The Mysterious, the Ominous–Whatever You Like

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The Mysterious, the Ominous–Whatever You Like

You know, I haven’t done a speculative entry for months now. Partly because I don’t know what to write half the time (which is the charm I suppose). The other part? I don’t always feel like pulling inane drivel from between the air molecules. It’s not as easy as it seems either.

But this quote illustrates an idea I’ve been grasping at for the past year (since the Enigmatic Monster Project began).

Dark nights. Dark in a suggestive way, meaning full of intent. Out of the ordinary. Not just the absence of light . . .

When is darkness more than just the lack of light? (When is a door not a door?)

Huh.

It seems that the more I think about the smaller things, the larger they become. Simple things become ambiguous. And yet the world still turns.

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Girl in the Glass

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Suddenly a dismal figure flashed by in the window.

Girl in the Glass

The window looked out upon a small backyard; behind the house was the forest. He only saw her at sunrise and sunset. That was when he was six. She had scared him then, but he had been  a young boy with an imagination. When he was a teenager he had dismissed her. Now, as an adult, he wasn’t certain what to make of it.

His childhood home was old now. The family had moved away when he was around eight. When pressed for answers, no one seemed to remember why. He suspected that his parents knew something. They would never tell, though.

That’s why he came back.

He stood in the musty kitchen, looking out that same window.

It wasn’t dirty. Just warped somehow. But inside the glass, not on its surface . . . He had checked outside, and he still couldn’t understand it. It was a single-paned window, with one sheet of glass. One of the old ones, with the metal framing, and the latches that always seemed to get stuck whenever you tried to close the window. The glass was dirty on the surface, but warped inside of itself.

Like gasoline.

He couldn’t wrap his head around it.

There was a scurrying sound, and he jumped. Wild animals had taken up residence here; there was a fox, a multitude of mice and squirrels, and a pigeon roost in the attic. Nothing here though. Not even a cobweb.

Like something was . . .

. . . What?

Scaring them away?

He swung back to the window. Something had hissed at him. From behind.

And it wasn’t a mouse.

The window had grown noticeably darker, like a bruise, or something else. Outside there was a bright afternoon sun overhead.

Before anything else could happen, he turned around and bolted.

There was nothing to see here.

All True Cosmic Horror

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All True Cosmic Horror

The basis of all true cosmic horror is violation of the order of nature, and the profoundest violations are always the least concrete and describable.
― H.P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters III: 1929-1931

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Eight-Legged Banana Says Hello

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Eight-Legged Banana Says Hello

Because I am a very busy creature. Don’t forget to give the banana a hug!

(That’s not a spider, shhhh!) Theo_icon

A Mossy Monday

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A Mossy Monday

Because we’re not that into winter as of yet. Can you smell the denial? As much as we enjoy fall we don’t care too much for the season that comes after. Oh well!

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It is What You Are

Two wholes that amount to two halves–

It is What You Are

–how tragic! Brought together, and held together by a fine line. Such a waste, light and dark tied to one another, so fragile, yet so inseparable. Balance achieved only through chaos. Chaos sitting quietly in its corner. With nothing to do, so little time for it, and eternity to look for (perhaps, or perhaps not). Balance tips its scales; why not, why make life so easy? A sea of grey reaching towards the horizon. A colourless void beyond. Why not? Why fight it? Simplicity? There is no such thing.

Two wholes which amount to two halves . . .

Or is there anything at all?

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Which One Is It?

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Which One Is It?

Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream that you have in your sleep or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake?
― Justin Alcala

Take your pick, fortunately there are only two options.

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Kill the Beast?

Seldom do I tell this; I have mixed feelings concerning this story, and many more reasons why I should not be telling you. 

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Kill the Beast?

I was hunting with a friend that fall; it was deer season, and I wanted to get that buck. The buck. My friend and I both agreed: it was the biggest thing we’d ever seen. The animal was a giant.

We were camped out in the bush for about three days (the plan was to stay for a week) when my friend saw it. It was getting dark but the stag was out grazing in a field just a little way from the herd. I cocked my rifle and pulled the trigger. There was no hesitation. Just a shot which ripped through the silence.

The herd scattered, but not before we saw the stag stumble. I had got it. Still, the animal bounded off with the rest, disappearing into the forest.

My friend and I both got up and began to head in the same direction. We’d like to say we weren’t in a hurry, but that animal was strong; we intended to tire it out. And whoever reached the body first got to keep the rack.

We half-walked, half-ran across the field; when we reached the forest we found the stag. It was hobbling down an old hiking trail. The animal turned around to face us, but that only caused it to fall down on its front legs. Wide-eyed, we watched as its body began to change–that’s the only way I can describe it–its entire body was melting and reforming itself. Like liquid.

Afraid, we stood rooted to the spot. The thing took short, beleaguered breaths throughout. Now it was like a man, a titan. I’m sure it would have killed us. Its jaws were like that of a wolf, big enough to crush a man’s skull . . .

“Oh shit!” I heard my friend mutter under his breath.

The beast growled at us. But it was dying, weakened by the loss of blood. A tar-coloured river poured freely down its left side. If it were any other way, we would have been dead.

Two owlish eyes turned to me–I could see its ire, a hot smouldering fire . . . It knew.

The next thing I remembered was my friend shaking me. Somehow we had made it back to the city; I don’t recall the journey back, and to this day my friend refuses to speak of it. While my friend refuses to do hunting of any kind, I still go out from time to time. Alone, and never in the same spot twice.

Vaguely I wonder if the beast is still alive.

Should I have killed it?

Should I have put it out of its misery?

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. . . The Wizard

IMG_0140“Someone told me I’d find you here!”

“Are you surprised that you found me? People seldom lie about that.”

. . . The Wizard

“I-ah, well,” the younger man stuttered. “A man of your–kind, I wasn’t sure if you’d still be here by the time I arrived.” He managed a weak laugh.

“My kind,” the wizard repeated slowly, as if offended. He kept his back to the man though. And he kept his eyes on the river; a thick, rolling fog always covered its water, hiding the opposite bank. What he saw, only he knew. What lay on the other side, only he could say. No one strayed too near to the water’s edge. No one knew the reason. Only the wizard, as he was called.

No one really knew what he was.

Every twenty years or so the wizard took on an apprentice. That was the young man behind him, or would be . . . Could be. It all depended. “Why are you here?” the wizard asked, still facing the fog.

The younger man behind him gulped. He looked at the wizard in front of him, confused; he had been hand-picked from a sparse number of candidates. By the wizard no less! So why was he asking him? He hesitated before taking the first step, but after that he found it easier to move–he walked towards the wizard, careful to keep a safe distance, then stopped beside him, careful to not so much as look at the creature. “My name is Jeremy, sir. I am here because you allowed me; I came because I want to know who you are, and I want to know the secrets of the cosmos.”

He said it all in one breath.

Silence from the wizard greeted his answer. The creature shifted a few steps closer to the young man, but that was all. Jeremy could hear its deep, rhythmic breathing. It reminded him of the wind.

“That’s a peculiar answer. And stupid. Why do you lie to yourself?”

His mouth moved, but no sound came out. The wizard did not lie, however. Jeremy wanted none of those things. “I’m here out of obligation to my mother. This was not my choice, sir. I’m not even from the town–my family’s just outside of its limits. The people came for me three days ago. They said–things.” He lowered his head, ashamed at himself for getting so angry. They had said things against his mother. Vile, filthy lies against her. “I don’t understand. But I don’t have to, do I?” Remembering disturbed him. All of it was wrong.

Every, bloody bit of it!

Jeremy had been so caught up within his emotions that he did not notice the wizard leaning towards him. When he did he shrank back. He had been smelling him.

“Curious,” the wizard remarked, straightening. “You’re doing this for your mother? It’s been long since I’ve known a woman. Who is she?”

Jeremy stumbled away from the creature, horrified at what he had just heard.

“Minna Drur?” the creature continued. It sounded . . . Wistful.

Now the young man was crushed. Jeremy sank to his knees with a sob. “I don’t want this,” he said in a hoarse whisper.

The wizard bent over him; intense heat emanated from its body. He placed his hands on the young man’s shoulders. “You have no choice.” That was the truth. “I will be known only as Ashkenaz to you–Jeremy. I will teach you in my arts, but you must never speak of this. As far as they know, no one has been chosen; no one carries my blood within them; no one is tainted.”

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Walking in the Dark

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Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea, she conceded.

Walking in the Dark

She could barely see him in the dark; due to the season, the sun set much earlier now. It was only six, and it was already twilight. At first she had thought he knew her, after all, there weren’t many people who went out after dark in the neighbourhood. That’s why she hadn’t run. When it became apparent that he was a stranger–an uncomfortably peculiar one–she wished she hadn’t said hello.

I have no idea what he’s thinking now, she realized. Would anything happen?

Or did he mean well?

After a few minutes of painful silence, broken only by the sound of his peculiar foot falls–pat pat pat, like he was walking barefoot–he said again: “Where are you going?”

She made an effort not to look at him. It was so hard to tell what anything looked like in this light. The few street lamps didn’t help either. Finally, she said: “It’s a partial secret. Sorry.”

“Partial?” he said. He had a deep, mellifluous voice. She almost wanted to trust him because of it. What she was seeing with her eyes did not match up with what she heard with her ears though. The stranger was tall and, judging by the way their clothing looked, was wearing all black. She couldn’t say anything about the colour choice seeing as her coat was a dark blue. But those foot falls. Pat pat pat.

It almost appeared as if he was skipping beside her. And yet . . . It didn’t. It was more like he was bobbing up and down. Is he crouching? How tall is this bastard?

“Yes,” she told him. “Because it’s obvious. IF I invite you to come along, that is.” That sounded weak to her, but at this point she was pulling things out of the air to survive.

The stranger didn’t miss a beat. “I suppose you won’t give me that, will you?”

“Not tonight. So sorry!” She kept her eyes on the road ahead of her.

“Perhaps another time, then,” he said softly. It grew brighter when they passed a street lamp. Despite how difficult it was for her, she fought the urge to look directly at him; she said nothing to him, even going as far as pretending that he no longer existed. It wasn’t till she had rounded the corner to a new street that she realized she was alone. He was watching her, though. There was an uncomfortable feeling racing up her back–a tickling itch that left her in a cold sweat. The urge to look for him returned, stronger this time.

Dammit! she scolded herself. You’re going to the grocery store! He isn’t real, you saw nothing.

To be honest, she had no idea. What she did have was the sense to call a cab.

That was the last time she would ever go out in the dark.

He would be there.

And he wouldn’t let her go a second time.

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Beneath the Rippling Mirror

On the other side of the river there is the tower, and the town surrounding it.

The River

Beneath the Rippling Mirror

Whenever he looked at the far-away tower, he felt a terrible longing for it. It always left him dissatisfied with his life after it had passed. Who were the people who inhabited it–those mysterious beings who seemed to be like him, but were not? Were it not for the river, he would have found out by now.

As it was, he was here. On the opposite bank with no hope of crossing.

The river itself was a strange beast. No animals came near the water, but he could never figure out why. Something was wrong, but he could never figure out what.

He stood away from the shore, looking out across the great expanse of water. The tower beckoned to him, but the river mocked him. His heart twisted itself into a knot of varied emotions, each one warring with the other. It had been years, and he still couldn’t understand why he felt this way. The urge to know burned at him.

But was it worth the knowing? Ultimately, the tower meant crossing the river.

Ultimately, that meant knowing the river.

Was it worth it?

A rather pitiful sigh escaped him. In defeat he crawled back to his den. For now, the river would wait, as it always had.

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Fungus

Fungus.

Fungus

Just kidding. Fungi. Know why? ‘Cause it’s Friday! Okay.

(And seeing two is practically a party in your eye balls . . . )

Oddly enough, we have no mushroom pictures.

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In the Circle, There the Carnage Lay

I had walked alongside those train tracks everyday.

In the Circle, There the Carnage Lay

They bordered a graveyard. That fact had never bothered me before. As I said, I had walked by those tracks everyday–twice– during that summer. This particular day was the same as the others: I woke up early, got ready for work, and made that hour-long walk. I had learned to tune myself out to the time. To drift. It made things more bearable.

Then came the graveyard, with its sparse border of spruce–the only thing that separated the train from the tombstones. My feet automatically followed the dirt path that ran parallel the tracks; my eyes stared straight ahead; my mind on other things; my music drowning out the real world . . .

Something caught my attention. Lowering my headphones, I slowed down to a stop. Between two spruce was a ring of mushrooms. Monstrous, bloated things, gelatinous, glistening in the shade. They formed a perfect circle.

I wanted to vomit.

Someone had taken the time to place a disembowelled cat in the centre of the ring.

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At Long Last is My Darkness

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At Long Last is My Darkness

Here then at long last is my darkness. No cry of light, no glimmer, not even the faintest shard of hope to break free across the hold.
― Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

(What next?)

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The Demon of the Tree

The Demon of the Tree

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*This story contains subject matter which some may find disturbing.* **Please read at your own risk.** Continue reading

On the First Day of October

On the First Day of October

The monster gave to me,

The Enigmatic Monster Issue 3!

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(Go on, click it. Resistance is futile. <3 )

Here it is, in all of its sickly glory! The Triad of Terror is now complete. As we continue to  catch muses in the dark, we wonder what next year will bring? Hmmm . . .

For now we must play the game as we always have, and bring our nightmares to the surface world for all to see.

As always, spread us to the far corners of the world. Keep it monstrous!

P.S: If you do not want to download the PDF file, fear not! You’ll be able to read the 3rd issue online as well! Just look for The Triad of Terror in our top menu (that’s where we keep all of the goods)!

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We See What We See

We See What We See

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We see what we see. Nothing more and nothing less, nothing taken and nothing gained.  It is as it has always been. We see what is right in our face, but not what is watching just beyond. We’re enamoured with the plethora of brilliant colours brought on by fall, yet our eyes slide off of its other side. The side which darkens our souls, filling our hearts with a dark, brooding fear. 

(Have you seen them?)

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A Blighted Tree

A Blighted Tree

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Decay, like depression had a strangle-hold upon it. No green needles, no animals. Just a blight: a sickening grey blight. Stale air surrounded it. Strange crawling things wriggled beneath its bark. Not a sound for it to make. No one to see it suffer.

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Into the Fields–Walk–Don’t

Into the Fields–Walk–Don’t

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“Why not?” she asked. Always she asked. Always: because, because, because . . . They always told her the same thing. What was this? The field belonged to no one as far as she was concerned. Why not? She walked into the fields surrounding the property. As she expected: nothing. Nothing to hide from, nothing to fear.

“Why did you go into the fields?” they asked her.

“Because,” she told them.

And it was the last thing they ever heard her say. Into the fields they walked. She never saw them again. The next day there was no sign of their passing, save for patches of red grass . . . They swayed to-and-fro in the lazy breeze, sticking out like sore thumbs. It was odd though, as there was no real blood on the grass. She gazed at the surrounding area for a little while longer, then walked away.

Her lips quirked into a smile.

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As Fall Takes the Land

As Fall Takes the Land

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We hold our breath, and wait. As Fall takes the land, death and decay reaches out with vast feelers. In defiance, nature slumbers.

And we wait.

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