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
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Good Morning World

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Good Morning World

What happened? Daylight savings!

Now we all have to go to bed earlier to avoid the creatures of the night. And sleep for one less hour. And wake up earlier . . . There will still be snow till April or May.

So, in the end, this means nothing.

With love,

Theo Monster

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Something in the Shadows . . .

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Something in the Shadows . . .

Happy Monstertine’s Day! Something in the shadows looks at you, something both ugly and beautiful . . . And it want’s to eat you, because you make its heart go wild.

–<3 from Team Monster

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Today is the Day

That we clean up the site! Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing–it just means we’re doing some early spring cleaning. In a nutshell we’re trying to improve your experience at EMP.

You may have noticed that the regular posting has been off schedule since Thursday. I recently started my new job this Wednesday as a junior user interface specialist. I’m working to rectify that.

In the mean time, have a happy Monstertine!

(Wheeeeeeeeee!)

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Winter Fog

Winter Fog

The air was bitter cold, it had the taste of ice in it. She took quick, panting breaths on her way up the slope. Snow surrounded her, colourless, cold; stark sunlight reflected off of it, blinding her. Her vision was pink around the edges. She chided herself for not wearing the sunglasses–they had been on the bench before she left the house. Oh well.

Too late now.

When she crested the slope she stopped. She felt a terrible thirst in her body, so she took a drink. The light was overwhelming her. With her hand she shielded her gaze. Before her the lake spread itself out. For miles it was just water as far as her eyes could see. Closer to the shore there were dead trees sticking out of the water, covered from top to bottom in gnarled icicles.

A thick fog rose up from the water, diffusing the sunlight, obscuring everything beyond the lake. She gasped as the vapours rolled towards her, engulfing her. It was a shift in the wind perhaps? A very light wind, she thought to herself. Everything went silent. No rustling in the tree branches, no birds or other wildlife–she was alone in this desolate scene.

She was a photographer. All she had wanted was to capture a muse, so to speak.

And here it was. Her fingers quickly became numb from the cold, but she continued to click away with her camera, capturing image after image after image.

By the time the fog rolled away the sun was beginning to sink below the horizon. How long had it been? She had only been there for twenty minutes. Not even that. Or at least that’s how it had seemed to her at the time. It was only natural to get carried away, she supposed. But this was ridiculous, unbelievable. She knew herself: she was not one to lose track of things. Her life consisted of deadlines. Time was precious, pre-measured, quantified.

A frown crinkled her brow, and that same thirst had returned. Now that the fog was gone she could see the entire lake. It was beautiful, vast, mysterious. The shoreline on the other side was faint, but it was there. Her numb hands raised the camera out of instinct.

She stopped herself. Something brought her attention back to the shoreline. A large, bird-like creature was resting on one of the dead trees.

It must have landed while the fog was rolling out. It seemed to be sleeping, its head was tucked under a wing. The only thing she could think was how big the creature was.

One step.

Two steps.

And she was ten feet away from the creature, her curiosity finally in check.

It wasn’t a bird.

That fact was so obvious she wanted to hit herself.

It wasn’t asleep either, A small voice within her called it for what it was. Before her was the definition of awful beauty. It was a seraph. A messenger of god.

The sun sank below the tree line.

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Questions Of Life

In which Ashkenaz has no idea.

Questions Of Life

I’ve heard that there was a proposed blog post about something–something about book reviews, or something of the ilk, but this thing called laundry came up.

What is this laundry that you mortals do? And why can’t you ever make it go away? Can you not just get rid of said laundry?

And why is Thursday called Thursday?

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A Most Humble Apology

Ashkenaz is an A$#h@!3, and Theo would like to apologize for his misbehaviour.

A Most Humble Apology

That is correct. Ashkenaz is a trial at the best of times. Clever he can be, but insufferable he can be tenfold. Don’t pay any mind to him.

It is true that the minions are busy with their lives. I assure you that they are still working hard to keep me from devouring your world. They do a very good job at it. It is also true that they work and read. It could be worse. At least they’re not spectral gas-beings.

Also, I would like to apologize for any name calling. He thinks he knows everything. Dump a bucket of water on him if you ever see him, and then we shall see what he knows.

Another point of interest: Ashkenaz made mention of a Coopid. In fact, he’s popped up several times in the past. This messenger does not exist. And it did not fall off of my backside.

That’s just too poetic for me to even stomach.

Yours truly,

Theo Monster

P.S: Anything that is slightly arcane, I would appreciate that you promptly forget it.

P.P.S: To the man wearing the purple sweater: well done!

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Oh My, Life is Being Intrusive

A message from Ashkenaz, the Living Flame:

Oh My, Life is Being Intrusive

It’s come to my attention that our minions have not posted to the blog for around four days. On behalf of the management, I would like to apologize. Apparently these worms have lives–ridiculous, I know, but they insist that it is the truth. Penny claims to be reading, and working; Jon is working, and reading; Jake is reading, and working; Rhonda and Dave are working, and reading; even Brad is busy. I suppose he’s working and reading too.

I must say, you creatures are boring. However, the fact that you are boring is what makes you so interesting–you all know that you’re very boring, and yet don’t at the same time. It’s like you’re all idiot geniuses (if you don’t mind me saying).

Ah well, lucky for us that you’re a boring species, I suppose.

I was speaking to the Messenger, Coopid, the other day. He had little to say of course. Or she had little to say. Even I, Ashkenaz the Wizard, have no idea what gender Coopid is. It will likely mean nothing in the aeons to come. I’m pretty sure Coopid is just a parasite that fell from Cthu–er–Theo’s backside.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the least bit true.

Well, it’s been really mundane talking with you finite beings. Have a nice night? And enjoy your pumpkins I suppose.

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I Bought a Book

I Bought a Book

Luigi Sarafini’s Codex Saraphinianus. Christmas in December, again. Needless to say, you’ll be seeing a few snippets from it. No word of a lie, it’s pretty cool. If you’re the type to just feel textured paper, you’d love this book. There are ‘words’, of a sort–unintelligible, but very pretty to look at, if they mean anything at all. And the pictures make me wish I drew more. 

(And, Christmas shopping on a Canadian Black Friday still made me mad. That reminds me of the time Jake and Jon held an hour long debate with a ghost hobo. Case in point, Amazon is my friend, because I don’t have to deal with ghosts.)

There’s nothing new, but I suppose we’ll have to make a handy, new age guide to the monsters we see day to day . . .

(Cue cliff hanger ending.)

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I Made This Up In My Head

“I’d always see him–not in real life, but in my mind. And it was more like I was imagining him going about his daily life. We crossed paths often; he saw me too, I know that . . .”

I Made This Up In My Head

” . . . I usually stop thinking about things for a while, and then I come back to them later on. Not this one. Letting go wasn’t easy for me,” she continued. “One day, I saw him in my mind, and held out my hand. I don’t know what I was thinking. Something had to give, and I just wanted the visions to stop–vision’s the right word for this?”

“Yes, it makes sense.”

She sighed. “Okay, good.” Then she paused, her mouth open, like she had forgotten what she had wanted to say.

“You held out your hand?”

“Yes,” she said slowly, still thinking. “Then he reached out and grabbed my hand. In real life, not in my head.”

The listener nodded thoughtfully before adding: “You were missing for five years. Gone, and no hints, no trace.”

She shook her head. “It’s just so surreal, remembering it all. I didn’t really think it was happening at the time. I just couldn’t accept it. That’s how I managed to stay sane, I think. The things I saw . . .

” . . . When I finally came to realize that it was all real, I was horrified at everything. Frightened by him.” She turned to her psychotherapist. “Everyone’s so happy to see me alive, but I can’t really tell them what happened to me, I can’t show him to them.”

“Who is he?”

“His name is Druzinga. I just call him Druzi–did it to see if I could annoy him at first, to be honest. Getting anything from him was difficult,” she looked away for a minute, her eyes visibly unfocused. “Everything was wrong,” she added.

“With him?”

“That, and the situation,” she replied.

A long pause followed, which the therapist finally broke. This Druzi was another matter altogether. Getting anything from him was a nightmare.

The creature, as they referred to him, was puzzling. It was clear that it had the capacity to understand and communicate with humanity, it simply refused to speak to them. Any form of analysis, or examination for that matter, was all but impossible without Marianna’s presence.

The thing existed.

That was enough for them.

“How did it make you feel?”

“I don’t know,” the reply was instant, automatic. Hollow. It rang true nonetheless. “Angry at first, then lost. It’s not easy being with someone you have nothing in common with.”

“Did you ever blame yourself?”

“I can’t say that I didn’t, but it wasn’t something I beat myself up over. Obviously he’s not human.”

“No, that he is not.”

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The Birth of Henry

The Birth of Henry

This story is a sequel to Tank Baby, and ultimately a prequel to Apocalypse Man.

Luke walked down the dimly lit corridor at a brisk pace, following the sounds of a shrill chirping. “Here comes the baby!” he said as he opened the door to the dark room. Flicking a switch turned on a dim light. The room was filled with machinery; at its centre there was a tank, where the chirping noise originated. The disturbance was caused by the fetus inside of the tank . . . The one they had affectionately named Henry.

There was a lot riding on the success of this project, with the hope that Henry would grow into a stable adult. Considering his species violent heritage (right down to their own self-destruction), there was no way of predicting the outcome.

Luke sighed at the thought.

Without a second to lose, he called for assistance. As soon as the two nurses arrived they went straight to work. Artificial birth was not a hard process, yet it still required a certain level of precision. It was also tedious. The tank was slowly drained of amniotic fluid, while the fetus was removed by hand–one of the nurses placed their hands around the baby, carefully . . . To avoid being bitten. Feeding tubes and other wires were then removed. Minutes became hours as Luke looked over the newly born baby, going over a mental check list. He’d done this so many times, he knew the process by heart.

Once satisfied, the baby was wrapped in swaddling cloth by one of the nurses and taken into another room. It would just be Henry in that room, as a safety precaution.

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Kept Awake At Night

Kept Awake At Night

That’s a lie, I slept like a rock last night; I had a great weekend, relaxed, ate proper meals, interacted with other human beings. No, I woke up in the morning today, and the nightmare kept on playing out even as I lay awake. It’s like it wouldn’t stop. The thing had its own agenda, and it wasn’t going to change its schedule for me.

Not a chance.

Most dreams don’t bother me. They’re just that: dreams. Once, I heard that if you didn’t dream, you’d go insane.

(A case of use it or lose it?)

This dream though . . . It made me sick. Just the thought of it makes me want to vomit. Don’t worry– nightmares are useful . . .

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An Inconvenient Monster

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An Inconvenient Monster

Apparently we weren’t safe. Not during the day, not even on the water. Crowds wouldn’t deter them. As reality would have it, we were sitting ducks. Nothing could stop it.

We would be forced to fight it.

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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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Peril In Panels Volume 9: Year Of The Deadly Goon Giant Kingsman

sweet new banner logo i did in like two days after designing for a month

PIP Volume 9: Year Of The Deadly Goon Giant Kingsman

Kept you waiting, huh?

Once again, Peril In Panels is back. Which means I am also back all up in your grill, the grill of comics in general, barbeque grills and any other grills both literal and figurative if I feel like it. So what am I, the loveable, brown-eyed, idol o’ no one, Jonathan Kruschack, going to talk about? Well, from the title you can guess more than one thing. Since I smashed parts of each comics’ title together so abruptly.

I managed to actually make some spare cash and bought a couple new comics during my long absence. From a coming of age tale set in the 80s at a school that’s basically Hogwarts for assassins, to an unofficial biography of a giant, two books set in an unnamed town that seems stuck in the Great Depression to another set in the distant future and finally a book about a complete loser who becomes the next James Bond-style super spy.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Starting with that last book I mentioned previously. It’s called The Secret Service Kingsman by Mark Millar, with art by Dave Gibbons and co-plotting by Mathew Vaughn.

oddly they left out the "kingsman" part of this title on this cover, so maybe it was an early version? who knows

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Have We Got a Pole for You!

Have We Got a Pole for You!

Poll, not pole . . . Sorry. (Theo was excited about dancing too.)

 

 

We’d like to make EMP better! We appreciate your help–keep it monstrous!

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Galling, Gruelling Eternity

Galling, Gruelling Eternity | The Red Raven Part 5

Cold, stiff, skeletal . . .

“How long do you suppose he’s been dead?” the woman asked. She refrained from nudging the body with her boot.

“It’s hard to say just by looking,” the other man replied. “He’s been here for weeks, or months. We’ll have to get him back to the laboratory for further analysis.” He scratched his beard.

“It looks like he’s been bitten,” she motioned to the neck of the corpse. “Everything about this case screams that it’s been staged. Do you suppose that this is a ritualistic murder?”

“Yes,” the man replied without so much as a hint of hesitation. “I know this man.”

“He’s the thief, then?”

The professor–Alec A. Chamberlain–sighed. “Yes.” It was always the thief. He had seen DeCorvi dead so many times that he had become accustomed to it; the first few times he had dreaded the outcome–it was always the same–until he stopped thinking about it. Alec was not heartless. No, far from it. Pragmatic? Yes. So far his theory had been proven true.

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Love and Rage

Love and Rage

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I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.

― Mary Shelley

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Dracula Being Clever in the 21st Century

Jon Gave Dracula a Drinking Problem

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“I’ve got Dracula in a diner pouring blood from a flask into a glass of cranberry juice so nobody’ll notice. That’s pure literary genius.”

–J. Kruschack

With the onslaught of bad vampire books/movies, nobody seems to know how real vampires are supposed to act nowadays. Some people tend to be strange anyways . . . So (theoretically) Dracula could get away with this, because everyone would assume that he’s that guy who happens to be the closet alcoholic.

Yes, yes . . . I just quoted a member from Team Monster. Go ahead, sue me, flame me, blah de blue. Just don’t write any bad fan fiction. Please?

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This Week on EMP

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This Week on EMP

As you all know, yesterday was Labour Day! And many of you would have gone to work that day, myself included. We were going to conclude The Red Raven yesterday, but with the amount of work this past week (and yesterday), that dream never came to fruition. So, we’re going to take a break from that story; tomorrow our normal post schedule will resume with Horror Quote Hump Day

In other news, the third issue of The Enigmatic Monster will be coming out October 1st. And we’re still alive and partially sane. Which is important, in case you were wondering.

Have an awesome rest of the week! Keep it monstrous!

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Live on Location

Live on Location

Where the Jake and Jon human interact with other humans. Intriguing . . . Hmmmmm, yes . . .

(Why the title? I assume it’s because I did not actually eat them, so they’re technically still alive. –Theo Monster)

An Informal Announcement

This is Jon Kruschack, Penny asked for somebody to do a post for the blog since she’s preoccupied and didn’t have the time to do it herself. “Anything’s good.” she said.
So, even though I was gonna keep this a secret (even from my fellow Enigmatic Monster Project members) I figured I’d give you guys a little preview.

While it won’t be in the current upcoming volume of Enigmatic Monster, there will be a sequel to my story The Meeting in a future edition. Y’know, that old classic where I had every monster ever argue about who’s the scariest? Yeah, that’s getting a sequel.
It won’t be as grandiose as cramming all monsters into a single tale, I’ll be bringing back everybody’s favourite bloodsucker and maybe introducing a few new characters, as well as fleshing out the world they exist in.

So far I’ve got two possible titles in mind, “An Informal Meeting” or
“The Meeting 2: Meet Harder”. Somehow, I think I’ll end up going with the first option. Right now, I’m still messing around with the opening scene but it’s going great.

And how could it not? I’ve got Dracula in a diner pouring blood from a flask into a glass of cranberry juice so nobody’ll notice. That’s pure literary genius. Anyways, stay tuned and maybe I’ll put up some snippets here and there in the up coming months.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a job that I dislike to get ready for.

– J. Kruschack