Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From the Sketchbook Archives: Face of Darkness

This is from one of my sketchbooks. It was inspired by an image of Randall Flagg from the television miniseries for The Stand. There is a scene where Stu is dreaming of Mother Abigail and Randall Flagg is standing in the corn.  Flagg opens his eyes and they are all red and glowing - VERY Creepy!  I was trying to capture that same feeling that the image from the show gave me - Creepy half light with demon fire within.  Once again I must apologize for the glare.   Heavy sharpie just does not photograph well at all.  :-(

{Sharpie}

UPDATE:

Another update from the Rescans.  This is one that benefits greatly from the rescan.  When photographing the original post, I discovered to my chagrin, that heavy sharpie reflects a flash like polished silver.  No matter what position I placed the image in, I couldn't get a shot without some kind of glare.  Here that issue is completely resolved.  Also, the color on this one is just fantastic.  It looks exactly like the page.  Have I mentioned that I love my scanner?!?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

No Peeking

Katie woke with a start.  She grinned.  Was it time yet?  Was it time?  The room was still dark but for the safe warmth of her night light.  She listened for Bobby to see if he'd beat her downstairs.  The house was silent.  The street light outside cast a lightning thin slit between the curtains and across to the door opposite.  Mom and Dad said not to get out of bed until morning.  NO PEEKING! Katie frowned and fidgeted under the covers.  What if she needed a drink of water?  What if she had to potty?  She wouldn't peek.  She'd promised.

Katie closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep, but suddenly her insides were all tingly and excited and she knew she had to go potty.  She pushed the covers back and huffed at the ceiling. She wouldn't peek. She wouldn't even look down the stairs.  She would just potty and come right back to bed. Santa knew she was a good girl. She wouldn't peek.

She slipped out from under the comforter and tiptoed to her bedroom door.  It creaked loudly as she opened it and her eyes went wide.  She kept still and waited.  Did mom hear? She held her breath, one foot carefully balanced on tip toe for her next step.  She exhaled and placed her foot flat on the floor.  Maggie, the family Chihuahua, leapt through the open door and onto her foot.  She squealed and fell backward.

Maggie was on Katie's face in a flash, licking her repeatedly and making her giggle.  Katie held the dog back with both hands and whispered fervently, "Maggie no!  We have to be quiet!"  She managed to push the eager dog back enough to get on her feet.  "Ssssh!"  Katie dusted herself off and glared at Maggie.  Maggie looked up intently and wagged her tail.

Katie pushed the door all the way open and stepped out into the hallway.  The tingling was growing worse.  The hall was almost completely black, but she could see the nightlight in the bathroom at the far end.  She faced the wall as she moved.  Halfway to the bathroom the hall became a landing that looked over the living room and if she wasn't careful she'd be looking right at the Christmas tree.  She was pretty sure that would count as peeking.  She took quick steps and was on the toilet in no time.  Maggie whined as Katie closed the door.  The dog whimpered and scratched at the base of the door, trying to get in.  "Maggie, No!"  Katie whispered as loud as she could.  The dog whimpered and then Katie heard the familiar kathump kathump of Maggie descending the stairs.    

As she wiped herself clean she heard a thump on the roof.  Oh No Santa!  She zipped her jammies up fast and rushed to the door.  She opened it a crack and looked down the stairs.  No lights on.  She quickly tiptoed out.  Halfway back to her room, She heard another thump, downstairs this  time, followed by a yelp from Maggie.  Katie stopped without thinking and looked directly through the railing at the Christmas tree.


There was a sound like wrapping paper tearing, then  someone was chewing loudly with their mouth open. Katie could see someone moving at the base of the tree.  She stepped up to the railing.  "Bobby!  Bobby!  Mom said we were supposed to wait until morning!  I'm gonna tell!  I'm gonn-"  The thing that wasn't Bobby turned its head to look directly at her.  In the dim colored light it looked like a Christmas elf, but some thing was wrong with it.  Its clothes were spotted with something dark and its eyes were empty like a closed down store. Beyond the creature, Katie saw a dark spot in the carpet and something that looked like a chicken leg.  The Elf thing stood and turned toward her, its face a tight rictus.  Its mouth was covered in something shiny and dark.

Katie wanted to scream, but all the air was gone. She turned to run back to her room and tripped over a present lying in the hallway.  It collapsed under her weight and spilled its contents onto the hardwood floor, a thick dark liquid that was warm and sticky.  Katie scrambled to stand, her breath coming in short quick gasps.  Her arms and legs fumbled beneath her like a cartoon character slipping in oil.  Tears poured down her face.  The thing from downstairs was at the end of the hallway. It twitched and giggled and slowly stepped towards her, its fingers jerking like it was playing piano.  I didn't mean to peek, she thought.  It was too late, the Chrsitmas elf has seen her.

{Images created in Adobe Illustrator}

The Child

"My flashlight battery finally died as I stepped into the darkened alcove, but there was a dense red light emanating from the machinery nearby that allowed me to see. Ozone burned my nostrils. I covered my mouth with a portion of my shirt and stepped over several large cords to get closer to the cylindrical pod within the alcove.

In the halflight, the strange pod glistened as though it were coated with strawberry jam. I brushed my fingers across it. It was warm and thick like the refuse of chicken boiled too long. When I removed my hand, a thin string of it pulled away like snot. I jerked my hand quickly and it splattered somewhere in the darkness.

My touch seemed to activate something with the pod.  It jerked like a water balloon.  When I moved in, I heard a cry like a cat. It was muffled though, as if it were on the other side of a very thick wall.  I leaned in closer.  Through the jelly, something moved.  I gasped when I saw the thing.  It was staring back at me from within the cocoon..."

Recommended Listening:
Empusae
Tenebris For The Unborn
Ritual Decay

{Digital images manipulated in Photoshop}