Friday Confessional

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Friday Confessional

I used to go into the woods–alone–a lot. Sometimes I’d take my dog, and he would spook if a branch snapped. Of course, the dog wasn’t used to being taken out for walks in the woods. I was.

My weapon of choice was a broken golf club (essentially a stick without the club on the end; some kids called it the light sabre), and with it I was invincible. I would bang it on a rock or a tree trunk every once in a while. Some of you may scoff or shake your head, but never once did I see a bear. Once I saw a racoon, but those don’t count.

I made the most noise.

Therefore I was the biggest.

The biggest, damnedest beast in the woods.

There was a lake in the area I once haunted. A small lake, but no less unsettling. It was always eerily quite. The lake trickled off into marshland if you went so far in the opposite direction of it (the lake was north-west, roughly). The lake made me wary. The marsh unsettled me. I avoided it altogether like it was a plague.

One day I decided to try a new path, one that I’d ignored for years. Why not? In the spirit of adventure I took it, finding out for myself where it led. Countless other paths branched off it, some that I took afterwards. There was one path with the largest widow-maker just waiting to fall; it was essentially a third of massive maple that had partly broken off. Racing to get past that was fun. I only did it twice, and then stopped. Common sense, you know . . .

But this story is not about the gnarled trees that resemble humanoids, it’s not even about the small hut beside the lake (which I only saw once, and then couldn’t find afterwards), or the lane of maples . . . or even the oddly placed pile of stones beside the hollow oak . . .

I followed the path until it ended with a curious abruptness. In front of me lay the other end of the marsh, the end covered in shadows around midday. There was no possible means of getting to the other side; no reasonable means I should say. There was an odd hedge of trees which grew in clumps that spanned across to the other shore. I have a thing with dark water, so crossing that was never going to happen. Also I had no canoe.

Any hopes of getting across were quickly ruled out. To be honest it was never an imperative. Who cared if I didn’t get to the other side?

I tried to find a way to a piece of land further along my side of the shore, but it was not going to happen. The mud was thick, and there were no real openings, it was just bush and trees.

I found myself staring at the other shore deep in thought, when I heard a wail. At first I assumed that it was a moose nearby. When it repeated itself, closer this time, I decided to take a look.

Standing on the piece of land I had eyed just a moment before was the biggest, damnedest beast in the woods. It was a huge thing, hairless by the looks of it, with sickly sallow skin that appeared to be luminous in the shade. I couldn’t tell what was head or limb, the thing was just a demented mass.

Somehow I knew that it regarded me. I retraced my steps back up the path. I don’t like to run, but that day was a good day to run.

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The Red Thing . . .

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The Red Thing . . .

I took this photo years ago. Naturally, I would have no recollection of the red thing. I couldn’t tell you if it was really supposed to be in the picture.

And there you have it: your mystery of the week.

What is the red thing?

(Points for creativity 🙂 )

ashkenaz

If Not Dead . . .

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If Not Dead . . .

Swear to me swear to me that if it isn’t dead you’ll all come back.
― Stephen King, It

coopid

The Terrible Tuesday . . .

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 . . . Nothing Got Done

Those responsible for doing things,

Went missing shortly thereafter.

No one had any idea about their whereabouts.

Which was too bad,

Because I had wanted to eat them.

I suppose I shall have to find someone else

With love,

the monster.

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The Dreaded Monday Has Returned–

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–And Nothing Has Happened

It snowed again today.

It’s always cold on a sunny day.

Blue skies over me,

Looking down, mockingly.

Small things, that.

Eyes in the clouds–

Watching the people milling about down below,

Half-asleep, unaware.

This is why I remain indoors.

A single speck,

Looking up,

From down below.

coopid

So Cold

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So Cold

Cold or hot, beauty can be deadly. As we dream of winter sunsets, we hope you enjoy this picture. And have a nice weekend from Team Monster! Tomorrow Jon will have something to say!

ashkenaz

Further Down

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Further Down

I’ve walked down lonely paths; sometimes I miss that thrill of discovery. The thrill of investigation, of exploration, is what fuelled me each time. Further and further I would go, alone in the world. Alone down lonely paths without a care for myself, without fear. Each time I would question what lay beyond.

What lay beyond that lake?

How deep is the water?

Could I skirt along the minimal shore; could I weave through the reeds and rotting wood; could I walk along the thick, unstable mud?

It never mattered how far I could get. Each time I was always left wondering what I would have found if I had just gone further down? The thrill of mystery was always my drug.

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Arachnoidal

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Arachnoidal

I was experimenting with an idea I had lying around. Enjoy this arachnid-like thing.

Oh, symmetry!

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Dead and Dreaming

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Dead and Dreaming

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.
― H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

I hope I’m not the only one who’s asked this question: how does one go about being dead and dreaming at the same time? Every time I’ve read this quote, or have read of Cthulhu being referred to as dead, I’ve questioned this. Every time.

And in all seriousness: how does one go about being dead and dreaming at the same time?

It must be a trick question.

P.S: I just thought of something hilarious: the equivalent of me trying to read that Old One gobbledegook would be someone farting. Oh, my poor sanity . . .

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The Bus that Took Her to the Stars

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The Bus that Took Her to the Stars

Something was not right about that man. Marianna watched him warily from the corner of her eye. He sat a few seats behind her on the opposite side of the bus. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but it was there. The back of her neck itched from his stare; it took all that she had not to reach up with a hand. It took more not to move. She would have liked nothing more than to do that. But that would mean having to look at him, and that’s what he wants, isn’t it? she thought to herself. Perhaps she could out-wait the stranger? She had already toyed with the idea for the past hour; it was lucky she was on her day off. Lucky! She coughed.

Once she had read somewhere that the thing you were afraid of was the thing you knew you had to do. With an inaudible groan she pressed a button and before she knew it her feet were carrying her off of the bus. It felt as if she weren’t entirely there.

The decision to get off had been rather abrupt.

She did get a good look at the man however. Or a good look at his clothing–his face was buried beneath the shadow of a bowler hat and a thick woollen scarf. Again she had the odd, sickening feeling that she had seen him before. Or, if not exactly him, then someone of his ilk.

A large part of her, the reserved part, raged against the idea that there was a conspiracy against her. Not that would-be friends and family had never done something so ridiculous before, but because absolute strangers doing it to her was stupid, idiotic. Marianna grimaced at the idea. I can’t believe I’m actually considering that kind of bull shit!

Her thoughts returned to the man. No one else seemed to want to look at him on the bus, as if he made them uncomfortable. Even she shuddered to think of the memory. The way he had sat, hunched in as if he were larger, was what caught her attention in the first place, not his unwavering stare. He wore a trench coat, which wasn’t really odd; everything about his dress was normal. The stranger just stuck out like a sore thumb, like he was out-of-place.

“Or out of time. Shit!” It was already late in the evening. I must have lost track of time, she thought. She looked at her watch, then checked her phone. And groaned. Both the watch and the phone were dead.

There is a logical explanation for this, she told herself. Her heart rate increased just a little, regardless. The phone had been left to charge last night, this morning the batteries had been at full capacity. It hadn’t charged properly. The watch on the other hand had been bought brand new, just last week in fact. The battery needed to be replaced. Marianna told herself those two things over and over, as if she were trying to convince herself of the fact.

What the matter boiled down to was coincidence. It was strange, and frightening, but it was still just a coincidence.

The whole time this had gone through her mind Marianna had walked down the street, looking around in every possible direction. With a sickening feeling in her stomach, she realized that she had never seen this neighbourhood before.

This wasn’t even the same town.

She stopped dead in her tracks. Her beating heart was the only thing she heard. Even when the light snapped out of existence, she could still hear the sound of her heart.

Thump, thump, thump, thump. Thu-thump, thump, thump. Thump, thump, thump, thump. Thu-thump. Thu-thump.

Thousands of stars began to wink in and out around her. They were cold stars, hard stars, and they were all grouped in pairs.

Eyes. I can see their eyes. Marianna closed her own eyes against the stars.

She felt her life turn to nothing.

She was nothing.

ashkenaz

Sunday, Sunday

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Sunday, Sunday

Sundays are sometimes not-so-sunny. Today for instance–it’s gloomy, dreary. It’s also January. When spring comes we’ll be so happy . . . Maybe. Spring has its own quirks I suppose, an equal amount of doom and gloom. Everything will stink. Things will become wet, muddy, dirty, grimy. Rivers will swell, and basements will flood.

We’ll still be happy when spring comes, but now one must wonder if it’s really the change which gives us momentary bliss?

We hope you like blooming maples. 

(This is a horror blog! –Ashkenaz)

ashkenaz

The Ego

The Ego

The soul, the heart, the spirit, the body. Humans have this habit of defining everything, splitting it, separating it. Tearing things apart without any knowledge of how to put them together again is dangerous business. Putting things together again without any knowledge of how they went together in the first place, or why they went together, is twice as bad.

Some say that the ego is really another word for the soul. With every distraction and otherwise, humanity has gained a very dangerous ability. The ability to tear their souls away. When the soul has no body though, one must wonder where it would go? There must be a place somewhere, or something. One would assume that.

In truth the soul only has one place to go: the shadow. One’s ego becomes one’s ghost.
If you’ve ever felt that you were watched, followed, it is the you you tore away from a long time ago. The ego is your only friend in the dark places of the world. It’s the only thing that does not seek to devour you. How can the ego eat itself? That goes against basic instinct.

Shadows are a world on their own. They are vast, fickle and fast-changing landscapes for their denizens. The ego rules over them as supreme being, separating them from you.
With all the things the ego does for you, one must beg the question: is it truly separate from you? Did you really tear yourself away from it? Or is it an extension of yourself? If that’s the case, then everything mentioned before has turned itself upside down, inside out. Which means that there isn’t a conclusion to this after all.

These are just notions and nothing more.

ashkenaz

Like Drinking Hot Chocolate?

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Like Drinking Hot Chocolate?

Blood is really warm,
it’s like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.
― Ryan Mecum, Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your…Brains

I’m not sure if I can agree with that logic . . . Vampire logic. Gross. Everybody knows that vampires don’t sparkle. They’re just gross. They’re devious, like Carmilla, crafty like Dracula. But, they do live off of blood. They’ll also count a bag of rice if you spill it.

Psyche?

Also, isn’t this hot chocolate really sugary chemical powder mixed with water? Why can’t you just melt real chocolate and drink it in its liquid state? –Ashkenaz. He’s learning our ways. We are doomed.

coopid

Looking Up

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Looking Up

They say that top predators never look up. Perhaps this will become our evolutionary downfall. Or would it be the downfall of the subconscious? Or do top predators just have that big of an ego? It’s hard not to look up when you’re in the forest, especially if you’re in an unknown part of it. The same goes for uncharted territories, such as big cities. Once you’re familiar, nothing ceases to amaze you.

So, does this mean that predators share something in common–the inability to be amazed, or could you just call this boredom?

ashkenaz

Waiting for the Bus

Waiting for the Bus

“Here you go sweetie!” The stranger said as he held out his hand. His voice was monotonous, nondescript, quiet. She couldn’t place a finger on it, but she took the change anyways. Marianna had been minding her own business when the stranger came up and startled her. She had been so wrapped up with her phone that she hadn’t noticed him.

“Thank you,” she said, looking up.

The stranger was gone.

“What the fu–” she stopped herself. The coin was old, she noticed, heavier than most currencies. On the heads’ side there was a bestial, grinning face. It looked like a weasel-man with horns.

“What the hell!” Marianna fought the urge to chuck the thing. Yes, ‘chuck’ was the right word; she didn’t want to just toss it, or throw it out–she wanted to chuck it, because it made her feel angry and sick. And that horrific face was familiar to her in some way. The one thought that strayed across her mind was that it was happening again.

Before she could even breathe the bus screeched to a halt. All she could do was get on.

‘What’s wrong with this city?’ She asked herself that as the bus continued its route.

coopid

Stringing Together Memories

Stringing Together Memories

Some days he wondered why he was still going; ever since his wife had left him, life had taken a turn for the worst. George held his head in his hands as he sat on the back of his truck. There was literally nothing for him other than the truck, and that was a particularly lousy thing to live for. There were no kids to speak of, and the dog had died years ago.

His wife had left him nothing.

What was more: she had left him for his sister.

Well, half-sister, he reminded himself. But still . . . His thoughts trailed off into the murky depths of his mind. Ever since that revelation he hadn’t been himself. He was thinking of seeking out professional help, but work came first. At least he hadn’t lost his job. Sometimes he almost enjoyed being single again, when his head was clear enough to think.

She’s really my step-sister, he thought. When his mother had remarried she had insisted that everyone refer to her as sister, or half-sister. He’d never been able to like her, she had somehow managed to get whatever she wanted; her father he had hated with an unbridled passion. He was another thing altogether. What his mother saw in that man, he had no idea.

No one had liked his step-father. Mother didn’t even like him. She just needed someone who could take care of her family. There were nights where he saw his mother crying in the kitchen still vivid upon his mind.

And then there was the son they had together. George shuddered at the thought of his own mother slipping into bed with that man. What was his name? His brow furrowed. Come to think of it, he couldn’t remember his step-father’s name. It was bad enough that he couldn’t remember what his step-sister looked like off the top of his head, although he always knew her when he saw her, and always remembered how unpleasant it was.
George recalled details about them, but nothing of consequence. He had known them for a better part of his life too. Why?

Why was it impossible to remember anything about them?

The answer slowly dawned on him. When he first saw his step-father, the man had no face. His step-sister had a hole where a heart normally went. And his half-brother had been born dead.

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Beside Yourself

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Beside Yourself

You are outside yourself.

Outside of the who

You call your own.

The vessel of warm,

Pulsing meat

Lying limp like a doll

Unresponsive,

Passive.

It has your face.

It takes up all of your space.

But for all the blank stares

It will never let you go back.

Was this ever really you?

Are you beside yourself?

(Or have you been replaced by some other self?)

ashkenaz

The Horrors of Life

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The Horrors of Life

There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man’s evil prying calls them just within our range.
― H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep

The quote of the week is back for the new year! Enjoy the horror!

ashkenaz

A Project Within a Project!

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A Project Within a Project!

Yes, that’s right! We’re starting a new project this year! We’re going to be doing our own take on the ABCs of Horror, which will come out on Halloween (and it will be available for download as a PDF).

On another note, we’ll be revamping our brand image this year as well. At this moment I can’t tell you when the new look will be coming out, but it will be awesome!

Have a nice day!

coopid

After Dark

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After Dark

Rainy nights . . .

Someone watching,

Out of sight

In the cold rain

Hidden in the night.

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