The Enigmatic Monster Project

Why Is This Still A Thing?

One day aliens will finally visit us on this dismal little ball of rock. I say dismal because as the top species we have simply made it this way. The aliens won’t even bother with our leaders. They’ll just ask for the smartest people on the planet: scientists, engineers, mathematicians, artists, humanists, etcetera. If those people are still permitted to exist by the time the aliens do come …

These aliens will then point to news stories about discrimination against the gays, transgendered people, poor and sick people, veterans, women, children … They’ll point to all the stories about how racism is still prevalent, and then the stories about why white supremacy is still here (and reluctant to leave us in peace). And if you think that they’re going to gloss over the atrocities done in the name of religion, politics, war, then you’re out of your mind!

Then these aliens will ask us: “Why is this still a thing? What are alternative facts?” When our jumbled answers don’t satisfy them, they’ll ask another question.

“What is wrong you people?”

And the answer to that is simple: many of us are dumb, wicked, selfish. Also known as the asshole.

Mostly unsatisfied, the aliens will thank us for our time. “This is why we never visit you. Oh, and we’re taking your Netflix away. Byeeee!”

If Netflix is still allowed to exist by then. Humans like to ruin the good things they do have. What is our problem?

(Oh, that’s right!)

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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The Eternal Heist

monacle_duckThe Eternal Heist

Thinking about book covers and the process involved with their design has had me thinking about The House on the Borderland.

There is no cover for the book yet. But it has been on my mind for weeks, rest assured. With all of the things I’ve been doing this December, it’s been rather busy. HOWEVER, what I have been thinking about is something I’ve come to refer to as the eternal heist. It’s tied to The House on the Borderland . . .

What is the Eternal Heist? I’ll tell you what, I’ll spare the long exposition, because you’ve probably figured out what it is: theft, larceny, and the never ending cycle it involves.

But what are we stealing, precious?

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Mundane Things, Part Two

Four Weird TalesMundane Things, Part Two

When I went back to reading Four Weird Tales, I noticed something in the grouping of the stories. It seemed to me that the first two stories dealt more specifically with beliefs. We know that if you believe something, it will colour the way you see things (a nice rose tint, perhaps). For the sake of argument, I’ll say that The Insanity of Jones and The Man Who Found Out deal more specifically with beliefs and their effects upon perception; in a nutshell, a certain belief affects the way these characters think and act, and ultimately how they see their day to day lives.

(Well, that was slightly redundant . . . Only just slightly, a little tiny bit . . . Maybe.  )

If those two deal with belief and perception, what do the other two deal with then? Again, for the sake of argument, I’m going to say that they deal with what we see. That is to say, we see before we perceive. Everything else follows after that . . .

. . . I see therefore I think, and then I think some more . . .

(And maybe I discern some great truth? Or see something.)

The Glamour of the Snow was right up my alley; I loved it because it was a perfect mix of all of my favourite things. Now in that story our main character isn’t seeking out great truths or hunting down enemies from certain past lives—he’s leading a normal life, working by day and socializing by night (while still managing a reasonable bed time too, I bet). There’s nothing abnormal about him, so when our antagonist comes waltzing right in he doesn’t know any better. It looks like a normal person, and that person is a lady!

Naturally, things follow their course. We know well before he does that something is amiss. The minor side characters know what’s going on before he does, because he doesn’t truly know what he is actually seeing.

Because he hasn’t seen anything like it before.

(And if he doesn’t know what he’s seeing, what on earth is he going to think?)

This can be argued to death. But I think you get my drift. Just a little food for thought. Now let’s take a moment to salute those authors of horror and weird fiction—and thank them—for ruining perfectly mundane things!

We all know those authors of horror and weird fiction scare only out of concern for our well-being.
So let’s take a moment to keep it monstrous. Love the monster on Facebook.
(Facebook is pretty creepy sometimes too. Remember the time when the status box asked you what you were doing? Remember when it called you by name? WHOA!)

Mundane Things, Part One

Four Weird TalesMundane Things, Part One

Or, Four Weird Tales, by Algernon Blackwood. Lately I’ve been on an Algernon Blackwood kick. I’ve mentioned it before, the way Blackwood writes is very simple; he takes very mundane situations and objects, turning them into interesting tales. The previous story was The Wendigo, a quick read with an interesting premise. Here I am looking at two stories in the book: The Insanity of Jones and The Man Who Found Out.

As we all know, the horror genre is all about eliciting a fear response within its audience, taking very familiar things or situations, and then turning them upside down. After seeing Scream, can you look at your garage the same way still, or do you think twice before going in there alone? Horror is not necessarily in your face, though. Often, it’s more subtle. Sometimes you may not even know it’s a horror story till you get to the end, or till you read it again.

Now, is Four Weird Tales considered horror, or is it just weird fiction? Well, in this case the lines can be easily blurred. If you think about it, H.P. Lovecraft wrote a lot of weird fiction, and most (if not all) of his work was also horror . . . So . . . This neither confirms nor denies anything, meaning that it’s all up to you. Too many choices can slow things down, ironically, so does this mean that nothing gets done?

Algernon Blackwood likes his horror to be more about awe, according to Wikipedia, which makes sense to me. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been enjoying his work so much. The thing I like about these two stories is that the main characters can be sane, or they can be insane; and they’re obviously written in a way that forces you to make a decision. It’s a very intriguing thing to think about; reality and perception are two things which can be very frightening . . .

What it all comes down to is that you really don’t know if what you see is actually there, or if you are perceiving things as they are, or if there is anything at all.

Am I saying that we’re all crazy? Hell no. But if we begin to cast doubt upon ourselves, things can get a bit hairy. I was disenchanted after watching The Matrix, because it did just that: cast doubt upon how I see reality.

Everyone perceives things differently, sees things differently. Some people see things, some see them differently, and others see things that aren’t there.

Or are they there?

See what I mean? So, was Jones really insane, or was he actually living his life according to all of his past lives, settling accounts good or ill? And did the professor really find the answers to life’s deepest questions, answers so revelatory that he lost all hope for life?

Who knows what Algernon Blackwood was thinking on this one . . . The good thing about fiction, is that we don’t have to think to hard on it—it’s not real!

This edition was brought to you by Penny C.
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