Spooktober – Days 25 & 26

I’m doing a thing with some people to do 31 horror story concepts within October


SPOOKTOBER DAY #25 — Cursed Object

TITLE:  That Demon Drink

PREMISE:  A bottle of primo hooch is doing the rounds, passing by bad circumstance from one person’s hands to another.  Each has a drink and each has a supernaturally terrible time.  The last person to get the bottle is a cop who has been trying to figure out the string of strange deaths that night, and he steals the dregs of the bottle from a crime scene for a night cap.  He chokes and falls over dead, puking magically straight into the bottle without spilling a drop.  His last breath is choking up a bottlecap which slams into place, and the refilled bottle rolls away from his corpse to rest against a chair, awaiting its next string of victims.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Pretty stock TV horror show stuff.


SPOOKTOBER DAY #26 — Mad Scientist

TITLE:  The Individual vs. Society

PREMISE:  Inspired by the fact Frankenstein was a college student fucking up his dorm in the original story, and by my own experiences attending art school, I tweak this to be “Mad Artist.”  While working on a sculpture installation, an artist discovers The Spark of Life (TM).  But was it her work that created life, or was it the boy helping her with the electrical side of things?  They both set to using the discovery to play god and make homunculi.

I don’t know how well known this is, but the majority of people in fine art programs are ladies, so in addition to classical sexisms, the men in those programs receive positive attention just for being less common.  Men at this point in history have been raised to profound laziness and entitlement.  Like the stereotypical 50s dad would at least be doing a job or having man tasks to make up for his lack of help around the house, but that stuff is ancient history – while the idea mom will clean up after you 4ever never went away.

The way this plays out in the fine arts – in combination with male rarity in art programs – is that people show a lot of deference to “boy geniuses” who can make incredibly lazy work backed up with art statements of pure BS.  Boy v Girl in the homunculus race – the ultimate installment piece, living art.  Boy makes a splashy abomination and manages to rush it out the door before Girl, who is wasting time being conscientious about stuff.  He gets the accolades and she gets accused of coattail riding, even while his monster is doing rampages and such.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Even that is held against Girl.  Her homunculus is seen as less meaningful because it isn’t spraying exploding eyeballs into rush hour traffic.  But she accepts it.  After all, boys are special geniuses.  Did she really discover the spark of life?  Gaslit from within.

^This idea of course is simplified by taking the existence of trans people out of the equation.  Trans fellas in art school absolutely do not receive the benefits of male privilege there, trans women likewise.
^ETA:  Honestly don’t know but it seems like some of the youngest men might be veering away from that laziness.  I don’t know many fellas below thirty years old.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    I’ve got to say that I love #26. It goes straight back to the very birth of scientific horror — people gave Percy Shelley the credit for Frankenstein, because of course there was no way a woman could come up with anything horrible like that. And of course, Victor F himself is a more hideous screwup than his precious monster, but he’s the “genius.”

    The alternative would be, the two do the monster together as a group project. He slaps a few parts together, goes on a bender, and staggers in a few days later to find the monster all finished. He gladly takes all the credit, and then after the inevitable rampage, he’s the one taken down by the crowd bearing pitchforks. It turns out that she’s been pulling the strings all along, guessing correctly that he would be all too happy to play the part of the idiot front man while she pulled all the strings from the shadows to get revenge against those who had wronged her.

  2. Mr. SimpleGuy says

    Hey, GAS, I was wondering if I could get your input on something.

    Granted, this has nothing to with anything in terms of anything really big happening in the media save video games. I’ll admit that this is kind of a big deal to me as a furry who recently came out to people who were most concerned. I was met with open arms, by the way.

    There’s this one game that’s grown popular in the furry fandom. It’s called Fuga: Melodies of Steel.

    Get ready for a boatload.

    The game is…how do I say it?

    I really don’t appreciate it existing.

    I had the idea of presenting this to you because of both your horror postings and your railings against The Walking Dead, which I fully support now. At first, I just let bygones be bygones, but now I’m taking a stance.

    The game is essentially set in a fictional World War II like era and the Holocaust is on. One group of dog people is declaring itself the superior race and is targeting the entire cat species to have their life force sucked out of them. Yes, they’re rockin’ the Reich pretty hard. Twelve children, the oldest being twelve and the youngest being four, are forced to fight the Nazis in a tank after their families are taken hostage and/or killed. This tank features a weapon that, every time it’s used, costs the life of one of the children. One of the characters, a nine-year-old kid who is trying to get out of the Nazi life, has his family taken hostage down the road. If you don’t play your cards right, granted, he’ll commit suicide.

    I don’t care for the payoff because darkness induced audience apathy had set in the moment the story was previewed.

    To repeat:
    Children forced to participate in a war, the eldest is twelve while the youngest is four. Soul-devouring weaponry being powered by said child soldiers. Nazis targeting a specific race. Bigotry and genocide. Forcing a goddamn nine-year-old to commit suicide if you screw up. Also, twelve-year-old goes on a killing spree judging from a hidden movie if I understand correctly.

    I hate it.

    Before you make the suggestion, no, this isn’t how you “explore darkness.” This isn’t how you “break taboos.” This is how you get sent to psychological therapy if anything.

    Let me tell you a story of when I was in my high school art class. I was a budding cartoonist at this time, and I had so many ideas in my head. I have a written-down collection of ideas from since then about what I would make in the future. One of my ideas was something that I called “The Saddest Story.” No joke. Rest one hundred percent assured that I look back on the initial concept of this in total discomfort. The story center around an underground society of furries who have to deal with the works. They deal with inner demons, financial woes, unfulfilled ambitions, intolerance, bada bing. I thankfully am either planning to scrap the whole thing or tweak it majorly so it doesn’t come off as if Grave of the Fireflies and Barefoot Gen had a baby. I think now it’s taken the shape plot-wise, including a much-needed name change, of an underground society of furries fed up with a government profiting off peoples’ woes, and everyone all shares the dream of repopulating the surface world that was doomed by war. They’re ready to fight tooth and nail, no pun intended, for it. The noirish aesthetics will be restricted to simply just that, kinda like Big O.

    That’s the problem with today’s media. They use buzzwords like ‘dark,’ ‘edgy,’ ‘depressing,’ ‘angsty,’ ‘provocative,’ ‘tense,’ ‘dramatic,’ ’emotional,’ and a whole treasure trove of others just to make a cheap buck. Last time I checked, the tone of something was just a perception, not a selling point, and when you turn that perception into the selling point, then the ideas you are trying to present may as well be completely moot. Besides that, it’s not whatsoever intriguing when you swear off boundaries like that; it’s off-putting and disturbing. It may as well be Oscar bait for furries.

    What do you think?

  3. says

    I feel like even some of the worst content in the world deserves a home somewhere, but I’m OK with that home being wrapped in brown paper in the stained back room of a haunted strip mall. Fuga definitely sounds like a grody-ass mess. Big “no thanks” from this cat. But these standards are in part cultural. I like the first Evil Dead but somebody from Germany, whose sensibilities for violent content are much different from the USA, may find it unspeakably hateful.

    As to whether people who partake of dark content should get their heads checked, I don’t know. It seems like everything’s coming to a head these days, doesn’t it? The ability for every kind of content to get blasted out the windows everywhere in the world, content producers like TV and streaming services racing to the most sensational content possible, we’ve got millions of fairly middle-of-the-road or even progressive people openly fangirling about grody serial killers. I don’t like it, but how aberrant is that? Or is it not aberrant in itself, but the push for that content driving us all to darker places mentally?

    This is why I like content warnings and think we could use more of them. Let people decide for themselves what they can handle, and let the sensible decide what should be curtained off from main street. It isn’t censorship to let Mein Kampf exist with a surgeon general’s warning on the cover.

    Your furry epic sounds like it’s getting an overhaul with the wisdom of age on it. That’s great. Comicking is hard-ass work, I hope you make it happen.

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