Pride–It's What Drives You and I. A short, sweet piece of speculative creative writing written just for the Enigmatic Monster. This story features a couple thoughts on Pride: who it sleeps with, additional names, and how to use it against someone.

Pride–It’s What Drives You and I

Pride–it’s what drives you and I. Here are my thoughts:

Ambition and Pride

Ambition and Pride share a bed, so to speak. Pride is a thing which you can give, take, or swallow. What’s with all that ambition though? Well, Pride is also a feeling, isn’t it?

Yes.

And if the feeling is so good it’s considered a sin if you overindulge. “Don’t become a glutton!” That’s what the older folks used to say, isn’t it? Ambition is desire, drive. Another thing. It results in success. Success equals pride.

The good feeling it gives you, that sweet nectar which lights up your life–how long will it last? Longevity always relies on other factors. Doesn’t it depend on the person, too?

More, more! A tiny voice will say to you. This feeling is not enough. It can’t end! More!

Ambition and Pride lust for one another like dogs in heat. If they can’t find one another, then they’ll go on to the next best thing.

A Rose By Any Other Name

The Thesaurus and I spend a lot of time together. Jealous? Resentful? Envious?

I think not!

Self-esteem. Self-love. More words for the thing called Pride. They’re wonderful things, in just the right amounts. It’s just not socially acceptable to love yourself too much. Too much of a good thing isn’t so wonderful. It’s selfish, arrogant. Sinful.

We’re like containers. Jars, bottles, cans. Some have holes. We allow ourselves to be filled to the brim. If there are no leaks, we become insufferable. But too many leaks and there’s a problem. Dried up we look for a refill. Maybe a refuge.

A friendly face answers our call. The Other.

Not all those who seem friendly, are friendly. How do they say it? Pride goeth (or cometh) before the fall?

This leads us to to the next thought.

Social Warfare

Remove our pride, our armour–our shield–and suddenly whatever ambitions we had can wait. A weapon, wielded by the other, the erosion of our pride–or self-esteem– has a crippling effect.

Give us a taste, watch us puff up. Suddenly we take space. Then prick us. Draw blood and watch us shrink.

Parents are an exceptional example of this. When proud of their children, they heap them with love, praise. The child can’t help but feel good, feel proud of themselves. Why, they deserve it! But, when a parent is the opposite of proud, or simply withholds love from their child–if a parent hurts the self-esteem of the child–it’ll appear as if they’ve really deboned a fish. What good is a person without a spine? With nothing to feel good about, the child will shamble along: pitiful, mad, hungry, like a junkie.

Without pride we’re naked. The problem with this is that we grow up entitled, but stupid. Some people were never taught to think for themselves. Likewise, some people were never taught to love themselves. People become dogs. Dogs are ever loyal to their masters, obeisance demonstrated through fear and adoration; they endure the gaslighting for those sweet, delicious morsels. Pieces of meat …

Good things to be proud of, confident of.

But don’t blame Pride! It’s our responsibility, after all. The onus falls on us. We must stroke our own egos. Don’t give that power to the Other. They’ll take advantage of it, and they’ll abuse you like a privilege.

But they gave us the world! They catered to us! They wrapped our world in brown kraft paper, the same kind that the butcher uses to wrap up his meat. Therein lies the problem: in being given the world, we’ve let go of ourselves. And we are all the weaker for it.

Pride isn’t the monster in this story. As a person, it’s simply the spectator.

 

Anger-It Might be Cliché, written by P.L. Cobb for the Enigmatic Monster Project, an original horror blog.

Anger–It Might Be Cliché

It might be cliché, but hey: anger is a part of our life now.

It’s bad, but can be good, somehow. Good in the way controlled fires are. Left alone, and who knows what chaos it shall mete out. Destruction by the metric tonne.

Also, when driven by anger, you are master of none. No one. Zilch, And there’s no way to change that.

When anger owns your ass, you’re better off as food for the worms, or the grass.

But it all depends, and in the end isn’t that all we can hope for?

If I could pay my bills in rage, perhaps I’d be less than poor. But loathing takes its toll, and always asks for more. So much so that every inch of me feels sore. It’s as if anger has had me whipped, saying: “This is it, bitch!”

Bleed me till I’m dry, let me spend myself until I’m empty. Strip away all my layers, questioning why I pretend to be so complex, so human, when I am really Anger’s whore.

In the end, isn’t that what we all are? Whores?

Recalcitrant, They Call Me; a poem written by P.L. Cobb for the Enigmatic Monster Project.

Recalcitrant, They Call Me

Adjective |rəˈkalsətrənt|

  1. having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline.

And this is how my story begins,
Not with a bang, no glamorous symphony orchestra
But a sad whisper, a murmur upon the wind:
The shocking tale of a deadly sin,
Wrath is his name–and the love which my mother, and him, must have made
To warrant me such an illustrious name …

Yes, they call me Recalcitrant.

My mother, she must have been the demon of Pride,
For my reputation has superseded me, far and wide!
And I cannot help but gloat.
For it must have been Wrath and Pride, combined
To have created the likes of me.

I could wax on, but that is all, there is no more to see!
And as you go, remember me …
Wherever there is life, I am eternal;
I am recalcitrance: a thing infernal.

Recalcitrant, they call me!

March 18th, 2012 by P.L. Cobb, written for the Enigmatic Monster Project

March 18th, 2012

It’s Sunday, and I am at the same place I always end up on this day: church.

I don’t talk to God though; I don’t give him the attention they say he deserves. All around me people whisper, saying things under their breath like ‘Jesus, please forgive me’ or ‘Help me to forgive, so that I may be forgiven.’ Somehow I’m able to sit like a statue, unmoved by the subtle heartbreak that surrounds me. Everyone here just wants to be loved.

So, what is love? How do I understand all the ways in which a person can love? Or, how about all of the ways the congregation claims I am loved: selfless, sacrificial love–but not truly free–surprise!

So, how would I describe love? Maybe as a mystery of the deep, or deeper than deep, an enigma. All the why in the world could not contain it. All the how would never explain it. No man-made gods could ever give or withhold it, but we just can’t accept that. If we could we would all possess it by now.

The sermon goes by in silence, sometimes someone coughs. I nod my head, not out of agreement with anything that the pastor is saying, but because I am starting to fall asleep. When the pastor ends his speech the congregation bows their collective head in prayer. My head lowers out of respect, but my eyes and my heart are focused on the blue carpet. I wriggle my toes just to make sure I have not fallen asleep. The collective gets up to leave, me trailing along behind them.

Another Sunday has come and passed and I am still waiting for an answer. Are my questions so difficult that even the good god above cannot answer them, or is this LOVE truly that abstract?

A Most Sluggish Sunday

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A Most Sluggish Sunday

Lately I’ve been feeling drained. It could be the weather; multiple sources have claimed to be depressed, myself included. It could be a lack of nutrients–something purely physical, fixable, understandable. Or it could be something else?

I say that tentatively.

Hear me out: last night I ran a marathon in my dreams. Nothing special, you likely did the same thing. I dreamt of murderous guardians, ancient creatures that wore red cloaks. At will they could become invisible. They stood guard over a particular cave, carrying long scimitars.

I watched one kill a man. At first there was just the man, a piece of scimitar sticking out of his head. Then the creature slowly appeared in the cavern.

And I woke up.

So, what does it mean? Did I not sleep well because of my dream? Was it happening in real life, on some other plane? Or did I have that dream because I was not sleeping well?

Is my apartment filled with the type of muse that feeds off of your energy in exchange for inspiration?

This is speculation for the fun of it. If there are living muses they’re not fulfilling their end of the bargain. Either way, enjoy your Sunday!

Cheers!

ashkenaz

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

That at Which

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We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight.
― H.P Lovecraft

That At Which

Often, you find yourself wondering. Don’t deny it. Everybody’s doing it, some more rationally than others, if rationality exist. If anything really exists. Maybe we are just a dream waiting to end? Do the people in our dreams have their own lives, independent from our own subconscious? If that is the case, then I suppose we could too, if we were all a dream.

Let’s not wait till midnight to find out.

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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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The Museum

The Museum

By Jacob Zaccaria

Soaring crystal spires of the metropolis gleamed in the sun’s first light as it’s inhabitants bustled like a million bees in a concrete hive. One could feel the buzz of the City all around them even now — if they took the time to shrug off their mindless march at all. A motley mix of vacant faces, one could argue that if you knocked off each and every last soul save one, they probably wouldn’t even notice a thing. Continue reading

Nothing is Ever as it Seems

Nothing is Ever as it Seems

Brooding Skies

Daylight does not amount to much when you start thinking differently–outside of the box–too many possibilities come into play, drowning you in their wake.

They found out the hard way, some might say, when they assumed that they were safe during the day. There is a common belief that things of evil come out under the cover of darkness. Perhaps it was not so much a belief as it was something’s sick joke . . . Perpetuating a lie is simple when one knows how.

But darkness . . . And daylight . . . what meaning did either of the two have if no one was safe? What was the point if monsters came in all manner of shape and size, all manner of disguise?

They would never make that same mistake again.

Amongst other things.

No one knows who they are, or what they did. We only know that they were.

Nothing is ever as it seems.


 

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