Funny Honey

FunnyHoney

Sometimes as an artist I feel like it’s natural to occasionally question everything you’re doing and ask yourself if you’re doing it the best way you can. I guess I’m having one of those moments where I’m wondering if I’m on the right path, if I’m writing about the right things, if I’m choosing the right projects, and if I’m putting myself out there in the right way.

I think these moments of self-doubt make us stronger in the end. So I’m just going to ride this out and wait until I feel strong in my art again.

Please enjoy the final installment of The Cockroaches Waltz at Midnight, and this picture with my funny mask.

With Screams and Axes,

Mae

 

The Cockroaches Waltz at Midnight

Art looked at the guitar in his hand, feeling the places where the strings should be. He looked it over searching for any other damage. The strings were gone, but they had been taken off clean, and nothing else had been broken. It was just irritating, really. Art told himself that the old couple was just doing this to fuck with him, that it was probably some stupid joke, but he felt the despair well up inside him. He was unemployed and he didn’t have any strings. What did he have left?

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He looked at the time and saw that it was only 5 a.m. He dialed Marta’s number. He knew that he shouldn’t, he knew that she was asleep and there was a good chance she wouldn’t answer, but he needed to talk to someone. Maybe she would talk to him.

“Hello?” She picked up just as Art was convinced it was going to go to voicemail.

“Hi” he said, relieved to hear her voice.

“Art? What time is it?” She asked. She sounded sleepy and confused.

“It’s five in the morning. I’m sorry I’m calling so early,” he said.

“Are you okay?” She sounded more coherent now, and Art felt pleased by the hint of concern in her voice.

“Some people robbed the gas station tonight and I got fired,” he said, starting to tell her the whole story (but omitting the scary thing he’d seen in the woods). “And then my landlords fed me cockroach meatloaf.”

“That nice, old couple?” She asked, not believing him. “Are you sure it wasn’t an accident?”

“I don’t know, maybe. But they did seem to think it was awfully funny.” Art grumbled. “And now I was just checking out my guitar and all the strings are missing. Someone took them.”

“You think they took your guitar strings?” She asked.

“Someone did,” Art said. “Anyway…” He wasn’t sure what else to say.

“Are you okay, Art?” Marta asked.

“I guess,” Art said. “I just think this is a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be.”

Sitting on his bed, Art noticed five cockroaches crawl into the middle of the floor. They stopped when they reached the center and seemed to wait. Art tried to ignore them. Then Art heard a knocking. Like someone was pounding on the front door of the house. He wanted Marta to say something that would make him feel better.

“I’m sorry Art. You knew it was going to be hard being out on your own without your parents.”

“Yeah,” Art agreed. “And I miss you.”

From the living room, Art heard the grandfather clock strike six. The chimes sounded louder than they usually did. At the sound of the clock, the roaches on the floor began to scurry in tiny circles.

“Art,” Marta sighed. He was afraid of what she would say next. “I miss you too.” She admitted, as though he had forced her confession.

From outside his door, Art heard a creaking on the steps, as though someone was walking up to his room. More cockroaches gathered in the center of the room with the others. There were so many that Art picked up his feet off the floor to give them room. What were they all doing? Why were there so many?

“Can I see you soon?” Art asked, keeping an eye on the roaches. “Before you go to school?”

“I don’t know if that would be a good idea,” Marta said.

The clock downstairs struck seven. The chimes were loud and the discordance hurt Art’s head. He thought the clock must be broken.

“We could just hang out,” he said, shouting over the noise. “We don’t have to go on a date or anything.”

“Wouldn’t it just turn into a date though?”

The clock struck eight, made a loud clattering noise that sounded like someone dropping china plates inside a piano, then struck nine, ten, and eleven. The cockroaches were moving across the floor in a frenzy. Art could hear someone running up and down the stairs outside his door.

“Art, what’s all that noise?” Marta asked.

A knocking started on his door. The cockroaches began making a high pitched hissing sound. The room filled with a sour smell.

“Who is it?” Art shouted at the door. “What?!” He screamed. The pounding continued. “Marta?” He shouted into the phone. But she wasn’t there anymore. Maybe she had hung up.

The clock struck twelve and everything went quiet. The cockroaches stopped hissing, the pounding on the door stopped, and the house echoed with the soft chimes of the clock. There was a moment of silence where Art found himself holding his breath.

Then the door to the attic creaked open. In the doorway stood a dark figure. The cockroaches scurried towards and around the figure, crawling everywhere. The figure took a step into the bedroom and slammed the door behind him. The cockroaches took this as a sign and ran towards Art, engulfing him in their tiny bodies. He tried to scream, but they entered his mouth the moment he opened it. The dark figure laughed and laughed.

Zombie Girl

ZombieGirl

It feels like it’s been such a long week. Was I bathing in blood only last Sunday? I guess time moves differently when it feels like you have so much to do and so many projects to work on. I’m working on a lot of exciting stuff that I hope to be able to share with you all someday soon!

In the meantime, here’s another installment of “The Cockroaches Waltz At Midnight.”

With Screams and Axes,

Mae

 

The Cockroaches Waltz At Midnight

“Thank you,” Art said as he was handed a chipped china plate heaping with meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy. “This looks good.”

“How was work today, Dearie?” Mrs. Steven asked him.

“Bad,” Art said, salting his potatoes. “I got fired.”

“Too bad,” she said.

“Keep your chin up, Sonny,” Mr. Steven boomed, slapping Art on the back. “Something will come up, I’m sure of it.”

Art didn’t feel much like speaking about his former job anymore and set to eating his dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Steven made chit chat with each other, discussing whether it would rain and what their favorite flavor of Jell-O salad was. That’s when Art noticed something crunchy in his meatloaf. Art pulled something out of his mouth. It was the top half of a cockroach. The head looked up at Art. The Stevens burst out laughing as Art dropped the cockroach on the tablecloth. Then more of the insects appeared, crawling out from under the serving bowls and scooting on the table cloth. They kept laughing at him, Mrs. Steven wiping tears away with her napkin. Art got up and stomped up to his room. “Fuck those crazy people.”

When Art climbed the stairs to the attic, he noticed that his door was wide open. He knew that he had shut it when he left for work. He entered the room, flicked on the light, and watched the cockroaches scatter. He looked around for signs of a disturbance. Not that he had anything to hide from the Stevens, or anything anyone would want to steal, he just found it unsettling that those cockroach eaters were snooping around in his room while he wasn’t home. Everything looked untouched. Art sat down at his desk and reached for his guitar. When he picked it up, he stopped it examine it more closely. His guitar was missing every single one of its strings.

Blood Bath

BloodBath

It’s a lovely spring day here. I wish I could be outside, but like most writers I’ve fallen behind on all my projects and today I’m trying to play catch up. Since embarking on my horror journey, I have been creating and writing more steadily than I ever have, so I can’t be too hard on myself. And so far, I’ve made some great friends along the way.

GhoulishDelights

In this week’s photo, the blood red bath water was created using the Blood Bath Bomb from Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop. The bath bomb smelled amazing and made my skin so soft. It was the most pleasant photo shoot I’ve done yet! Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop just recently launched and carries awesome horror themed bath products. I’ve gotten to know the creator of this company through my short time spent in the horror community, and I have such respect for her and what she does. Check out www.ghoulishdelightsshop.com  and help support an amazing, woman-owned small business!

And now, another installment of “The Cockroaches Waltz At Midnight.”

With Screams and Axes,

Mae

 

The Cockroaches Waltz At Midnight (Cont.)

Art began to run. He didn’t know what that thing was or why it knew his name, but something told him not to wait and find out. He ran back the way he had come, towards the lights of the gas station. He didn’t look back, and he didn’t call out for Duke. The woods seemed thicker somehow, forcing him to slow down and try to walk quietly. It also seemed that he had run deeper into the woods than he thought. The lights in the distance seemed so far away. Art was unsure how he had been able to run that far.

By the time Art got back to the gas station there were two police cars out front, and he could see his manager standing there with his arms crossed, watching Art shamble towards the scene. Duke was sitting on the ground having a cigarette. His eye looked swollen, and his nose was bleeding. Art laughed for a moment, thinking about Duke getting the shit kicked out of him.

“What are you doing?” Art’s manager demanded as soon as he was close enough to scream at.

“What?” Art was confused.

“Why did you leave the store?” His manager asked again.

“To help Duke. We were going after a shop lifter.”

“Yes, Duke was going after the shop lifter.” He looked at Duke and frowned. “Which is against company protocol and he knows it. What I don’t understand is why you left the station unattended when Duke ran out to chase the thief.”

“Well, I…”

“Because when you left, the shop lifter’s buddies, who must have been watching, came in and made off with the whole god damn register!” A vein in his forehead pulsed and Art didn’t know what to say.

“I’m sorry.” Art began.

“You’re sorry? Well, you’re fired.” The manager waved him away.

“But, but…”Art tried to come up with an argument in his defense.

“But nothing. Get out of here.” The manager turned his back and went to go speak with a police officer.

Art walked home in the dark, wondering how he was going to be able to pay his rent for the attic room now. Maybe his parents were right, maybe Marta was right. Maybe he should have just gone to college.

Art opened the door to the Steven’s house as quietly as he could. It was 4:30 in the morning, and he didn’t want to wake them. But as he entered the living room, Art found all the lights on and the Steven’s sitting at the table, having what looked like dinner. Mrs. Steven was cutting a slice of meatloaf for Mr. Steven, who himself was stirring a large bowl of mashed potatoes. They were wearing matching pink sweat suits, Mr. Steven had several large gold rings on his fingers, and Mrs. Steven was wearing a clownish amount of makeup. The way she had drawn on her eyebrows, thick and dark, gave her a bewildered expression. They both looked up at Art as he entered the room, surprised to see him.

“Art, my lad!” Mr. Steven boomed. “Sit and have dinner with us.” He motioned him towards the table. Art felt it would be rude to deny him, plus he was very hungry. So without asking questions about why they were eating dinner at 4:30 a.m., Art sat at the table and watched Mrs. Steven slice a piece of meat loaf for him.

Spring Days

SpringDays

 

It snowed today, which totally derailed my photo shoot plans. I was all ready to head outside and take some pictures with my new green dress, but Mother Nature had other plans. So this week, I give you another indoor photo with my lovely weeping mask. To see more photos, be sure to check out my Instagram account @maemaccallum. You can also get there by clicking the Instagram icon in the sidebar.

Today is also Wrestlemania, which is a high holy day in my household. So I’ll leave you with part 3 of “The Cockroach Collector” while I go watch wrestling.

With Screams and Axes,

Mae

 

The Cockroaches Waltz At Midnight (Part 3)

The gas station was on a lonely street in the edge of town. Behind it was a thick wood, and if you managed to cut your way through it, you’d eventually find yourself facing the highway. The gas station was open 24 hours, and Art’s shift was from midnight to 8 a.m. It was a mile walk for Art to get to work, and he tried to leave just enough time for him to walk slowly and get there just on time. He hated getting there early, and having to hang around the dingy building, smelling gasoline and old hot dogs.

“Hey,” Art said to Duke in the back room as he hung up his sweatshirt on a hook. Duke had his hands deep in a bag of chips, but pulled one out to give Art a greasy wave.

“Hi man, how are ya?” Duke asked with his mouth full. Duke spent the overnights with Art. He was a man in his forties but perpetually acted like a man in his twenties. After their manager left for the night, Duke would crack open a beer and sip at it at the register in between long smoke breaks outside. Art didn’t mind. The drinking made Duke easier to talk to, and the smoke breaks gave Art moments to himself. After midnight, the gas station received very few customers, and it was mostly a matter of just staying awake. Art didn’t mind the hours though, he enjoyed watching the sunrise.

Howard the manager said goodnight, leaving Art and Duke sitting on stools behind the register. “Try to do some restocks guys. Pretzels are looking a little low over here,” he said as Art nodded and Duke looked at his car outside.

They sat in silence for a while. Art counted cartons of cigarettes while Duke drank his first can of beer.

“Got any new songs for me?” Duke asked with a snicker.

“Nah, not yet. Soon though,” Art said.

“Want a drink?” Duke asked for the third time.

“No, I’m okay.”

“Suit yourself man. Makes the night go by faster.”

“I don’t mind the night,” Art said, hoping Duke would think of something else for them to talk about.

The time passed slowly. Art restocked the pretzels as well as the chips, the sodas, and the condoms. Duke sang along with the overhead music and stood outside smoking. At around 3 a.m. both were back behind the counter. A man came in and went to the fridges in the back. Art looked up, waiting for him to come to the counter to buy a soda or something. Then the man was running past him towards the doors, with bottles of soda and bags of chips in his hands.

“What the fuck!” Duke screamed out, suddenly jumping over the counter and chasing the man out of the store. Art ran after them, screaming for Duke to come back.

“Let him go man. He could have a gun or something!” Art called after Duke’s back, watching the thief and Duke run into the darkness towards the woods. “Damn,” Art mumbled, wondering if it was better to go after Duke or to leave the store unattended. Art did quick math trying to remember how much Duke had had to drink. He took off in the direction they had gone, listening for sounds of a struggle.

Art made it to the woods. Standing just inside the line of trees he called out to Duke. He didn’t hear anything.

“Duke?” Art yelled. “Duke, let it go. We’ll call the cops.” Art listened for Duke’s reply but didn’t hear him. He walked deeper into the woods slowly with his hands outstretched, trying not to trip and fall. All of a sudden, Art heard a hissing in front of him. He wondered if it could be a snake, or air being released from a tire.

“Hello?” Art called out. Then he saw a figure standing just before him in the darkness. It was a man, in a hood. Art approached, hoping it was Duke.

“Hey,” Art said, getting close to the man.

“Hello Art.” The figure said. In the darkness, Art was just able to make out that the figure was not Duke. The face was smiling with gleaming white teeth.