Solace Among the Noise

Up are the walls

Strong, sturdy, and tall

As the music plays

Push the thoughts away

Block out the faces

Of people, fears, and places

That scream desires

Of wants and personal fires

Keep up the walls

Refuse to hear their calls

Let the music soar

To silence the invading roar

Speak the lies

While the truth inside you cries

Screaming for peace

For hopeful silence and release

Hold up the wall

Ignore the cracks that fall

Keep the music going

That spark of solace flowing

The roar is loud

The faces among the crowd

Filled with expectation

And greed and denunciation

So protect your voice

Your power and your choice

Hear the music’s ringing

And fill your soul with singing


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Farewell Friends, by P.L. Cobb. EMP is coming to a close.

Farewell Friends!

Farewell?

Yes, it is with great sadness that I write this: EMP is coming to a close.

It’s been a scream, and you’ve all been like a sweet dream to us here, but it is time for us to move on. Earlier this year I started down a new path, one which has been leading me further away from the monster.

I will still be on WordPress, however. In fact, I started a new blog earlier in January. This one actually has regular posts (on Wednesday and Saturday), and is a bit more true to what I want to write about.

I love horror, but I also love quirky stories, word-salads, art, etc. I like sparkly shiny things along with the gory and grimy things. Variety is the spice of my life, and I’ve become addicted to that spice, even though it won’t aid me in navigating the cosmos (read Dune, now)!

When I started EMP I had no idea that I would lose all sense of what we were doing. Things got crazy, things got weird. In the end EMP was still a project, but also an excellent learning experience.

And I learned A LOT! Everyone, who was a part of the project did, I think. If it weren’t for EMP I would have never known that you’d love my rage poems, but in 2015 I did it! That was the best year for this blog! I also had a fantastic job, and all the creative energy anyone could ask for in 2015!

But all good things come to an end.

And the monster went back into hiding.

All along, I was trying to capture that elusive beast. Damn. I always missed the mark after 2015. That’s how it seemed at the time.

Maybe I couldn’t find my monster because it had evolved with me. Again: damn. How could I have been so blind? I may not know what makes a monster, because in truth anything can be a monster. When everything is monstrous, suddenly the idea behind a monster loses its mystique.

I would go on, but I think you get the idea. The monster dances to a new tune these days.

Thank you for sticking with us for the past three years.

Keep it monstrous!

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.

 

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.

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!

Can I? Written by P.L. Cobb

Can I?

Can I,
Chew my way out of this cocoon,
This thing in which I’ve been marooned,
Or can I,
Join the birds–might I fly
Into the lonely void of the sky?

Or must I remain
Trapped, to grow insane,
Or may I walk free
Beneath the churning seas?

Is it solace I seek,
Or is it vengeance to be eked
Out from this miserable soil?
My cup is so full, it overflows, and boils.

I am wild rage, encased,
The result of a fair lady disgraced.
If I must, I shall wait within this cocoon,
For it would not do to taste the sweet honey of your judgement … Too soon.

Mossy, photography by Mitchell Stoycheff

Puppeteer

A smiling face hides more
A facade that one can front
Various tricks can a smile implore
Where truth will only stunt

There is a curtain that hides the plots
A veil of devious mind racing
How can we withstand the onslaught
When we don’t know who we’re facing

Lives are wasted, to men who hold the power
Where what is precious is profane
An obstacle to simply conquer
Until to ashes we all remain

In the end we are tied to falsehood
Forced to hide our truths within
How many waves have we withstood
When we are constantly searching to begin

How can we find the solace
When we don the masks we admonish
How do we wipe clean the canvas
To cut the strings and vanish

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 …

The Enigmatic Monster Project

Do Not Shriek

Spiral down, the dark awaits

Hear its sound, the heart pulsates

Softly whisper, hear them speak

And if you answer: do not shriek

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!)

The Enigmatic Monster Project presents.

The Worm King

The worm king

Grovels at me feet, licking my toes

And I cannot look

It makes me sick

The king of worms is quick

To crawl up my legs

And then I am paralyzed.

My temple is compromised

To those who are wise

Why have you forsaken me

Am I simply rubbish

Now that my treasure has been stolen?

Your excuse: I did not guard myself.

Damn you.

Extinguish, by Mitchell Stoycheff

Extinguish

This cheerful world has been captured

Lying forgotten, beaten, and tortured

What once was elation has turned dismal

Reflecting that of an echoing call

Forever reaching

Forever returning

That glimmer that burned now has tarnished

Extinguishing the stars, hope has vanished

A shell vacant and void of emotion

Is all we have left, our tainted poison

Painful Echo, by Mitchell Stoycheff

Painful Echo

Dreams that border nightmare

In the realm of thought revealing

A glimpse into that stare

Recall the painful echoes: up-heaving

Burdened by the past

An icon of woe and pain

How does this unwavering flame last

Against the torrent of the rains

You must face the past with intention

Let your voice stand tall

Unleash your thoughts with conviction

Unveil the truth behind your walls

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

Rubies

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

Mysterious Silver Door, by P.L. Cobb

Mysterious Silver Door

Originally posted on plcobb.com


How I love you, more and more

My yearning, my curiosity

Both work side-by-side

Striving for my (inevitable) demise

Because the day I open you, oh silver door

Is the day I come face-to-face with a hideous surprise

The Enigmatic Monster Project: horror of all flavours.

Pressure

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

Madness, by M. Stoycheff.

Madness

What truths do you behold?

What visions do you see?
Madness is often uncontrolled
When fueled by atrocities

What say you?
Do you wish to speak?
Shall your vision ensue?
Shall we take a peek?

So speak your words
That’s it, don’t be shy.
Shout it from your innards
Let your voice amplify

Hmm, how amusing that your voice is voiceless
You’re but a phantom in your mind
Your actions too, are useless
Your free will has been confined

It’s okay to cry
Humans often do.
The truth is: you don’t want to die
However, there is no other avenue

There is that truth: now behold
That reality you now see
Your madness has awakened tenfold
You shall commit terrible atrocities.

This Is What Little Girls Learn

This Is What Little Girls Learn

Little girls learn fast from their fathers, their mothers, how to bottle up feelings until they chew their way out, making tiny holes, burrowing through delicate skin–like worms, like moles.

Little girls turn into ragged little dolls, eaten from the inside out. They learn to wield bitter feelings like knives, and cold anger like steel hammers, but without knowing how to release them.

Petty fathers teach little girls nothing good, nothing new, not what a good father should. Harsh mothers don’t teach them anything at all, just sit on kitchen chairs, a cloud of resentment, a cloud of despair.

And what should they care about it?

Little girls grow up fast, not knowing how they came to be, how they got from point A to B. They hollow out like metal tubes, a natural progression, pent-up aggression. Hollow tubes–though full of wind–are still empty. Riddled with holes, they corrode. Unable to stand, they collapse.

And little girls turn into women, maybe nothing, and what should we care about it?

We can always make more.

 

Expunged, written and illustrated by M. Stoycheff

Expunged

I feel nothing
No spark to animate me
I feel nothing
No hope that I can see
Anger, bitter, and unbridled
Burns in my core
I am unsettled
Like the sands of the shore
Cold eyes are gleaming
Feeding lies: through smiles
Selfishly scheming
Benefit for their guile
I feel nothing
As the world strikes against me
I feel nothing

Ire: A Definition, by P.L. Cobb

Ire: A Definition

Noun |ˈī(ə)r|

  1. an intense display of anger, openly displayed.

View our source.

Don’t shy away,
step into the smouldering light,
feel the torrid heat from eyes all ablaze.
One million eyes fixing you with an ireful gaze …

You’re naught but a dream,
a cruel nightmare, a colourless haze,
of Azathoth’s imagination, or so it would seem.
Daemon pipers play a hideous tune, the type which stays
embedded within fragile mortal memory, like an echoing scream.

Like seething fools they dance
around their atrocious lord and master
to stay his wrath, prolong their lives, and to entrance
Azathoth, the daemon sultan, recalcitrant and wrathful, an imminent disaster.

Night of A Burning Heart, by M. Stoycheff

Night of A Burning Heart

Cold blood runs a feral heart
As anger rises, it fractures the mind apart
A bloody trail from bare feet
A glimmering knife; a heart’s racing beat
A solemn task you must complete
Spurned by vengeance, its guiding heat
You see them walking, laughing in the night.
Like shattering glass, your anger takes flight
Lunge quickly: take their life
Silence the screams and end your strife
Lock out the sobbing and finish this path
Strike again: give in to Wrath
Now walk away, enjoy the dripping blood
Your heart is free, lost in the flood

Fury, by M. Stoycheff.

Fury

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.