Mossy, photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

Puppeteer

A smiling face hides more
A facade that one can front
Various tricks can a smile implore
Where truth will only stunt

There is a curtain that hides the plots
A veil of devious mind racing
How can we withstand the onslaught
When we don’t know who we’re facing

Lives are wasted, to men who hold the power
Where what is precious is profane
An obstacle to simply conquer
Until to ashes we all remain

In the end we are tied to falsehood
Forced to hide our truths within
How many waves have we withstood
When we are constantly searching to begin

How can we find the solace
When we don the masks we admonish
How do we wipe clean the canvas
To cut the strings and vanish

Lust: A Retrospective

Like all things, words and their attributed meanings are more intricate on closer inspection. What a single word actually means and what someone may think that word means could likely fill up an etymologist’s afternoon … If this article were about etymology I doubt I would have finished it on time!

For now I’ll stick to the concept of these past two months: lust. Between Rhonda, Mitchell, and I lust was depicted as an outright destructive force–the doom of mortals–that grew to have its own personality through insatiable sirens, murderous men, inanimate objects …  And other malevolent things.

Our jobs were not to tell you what lust meant but more to convey what we thought it could mean, what it could be. After all, this project is an exploration, a meditation, on horror. So why shouldn’t we take the same approach to our latest project?

From draft to concept, each story forced us to think (I’m sure Rhonda and Mitchell will agree with me) of new ways to incorporate the theme without it being too cliché. I’ll admit that this was a struggle at times and even though our theme was abounding with possibility, we still fell into the same traps. Was that a bad thing, though? No, I don’t think it was; a large part of exploration means trodding into well-known territory before expanding into the unknown. Hopefully we didn’t get too lost.

One of the larger struggles was sticking to a schedule, which is mostly on me. As the project administrator it’s my job to make sure everything is as good as it could be. It’s a work in progress, I will admit. Things have changed for the better now.

Before we venture on into new territories, dear reader, we want to know:
How did we do?

And before we soak ourselves in our own wrath:
What should we do?

P.S: Before we begin with the next theme I would just like to say: Embrace your anger!

A Portrait of Lust

A Portrait of Lust by Mitchell Stoycheff

Go on, lover.

Go On, Lover

Go on, lover,
lift up my skirts
feast your eyes where the sun never shines.

Who is it going to hurt?

People like you, they complain
about the agenda of the gays.
“They’re nothing like you and I, beautiful!”
Or so you claim.

I disagree with such statements
false as they are.
In saying them, what do you gain?

They’re almost like me, darling.
They want to love, they want to live.
They want to eat, darling!

You became a part of my agenda
the moment you fell victim to my sultry gaze,
lover.

So go on, lift those skirts.
Let me show you what I live for.

Go on, lover!

I’m gonna eat you up,
maybe more.
Go on, lover, feed this whore.

The Enigmatic Monster Project: horror of all flavours.

The Adjuster

By R. J. Davies Mornix

Stepping into the room, it suddenly felt like the temperature dropped a few degrees. She scanned the room with precision, knowing exactly whatmore importantly who she was looking for. Once she saw him, she only had eyes for one person. Crossing the room purposefully … Her clicking heels came to a stop as she stood in front of him.

He looked up, smiling, with an approving gaze.

Frowning in response: “Mr. Nettle come with me.” Turning, she lead the way down a  hall and into a vacant room.

“I’m glad to see you, Clara.”

“Have we met?” she asked coldly, pausing only slightly before she came around and sat down at the table across from him.

“You don’t remember me?”

“Should I?”

“Well, I suppose not. It has been some time since high school.”

“Hmph,” she laid her briefcase on the table. She paused as she was about to open it and tilted her head to one side. “I remember you now. You were the first boy I had ever kissed,” she went about opening her briefcase. She pulled out a file with his name on it.

“You haven’t smiled once since you approached me. Should I be concerned?”

“Mr. Nettle, this is a serious matter.”

“Please, call me Eric.”

“Do you understand the money we invested in  you?”

“I do and I intend to pay you back.”

“Really? You happen to have two billion dollars in the bank right now?”

“No … But I can pay you back by making payments.”

“Mr. Nettle,” she began.

“Eric,” he insisted.

“Mr. Nettle, I highly doubt you’ll see two billion dollars in your life time. Then there is the matter of the time we invested in you. The time and resources spent to train you is very valuable.”

“I understand. But I can’t do this. When I signed up I didn’t know what you were asking of me. I didn’t  realize you had intended for the candidates to give up their rights and their lives. You never said that.”

“Mr. Nettle, when you signed up with Xplore what did you think we wanted from you?”

“I was told that I could do the training and if it was something that I didn’t feel I could handle, I could talk with an adjuster and they could process my release.”

“Is that what the nice man told you when he recruited you?”

“Yes,” his eyes narrowed a bit, a little wary of her tone.

She smiled staring at him. He began to think that he liked it better when she wasn’t smiling.

She tapped his file with her long manicured nails. “Well, Mr. Nettle … I am your Adjuster.”

“So tell me, what do I have to do to get out?”

She chuckled. “First let me explain something to you that the recruits don’t tell. When you sign up for Xplore. It’s a one way ticket. Yes, we are partners with the government; they help us with the funding. Yet at the end of the day when you signed your name on the forms: we own you.”

“I’m a human being, you can’t own me.”

She chuckled, “Mr. Nettle, we own you. It’s like you coming into my house and taking whatever you want without asking and then walking out. It’s stealing. You wanting to leave Xplore is like that: coming into my house and stealing from me. Now look at me Mr. Nettle, what have I ever done to  you? Why do you want to steal from me?”

“You don’t own me,” he spoke softly.

“Yes  Mr. Nettle, I do,” Flipping open his file she flipped through a couple of sheets and paused. “Alright,” she slammed her hand down on the table. He jumped.

“Since I like you, I’ll make a deal with you.”

He leaned forward, eager.

“Here are my demands. I want one of your kidneys, three litres of bone marrow, four litres of spermand this could start the processwe want monetary compensation as well: you will owe us until you go to your grave.”

“I’m sorry, I only have the one kidney.”

“Hmm well I guess that is a problem for you, Mr. Nettle. These are our standard demands for an individual to be released.”

“Please, there has to be something.”

“Yes, Mr. Nettle, we are not monsters. You have a choice. If you agree to our release conditions then sign here,” she passed him a form to sign.

“Are you kidding me?”

“Mr. Nettle, there are a couple things that you should know about me. One, I never joke …  And two,  I believe everyone has a right to choose.”

“If I sign this I’m dead. If I don’t, I die in space. How is that a choice?”

“Location.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“We all die Mr. Nettle. But like I said: we own you. And here I am giving you the choice of where you want to live out your final days.”

He shoved the papers back at her, got up, and headed for the door.

“It’s a brave choice, Mr. Nettle.”

“I can see how you got this job … You’re a heartless bitch.”

“I just happen to be very good at what I do.”

King in the Shadows (Reading by the Voice)

Type Imp, writing and photography by P. L. Cobb

Here’s What You Need to Know About 2016

 

This year things have changed for Team Monster, most of which having to do with work and writer’s block (the worst monster I’ve encountered so far). We were going to work on Sault Ste. Misery, and release that at the end of the year (in October, which is our forlorn, snowy holiday of the year now; we are so done with November and December).

Things got off track, and the Spring cleaning bug has bitten me (symptoms of which may include lethargy, depression, distraction caused by any type of mess, and the obsessive desire to clean anything that isn’t in your house). There are a lot of things I would like to do in order to clean up the site, and further rebrand.

So, here’s what you can expect:

  1. The menu has been cleaned up already, so the former project links have been disabled.
  2. The material from the projects will be re-released through the blog.
  3. The original three issues will be cleaned up, revised, and re-released, hopefully by September.

This is the plan so far. There are too many things I would like to do with the project, but not everyone has enough time to do them.

Thought and suggestions are always welcome!

Thanks for your support so far! Theo loves you!

#fromTheowithlove

Androgynous Mist

art, imagery, horror, digital, weird

It began to fade in and out, while changing its colours in a rhythmic succession like a gaseous cuttlefish.

The androgynous mist started to shrink, and the spaces between its particles shrank with it. It began to fade in and out, while changing its colours in a rhythmic succession like a gaseous cuttlefish. It soon became clear that the shrinking was in fact shifting. But shifting of what? Colour, smell, space?

It was the shape, however. That was the only thing that mattered to the mist.

Mist became man. Or hominid-shaped, at least. And then the androgynous mist became a masculine solid. Of course, it always choose this form. Why? Who knew what went through the mind of an androgynous mist . . .

The last act began as the mist materialized as a solid being. It grasped the shoulders of the young man, the object of its ‘affection’, and pierced his chest with a long draconian tongue. Without so much as a dying whisper the young man crumpled to the ground. He had lost his mind a long time ago. How fortunate for him, the being thought. Or, rather, it thought along those lines. Behind those milky white eyes there lied a treacherous, mysterious mind, with its own set of rules and its own inner workings.

It licked the blood off of its hand, slowly trailing that tongue down until it came to its elbow; that elbow ended in a sharp, bony spike. Why hadn’t it used that to kill the man? That would have been the more ‘humane’ method, but there would have been little in the way of personal pleasure offered to the creature.

After all, the creature was a demon.

ashkenaz

‘Loose’ Lips

poetry, writing, horror, photography

I know, your eyes have lost the capacity to move.

Allow me just one moment,

just one moment to un-glue these lips of mine–

peel them apart with dainty fingers,

those little spider legs you hate so much.

Yes, those are my hands.

I know, your eyes have lost the capacity to move.

You just can’t help but watch as I tear those lips off of my dead-white face.

ashkenaz

Hostile Hallucination

photography, writing, horror, weird, fiction

She fell until there was nothing left of her being.

“I’ve forgotten the words already,” a voice said in as low a voice as it could muster; that voice was so deep, so distinct. . . So hostile.

“Why do you hate me so much?” She asked.

There was a long pause between words. When she had made up her mind that this was all a dream the owner of the voice answered her question. Finally. “How can you tell?”

“I just know. Don’t ask me how.” There was still the possibility of this being a hallucination. She had read about high frequency sounds and electromagnetic waves affecting the brain. There was that, and much more she reasoned. Ruling out insanity as the cause of all this gave her a small measure of comfort. Small, she reminded herself.

“So, after all these years something remains.” Bitterness broke through that thin layer hostility. Beneath it all was pain. And pride.

“You tricked me, and I died.”

A sharp intake of breath broke the silence. “You didn’t die. You became like me–like a god–immortal.”

She shook her head, attempting to dispel the turmoil within her. It were as if she were drunk. Nothing made sense anymore; She couldn’t think. “Stop!” she snarled. “You never listened! You never cared about anything but yourself!” Her voice, she realized, was different. She could not tell what it was that made it so different. That drunk feeling swept over her once more, and she fainted.

Down into the abyss she fell. Or that’s how it felt.

She fell until there was nothing left of her being.

She had simply stopped.

coopid

Little Paper Man

photography, poetry, writing, weird

Original, folded several times,

cut in half with uncanny precision–

little paper people

flutter on the wind like

aimless leaves falling

up into the hungry moon

on a cloudless night.

Original, but stolen?

Lonely little ragged,

sodden, ripped, and then

torn apart without

ceremony.

The original origami man

falls lightly to the ground

without a sound.

No . . . A whimper.

As he’s stepped on

the story ends . . .

Theo_icon

Two-Faced Harpy

Two-faced harpy with the dead white hair

Two-faced harpy sitting in a chair
Two-faced harpy with the dead white hair
Two-faced harpy screeching: life’s not fair!
In your nice comfy chair
Where the people don’t care
Two-faced harpy sitting in her lair
Sorry, little harpy, but you’ll just have to share
Devil-Woman’s coming, so you’re in for a scare
Go tell your little cronies about your greatest nightmare
‘Cause Devil-Woman’s coming, and you’re in for a scare
You two-faced harpy, I’m gonna show and tell
Gonna show you my storm cloud wings, gonna tell you all about hell
Two-faced harpy with the dead white hair, your dirty white wings, and your little wrinkled heart, I’m curious to know how you fell
So far, landed in between insanity and dreams, living in denial, but you just can’t tell
Two-faced harpy sitting in a chair
Sharing your space with your greatest nightmare

coopid

Lice-like

Lice-like, they seem to him

To her, like worms

In and out they go

Weaving around outstretched hands

Until they’ve disappeared into the stranger’s mouth

A smiling mouth, enigmatic and uninviting

ashkenaz

 

Over Ripened Blackberries

She picked up an unsuspecting fruit, and held it between her thumb and index finger. Infinitesimal insects crawled over and around each purple cluster; they were like little flying worms with legs. I’m going to masticate you all in one small bite, she thought offhand. Today was the first time she had noticed them on her fruit. One had been flying around the bowl; she had noticed it while she was working at her desk.

How many of these creatures had she consumed in her lifetime?

How many infinitesimal souls had she destroyed?

Her friends called her quirky. The old ones called her deranged. In her larval state she was capable of simple, paltry, human thoughts. And it was slowly driving her to madness . . . The fruit burst between her fingers.

The infinitesimal worms wriggled in the dark juices, contorting their bodies in agony as they suffocated.

ashkenaz

Thursday is a Good Day

For some ___________________ (insert whatever).

Not the bees! An Extraordinary Glimpse into the First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life in 60 Seconds via Colossal.

Don’t eat while looking at this (I did, and my perogies suddenly became less than appetizing). From the Merrylin Cryptid Museum.

ashkenaz

Drastic Silence

Consider this payback, for all the undesirable things that you have done to me in the past. Like it or not, but this will happen . . . My Revenge will soon take flight; you will never know it until your time is up, never see it till it is on top of you, ripping you apart. It will devour you, I think. It might even play with you as you die. I cannot say for certain. Which is rather unfortunate, but I digress.

All I did was hatch the thing. Then I told it what to do; I gave it something that was once yours, for the smell. Then I gave it your picture, for the sight.

That was all. Revenge is fairly easy like that . . . Very low maintenance.

And when you are gone, when Revenge has finally silenced you for good, I think I may sit  back with a glass of wine. Enjoy the good weather. Yes, I think that is a good idea.

The best part of all: everything will be quiet and calm, as if you were never around to disturb my existence.

As if you had never existed yourself.

Cheers!

P.S: I am sure your friends below are toasting to that; they would be crazy not to.

Theo_icon

To Be Found . . .

What did it all mean? A whirlwind of emotions gripped at him, threatening to pull him under. Here was he, barely afloat upon that turbulent sea; he was bobbing up and down in swift and fluid motions. He let out a long gasp, almost a moan.

Where would this take him? The sweet warmth, the ecstasy . . . What was there to be found?

For a short while, Da’kiri mulled the thought over in his head. If there was anything to be had at all, what would he have to show for it? A dead human . . . A dead woman?

Something from deep within snapped.

coopid

To Those Two . . .

Yes, you, you two.

You must think that I’m stuck up or something.

Or perhaps you should just stop.

I can’t help it if I seem to be watching you out in the public spaces of this miserable town.

(Everybody else does it.)

I’m not that sorry if my determination not to look at you bothers you both either.

It’s not my fault you both look frumpy . . .

Frumpy, old, young couple . . .

Such tragedy.

I’m not going to back down though; I’ve face demons and far worse than

two disgruntled youth.

Yes, although I am young like you.

I’m not like you two at all.

(By the way, disgruntled girl, your disgruntled boyfriend is actually a ghoul,

in case you were wondering what was so great about him:

it’s nothing.

I dated one once . . .)

Theo_icon

Late Night Loving

IMG_0103

Late Night Loving

Said the spider to the fly,

(before it died)

“Oh Romeo, wherefore art thou?”

And that is how

we’ve come to this,

this tryst,

my dear–

for you are forever mine,

though you may die a thousand times.

(Said the [demon][goblin] to his beloved.)

ashkenaz

So Sorry

She always hated apologizing for the things she had no control over. It was useless because she never meant any of it, and she hated it because it degraded her. She felt like the monster in the room. Always. It never stopped; so she made them stop. 

Their bodies piled up beneath the patio deck quick, and the smell became unbearable. She couldn’t pass it off as the smell of the septic tank any longer. The easy solution was to burn their bodies, or try. Saya wasn’t sure how that was going to work out, but figured that it would make no difference in her life.

As long as they couldn’t trace the deed back to her, she wouldn’t complain.

So, she burned the house down. She was leaving town the following morning anyway. As her car sped down the driveway, she looked back at the house. Where the patio was she head a loud BOOM as the demon corpses burst. Saya let out a little grin.

Sometimes people wondered why there were never any faeries or goblins–mainly the latter–but then those people didn’t know that she was slowly wiping them off the face of the earth. They had another world: hell. They could stay there.

Theo_icon

What Were They Doing?

This past Saturday I had inexplicably found myself night-walking. The time was well after 12 pm (which means that I was technically walking by myself early on a Sunday). I was alone and free; I walked down the empty sidewalks, taking giddy steps and smiling as I did so. There was no one was to judge, no one to make their unfair, incorrect assumptions about me.

There are no stigmas in the night, I thought to myself. It was a good thought, if not weak. If the wrong type of person had suggested it, I would have torn it apart like a wolf. I knew that then as I know that now. Then, it didn’t bother me. There are no stigmas in the night; there were stigmas about the night, and unfair, incorrect assumptions about some of the people who walked it . . . But there were also no people to judge me about it.

Or, no one to incite my anxieties. My insecurities.

Those were the things that the gods in my sub-conscious warned me about. I didn’t want to think about them at the time. So I didn’t. Simple.

I had turned around, after dancing in the middle of the road for what had seemed like an eternity. It was time to go home. I heard the forlorn call of the loon; it echoed off the river (the St. Mary). Something caught my eye, and I glanced down at the sidewalk. A millipede was crawling on the cement, going somewhere, hundreds of little legs propelling it forward. As I came closer and closer to my street, I began to notice that there were thousands of them . . .

. . . Thousands upon thousands, upon thousands upon thousands . . . Millipedes crawling on the side-walk . . . Making their way towards some unknown destination.

That’s when I realized what those sub-conscious gods were desperately trying to say.

coopid

Heavy Metal #1

What do you see?

Heavy Metal #1

Something came over me,

deathless and free,

seducing me with promises (time, space, eternity),

but nothing good, nothing free.

All for a price: sanity.

Do I join the fool’s march, do I walk over the edge

to take the pledge of the deathless?

The more I wonder, the less sense

it makes.

Ignore the hollow ones,

before they drown the world in a scourge

known as damnation.

Theo_icon

Competitive Tree Climbing

What a joke.

They think it’s all for fun, all for games . . .

I’m waiting for the moment someone loses an eye

(literally).

They’ll cry red, instead of salt.

What a horrible thought; I must be deranged,

but what does that word do for me?

What would it do for you,

if you were chased up a tree

(by the hordes of _________)?

When your moment comes,

remember me; I was the first.

The first thing that taught you how to climb

(the second thing will be the one to teach you how to ________).

[die? lie? fly? die? die? die?]

In the beginning, no one ever climbed a tree for the fun of it . . .

ashkenaz