Random Thunks

Happy Halloween ladies, and I mean that in the same way that Clancy Brown’s character in Highlander meant it, when he said it to those nuns.  It’s gonna be a busy one and I’ll probably turn in the last of my Spooktobers tomorrow, though they are in the works.  Tomorrow also the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I’m gonna be hella busy that day too.  In the meantime, allow me to share with you an example of my random thunks, from when I was on the john yesterday.

My cat came to meow for pets.  I called him “little duder” though he is little neuter.  As cat names spin out, I called him “Little Duderonomy,” a reference to “Old Deuteronomy” from Cats, which I’m only familiar with from videos mocking the film.  That got me thinking about Judi Dench playing Old Deut in the scary movie, and about the old testament book of Deuteronomy.

I don’t know from the bible, really.  I feel like Deuteronomy was a close neighbor of Leviticus, in the whole “this is still a religion of abject patriarchy and genocidal xenophobia” part of the works.  In that context, where “priestess” is a dirty word that will get you filleted like a salmon, Judi Dench as a cleric for cat religion becomes a bit amusing.

And that got me thinking about the differences between judaism and xtianity in how they approach their holy writ.  In studying demonology, I strayed into some rabbinical texts, and was struck by how much more scholarly they were than the xtian ones.  But that very density of thought, the layers and layers of analysis and (motivated) reasoning, was all in the service of adding mystique to harmful bullshit.  Bullshit that was, at its core, as simple as a total ass-pull.

As much as Agrippa would look like a basic bitch next to some of those rabbis, his system of categorizing and breaking down everything in the world into labels and spirits and numbers, it was just more appealing to me.  And that makes sense, because it was at least an indirect influence on Linnaeus, and subsequently all that ongoing work of piecing together the tree of life – the real tree of life, not the kabbalah – which is something I love to reflect on.

And that got me thinking about my own work in demonology, how I went searching for something like a canon of demons, found out it was a bullshitting free-for-all, and then hatched a foolish dream of bringing it altogether in a modern synthesis that irons out the contradictions.  If I did that, I would be putting reason and thought and structure onto a cartoonish mass of nonsense, which would make me better than those rabbis only in that I’m not also enforcing violent patriarchy.  I mean, that’s not nothing, but I wonder that I should be reiterating the errors of judaism and xtianity in my precious spare time.

That’s it, enjoy!

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Nine

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #29 — Eco-Horror and Nature

TITLE:  Homo Sapiens Vs Hedgehogus Rex

PREMISE:  An aging showgirl is for some reason treated like the new hotness by everyone who knows her.  Ah, that’s why.  This is a straight to cable horror / skin flick from 1993, and she’s the “big name” in the cast.

Tiffany Exquisite is minding her own showgirl business when a sweaty patron with a crush gives her an exotic pet as a gift.  Incidentally, we have little idea what the animal actor was.  Not a hedgehog, perhaps an obscure species of tenrec?

She names him Hedgehogus Rex because he’s big and a little scary.  Somehow he reproduces by releasing quills like spores, each growing into a replica of himself, and the horde runs amok.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The folly of man, causing species to go invasive.  Leave those beasts alone.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Homo Sapiens Vs Hedgehogus Rex"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Eight

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #28 — Witches and Wizards

TITLE:  Doris on my Mind

PREMISE:  Imma keep it real with you chief, this was a random semi-stylish looking result out of a pile of trash old AI attempts, so I’m just using it because it is easier than fixing something else.  I have no idea.  Lessee…

Doris wanted Sandra to really get it, maaan.  She tried to teach her about what magic is – that transcendent feeling in psychedelic music, the way reality is an electric membrane and we’re all sexy lizards sliding across it in a cosmic dance.

Well, there’s always mind control.  Doris takes possession of the younger woman’s mind, prying it open like rose petals or some other kinda yonic imagery.  How can Sandra resist the occult and keep her very soule, when Doris is on her mind?

HORROR ELEMENT:  Loss of the self, mind bondage babey.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "Doris on my Mind"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Seven

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #27 — Lost Media

TITLE:  Vollesfeuer

PREMISE:  Director Leo Puller of “Dr. Philliplier” fame had a slew of straight to cable and straight to video movies of questionable quality before his career was derailed with a stint in a Bulgarian prison.  Vollesfeuer was an entry to the “bizarre plots that are excuses to cobble stock footage of military craft into ostensible entertainment” genre, featuring the return of actor Constantin Sikorskiy, who played the “lanky Lux Interior-looking one” in Dr. P.

Good luck finding this one.  Bad luck if it finds you.  Cursed facts about the movie:  ONE, The style of the movie is straight out of the ’80s, despite being shot in the mid ’90s, possibly owing to shooting in post-Iron Curtain Slovakia.  TWO, Constantin was being poisoned with dioxin by the Bulgarians for making a joke about Bulgaria during a media event in Poland.  He looks old and decrepit compared to Dr. P, which was shot only four years earlier.  THREE, “The Commander” is played by a guy who looks like a zombie version of Johnny Cash, as if he’d died somehow three years before filming, and been poorly preserved.  His skin looks like corned beef dusted with white mold, but nobody acknowledges this during the movie.  FOUR, if you make it to the love scene in the third act, when Maretzka Polizavy lights the first candle, you die or something.

HORROR ELEMENT:  You die or something.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.  Yeah, the image was from the same set of AI fooleries that spawned my entry for the clone prompt.

fake VHS tape cover for "Vollesfeuer"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Six

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #26 — Werecreatures

TITLE:  Straightup Heckin’

PREMISE:  Tilly saw a stray dog with a necklace and tried to save that heckin’ cute pupper from homelessness.  While initially a good boy, it bites her and runs away on the night of the full moon.

She starts erupting with werewolf sores and other deformities, like in my treatment of this prompt from last year, “Touch Me I’m Sick.”  It goes farther than we see in that story.  When the deformities become too wild to bear, the body erupts and a new version of her emerges – still part dog, but without all the extra mouths and twisted paws.

Upon her last eruption, she is finally a full-on wolf, and a heckin’ cute pupper.  The price of beauty, eh?  A flashback reveals the first pupper was a survivor of the events of “Touch Me I’m Sick.”

HORROR ELEMENT:  Body horror, a loss of control, the usual werewoofin’ deal.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Straightup Heckin'"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Five

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #25 — Dreams & Nightmares

TITLE:  Hell Within Heaven

PREMISE:  Nancy needs a retreat from the workaday world in 1960s Los Angeles.  She reads about a nunnery in the San Fernando valley that’s expanding their consciousness like hippies, but without drugs.  Vatican approved despite the radical sound of it.  She takes a little vacation.  The nuns are doing experiments with shared dreaming, ostensibly through the power of prayer and meditation.

Secretly, this is all being facilitated by a mentally ill young nun with psychic powers, being taken advantage of by the mother superior in an abusive situation.  Nancy spends time in the dream world getting a new perspective on reality, but finds a dark side to the paradise that leads to the shocking truth (whatever that is lol).

HORROR ELEMENT:  Dreams starting out just surreal and benign, turning creepy.  Having one’s continued existence at the mercy of somebody else’s imagination.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.  The word “Heaven” there came out of the AI that mangled but still somehow legible, so I kept it.

fake book cover for "Hell Within Heaven"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Four

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #24 — Vampire

TITLE:  Not Every Kiss Ends in Sweet Bliss

PREMISE:  Koe is pregnant while her husband is using distant work as an excuse to step out and cheat.  She takes a midwife to help, the mysterious manic pixie dream girl Ning.  Strange things are happening in her town.  Rabbling types make rabbling noises about women falling ill, some dying, infants as well.  It turns into a vampire hunt.

Ning can detach her upper body to fly around and steal life from mothers and their children, and use her dangling organs as weapons to hang the vampire hunters by the neck.  Most of her victims get the quick and dirty treatment, but Koe is special.  She’s getting the full Carmilla, babey.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Oh, you know.  Blood and guts, sex and death, that kinda stuff.  I hope the ambiguous Asian characters the AI put all over this image don’t spell anything too absurd.  I feel like ‘shopping them out woulda messed up the composition.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Not Every Kiss Ends in Sweet Bliss"


–I thought the way I changed the original was kind of interesting, so including that below.


Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Three

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #23 — Western

TITLE:  Blasted

PREMISE:  This is what I was planning to write for the upcoming NaNoWriMo, beginning in 8 days.  Plans have changed, whatever.  The idea was very poorly fleshed out anyway.  A young sexy dude dies in a shootout, “blasted into the next world.”  That world is basically a “Soulsborne” version of the Wild West.  There are very few people aside from phantom glimpses of the living world, everyone is mutating into a macabre mess, and the only useful and obvious thing to do is go kill the gods in a series of boss fights.  Think I’m gonna flex my pansexuality on this one, if I ever get around to writing it.  Why not?

HORROR ELEMENT:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Souls#Gameplay

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake novel cover for "Blasted"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Two

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.  Also don’t miss my big catch-up post for missed days.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #22 — Southern Gothic

TITLE:  Charleston Sweat

PREMISE:  In 1960s Charleston, racial disparity was still egregious, and violence against protesters had already been going on for years.  Lazy rich rock and roll boys Dusty and Jim took drugs and drifted between the yacht club scene of Dusty’s parents and the black night club scene, where they sometimes played in rock bands slightly hipper than the Sparkletones.

They met Paula at a yachting to-do, and she begged them to show the world outside her sheltered upbringing.  Love triangle ensues, with Paula favoring the less sexy, more soulful and sad-eyed Jim.  Dusty can’t be cruel to her about it, but does find himself tempted to murder his BFF.  Meanwhile, Paula gets into drugs and such.

HORROR ELEMENT:  A background radiation of the horrific violence of racist oppression creeps around the edges of otherwise limpid and bright places.  There’s blood on the decks, matey.  The foreground white people realize on some level that they’re in a fantasy world build on enslaved flesh, but the hard work of doing anything meaningful about it is unimaginable.  The poison gets to them.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "Charleston Sweat"

Spooktober 2022, Day Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, and Twenty-One

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #18 — Revenant

TITLE:  Len Ross

PREMISE:  My parents were messed up people with an out of control life and three kids to haul around.  To get by they sometimes had to rely on help from parents that they did not love.  When we moved from California to Washington when I was very young, that meant switching from the paternal grandparents to the maternal set.

My sister’s birthday came around shortly after we got to this state.  Grandparents got her a gift – a cabbage patch kid, as was the thing at the time.  This was upsetting to my brother and I, then something like five and seven years old.  Why does she get something and we don’t?  We had been getting gifts at xmas, but all we got at b’days was cake.  We didn’t know birthday gifts were a thing.

To settle the acrimony, at some point my brother and I got cabbage patch kids.  Mine had hair made of little peach yarn loops similar to the color of his skin, and was named Len Ross.  I don’t recall how we played with those dolls, but we did.

But my brother and I grew into angry young men, in the usual way.  We blamed our childhood strife on our father’s drug use and, despite being into grunge, were very prejudiced against drug users.  When playing our Alice in Chains tape, we’d pause shortly after “Rooster” began and flip it, so the B side would start after “Junkhead” was over.  (Unrelated note, I now find the latter song darkly hilarious and never skip it.)

Len Ross, forgotten, lost, dead.  From the mist of time he emerges, now a twisted image of everything I once despised.  I’m back, father.  Can you spare me twenty-five dollars?  I need it for a greyhound ticket.  Just this one thing, man.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Honest art from me is bound to be scary lol.

Posters by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Len Ross"


SPOOKTOBER DAY #19 — Clown / Circus

TITLE:  Big Top Poppy

PREMISE:  Poppy the Clown is queen of the Van Klavert Big Top Travelling Circus.  She’s got all the clown chops, but dresses more like a showgirl, which turned out to be a crowd-pleasing combo.  While everybody does like her, behind the scenes some villainy is afoot.  Ringmaster Grooseus Van Klavert is a closeted clown chaser who takes out his inner strife on the young lady.

He uses his tyrannical control over the performers to get away with escalating public acts of sadism against Poppy for various imaginary offenses.  Sometimes these involve being locked inside the boxes or glass cages of escape artists and stage magicians.  This escalates from hours to whole nights at a time, when she isn’t needed for performance.

One day Poppy disappears and Grooseus is suspiciously mum about the reason why.  On the assumption he finally killed her, knife thrower Janice the Blade snaps.  She organizes the entire circus to dress up in her costume and haunt him, before hunting him down and killing him.  A lady performer with dwarfism and a soft spot for the vicious ringmaster finds Poppy alive in a chest in his private trailer and goes to prevent the mob justice, but is too late.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Psychosexual drama, oppression, violence, and murder.

fake book cover for "Big Top Poppy"


SPOOKTOBER DAY #20 — Nautical / Underwater

TITLE:  A Typhoon

PREMISE:  A young businessman, his wife, and her best friend are touring Southeast Asia, combining his business with their pleasure.  He works for a shitty US agricultural concern, cutting exploitative deals with local governments and businesses willing to fuck their own people to death – though he seldom sees the fruit of those efforts, and has no imagination for how dire the realities are.

A descendant of Spanish colonists, proud to have no local ancestry, has a fairy-tale European-styled hacienda on a small island in the Philippines.  Businessboy and his ladies take shelter there as a typhoon approaches.  The master of the house is very genial with them, but as they catch glimpses of his atrocities, the relationship sours.  They realize they are in a place where nobody checks the authority of a brutal patriarch, and nobody will know what happened to them if they never leave.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Wet wetness.  The violence of the elements and the violence of mans.  You don’t wanna know what happens to ladies in the Mermaid Room.

fake book cover for "a Typhoon"


SPOOKTOBER DAY #21 — Surreal Horror

TITLE:  Heaven Within Hell

PREMISE:  The Woman in the Red Dress lives in an abandoned, stripped-out church building.  Every day she wakes up there are masses of severed hands growing out of a well-like structure where the altar used to be.  She ferries them to an incinerator in the basement to get rid of them, shows a great distaste for them.  But she is getting more thin and ill, showing signs of starvation.  The hands look tempting – still disgusting, but tempting.  When her stomach growls, a demonic red face can be seen on it for a moment.  When her mind is contemplating something terrible, the face appears in her hair.

HORROR ELEMENT:  She starts eating the hands.  At first she’s careful to cook and season them just so, and still gags as she tries to force the meat down.  But eventually she just mashes them up and slurps them down raw.  Time passes and the demon face is no longer a phantom, but a physical growth across her chest and abdomen, like a parasitic twin.  She eats through that maw while her head lolls as if dead.  The end.

The other horror element is that the name makes no sense.  Have a nice day!

fake book cover for "Heaven Within Hell"