Spooktober 2023, Days Eleven through Twenty


Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over votes for.  As an additional challenge for myself, I wanted to come up with iconic monsters, like Barker’s cenobites or Silent Hill’s misshapen creatures, by addressing different aspects of creature design.  The idea was that if I’m not ignoring or forgetting any of the elements that can contribute to a monster’s success, I’m more likely to chance on a hot discovery, so each of my entries include Themes, Motifs, Colors, etc., as ways of describing the starring monsters.

That was the idea, but shortly after the event began some other participant pushed the emcee to add another layer of challenge with extra optional themes for each day.  Many of those themes were facetious, and as I compulsively included all of them, my ambition to do iconic monsters fell apart.  I still had the fields to fill out in my descriptions, but now what purpose are they serving?

My posters this year are more epic than last because I finally dropped a few bucks on Midjourney.  Midj can only rarely do outputs that work for me unmodified; almost all of these are worked over with web-based photoshop knockoff Photopea.  A very few actually include elements from DALL-E 2 and even Artbreeder, which has some fun new features to help it keep up with the big boys.  On posting, I haven’t done all the image tags alts and descriptions, so inaccessible!  I’ll try to get to that later.

BLANKET CONTENT WARNING (individual stories may have some as well):  Horror as a genre is inherently ableist on the regular.  Expect “psycho” and “insane” and for me to dabble in ableist tropes I wouldn’t normally allow, as part of my ableism policy.  Know that it’s just for an exercise in genre foolery that will never become a full-length creative work, and I mean nothing by it.  Insanity in horror films has fuckall to do with IRL mental illness; it’s just a bad joke, and one I let myself descend to in today’s batch.

1 — Surreal Horror (× Youtube/Streaming or Underwater or Anime)

CONTENT WARNING:  Shades of Child Sex Abuse.  Skip to DAY #12 to avoid!

TITLE:  The Stream

PREMISE:  Twitch (youtube/streaming) sponsored the making of a movie to prominently feature their platform, and gave hip and punky Japanese auteur Toshiaki Junichiro total creative license.  He came back with a meta-movie that was not flattering to the service, so they tried to suppress it.  Within the movie, streamer Nobu777omegA does streams where he silently comes into view of the cam and puts on obscure anime (anime).  Tonight’s selection was a VHS of children’s cartoon Amigyomi the Sweet Mermaid Girl.  There’s almost a complete original faux-retro anime shown within the movie, but it’s intercut with Nobu777omegA being a creepy freak.

In the screening room late at night, Cindy Blaschke of Twitch corporate is in the grip of paralysis.  She finally leaves the room during a scene of Nobu jacking off to cartoon baby mermaids, and walks the halls of Twitch HQ in a daze, haunted.  Making the call to bury the movie was easy.  Forgetting it was the hard part.  People and situations from her life began to have parallels, casting everyone she knows in the worst light (surreal).

Cursed Movie:  Themes: Pervy Creepery and Innocence Enslaved;  Motifs: Meta Meta and The Camera Eye;  Colors: Blue Filter Light;  Shapes: Fishbowls and Cartoon Baby Limbs and Goldfish Tails;  Textures: Otaku Slimes;  Powers: Molests Brains;  Places: Screens and Screens.

HORROR ELEMENT:  At the end of the story, Cindy went to her bed, which had turned into a shimmering round blue pool.  Exhausted, she slipped inside (underwater), where she became a cartoon mermaid in a fishbowl, held by huge greasy palms in the dark.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #12 — Dark Fantasy (× Isolation or Swashbuckler or Ice & Snow)

TITLE:  Josefina and Blasfemia vs. The Wall of Ice

PREMISE:  Blasfemia (née Ximura) finds her sister Josefina at the bottom of El Torre Alucine, where she finally escaped from (isolationed) dream life in a strange world devoid of magic.  Freshly empowered with her usual sorceries, Josefina joins Blasfemia in her (swashbucklery) war against The Ascetic Order of The Scourge Dragon.  But the Order expels them to The Northern Wastes (ice & snow), where the sisters must rally an army of rebels and desperate sad people to get back into the Lands of Weal.  The border is marked by a massive magical wall of ice, and before you can even think about burning your way through it, you must deal with the border monsters, who keep children in cages, and do tortures and such.

Border Monsters:  Themes: Overbearing Strength and Unthinking Obedience;  Motifs: Cruel Expressions and Bulging Veins;  Colors: White, Black, and Grey;  Shapes: Apes and Dogs;  Textures: Flesh and cloth have irregular boundaries, Some have chains or razor wire they drag like ghost chains;  Powers: None, Just Big and Crappy;  Places: They only exist north of the Wall of Ice.  If any make the mistake of going to the Wealside, they rapidly melt and evaporate.  The masters do not want to look upon the vileness they bring into the world.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Let’s be real.  It can’t be truly horrifying because my bad bitches will destroy any and all border monsters with their dark majesty and extreme brutalities.  Spooktober fail.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #13 — Cult (× Hollywood or Hallmark or Spy)

CONTENT WARNING:  This one will make a lot more sense if you watched The Idol or if you watch the video at the link below first.

TITLE:  The Idol, Season Two

PREMISE:  The Weeknd’s universally reviled TV show about a small Hollywood cult making good how bitches be lyin’ gets a second season.  In this one, Haim’s cousin in the CIA realizes Jocelyn would make an excellent spy and engages her to fetch the agency some killer blackmail on fictionalized Russian leader Piotr Shmutin.  To do this, she abandons her cultists to create a new group in Russia and cozy up to oligarchs.

Meanwhile, in a parallel plot, jealous Tedros takes back his cultists and pushes them to try starring in Hallmark movies about christian romance or whatever.  But it’s too small potatoes to get Jocelyn’s attention, so he pushes Hallmark to do a live show, where he can demonstrate his cool new flex, and mutate the culties into fancy monsters on international television.

Tedros Cultists:  Themes: Corrupted Youth and Enchantment;  Motifs: Hollywoodified Youth Culture – Piercings, Tattoos – Unconventional Bondage;  Colors: Flesh Tones, Red;  Shapes: They’re still human-like enough to be beautiful, in a wrong way;  Textures: Sweat-Moistened Flesh;  Powers: Make people think they are the coolest for no apparent reason;  Places:  The cult is still shacked up in Jocelyn’s place, waiting for her fabled return from Mother Russia.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Y’know, mutations ‘n’ shit.  I guess it’s a shame when pretty young people are manipulated into cults with the promise of celebrity a la scientologie, but in the Idolverse that usually turns out alright in the end.  I’m bettin’ those mutants will be well-loved.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #14 — Clown / Circus (× Disappearance or Hypnotism or Neil Breen Paranormal Thriller)

TITLE:  A Cruel Laugh

PREMISE:  Everyone remembers the movie that finally put Neil Breen’s (neil breen paranormal thriller) name in the mouths of Joe Public, back in good ol’ 2027.  Was it a good story?  Was it a good movie?  That’s subjective, but A Cruel Laugh seemed to pierce the psyches of those who watched it, to haunt their hearts for years after.

Breen played an aging clown in a circus where an evil clown kept getting away with murder.  The evil clown was a latin gigolo played by John Leguizamo in what would tragically be his last performance.  It was a normal enough thriller up until the third act reveal of supernatural powers in the central cast.  Juan de Bozo had been snaring his victims with the power of mesmerism (hypnotism) and the love interest lady clown Slaphilda Bombas had not disappeared because she was murdered, but rather because she used a magic power (disappearance) to escape Juan, and didn’t know how to reappear until later in the proceedings.  The screenplay somehow kept forgetting whether she was simply invisible or fully ethereal and intangible.

At last Breen’s Stone Gonzo, still believing Slaphilda to be murdered, wrought vengeance upon Juan by manifesting the power of telekinesis.  He tormented him for a while by throwing scarves and oversized shoes at him, but finally just ripped him in half, in a massive spray of CG blood.  Slaphilda appeared in the rain of blood drops and made passionate love to Stone for seven full minutes of uncensored screen time.

Super Clowns:  Themes: Repression and Resentment;  Motifs: Intense Expressions, Elaborate Hand Gestures;  Colors: Clowntastic Rainbow Puke;  Shapes: Puffy Clothes with Oversized Accoutrements;  Textures: Grease Paint and Monkey Brains;  Powers: Mind Control, Invisibility / Intangibility, Telekinesis;  Places: The Big Top.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Clown sex.  I mean, I’m down, but I’m guessing most people aren’t.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #15 — Revenant / Revenge (× Geezer Teaser/Psycho Biddy or Wild West or Killer Animal)

TITLE:  Body of Evidence 2: Stop Using Sex as a Weapon

PREMISE:  The heir to the Dino De Laurentiis cinematic empire was the world’s biggest “Body of Evidence” fan, and dug up Madonna and Willem Dafoe to play in a sequel.  Somehow Rebecca Carlson (psycho biddy) survived being shot and presumed dead (revenant), rescued by some dude she was banging.  Defense attorney Frank Dulaney (geezer teaser) is the object of her revenge (revenge).  But he’s already ruined his own life, losing his marriage, ending up in a tourist ghost town (wild west) playing a consarned prospector for gin money.

Producer Dinosaur Junior is so hot for the idea of Madonna that he still thinks of her as very sexy, which plays well with the ol’ gal’s state of mind.  They agree she should be ultranaked for movie, and we all know Willem is down to do full frontal.  So her character tries a new variant on her “fucking people to death” power called “fucking them insane” and breaks the old lawyer’s mind with carnal knowledge.  By the end of the movie he sees himself drowning in snakes (killer animal) every time she makes him fellate the strap.

Rebecca Carlsons:  Themes: Sex and Death,  Motifs: Sex and Death;  Colors: Peroxide Hairs and Painted Faces;  Shapes: Skinny Old Lady Body… of Evidence!;  Textures: Plastic Surgery,  Powers: Sexy Naked Sex;  Places: Rattlesnake Gulch, galdurnit.

HORROR ELEMENT:  You know I’m into it, but I dunno if the average person wouldn’t consider this horror.  Maybe.  Maybe.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #16 — Alternate Dimension (× Lynchian or Competition or Creepypasta)

CONTENT WARNING:  This one will make a lot more sense if you know about “The Backrooms” – a sort-of public domain horror concept associated with “Creepypasta.”  Good luck with that shit lol.

TITLE:  Backrooms Boogie

PREMISE:  Lonely hearts inspired by Shall We Dance?, retirees, youths in need of low impact physical therapy, well, sometimes they get invited to take dance lessons via flyers at the community center.  Of the damned.  If you no-clip through the dance floor into the backrooms (creepypasta, alternate dimension), well, cheer is mandatory (competition), and the dance might last forever.

The Backrooms may be the most Lynchian (lynchian) creepypasta, despite being inspired by video game glitches.  What happened to Laura Dern’s Nikki Grace in Inland Empire, if not a fall into another reality – with its own looping inescapable geography?  Grab an almond water.  Welcome to the dance.

Contestants:  Themes: Insomnia and Illness;  Motifs: Banal Visuals and Overt Menace from Things That Should Not Feel Threatening;  Colors: Yellow, People Colors;  Shapes: People Shapes, Lurching or Stooped or Spasmodic;  Textures: Lined Faces, Oily Skin;  Powers: Dance Forever or Get Gone;  Places: The Backrooms.

HORROR ELEMENT:  How can anything be scary anymore?  Altered states.  The surreal evokes those times when you are bent by lack of sleep, or more dire circumstances.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #17 — Summer Camp / Cabin (× Conspiracy or Lovecraftian or Mutants)

CONTENT WARNING:  FUCK!  How many of these are shit-ass inside jokes?  This one will make a lot more sense if you’re familiar with the ways NaNoWriMo – the org, not the concept – have been fucking up their PR so badly they may never recover.  Wish I had a funny video to share about it.  It’s really quite amusing.

TITLE:  Web 2.0

PREMISE:  When NaNoWriMo ditched the campnano website in order to fold everything under the banner of their messed up ass web 3.0 site (conspiracy?), some late hangers on were still in a cabin at the time it was deleted.  They found themselves trapped in a virtual cabin (cabin) from which the doors had vanished.  Only a few laptops offer some possible means of escape, if the writers can figure out programming type stuff with no API and no prior experience.

But obstacles.  They are slowly mutating into horrible-looking monsters.  If they return to the real world, will the mutations (mutants) become real as well?  It’s like, revulsion of the self and outsiderness and the world moving on without you, maaan (lovecraftian).

Also a kaiju-sized Heather Dudley occasionally tears the roof off to threaten them with mod powers, before plopping the roof down and disappearing again into the mists of interweb.  When will she ban them from existence?

Mutant NaNo Kids:  Themes: Dorkery and Awkwardness;  Motifs: Viking Helmets and Pencils;  Colors and Textures: Human with Accents of Metal and Fur;  Shapes: The humans are abstracted into cartoonish proportions like Monsters Inc background freaks;  Powers: Sort of getting some writing done sometimes;  Places: The Internet Archive, if they’re lucky.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Obsolescence?  It ain’t that spooky.  More Spooktober Fail.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #18 — Dreams & Nightmares (× Giallo or Cats or Silent Film)

TITLE:  Le rêve d’un chat

PREMISE:  In 1891 one of the lesser known French decadents wrote a tawdry tale of murder framed as the dreams of a cat (dreams & nightmares, cat, giallo).  Twenty-two years later, an aristocratic fan bankrolled a cinematic adaptation (silent film).

Le rêve prefigured the slasher genre, as nothing more than a series of murders with a razor-thin pretense of story to connect them.  In this, contemporary critics regarded it as abhorrent trash.  The fans regarded it as truly evocative of dreams, speaking to some fascinating dark truth.

The Original Slasher:  Themes: Anonymity and Voyeurism;  Motifs: Scraping and Slashing;  Colors: Shit be Black and White;  Shapes: The killer wears a long, dark leather coat, black leather boots and gloves.  Their face is partially obscured by a hood and not as manly as one might expect – eyes not visible, mouth impassive.  Textures: Leather and the Metal of Blades;  Powers: Kill ’em All;  Places: The beautiful victims are lounging around a house that doesn’t make sense, doing mindless activities that don’t matter.  The way a cat would imagine human lives.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The idea of a killer just getting away with terrible deeds was too dark to contemplate for some people, so many stories of the time included a “lol it was all just a dream or a trick” ending.  But in making this the dream of a cat, the author implied our lovely fuzzy friends would kill us all if given the chance.  Must have been a dog person.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #19 — Gothic (× Musical or Tropical or Factory)

TITLE:  A Fábrica de Pianos

PREMISE:  The Piano Factory is a slightly unusual entrant to the paperback gothic genre of the sixties and seventies, in that it was written by a Brazilian and set in Brazil.  Other than that, it was a pretty stock affair.  Dilapidated manor, young lady in jeopardy, brooding byronic dude.

Visconde Agostinho Soares ruled a stretch of jungle with one significant money-making industry to offer: a piano factory.  But he mismanaged it, abusing and driving away anybody who once worked there, and became reclusive in middle age, watching his fortune dwindle away as the vines crept through organ pipes and piano frames.

A bank sends a young lady to evaluate whether it’s worth acquiring the estate from him and they develop an abusive relationship.  Some of the visconde’s remaining servants try to protect her, more just look for petty excuses to be cruel to her or each other.

Things escalate through scenes of people getting dropped in snake pits, crushed by chandeliers, trampled by peccaries, or shredded like cheese on piano wires.

Visconde Agostinho:  Themes: Hatred of Self and of Others, Civilization as a Disguise for Beasts;  Motifs: Cruel Faces and Hands;  Colors: A Shadow at the Eyes, The Sun on His Skin;  Shapes: A Silver Fox… Of Doom;  Textures: Manly Hands Upon Thee;  Powers: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, Ooh. Also Money.  Places: The Estate, The Piano Factory, and The Jungle.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Love hurts, love scars, as Nazareth sang.  Whaddyagonna do?  Astrud flees in the bright light of day, eschewing gothic convention, but falls down stairs and dies of dehydration as water trickles by.  Agostinho keeps watch over her until she is gone, and the end leaves the question open – what became of the beast?

SPOOKTOBER DAY #20 — Cryptid (× Mockbuster/Sharknado-Style or Eco-Horror or Stoner/Psychedelic)

TITLE:  Lizzie Lives

PREMISE:  The Lizard of Loch Lochy lives (cryptid)!  Why is there a Lake Lakey in Scotland?  Who cares?  It has its own cryptid, and she’s at it again.  Maybe there was never a Lizzie outside of legend, before the chemical dumping (eco-horror).  Maybe an escaped pet lizard mutated into a giant menace.  But now we have to deal with it (mockbuster/sharknado-style).

Scientists are dealing with it, until throuple of stoners (stoner/psychedelic) Alisdair Cringe, Blurissa, and MacDhui get into the giant lizard tranquilizers and accidentally unleash Lizzie on the burgeoning metropolis of um… Invergloy.  idk, on goog street view the area looks like it has a population of six.

Lizzie:  Themes: Nature in Chains, Explosive Rage;  Motifs: Claws That Snag and Teeth That Pierce;  Colors: Grey, Dorsal Splashes of Blue, Neck Turns Red When Angry;  Shapes: More of a Natural Lizard Bod than Nessie;  Textures: Scales Not So Rugose as Those of Gojira;  Powers: Embiggen;  Places: Loch Lochy and Invergloy.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The Insignificance of Human Life Before the Power of Nature.

Sadly the last days of the event will not likely have posters.  Covers.  Whatever these things are.  I’m very busy and unlikely to catch up.  Might not even get the text version of ’em done at this rate.  But twenty is better than nothin’, amirite?

Spooktober 2023, Days One through Ten


Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  I have always liked the idea of creating iconic monsters, like the Silent Hill guys, or the Cenobites, etc.  To that end, and as an additional challenge for myself, I came up with a way to break down the existing iconic monsters, to make sure I’m addressing different aspects of creature design.  The idea is that if I’m not ignoring or forgetting any of the elements that can contribute to a monster’s success, I’m more likely to chance on a hot discovery.  Putting that to the test this Spooktober, each of my entries include Themes, Motifs, Colors, Shapes, Textures, Powers, and Places, as ways of describing my starring monsters.

That was the idea, but shortly after the event began some jokers thought it would be cool to add another layer of challenge with optional additional themes for each day.  Many of those optional themes were kind of facetious, and as I compulsively tried to include all of them, my ambition to do iconic monsters disintegrated.  I still had the fields to fill out in my descriptions, but now what purpose are they serving?  I dunno.

My posters this year are a little more epic because I finally caved to paying a few bucks for Midjourney.  Midj can only very rarely do outputs that work for me unmodified; almost all of these are modified with web-based photoshop knockoff Photopea.  A very few actually include elements from DALL-E 2 and even Artbreeder, which has some fun new features to help it keep up with the big boys.  On posting it I haven’t done all the tags and alts, so inaccessible!  I’ll try to get to that later.


TITLE:  Collecting Dust

PREMISE:  Ghosts are usually mere phantoms of their former selves, with little will to survive, pantomiming the emotions of their own personal hells until they disintegrate after a few or a few hundred years.  But some few are driven to survive, to rage against the dying of the light.  They awaken to the realities of their new world – the world of the dead – and get by in the only ways possible there.  Basically, you need to find the best hiding place ever, or you need to power up, by feeding on weaker ghosts.

A collector folds the ghost of a young lady into his essence, to use her trauma and her power to extend his own unlife, as he has done many times before.  He feels like he should honor those victims by holding some of their memories and essence in reserve, not letting them be forgotten, but he keeps more of this particular ghost intact than usual.  Is it love?  How do you love somebody who has become part of yourself?  Because you did the supernatural predator thing to them?

Collectors:  Themes: Bowerbirds and Landsknechte;  Motifs: Cloth, Sewing Materials, Junk Drawer Contents;  Colors: Monochrome, Ivory White to Sepia Black;  Shapes: Humans, Sometimes with Other Human Parts Grafted or Overlaid like Double Exposure, Renaissance-Baroque Cut in Clothing;  Textures: Bone, Translucent Ectoplasm, Teeth, Thread, Lace, Pale Wood;  Powers: Absorbing Ghosts, Classic Ghostly Distortions of Space, Time, and Life / Death Energies;  Places: The world of the dead is smaller than the world of the living, consisting of places ghosts might dwell, with sludgy rotten chaos between them.  Basically, there’s no equivalent of a place so remote no human would reach it, so everything is compressed.

HORROR ELEMENT:  This is the afterlife. No heaven or hell, no way out, just a continuation of the dreary exploitation and emotional torments of being alive.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #2 — Subterranean (× Dance or Asian Horror or War)

TITLE:  Conrad’s Sojourn in the Mausolean Deeps

PREMISE:  An Alice in Wonderland type scenario, with a sexy young gothic man with long black hair (asian horror lol) finding a graveyard leads to a dreamworld of magic (subterranean).  The creatures there are in eternal war (war) with each other.  Are they real?  Does any of this matter?  Is this just some shit he is imagining as he lays dying in a crypt where nobody can find him?

The Dominant Faction, The Crystalline Empire:  Themes: The Falsity of Romance, Performance (dance);  Motifs: Imitation Nature;  Colors: Pastel Rococo or Jewel Tones;  Shapes: Humanoid and Artificial;  Textures: Sculpted, Manufactured, Painted, Mineral, Wood, Metal;  Powers: Industrialized Murder;  Places: The lowest layers of the Mausolean Deeps are crystallized into pure artifice, an endless rococo mansion interspersed with garden caverns.

The Insurrection, The Worms of Wrath:  Themes: Fury and Insanity;  Motifs: Faerie Tales and Napoleonic War;  Colors: Earth Tones to Black, Jewel Accents;  Shapes: Humanoid and Chimerae, Plant and Animal Features;  Textures: Fur, Leather, Felt, Rustica;  Powers: Chaos;  Places: The uppermost layers of the Mausolean Deeps are rootbound caverns, leading down to the warzone with the enemy.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Obvious Alice in Wonderland scenario.  But wouldn’t that suck to really be in an absurd situation with a bloodthirsty edge?  Or is that too real to be compelling in fiction?

SPOOKTOBER DAY #3 — Cursed Object (× Chick Flick or Industrial or Paranoia)

TITLE:  Holy Matrimony!

PREMISE:  A Lebanese christian immigrant lady is getting married to an WASPy American dude, and her future sister-in-law wants everything to be perfect in the 21st century bridal industry sense (chick flick).  She buys an antique middle eastern brass vase from a sweaty guy who is asking way below market value, and brings it to the bridal shower as a gift.  It’s wrapped in papers covered in writing, and jammed up with a cruddy clay seal set in place with cruddy wax.  A few glasses of wine in and the bride and future sis try to open the seal together.

Big mistake.  ‘Twas the brazen vessel (cursed object) spoken of in The Sworn Testament of Solomon.  Demons possess many party-goers and random peeps in the neighborhood.  The clay seal contained Solomon’s ring and the wrapping paper had the Testament to explain its use for the ladies.

Solomonic Demons:  Themes: Cravenness, Corruption, and Bullying;  Motifs: Unnatural Light and Distortion, Like Iridescence and Rippling Heat Waves,  Colors: Vivid Human and Animal Hues;  Shapes: Mostly Human, Some Chimeric Elements;  Textures: Scales, Fur, Coarse Hair, Beautiful Flesh – Like the Creatures in a Fundie End Times Pamphlet;  Powers: Super Strength, Poisoning, Telekinesis, Summoning Insects, etc.;  Places: Whitebread Suburbia and The Utility Facilities on the Other Side of the Hedges.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Who is demon possessed and who is not?  Unwilling to look bonkers from yelling “out, demon!” at friends and neighbors, it becomes a social puzzle (paranoia).  The final confrontation with Lucifer takes place in the tunnels of a local waterworks (industrial).


SPOOKTOBER DAY #4 — Body Horror (× Medical or Road Trip or Kiddie Horror)

TITLE:  Bobby Nelson Vs. The Zits

PREMISE:  Bobby (kiddie horror) has bad acne (body horror) and tries an experimental medication on them (medical).  The Zits leave his body as little homonculi that grow human-sized and murderous.  Only he can defeat them, by shoving them back into his skin.  Monster hunting uncles as thinly veiled parodies of the Supernatural boys take him in pursuit, in the back of their muscle car (road trip).

The Zits:  Themes: Building Pressure and Release;  Motifs: Corruption, Acne Gone Wild;  Colors: Green, Amber, Pink;  Shapes: Giant Fetuses;  Textures: Slime;  Powers: Endless Regeneration, Slime Bursts;  Places: The Clinic, The Junior High, Route 666.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Puberty sucks.  Buff uncle mans make Bobby feel like a gross little nerd.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #5 — Aliens / Space (× Apocalypse or Victorian or Beach)

TITLE:  Darwin’s Finches

PREMISE:  The Galapagos Islands (beach).  Charles Darwin (victorian) is studying the wildlife when alien spores (alien) get into the plant life.  Finches eat the seeds, then get an appetite for human brains – and a high reproductive rate.  When your brain is eaten by a finch, the bird pilots your body like a mech, makes you pull eggs out of your ears and stick them in other people.  First the crew of The Beagle, next the world (apocalypse).

Alien Finches:  Themes: Survival of the Fittest;  Motifs: Eggs and Feathers;  Colors: Yolk, Blood, Mottled Earth Tones of Feathers;  Shapes: Birdy Profiles;  Textures: Bristles and Fluff, Crystalline Shells and Slimy Drips;  Powers: Get in the Fucking Robot Shinji (memes);  Places: The Galapagos Islands.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Bird-brains are coming to get you, Barbara.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #6 — Devils & Demons (× 1970s or Soap Opera or Gangster)

TITLE:  Your Heart Belongs to Me

PREMISE:  1970s (1970s) TV show (soap opera) set in a hospital.  Nurses, doctors, administrators, patients, security guards, janitors, etc… they’re all having hot, naked affairs.  But you need other kinds of plots, so I guess La Cosa Nostra (gangster) is stealing organ donations or something.

The show was ordinary enough, but got cancelled on pressure from the Vatican when an attempt at moralizing backfired.  The writers had been ordered to demonstrate that the sinful actions of the characters were wrong, and chose to do so by making it the influence of a hot succubus nurse (devils & demons).  But the public loved the succubus and demanded they write her into more and more of the show.

Simonia Mefistofilli:  Themes: Passion and Excitement, Delight in Decadence;  Motifs: Sexy and Nurse;  Colors: Olive Skin, Pale Green Eyes, Thick but Luscious Make-up;  Shapes: Va Va Voom;  Textures: Soft Skin;  Powers: Stoke the Sinful Within;  Places: Hell and Santa Maria’s Hospittali.  Or however you spell that shit in Italiano. 🤌

HORROR ELEMENT:  Don’t have hot naked affairs in piles of stolen organs.  Jesus said.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #7 — Folklore (× Art House or Home Invasion or Teen)

TITLE:  Werner Herzog Sold Me to One Direction in The Purge  um…  Karasu Kiriyu

PREMISE:  J-Pop star Kiriyu X Yama makes life weird for everyone around him (arthouse).  Fumi, the daughter (teen) of his manager Mari, has a romance with him.  But what happens when the manic pixie dream boy’s original band comes back for revenge, flapping down chimneys (home invasion) and battering the windows of their home in the mountains with feathered wings?  Those mofos are crow goblins – karasu tengu – and so is Kiriyu.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Tengu (folklore):  Themes: The Freedom of Rock, Savagery, and Transcendant Beauty;  Motifs: Feathers of Course, and Other Birdy Details;  Colors: Shiny Black and Pale Grey,  Shapes: Punky Boys, Birdy Silhouettes;  Textures: Taut Skin, Bristling Feathers;  Powers: Shape Shifting, Flight, Illusion;  Places: The Hip Parts of Osaka (do those exist?), Backstage, Skyscrapers, a Mountain Mansion.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The concept of shapeshifters treated abstractly again, like in my previous spooktobers Touch Me I’m Sick and its sequel.  Kiriyu himself could be seen with a single claw, with wings growing out of his eyes, with bird heads for fingers, whatever.  His bandmates invade the home in a series of increasingly surreal horror events.  At last, the horror is love lost, as Kiriyu just flies away with Fumi’s heart.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #8 — Witch / Wizard (× Grindhouse or 1980s or Video Game)

TITLE:  Shredders

PREMISE:  Scotty used to be physically active, but got into video games and ended up bumming around the house all the time, enfeebled.  Even though his new pal Rico was long-haired, his parents were just glad the dude could convince him to get out of the la-Z-boy.  Little did they know, Rico wanted to get Scotty involved in the IRL version of (video game) Sk8 or Die.

The world of extreme skate boys (1980s) was improbably sleazy and stereotypical (grindhouse).  Greasy bookies, mobsters, fast girls with wall-o-bangs, boys with bare midriffs, spray-paint and cardboard and blood on the cement.  But Rico isn’t just bringing Scotty into that world for funsies and moneys.  It’s about the spiritual side of skating, man (witch/wizard).  The place where you lose yourself and find yourself all over again.

Shredders:  Themes: The Apollonian and The Dionysian;  Motifs: Young Mens in Motion and Painfully Bright Skies;  Colors: Black and Blue with Streaks of Red;  Shapes: Skinny Bods with Scant but Baggy Clothes;  Textures: Flesh and Bone;  Powers: Touching the Godhead When They Should Be Seeing Stars,  Places: Night and Day, School and Concrete Hell.

HORROR ELEMENT:  How much skin are you willing to lose, how much of your body will you destroy, to free your soul?  Scotty and Rico go all the way, and leave nothing but streaks of blood and broken decks on their way to Nirvana.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #9 — Southern Gothic (× Parody or Holiday or Virus)

TITLE:  Columbus Day in Paradise

PREMISE:  The US Virgin Islands (southern). Columbus Day (holiday) means not much more than a different theme in cocktail lounge decor.  But a Taino descendant waitress catches a freaky fever (virus), and pressured into working through her illness (gothic), spends all day hallucinating the atrocities of Cristoforo Colombo, overlaying her day-to-day sights of tourists and tax scoundrels sleazing their time away.

Colonialism:  Themes: Greed and Dehumanization;  Motifs: Torture and Genocide;  Colors: Blood;  Shapes: Shackles;  Textures: Wounds;  Powers: “Manifest Destiny;”  Places: The World That Was Lost and The World That Remains.

HORROR ELEMENT:  I ain’t gonna reiterate the reasons Columbus’s name should be as hated as Hitler’s, but u can google it to see what our heroine was seeing.  At the climax of the story a manager forced her to watch a remedial customer service video which, through her fever, became a very grim parody (parody).

SPOOKTOBER DAY #10 — Cyberpunk (× Caper/Heist or Lifetime/Mom Movie or Erotic Thriller)

TITLE:  Love Heist

PREMISE:  In the ’90s Cinemax used to air a few different genres of movies as the night wore on, all very low budget: softcore erotica, action adventure and horror films.  On the one hand, movies with the ilk of Shannon Tweed and Julie Strain; on the other, Billy Blanks and Don “The Dragon” Wilson.  For one golden moment, some crazy-ass producer crossed the streams, and Love Heist was born.

In a dystopian future (cyberpunk), minds are managed by corporations, emotions doled out for extortion prices to a desperate public.  Billy Blanks and Shannon Tweed are regular joes (lifetime/mom movie), firefighters in the suburbs of NeoCyberVanCouver.  But they are tired of their loveless marriage, and hatch a wild scheme to steal love (caper/heist) from EmoCo Inc’s DeathTower.  With kickboxing and sex (erotic thriller).

EmoCo Inc’s DeathTower:  Themes: Soulless Crapitalist Reselling of Basic Human Needs;  Motifs: Stainless Steel and Vending Machine Interfaces;  Colors: The Blue Light Omnipresent in These Genres;  Shapes: Probably Those Generic Alien Knockoff Hallways;  Textures: Cold Metal;  Powers: Sell You Emotions;  Places: DeathTower, a Tower of Death.

HORROR ELEMENT:  OK, not exactly horror.  I think their emotional control units are fried while fighting their way thru the tower, and feel love for each other even tho they lost.  Aww!  Queue five minute sex scene.

Racist Against the Irish

Is my subconscious mind racist against the Irish?  Insert “it’s more likely than you think” meme.

So I was dreaming stuff inspired by my actual childhood (a lot of walking around with my siblings punctuated with tedious domestic strife), but mashed up with TV’s The Sopranos – a show I only have a pop culture impression of.  Dad was fully Tony, the rest of us were characters that didn’t exist.  My sister was getting a ride from one of Tony’s boys, who was trying to molest her even tho I was in the backseat.  We tussled a bit, then parted ways.  Tony beat him to death while feeling slightly bad about it.

They leave a calling card for some Asian gangsters to frame him and dump the body in a crowded police precinct lobby.  For some reason the crowd broke into song.  No dance, but they did do a light show with laser pointers.

Cut to some kind of meeting with the Irish mob, led by a modern “Ma Kelly” type.  She praises Tony’s cooking  (she was holding a calzone) and then intros her daughter with, “All rise, for ‘God Save America,’ from the musical ‘Annie’.” (nonexistent)  The girl starts lalala-ing the intro for uncomfortable minutes, until her mom interrupts with, “why don’t you sing something nice by Metallica?”  She meant to imply Metallica’s (nonexistent) patriotic song, and cut the mic when the girl guessed wrong (“Sad but True”).

This all took place in a sportball field by an underpass, with colorful fall leaves strewn about.  The mostly Irish audience were falling down drunk, like in another dream where they had to fight ninjas and were so insensate they didn’t mind getting slaughtered.

At the end of the dream I’m Junior Soprano again, waiting in a car with my sister, and I tell her, “It’s great how you don’t kill people who bother you.”  She’s dismissive but I’m like, “You and I both know that’s a real skill, c’mon.”

The End.

Racism against the Irish in the USA isn’t the same thing it used to be, of course.  Irish people were allowed to be considered white and that’s all she wrote.  Now they’re actually part of a problem like the rest of us honkies.  Aside from some very weird anticatholic throwbacks (are there any left since Jack Chick died?), nobody here is racist against them in a meaningful way.

Except me when I’m asleep.  What’s up with that?

still atheist

if there is a god that is good, it would not condemn people for the crime of disbelieving the unbelievable.  if there is a god that condemns people for disbelieving the unbelievable, that is an evil god, and the very bravest way you can live your life is in utter defiance of such a being.  amirite ladies?  old idea, i know, but worth stating out loud from time to time.

meet great american satan!

anybody going to be near the northeast corner of the winco parking lot in federal way washington within a half hour?  you could meet great american satan, in a pitiful state, waiting for further dental treatments.  act now while supplies last!