And then the Spider Came Along, by P.L. Cobb. A supernatural horror short about a widower who comes face to face with his wife's killer.

And then the Spider Came Along

It was a long, dark night. The kind of long and dark where one is lonely. Loneliness was known to cause insanity … But it was also a beacon for other strange things.

He, recently widowed, sat hunched over his desk, carefully carving a squiggle into the wood with a knife. A soft whisper tickled the back of his neck; it was very slight, but still it prickled his skin. Immediately he turned around to find the source. The last thing he wanted to see greeted his wide-eyed stare.

A spectre. No–a ghoul, a mocking visage of his wife was in the room with him. It hurt him to see her decomposed body. It enraged him. Once dark skin was now maggot-white; her hair hung limp around her head like a veil. A death veil.

The ghoul was not truly looking at him, but its pale eyes were pointed in his direction.

In life those eyes had been hazel-green, he reminded himself.

The spectre, the ghoul–whatever it was–raised a hand to point at something behind him. There were, he noticed, puncture wounds running all the way up to the thing’s elbows.

Puncture wounds. His dead wife. Carefully he turned around. Above his head was the creature known as the Spider. It clung to the place where wall met ceiling, hidden in the shadows.

Slowly he stood up, and backed away from the desk. Within a clenched fist the knife felt reassuring. He had always known that the Spider would return, had counted upon it, but never suspected the time to be so soon. I buried her last week! Pure loathing, mixed with fear, set his pulse racing. They seldom have any decency.

There were things which lived beyond the scope of human understanding; the Spider was one amongst many. These beings flitted in and out of time and space. Sometimes they walked between worlds. None of what they did made any sense, save for one: they all had to feed. Hunger, even for a god-like creature, was an instinctual need. Emotions, particularly from organic life, intoxicated them; greed drove them to seek out the choicest individuals, and people died.

His wife was just one amongst many, and the Spider would not stop with just her. A vision flashed before the man’s eyes: of people running, panting, through gloom-laden woods. It had come for both of them on a camping trip. Who would have suspected that a long weekend could go to hell so quick?

It didn’t move from its perch, but it watched him with all eight of its eyes. And he watched it as it began to click its fangs.

He held up the knife, hoping against hope that his plan would not go to hell as his life had. With an unsteady hand he began to carve a sigil onto his free hand. Spider, spider on the wall. Spider, spider in the hall. When you hear the raven’s call, back to your hole you shall crawl. 

The rhyme was stupid, but it steadied his nerves. If an alien god was going to kill him, then he would invite another to kill it. When he finished carving the mark, he managed a weak smile. “I hope you don’t mind me inviting a friend!”

The Spider, the Golden Spider, held no love for the Red Raven, and vice versa. He did not want another juggernaut in his home … But what choice do I have?

The Red Raven was punctual; it answered his call immediately. Another spot of darkness filled the small office. Suddenly, the air became thin. Space became scarce as the two gods sized each other up. Before they clashed, the man ducked out of the room, shutting the door behind him.

The Enigmatic Monster Project

It Starts With A Whisper …

If you need more Rhonda in your life, then you need to visit her website!

Shhhh …..

I try to calm that whisper down. It won’t be subdued. No, it won’t. The words that are coming from the whisper are dark, lonely and scary. So scary and almost evil. Where is that voice coming from? Surely it’s not from me?

It starts with a whisper …. when it is just a whisper you can suppress it  … ignore it … pretend it’s not there … after all it’s just a whisper in your head.

The problem with that …. the whisper can turn into a roar like the raging sea.

As a whisper it’s harmless you say.

“Come dance with me …”

“Come sit with me in this cold darkness …”

“Come lay down with me ….”

“Let me fold you in my arms hide you from the light …”

Crossing over to the dark side for a short spell … then it’s I can handle this! I am in control. I got this! It’s like skipping back and forth … like its nothing ….

Nothing …. darkness … empty … coldness …. the whisper becomes louder and more demanding ….

The calling …. the yearning … the need becomes a heady desire to be fulfilled … the visits into the darkness become more frequent …

The voice becomes more demanding until it takes over you …

The darkness becomes your companion like a lost lover that you have been reunited with and you no longer can bare to be separated from  … then you forget what scared you about that little whisper … why did you ignore it?

Home … the darkness of your soul feels like home … it is where you belonged all the while.

It starts with a whisper … come play with me …

Set Fire To Something, by Mitchell Stoycheff

Set Fire to Something

The acrid smell of gasoline was as strong as it was heady. It pervaded the air like a poisonous cloud assailing the senses. My nose burned from underneath it, and my eyes watered as I continued to pour the liquid my hands shaking.

Around me the night screamed in alarm: every bug was a siren; every bird was mortal. They peered out at me through the darkness of the night. Their accusing glares matched the beating of my heart. They were everywhere, and they pounded against my thoughts like hammer.

I focused on my task, the smell of gasoline. The smell of vengeance and the smell of justice. There was nothing left to my world; all obligations forfeit. Splashing the last few drops I tossed the container aside and fumbled in my pockets for my lighter.

This was it.

As I went to flicked it on I looked up to the face of the scarecrow, his split fibrous grin was dark and slick with liquid. Its eyes were unnaturally focused. Could this demon smell it? Did the scent of the gasoline lead it here. I stumbled back slipping in the slick grass, fear bubbling in the back of my throat. It’s head cocked to one side rolling awkwardly.

It shuffled toward me, almost unstably. Its was a game it played. I had seen it move and I had seen it kill. My eyes looked to the gleaming meat hook stuffed in its right arm, recalling how It strung up Sally from the rafters, how her screams were cut short.

My hand clenched the lighter, almost as tight as my chest heaved. There was no time left, no air left. I was going to die. Would it do the same to me as it did to all the others? Would it hurt. My vision blurred, I was the only one left after all, who would bury me?

The demon lunged at me and I screamed and tried to roll away. The pain was immediate. My fingers dug haphazardly in the earth as struggled to pull myself away from the fiend, knowing that I was within its clutches. It tugged, and my left leg screamed in agony. Terror and pain erupted from my lips in an anguished fearful cry. Tears blurred my vision, as I fought its supernatural strength. It pulled again my body sliding in the slick grass with ease.

Twisting I swung my leg at it in desperation. It took the blows with ease, its feral grin unflinching. Instead in leaned forward, tearing the hook from my leg with ease sending shock waves that splintered up my body. I screamed in pain, I screamed for God, even as the black spots formed in between my tears.

Despite it’s blurry form its soulless eyes were in clarity. It was the eyes of death. I struggled backward as it angled itself even closer, the bloody hook dripping with bits of ragged flesh. I whimpered pleas of sorrow as I continued to struggle backward against the pain. The rough skin of the tree ended my retreat, and I was forced to look up to the demon that loomed over me, like a carving of statue whose eyes glittered even in the night.

I had so many regrets, so many plans for the future. None included this haunting menace. I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want any of this, but it was all I had left. The scent of vengeance and the scent of justice. Could they be the same, when the nightmares of the world came crawling out. My hand trembled as I flicked the lighter, bringing a spark to the darkness.

The demon pealed, the meat hook flashing brightly in the moonlight, but the flash of fire was faster as it consumed him and tree that tethered the demon to this world.

The Enigmatic Monster presents …

The Brute Spews Hateful Words

The Brute spews hateful words

–Which are only considered hateful to us.

To him these insults are like

Shimmering red jewels,

Blood red–his words mean death to me, to you, oh insanity …

For this Brute, this beast …

… This ten eyed troll …

Revels in cruelty

Of the animal kind,

And by that I mean humanity.

How would you like to be a purse?

He’ll reason, nodding to his cronies.

Oh irony of ironies!

Aren’t you the little victim?

The Brute will laugh, he just can’t help it,

And to be fair, as prey, we are his favourites.

You had it coming! And maybe a lampshade, a wallet,

Human leather shoes! They’ll fetch a fine price!

And with a hideous smile, says the words, Skin ‘em!

And now we’re dead.

It’s not so nice to be on the losing side,

But maybe the Brute’s right?

Maybe we DO deserve this.

Friday Lovin', by P. L. Cobb

I’m Mad, Livid, Angry

I’m mad, livid, angry,
I’m just a rusted bucket filled to the brim with roiling ire,
And I hate, I loathe–
I loathe so much that there is a heat from a flame from hell
The fire of all things eternal, and wasted.

My time, you know,
It’s my time that they always clamour for
Even the unwanted ones who won’t leave me be
They come for me like rabid dogs,
Itching to get their fix of wasted dreams,
And it’s mine that they want to waste, not theirs!

And if I fight back I am a witch–
Or worse, an ungrateful %$#@&!
Who wants to listen to the noises which I spend so much time
So much time squeezing from my esophagus
As if I were giving birth to nothing but sound,
Yet the sound is also wasted on them,
More efforts wasted.

And I am mad, I am livid, I am seething,
My cup is empty yet it overfloweth with bubbling, frothing acid,
That acid is bile, or something worse,
Something deep within my stomach–
Methinks a snake, or something better,
And by better I mean bad for you and good for me,
Because for once some foreign god has heard my cry …

And it has deigned to deliver me,
From the vampires, the wraiths, the zombies, the corporations
Whatever I choose to call them, they are the ones whose
Greatest desire is to control me,
Consume me,
Bury me,
And then exhume me.

As if to say: Look, though covered in your blood, we are your saviours!

Ask me again why I am mad.

Sorry About Your Dad, written by P.L Cobb with art by Jake Zaccaria


Feel the pain

The sting of the knife

Forget the stain

Of what was once a hopeful life

Let the rubies drain out

Along with thoughtful dreams

Lose yourself in doubt

Tear apart your seams

The Enigmatic Monster Project: horror of all flavours.


This pressure, so many faces

Its building from so many places

Sitting in the dark; a single candle

Searching for a purpose, to find its handle

“We could be anything” That is what was said

To the mind of a youth whose dreams were being fed

Adulthood came and all things tarnished

A candle left burning, into smoke it’ll vanish

The pressure is is building, no time to relax

It seems all things are reduced to piles of wax

Burning Embers: A Haiku, by Mitchell Stoycheff

Burning Embers: A Haiku

Burning embers catch
Like soft lofty mushroom spores
I’m swallowed in fire

Fury, by M. Stoycheff.


The heart is beating

The mind aching

The calm is gone

All broken bonds

As thoughts dawn

Your conscience is withdrawn

You breath in the fury

A breath of harsh flurries

The shallow are seen

Actions become like daydreams

A flash of red. A spark of the moon

Now silence: a deathly tune.

Eibzorm, God of Scorn, written by P.L. Cobb. Photography by Mitchell Stoycheff.

Eibzorn,God of Scorn

Eibzorn, a god of scorn
And haunter of quarry past.
He seeks out those that mourn
To break them from their fast
–To harass.

Eibzorn wears them down
Reveals a hidden rage;
It adorns his head like a crown.
He appears at once sage.

But only time will reveal the truth
That he pursues, with zeal, truculent emotion,
With a ruthless devotion

That which he wears upon his neck,
Like teeth upon string: sour feelings,
Acrid sensibilities, dour sentimentalities, alack!
Such is Eibzorn and his dealings.

The god of scorn is no fool
Yet his victims pay the price,
Each one a tool–
A well sucked dry by trenchant avarice.

Eibzorn, a god of scorn
Ingratiates, manipulates, and denigrates
Strangers, challengers, and enemies sworn
To satisfy a lust incarnate.

The Mask, by Mitchell Stoycheff; art by P.L. Cobb

The Mask

Deception smiles behind its mask
A facade of joy; a troublesome task
Lying dormant: calculating
As it waits to strike, unsuspecting
Gazes flicker behind the mask
Beware: for in the glory which you bask
For vivid tales can not atone
And towers crumble from single stones

Afternoon, by P. L. Cobb

Anxiety Evolves Into Something Else

This is part of an ongoing series exclusive to my Patreon: A Huntress of Beasts.
The entire series will be available to patrons only.
You are currently reading draft 3, any suggestions for edits are welcome!

She left her body, dazed, confused. At the other end of the room her body was slumped against the wall. A bright red gash stood in stark contrast with her lemon yellow shirt. From her left ear all the way down to her navel oozed a line of blood onto the bleached-white linoleum. Her face was blurred, as if it had never been.

It was odd how one could feel so free and yet so unfinished at the same time. The body had served as a varnish for her soul; from the corner of her eye she caught herself in a mirror. A shadow stared back at her.

Having the ability to feel things outside of her body was different. Right now she felt a level of anxiety that was so much more intimate with her than if she were alive. Now that everything was bared for the cosmos to gawk at, there was nothing to hide, and Anxiety–pure emotion personified–was given free reign over her. Slowly it began to break away from her corpse, a distinct hum radiating from the thing as it crawled to her, the spirit. A morbid fascination stole over her as she watched.

When It was close enough it began to grope her.

And then it began to dig inside of her.

The Anxiety moved with a such a violent fervour that she was forced to dart away. Running was a mistake. It was useless because there was no where to go, which served as encouragement for the rabid beast. Anxiety just came back again with renewed vigour.

Then it reached the the spot where the choicest of morsels hid–the place where every unsavoury aspect became her–in a crack upon her soul. She did not relish that, in fact it tasted sour, like acid. And she hated it. All she could do was flit back and forth, not unlike a caged bird.

Anxiety’s mouth grew wide, a hiss escaping its great maw, conveying deep-seated frustration. For the first time it had been forced to show something other than its namesake. The creature hunched in on itself, quivering with rage now. Rage coloured the creature, who had been no more than a grey shadow moments before, into a poisonous shade of blue. Blue became purple and purple became red. Then without warning the colour shift began anew, this time erratic.

As the changes slowed to a stop Anxiety’s hunch became severe, more akin to a folding-in on itself than a hunch. It was creating a cocoon. In the flickering lights of the kitchen she saw the cocoon shell glitter, obsidian-like. Beneath the shell she caught a flicker, the creature inside very much alive. She inched closer and spied the outline of a nymph.

For the first time since she had died she could breath. In its frenzy Anxiety had given her the chance to escape. There was no doubt in her mind that it still lusted for her, nor was there any doubt that it would violate her if given the chance.

For the second time since her death she looked into the mirror. Why did she have a mirror in the kitchen? She couldn’t recall. Deep within the glass was the shadow.

The shadow was her.

Without the glamour of flesh or bone she was grey, the same grey as a pigeon. In the kitchen light she even caught an iridescent shimmer.

Was being grey so bad? When she was raised she had been raised to believe in absolutes, blessed truths and abject lies, black and white . . . When she could think for herself she realized that it was all a lie. Life was not black and white. Sometimes it was the shimmering green of a hummingbird, the fiery orange of a tiger, the brazen sheen of an eagle’s eye . . . And sometimes it was a muted grey, like a pigeon.

No. There was nothing wrong with this.

She gave the obsidian cocoon a farewell glance. When she had said her goodbyes she kissed her body on each cheek, and found the open window above the sink. She flew into the night sky, free for the moment. She knew that as soon as Anxiety emerged it would be on the search for her. It was not a pleasant thought. Even more unpleasant was knowing that it would not be the same: Anxiety would evolve into something else.

Anxiety always did. After having its fill of angst it would crave something of more substance. Before it killed her that had been the air from her lungs, the hormones of fear, the tissues of her brain, and then her blood. Perhaps that was why she saw no face, because there wasn’t one to be seen. What had she kissed then? Her skull?

She shivered.

In all of this there was something which was not quite right. Throughout her life she had always experienced Anxiety as a feeling. Feelings didn’t kill, they didn’t lust after you. Whatever had attacked her–

–No. No! A new breed of thought–tasteless, ominous–reared an ugly head at her. None of it stuck, as if she were incapable of comprehension. Fear made her waiver in the sky until all control was lost to her and she dropped like a rock. The thought of closing her eyes did cross her mind, but when she saw the woman below her she couldn’t. A woman below her, looking up at her, and a black aura.

No, not just black. The aura radiated from the woman, much like sun rays, only with an obsidian glitter, eerily cocoon-like. Even with her lack of body she still felt the instinctive tightening of her chest. I can’t breath!



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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Anna poured herself another glass of wine. Sitting at the kitchen island she was turned to the hallway. There was a mirror hung on the wall and her reflection watched her every move. She eyed the beautiful woman staring back at her. She didn’t remember putting the mirror up. Did Ken do that for her? Poor Ken, he just didn’t understand that pretty people didn’t really have to do anything in this world except let others worship their beauty. Ken her newest boyfriend … Rich, not so handsome, but very doting. He followed her around and did whatever she asked. Up until an hour ago when he left in a huff.

What did he mean by that, ‘What will happen to you when your beauty fades and all you have left is your inner beauty for the world to see?’ She didn’t like it. Not for a minute. How dare he implied that she could lose her beauty. Plain people always used that inner beauty crap as a weapon of choice. They liked to refer to it as if it was something special. Use it as a sledgehammer of sorts in a verbal argument. She paused at the thought … Verbal argument? Sure that was a thing, wasn’t it? Humph … Plain people were not special, they were just there for people like her, to take care of the beautiful people. They were lucky to be graced with such a task.

She sniffed and sipped her wine. Anna felt like she might have a cold coming on. Ken was a dear and did buy her this delicious bottle of red wine … Wine was made from grapes and that was fruit. Fruit was good to have when you might be coming down with something, her mother would always say that. Picking up the bottle and her glass she headed off to the living room and sat down on the sofa. Kicking her feet up she turned on the TV and surfed channels as she continued to sip at her glass.

If Ken didn’t come back to make her dinner she would have to order out. What a shame after they went shopping that he would make her waste their money like that. Anna finally found a fashion show on. Checking out the latest buys she marvelled that she had already had purchased a couple of those outfits last week. Yes, she was on top of it all. Ken and people like Ken just didn’t know how much work it took to look so beautiful. She had to make hair appointments, shop, beauty spas, make up … The list was just too great. No, he had no idea and there was just no way to convey this information to him. Ugly and normal people had it made. Really they did, all they had to do was work for a living. Her tummy growled.

Well, that just settled it. Shame on him for not getting back here to make her food. Now she had to get up and get her cell phone and call for take out. She felt the stress of the burden mounting within her. Anna reminded herself that she really should book an appointment for the spa tomorrow. Stress caused wrinkles and this mad man was making her stress. Ken would just have to pay for that too, after all he should be here for her. Where was he anyways?

Anna took five minutes to hunt down her cell phone and dropped back into the sofa feeling like she just went through a work out. She quickly ordered the usual from her favourite French restaurant, and they would be there within forty-five minutes. Forty-five minutes! Ken was really going to hear about this when he returned.

Anna thought she heard something … Like something clawing at the wall? She was hearing a lot of weird noises lately. She turned the TV off and listened hard. No … No, there was nothing. Looking back at the TV she noticed her reflection was a little distorted. It looked like a shadow running across the room. She quickly turned around but there was nothing behind her. Nothing. Looking back at the TV her reflection looked distorted and very wrong. She didn’t look like herself at all. Flicking the TV on she got up and checked her reflection in the mirror.

Mirrors didn’t lie. Anna looked and saw her perfect reflection. Examining herself from every angle she felt pleased with what she saw. Then her reflection winked at her. Her mouth dropped open. Did she just wink at herself? Or did her reflection winkeat her?

She laughed, “oh Anna you’re being silly.”

Touching the cool mirror … it was solid and smooth. It was just a reflection. She stifled a yawn. Staring at herself for a few more minutes she was pleased that it was just a reflection and nothing more. Turning she slowly made her way back to the sofa and sat down. Putting her feet up she stretched. Watching another reality TV show made her feel feel sleepy and she drifted off.

As soon as her human host was in a deep sleep, the monster within woke up. Grinning she got up and peered at her human reflection. She did wink at the human earlier and was pleased that it made Anna a little uneasy. These fragile creatures were too easy for the taking. Especially the beautiful ones, ones that were vain, shallow and lazy. Perfect for the seizing.

The door opened and in came the human male who was called Ken.

“I’m sorry for earlier Anna,” he presented her with a large bouquet of flowers. Red roses … They were her favourites.

“You should be,” Anna walked out to the kitchen. Ken followed.

“I know you are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.”

She paused and turned to him tilting her head. “Do you?”

He nodded.

“Am I?”

He nodded again. “I’m sorry.”

“I am sure you are,” she grinned. ‘Oh Anna, you do provide me with the best food,’ she thought to herself.

“Will you marry me?” Ken asked.

“Marry you?” she laughed.

“I’m sorry you’re right.” He got down on one knee and smiled broadly. “Anna, will you marry me?”

“Ken, there is something you should know,” she began laughing

“Anna?” he got up looked at her wondering how to react to her outburst.

She stopped laughing and walked over to him grinning. “Ken, I am going to keep you with me always.”

He smiled taking her response as a yes. Hugging her tightly he kissed her on the lips. She grabbed his head with her hands and held him to her face as she began sucking the soul and energy from his body.

She loved watching the eyes of her food as they realized the kiss was no longer a kiss. That there was something wrong … Something so very wrong going on. She was stronger than she appeared. He struggled to push her away with all his might but it wasn’t enough–she wasn’t human, for the most part she was but this part of her … The demon side wasn’t something the strongest human would want to mess with. His struggling turned frantic as the kicked and punched at her. She devoured him like a bowl of soup. When she was done … He was done. The life had left his eyes. The struggle left his limbs. He slumped, slowing to the floor … Lifeless on the cold white marble floor. Grinning she wiped her lips with the back of her hand.

Sighing with satisfaction of eating a good hearty meal she looked down at the body. The doorbell rang.

Anna felt her human side stirring at the sound. Waving her hand at the empty air near Ken’s lifeless body laying in a heap on the kitchen floor she opened a black portal and rolled him into it. Waving her hand again she closed the portal just as the doorbell rang and her human woke from her slumber. Stretching she yawned. Rubbed her stomach and looked around herself. How did she manage to get out into the kitchen? Sleep walking again? Flowers? Ken was back! Great!

The doorbell rang again. She hurried over to it. Opening the door she found the delivery guy smiling at her.

“Good evening miss Anna. You are looking good tonight.”

“I look good every night,” she snapped. She felt a little irritated and didn’t know why.

Handing him cash she took her dinner and closed the door. She took her food out to the kitchen and left it on the counter.

“Ken?” she shouted. “Ken are you here?”

Anna search for him but found only the flowers and an engagement ring he had left on the counter. Opening the bags up she pulled out her dinner. The food smelled delicious but suddenly she didn’t feel hungry anymore. Why didn’t she feel hungry? Where was Ken? What was taking him so long? He should be back by now.

She took her food into the living room and sat down. Flicking channels she found an old movie she liked. Glancing at the door … She hoped he would return soon. She wouldn’t admit it to anyone but she really liked having him around. Anna sighed and settled in to watch a movie she hadn’t seen in a while. She had a feeling she wasn’t alone and it wasn’t scary. It was comforting.

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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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Ashkenaz, the ever living flame, and jerk

Lucky Boy

Leery of the man behind him, Jason ducked into the men’s room. He had noticed the stranger following him almost immediately. Something drew his attention toward that man, something which made him feel different. It was like a thrill through his flesh. Jason didn’t like it. He had known thrills, and this was not the good kind.

Following a hunch, he hid himself in a stall, locking the door. With his feet he balanced himself on the toilet seat. There was someone in the stall beside him. One second there was just awkward silence, the next the man beside him was screaming. Blood sprayed the ceiling, the walls, the floor . . . Jason stuck his fist in his mouth to keep any sounds from coming out. Then there was a burning. He could feel the heat through the thin wall separating him from the blood bath. Paint began to bubble and peel; at that point Jason squeezed his eyes shut. Blood and saliva ran down his wrist while sweat trickled down his skin. Nostrils flared at the smell–of rot, smoke, death . . .

It was over.


When the stranger was done Jason heard him laughing to himself, a deep chuckle which sounded volcanic. When the stranger left Jason was paralyzed. The janitorial staff were the first to find him. Then mall security, and then the police. From there he found himself at the hospital with no recollection of how he came to be there. His mother was weeping at his bedside, and somewhere he heard vague whispers travelling down the halls.

“Lucky boy . . .”

“Lucky boy . . .”

“ . . . Lucky boy . . .”

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


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.

No Eyes, story and art by P. L. Cobb

Ogre Love

Is this what dreams

are made of?

Who could call this

farce love?

Just shoot me already,

make it end.

The already dead–I envy.

So shoot me, if you

call yourself a friend.

(I deserve better than this.)


Written by R. J. Davies, edited by P. L. Cobb

He better show up! She couldn’t believe this. The last twenty-four hours felt like a nightmare, and here she was standing on a ledge. Below her was a blazing inferno, a mess of fire and human souls.

“Well?” he appeared in front of her. Tall, strong and handsome–and so very powerful. In his human form she saw her ex-husband grinning at her.

They had been married for six years before the divorce. Katie had heard her friends talk about what demons their exes had been. But her ex-husband was a demon. Kyle Miller, or that was who she had known him as, always seemed so gentle and attentive to her every need. The downside of their marriage came in the form of strange calls and even stranger visitors; when the long absences started Katie had had enough. Five years of wedded bless went out with a bang during the final year. Kyle had been missing for so long that he was presumed dead. Katie filed a for divorce. She had mixed feelings over the affair. The day when he showed up on her front door had surprised her. When she told him to leave he surprised her again by starting a shouting match. After showing him the divorce papers she woke up to find herself on this ledge. 

“Who are you?”

“Who do you want me to be?”

“What happen to the real Kyle?”

“I made him up.”


He nodded with a smile.

“You’re lying.”

He raised an eyebrow, “Am I?”

“Go to hell!”

He laughed, “Oh sugar, we are already here.”

“What is your real name?”



He nodded.

“What are you?”

He smirked, “A god.”

“What am I doing here?”

“You’re my wife. It’s was about time you met the rest of my family.”

“We’re divorced!”

“That’s not recognized down here,” he chuckled again.

“This can’t be real.”

He leaned close to her and whispered, “Then wake up.”

“Am I sleeping?”

He laughed and the sounds ricocheted off the walls as he shook his head no.

Her mother had warned her about him. Why hadn’t she listened?

Allow Me to Elucidate

Or rather, to introduce, as in: “Hello, I am a figment of your imagination–the scourge upon the youth of the nation . . .”

But don’t give me too much credit. My ego will grow to be too great, and will float away. And if that were the case who would believe you?

For three long years I’ve haunted you. Me, myself, and my hallucinations three . . .


Our Overlords, by P. L. Cobb and Jacob Zaccaria


Figure 1: In the mighty form of figure one, we observe the lord all mighty. Theo. The monster. Named so because of Gmail. Curses! Our grand lord and task master, forever left to slumber beneath the City of Misery.

Figure 2: Furtive and frightening is it that may not exist. The thing which exists in-between the realm of existence and that of non-existence (and patron god of the ever redundant). Oh holy parasite of dubious goodness . . . Coopid of the many wings. And things.

Figure 3: Cats do not exist, and that is a fact. The master of all arcane science. Ashkenaz the daemon scholar, wreathed in flame. Wherever he shall go you shall remember his name.

Ha, ha!

What is happening to us?

What is happening to me?

What is Death?

Death (and freedom) beckon me,

a mockery of what could be.

I suddenly

breathe, sullenly

the slovenly

spectral people, enfeebled

by what Death could be.

If life is the price, and freedom the payment?

And yet this is the lie they fed to me?

Limbo? Entrapment?


The Enigmatic Monster Project: horror of all flavours

I See You, My Lovely

Written by R. J. Davies Mornix

He held his breath. He wondered what she was thinking. Christie Hart had no idea how sexy she was. It drove him to the brink of madness whenever he thought about it. She wasn’t tall or  thin like a super model, but she was a goddess. He knew she was …  There was just something about her. It was a sickness; he knew it on some level . . . But she was his medicine. Whenever he got close to her, or watched her, he was taking his medicine.

He promised himself that some day he would work up the courage to talk to her … Someday … It had been six  years since he first met her. He had been a passenger in a vehicle that was the victim of a hit and run. Since he didn’t say anything she didn’t really pay attention to him. But he noticed her. The way she walked in that uniform, the way she took control of the scene and interrogated everyone. A male officer had begun to give her a hard time but she put him in his place with a look and a few whispered words. He had always wondered what she had told him.

He spotted her one evening leaving the local gym. Thinking she was headed into work he followed her. Officer Hart was headed home. So he followed her there.

It was just innocent drive-bys once in a while. Then his drive-bys became more frequent. Now he knew everything about her. He followed her as she went through relationship after relationship.  He joined her gym and began working out. The last six months he went from soft and flabby to a washboard stomach. April, another woman who went to the same gym asked him out a couple of times. They went out to the movies once, and he felt like he was cheating on Officer Hart. Once he had worked out on the treadmill beside Christie. She always smiled and nodded. A lump always caught in his throat; his heart would race and his palms would sweat. He thought he was having a mild heart attack. That was the only time he tried to talk to her.

He stuck to just watching. No one that knew him would even guess that he did this. God, if anyone found out he would die of embarrassment. Swallowing hard, he reminded himself of her  garbage bags that he had back at home in the garage. He had started going through her them when his sister had popped by last night.

No … No … He wasn’t ready for anyone to find out about his girlfriend. He liked the privacy of their relationship.

She stood up in her living room and stretched. He watched as she turned off the lights and TV.

He waited. She didn’t disappoint him. She never did. He held his breath until she turned on the bedroom light and pulled out his camera. He watched as she crossed the room, feeling grateful that she lived on such a lonely stretch of road. No one ever bothered him here and she always left her curtains open.

Only for him.

“I see you, my lovely,” he whispered, and then blew her a kiss.

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