

“Mortal look. You stand so still
Your strength is rigid and unstable
By becoming one with your conviction
You’ve granted me a bitter sanction
In blatant fervor did you falter
By throwing yourself upon your alter
Open your eyes, the truth is free
You’ve imprisoned yourself, to flee from me”

No. No, this must not be
I loathe to accept this possibility

“Accept it now or wallow in doubt
Truth is harsh and often tantamount
I am Sloth, the fiend of Stagnation
By remaining constant you granted me admission”


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Scream.

Sing Your Serenade, Poor Mortal

Sing your serenade, poor mortal.

Sing it out loud for me.

Scream it until you tire.

Till your voice quivers and bleeds.

Now enchant me with your heart.

Let me hear its panicked beat.

That sweet thumping rhythm.

Oh, the sound of its release!


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Sorry About Your Mom, written and photographed by Penny C.

Echoes

The road hummed quietly underneath the tires of my car as I cruised down interstate 5, the twin lights from my vehicle casting brief reflections on various signs that whizzed by, periodically proclaiming the miles left before my anticipated arrival at Ashland Oregon–my hometown. In the background the radio played quietly the heavy pop cadence offsetting the unnatural silence of the darkness around me.

For the past month I had spent the days hiking the lush national parks of Vancouver British Columbia, seeing the sights and taking in the fresh mountain air that seem to still linger the car. But as vacations always do, they arrive painfully slow and pass much too quickly, and just like that I was back in the car, making my way back home. The ten hour drive seeming like three vacations in contrast to the month I’ve been away. If only the current scenery could offer more to quench my boredom.

On both sides of me a mix of tall trees fought against the concrete river that slashed in the middle of their forest. Leaning over the interstate as if trying to regain what it had lost. It was an interesting thought, the trees taking back what was stolen from them; I’d have to write that down later.

Fiddling with the volume I sang along to a song that I hadn’t heard in a while; not caring if I was off key as the darkness continued to tunnel forward the trunks of trees like the walls of a cave. As I passed a sign announcing the entering of Wolf Creek Provincial Park, and the last milestone of long, yet very boring car ride, my car sputtered into momentary darkness the night swallowing my car.

I gripped the steering wheel in sudden fear and eased on the brakes trying to see in the moonless night. The night seemed to laugh momentarily before my headlights awoke and fought the threatening shadows. I sighed while the radio blared happily. Turning it down, I refocused on the road, thinking about the repairs I would need to do on my vehicle. It was bad enough that it was three in the morning, worse that I was in the middle of a decent sized park.

As I rounded the bend my vehicle sputtered again the lights flickering wildly as my car fought against the night. The radio gave a hiss, crackling and spitting in protest as it struggled to find power to continue. With a final cry it let out a sound akin to that of wet tires on pavement before it cut out with the rest of my car. Guiding my car to the shoulder, my car gave a final lurch and stopped altogether. Wonderful.

I gave a deep irritable sigh my weariness creeping up on me. Fishing my cell phone out of my pocket I hit the button and it flared up briefly before going black. I stuffed it back into my pocket with a pang of frustration. This was snowballing quickly out of control.

Now what was I going to do? The crickets chipped softly in reply.

With a shake of my head I stepped out of the car into night without the normal accompaniment of my interior light which left me strangely more alone. With only an hour left in my drive I felt the weight of the shadows even more. No one would be awake at this hour and I was so close to home. I stared off in the direction of Ashland longingly and then back the way I came both ways were shrouded in darkness, without the moonlight to break it.

I pondered the thought of traversing the interstate at some ungodly hour at night with the possibility of getting savagely attacked and ripped apart by a bear with spending the night in my car. Without much thought you could only guess which option I picked. As I bent to get back in the car two pinpoint of lights flared in the darkness.

Could this be it? Could a moment this serendipitous actually happen? I mean I guess it was possible; after all it is an interstate. Stepping a few feet away from my car I waved frantically the growing orbs of light. Even from the distance I was at, I could hear the pounding music that poured from it, its throbbing drums and heavy electric guitar solo disrupting the quiet.

As the vehicle drew closer I felt myself growing more anxious, the car appeared not to have seen me, its slight swerving a disturbing sign. But At this point I was tired and anxious, and I didn’t want to waste an opportunity, so I waved on doubling my effort trying to call past their blaring music. As I was swallowed in light and sound I watched the car zoom past in a dark blur, watching two red lights now receding.

“Well” I muttered to myself. “That was disappointing.

I watched the car forlornly as it neared the bend in the road where it swerved heavily spinning in a full circle the tires screeching in protest against the night, before in slammed downward into the ditch and into a young but strong tree. My heart pounded loudly in my chest and I found myself rooted on the spot, my mind going blank in the panic.

Finding myself I quickly sprinted forward toward the vehicle. The interior light was flickering and music came in spurts the old rock song fighting stubbornly to finish its solo. As I neared the vehicle the smell hit me. Gasoline. The heavy scent was pervading the air quickly. I hesitated a moment jumping back and forth on the balls of my feet. Cursing I ran forward with redoubled effort, I was wasting time.

In the front seat hunched around a tree branch that gored his shoulder was a man about twenty his sandy blond hair was gelled back in an old style. Ignoring the heavy scent I grasped the door latch and pulled. The door screamed with an angry protest before stubbornly refusing to move. I cursed and looked to the passenger seat where a petite brunette was groaning. Quickly running to the other side of the vehicle I prayed to whatever god was out there. Grasping the door latch it opened with ease. Thank god!

“Ma’am, Are you alright!?” I practically shouted at her in my panic. She groaned incoherently her head rolling to the side as she looked over to her friend.

“Brad?” she groaned. Her voice was thick with pain, and blood was seeping from the gash on her forehead. The scent of gasoline grew stronger its intensity sharp and eye watering.

“Ma’am” I reiterated forcefully trying to get her attention. “Please, you have to get out of this car.” She sobbed softly as he grumbled painfully before letting out a wet cough. I felt a sudden rush of air and the engine gave a puff of black spoke filling the air with its dangerous omen. Cursing I grabbed her arm, her skin ice cold, despite rising temperature. She sobbed harder as I pulled her away from the smoking vehicle. She struggled after me still disoriented but without resistance.

“Brad!” She was crying now, her voice was raw and full of grief. “Brad! I’m so sorry!” The car exploded with an echoing scream of torture. I froze in fear for the peril before me, in grief for the woman, and guilt for the man that I couldn’t save. I watched her collapsed painfully to the concrete road the emotion of the night overtaking her. I could not save her friend, and I could do little to console her, but I could make sure that we were found and headed for safety.

“Ma’am, I’m going to call the police.” I told her running past the burning car the rough scent of metal fabric and flesh searing at my senses making me choke. When I was a fair distance I turned away from the burning wreckage and fished my phone out of my pocket hoping that my phone was back in working order.

Hitting the button my phone flared brightly. Muttering a yes, I dialled 911.

“911 emergency assistance, are you safe and out of danger?”

“Yes” I replied swallowing hard. “I need to report an accident.” I turned back around toward the inferno and froze. The night was one again cool, and the truck and sobbing woman both had vanished, as if they were never there, even the tree that was pulverized by the force of impact was tall and regal.

“Sir?” the woman called urgently. “I’m going to pinpoint your location please stay on the line.” I clicked my phone off absently and walked back towards my car, the interior light flooding outward, my engine purring quietly. What had happened? Was this all simply a hallucination or something else entirely? I gave ragged breath, remembering the anguished cry and the horrible screaming. I certainly seemed quite real. Maybe I needed to see a psychiatrist? Quickly settling into my seat I buckled myself in and drove off wanting to put distance between myself and this horrible memory.

As I passed a few more bends in the road I finally exited Wolf Creek Park when a car quickly zoomed past me an old rock song blaring wildly. I looked back sadly but kept driving, away from the grief that had imprinted itself there.

The Enigmatic Monster Project: horror of all flavours

The Pawn

Written by Mitchell Stoycheff

The moves you make belie your emotions

You’re held high from your bastion

So many moves lie before your eyes

An army at your disposal, so many opportunities to try

Here I stand, one pawn among many

Far below, under a king and his tyranny

Tasks set forth, I cannot argue

For death is certain the least I will rue

Knights will charge as your bishops laugh

For we all must wade into the bloodbath

Here I stand, one pawn among many

Stained by battle, a face in an army

The saying holds true, as you laugh in glee

“Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.”

Your castle stands high above the town

Supported by the masses as you polish a blood red crown

The moves you make belie your beliefs

But one thing is certain, a sigh of relief

I’m one pawn among many

Under a king and his tyranny

But there is only one king, one move he can make

And one pawn among many leaves destruction in its wake

The Enigmatic Monster Project: horror of all flavours!

The Pallid Swordsman

By Mitchell Stoycheff

A veil of shadow, your constant friend

Seething in silence as it curls and extends

Breathing in day and exuding the night

Sighing a poison, a billowing blight

Past the shell, in shadow he hides

Stands a figure, a malevolent guide

Cast in alabaster, from strands of moonlight

He stands in the quiet as the ashen knight

A wraith in the dim with no shadow to cast

He glides through the night as a pale contrast

In one hand he holds a blade of blood

That has cut forth a path for a crimson flood

In the other he holds a blade of lore

Of arcane might and mystic score

His first blade hungers, feeding on fear

Bathing in blood and swallowing tears

The second is silent, a virgin to war

Powerful and hungry, it’s a plaguing spore

This ivory knight walks with death

Not at his back but as his breath

As messenger of evil, without a fetter

This scourge of life is agony’s saviour.

The Mirror of Clades

I quickened my pace, driving myself forward into the eerie corridor. The object pressed into my body felt heavy and alive, vibrating with an anticipation that only fueled my anxiety. The corridor seemed endless as I passed door after door. The sconces lining the walls were like blackened claws.

My burden felt heavy, like an anvil resting on my chest. The further I got the more it seemed to crush me with its weight. How . . . How was I going to find the courage to go through with it?

I resumed my pace, putting one foot in front of the other with purpose. There was no point in turning back now. The corridor curved slightly, the moonlight filtering through the windows, shedding little by way of light, but I had been here plenty of times before. It was a journey I could have made blindfolded.

Suddenly two flashes of light bloomed into existence as I neared the end of the corridor. Their blue flames danced wildly in the darkness. I stared into the flame that announced my presence, the light like two glaring eyes, as if they knew what I was here to do. Pushing the guilt down I walked up to the door.

The door was lined and knotted as if it were cut from a single slab of wood, and the area around the doorknob was polished with years of use. I hesitated, my hand hanging inches from the knob like a noose while my heart pounded in my throat. The Object gave a hum of irritation and the lights beside me flickered, sputtering out, before resuming their fierce dance.

The face of my Mother and Brother flashed before me. Their cries of agony struck me as whips cracked across them. My hand trembled at the memory. I inched my hand forward, clasping the cold metal. I was the only one that could do this and courage was a warm friend to what I was feeling.

Swallowing, I wrenched the door open and walked inside. Everything screamed at me to run from this place.

Soren stood with his back to me, a pale orb of white light floating lazily above him. My heart contracted at the sight of him. Even with his back to me I could still see his face. His green eyes focused, his jaw set, as he concentrated wholly on his project. I remembered a younger version of him, his young face focused on bringing a small flame to life in his palm, a tiny thing that danced across his fingers playfully.

I pushed the memory aside. It would only hinder me.

“Soren” I spoke quietly, my voice sounding thick, “I’m sorry to show up this late . . . I–just had to talk to you about something.” I finished in a rush, my cheeks flaming.

At the sound of my voice Soren spun on his heels, his face a mask of recognition. The light above him shone brightly before going out, leaving us in the warm light of the torches.

“Aimee!” He exclaimed rushing over to hug me. “It’s so good to see you! What a pleasant surprise!” His arms wrapped around me engulfing me in his robes. The scent of mint hung heavy about him. I stood there in his arms, willing myself not to explode in tears as the stress built up. I refused to hug him back. I did not deserve his affection. Soren took no notice of it, nor of the ornate item held in my hand.

“Here,” He paused putting up his hand to prevent me from talking. “Before you start, let me get you something to drink.” A warm smile flashed across his face, slicing me like the whip across the skin of my family. A whistle broke through his lips as he crossed the small space of his chamber to a small breakfast nook in one corner. A vase of bright flowers sat on the table, shining in the moonlight.

I turned and shut the door to his chamber. With his back still towards me I turned the object around, though I dared not look into it. The object itself was an ancient ornate glass that sung with power. It froze my hands. Oval in shape, a picture of writhing bodies was carved into the back it, the faces screamed in agony as a power bore down on them. Their eyes were set with small rubies.

The glass let out a content sigh as it took in the room, consuming every detail, including the power that rolled of Soren.

With a final whistling note he turned toward me a steaming mug in his hand and a radiant smile on his face. That beautiful smile contorted with confusion as he looked at me. As he looked at the object in my hand. His confusion turned to sadness. My heart throbbed as his face took on betrayal, the question of why she was doing this plain on his face. My heart exploded with sorrow. I couldn’t do this, not to him. I started to lower the glass, before my arm suddenly froze, the faces on the mirror glaring at me.

They wanted his power, and they were going to have it.

Fear exploded through me as I desperately tried wrenching my arm away. But it was no use, it was like my arm was stone.

“No! Soren!” I cried, my desperation clawing at my throat. “Oh Gods no! I’m sorry! Please, no!”

The bones in my shoulder cracked as I tried to move away. Pain flooded my arm. I didn’t care though; I had to get it away from him.

I froze as my eyes met his, and the world slowed as I watched the glass take effect.

Like a rock against glass his face exploded in a series of fissures that spider webbed across him. The moving fissures traveled across his face like a ship cutting through water. Tears rolled down my face like a river as his handsome face was disfigured with cracks. The room behind him dulled as if the vitality was being drawn from it, the stones greying from their white sheen, the vase of flowers dying, falling in a cluster of colorful sparks that wafted into the mirror.

The mirror vibrated in my hand. I watched in horror as the picture on the back of the glass started to move, the bodies writhing and twisting as Soren’s hair twisted and ran like golden fire into the mirror, leaving his scalp bare and cracked. Cries rose from the mirror’s surface. Their wails were a chorus of sorrow and pain as the Looking Glass throbbed. Time sped up as bone appeared through his flesh, and his brown robes frayed and decayed, disintegrating into sparks. The moving picture changed. A new figure appeared on the scene as another figure disappeared.

I watched him dissolve before me. The face of my childhood friend was gone. The memories that we shared, the times they spent together. Gone. Consumed by the dark power within this thing.

My arm unfroze and I fell to the ground, staring at the spot where he stood. The wood in that spot was rotted and warped. The clean smell of his magic was replaced with the cloying scent of burnt cloth, charred wood and death.

A sob bubbled in my throat. Was this the price I had to pay? Become a murderer to save my family? I had to feed my friend to a power that he could not even defend against, because no else could get to him. Would Asmodeus be happy now, now that her friend was gone?

I dropped the glass. It rolled away on its side, but I ignored it. Instead I held myself, my body racked with sobs.  

Mossy

Mossy, photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

Our benovelent/malevolent overlord, Theo Monster

Deep, Dark Waters

Deep, Dark Waters, photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

coopid

Downhill

Everything goes downhill from this point on. Water, debris, dead bodies. Eventually it’ll end up in the lake, where it will be washed ashore. All of it.

I wonder what you’ll find.

Downhill, photography by Mitchell Stoycehff, editing and words by P. L. Cobb

 

coopid

Of Nature

Of Nature, written by Mitchell Stoycheff, art by P.L Cobb.

Do not cause it harm, for its power is adaptive.

​Do not anger nature, for its slow to forgive.

Do not cause it harm, for its power is adaptive.

It lies dormant, waiting its turn.

Weaving its melody of dreamy nocturne

Tread softly, foolish one.

For when it strikes, the world will be undone

Ashkenaz, the ever living flame, and jerk

Bones

​These bones, forgotten, lost, and fading.
Like jutting teeth, from the earth invading.
Searching, clutching to their final hold.
Avenging souls waiting upon the threshold.Bones, story and photography by Mitchell Stoycheff
coopid

The Golem Sleeps

The Golem Sleeps, story and photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

Writing and photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

Hush now my friend, do not wake It.

Can’t you hear It’s slumbering?

Walk silently, as soft as you permit.

Or face the wrath of It’s arousing.

The magic is thick here, an Ancient score.

For inside the earth It sleeps.

Come now, we mustn’t further explore.

For this place, a Golem keeps.

ashkenaz

Monster Cake

Monster Cake, by Mitchel Stoycheff, Jake Zaccaria, and Penny C. #art #photomanipulation,#wtf http://theenigmaticmonsterproject.com/2015/07/10/monster-cake/

Theo baked you a cake . . . Yay! #alwayswatchingyoulol

By Mitchell Stoycheff, Jake Zaccaria, and Penny C.

Theo_icon

Torpedo

Torpedo, written by Penny C.; photography by Mitchell Stoycheff, colourized by Penny C.

As I fall down, like a hell-bent torpedo . . .

Written by Penny C.; photography by Mitchell Stoycheff, colourized by Penny C.

Yesterday, I came down

Like a shot from above

An apple tossed down by the gods

I was like lightning,

Fantastic energy swelling

Unceasing

A fireball, ever-growing, burning, burning

I feel the need to burn

The things I hate, the things I’ve given up of late

As I fall down, like a hell-bent torpedo

I’m gonna burn those bridges, burn those bridges

Higher, higher, with my fire

Burn those bridges, burn those bridges

On and on, until they’re gone

coopid

Furious Grey

Furious Grey, written by Penny Cobb; photography by Mitchelll Stoycheff http://theenigmaticmonsterproject.com/2015/07/03/furious-grey/

There’s no one to tell you where to go.

Written by Penny Cobb; photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

Life is a furious sea

The colour of dust, ash . . . Grey

There’s no clear split down the middle

Ambiguity

Ambiguity

Ambiguity

It scares you

But it’s commonplace for me

Time to snap back to reality

There’s no simple yes or no

There’s no one to tell you where to go

Whether to go up high, or to go down below

What do I know?

I couldn’t even show you where to start

Which begs the question: what part

Do I have in all of this?

How did I find myself at the heart

Of your turmoil?

Who made me your keeper?

Go away!

Take your own ideas with you

And drown in a sea of furious grey!

Theo_icon

The Ziggurat

The Ziggurat, written by Penny Cobb; photography by Mitchell Stoycheff http://theenigmaticmonsterproject.com/2015/07/03/the-ziggurat/

Looking over the towering mountains . . .

Written by Penny Cobb; photography by Mitchell Stoycheff.

High upon your pedestal

Looking over the towering mountains

You drink in their vastness

Feeding upon the volcanic energy

Magnetic resonance makes music in your brain

Your clustered eyes glistening

The ziggurat

Your ancestral domain

I would worship you

If I knew your name

coopid