Category Archives: Video Shorts

The Monster Mashup: Classic Monsters Gone Wrong

Just in time for Halloween, comes four flash fiction stories about classic monsters in compromising positions. Each one is dark, fiendish, and a bit more risqué than my usual fare, but those aren’t the only things they have in common…

Drewcula has been caught red handed
Drewcula has been caught red handed

Dracula Gets a Checkup

Dracula worked the thermometer between his canines. When he took it out it read seventy-degrees. The mirror over the sink hung open, reflecting an indentation where the vampire was sitting. He slammed it shut.

Maybe one of those bright young things from last night was into holistic skincare. He or she could’ve covered a zit in garlic. It could’ve run down his or her neck. Maybe he or she played a little too rough, threw out a tendon and rubbed garlic on to keep the inflammation down. Maybe it was still on his or her breath when he or she swapped tongues. That’s the trouble with masked affairs, you never know what you’re going to get.

Lying on the exam table, Dracula replayed the masquerade in his head. He did an inventory of everyone he’d touched and everyone who’d touched him. He counted bodies on his fingers. The longer he waited the heavier his eyes got. When he woke up the walls were covered in plastic.

A doctor stood over him in a hazmat suit. “Mr. Alucard?”

Dracula sat up.

The doctor flipped through a chart. “It’s not food poisoning.”

Dracula sighed. His bright red eyes traced the borders of the hermetic bubble. “What’s all this then?”

The doctor ran his glove down a long list. “When the blood work came back, you tested positive for a couple of things.”

Dracula examined his hand. “It’s not silver poisoning is it?”

All those buckles and gags from last night, he’d just assumed they were stainless steel.

The doctor consulted his chart. “Argyria? No, but you did test positive for diphtheria, malaria, measles, polio, and typhoid fever, but it was the smallpox that got you on the CDC’s radar.”

Dracula stroked his chin.

“Mr. Alucard, have you visited any virology labs recently?”

Dracula shrugged. “Not that I can recall.”

The doctor’s mask did little to conceal his skeptical squint. “Think on it. There’s two places you could’ve contracted it. Maybe you can remember if the guards spoke English or Russian?”

Dracula twiddled his talons. “I haven’t been to the motherland in a long time.”

The doctor nodded. “Okay, that narrows it down. Do you recall wandering into any subterranean layers sometime this week?”

Dracula clicked his nails together. “The bondage dungeon might have been underground.”

“Might have?”

“I was blindfolded, escorted by a choke chain through a field of glass, nails, and razor wire.” Dracula shook his head. “All and all, it was a pretty tepid affair.”

The doctor nodded matter-of-factly. “Do you think you might have come into contact with any bodily fluids at this gathering?”

Dracula chuckled. “Might have? I was swimming in them.”

The doctor tapped his fingers to the muzzle of his mask. “Now this is important, do you think any blood might have gotten into your mouth?”

Dracula looked to his feet. They dangled over the exam table. “Well, I do partake from time to time.”

The doctor dropped his chart. “How long have you been drinking blood?”

Dracula tilted his head back and forth. “Since, maybe say, the rise of the Ottomans.”

The doctor threw his hands up, walked to the border of the bubble, and turned on his heel. “Mr. Alucard, you might not want to give me a straight answer, but the CDC will want to know all about your bondage and bloodletting gathering. If you can’t tell me where it was, can you at least tell me the name of the group who was running it?”

Dracula was already shaking his head when the answer came to him. He snapped his fingers. “The Aristocrats.”

Franken Drew doesn't like what his bolts are picking up
Franken Drew doesn’t like what his bolts are picking up

Frankenstein’s Monster inquires about his Donors 

Victor watched the monster gaze beyond the balcony. The creature seemed less interested in the village below than the stars above. “Father, where did I come from?”

Victor joined his creation. He swirled a large glass of wine. “I thought that was self-explanatory. You were stitched together from dead bodies.”

The monster squeezed his forearm, feeling for the place where the threading linked it to his bicep. “Yes, but where did these pieces come from?”

Victor gurgled the wine in his mouth, before gulping it down. “Well son, there once was a family of traveling performers…”

***

The parents were escape artists and magicians, while the children specialized in gymnastics and juggling.

They wandered from town to town, chasing traveling circuses. Every time they caught up with one they performed for the management and every time they were left in the dust behind the caravan. Until one day the father came up with an act so stupendous he knew the next traveling show would have to hire them.

Back then, I was not the surgeon I am today. I’d spent my residency giving first aid to carnies: treating animal bites, scorched throats, and unspeakable sexual maladies. I happened to be in the management’s office when the traveling family came.

The father was a born hustler, promising fear, intrigue, and titillation while his wife, son and daughter stood with frozen smiles behind him. Management tapped his pocket watch. That’s when the father reached into his sack and pulled out a pair of axes. We examined the blades while his family brought out axes of their own.

At first they simply passed their axes back and forth, like hot potatoes, but then they started heaving them, working themselves up to a fluid motion. Soon the entire family was juggling.

When the first blade slipped it claimed the young man’s arm. Fluid shot out of the wound in angry bursts. The boy bit his lip without making a sound. His father instructed him to use the pain. The lad powered through until he collapsed. We figured it was part of the act, because the others kept their axes in play without so much as batting an eye at their fallen family member.

It wasn’t long before an ax chopped off the daughter’s leg. Now she must have been a tightrope walker in an earlier incarnation of their show, because she hobbled along on one foot without missing a beat. Her fresh stump sprayed blood into management’s spectacles. He worked the droplets in his fingers, tasting them.

I’d suspected blood tubes and prosthetic limbs, but when the stench of rotten meat hit, I doubted my hypothesis.

When the young woman collapsed her parents kept her remaining blade in play. They now had six between them. The few seconds where they kept those axes flying were truly amazing, but it wasn’t long before the father had lopped off his wife’s head and her ax flew straight into his sternum.

Management sat petrified, realizing he’d witnessed something authentic and not some macabre magician’s trick.

My horror was overtaken by my desire. Here I’d been paying grave robbers for fresh corpses when four of them were delivered to my doorstep. The family might not have been the best performers, but they were generous donors.

I was already wrapping up the bodies when the father reached out and grabbed my ankle. Blood gushed over his lips as he drew his last breath.

I don’t know why, but I had to ask him, “What were you planning on calling this grizzly act?”

He smiled faintly and opened his arms wide. “The Aristocrats.” Then his eyes rolled into the back of his head.

***

The monster peeled back his sleeve to examine his skin He spotted the scars where the axes left their impressions. “Father, I don’t like this story very much.”

Victor nodded into his wine. “You know son, I don’t like you very much.”

The Wolf Drew smells something funky
The Wolf Drew smells something funky

The Hunting of the Wolfman

The Wolfman ran through the forest. His pursuers were hot on his heels, breaking twigs, hooting, and hollering. What they lacked in strategy they made up for in numbers. He’d never backed away from a fight before, but there were so many of them in the clearing.

Spotting silhouettes in the moonlight the Wolfman had taken them for a heard of deer. Charging headlong he watched as they stood on their hindquarters. Spinning around he realized he was surrounded by bipedal beasts much like himself.

Their human frames had paws, claws, and big furry ears, but they weren’t werewolves. They were werelions, weretigers and werebears.

A pair of ears rose from the underbrush, followed by whiskers, and big buck teeth. It looked like a giant rabbit feeding on a fox. It was clear, the food chain didn’t apply here.

The Wolfman felt a breeze on his neck. He turned to find a weregiraffe looming over him. He fled before the creature’s hooves could come crashing down.

The Wolfman sprinted downhill. When he heard the sound of rushing water, he thought he was in the clear. There was secret path across the river. Soon the rapids would be between him and his pursuers.

The Wolfman searched the riverbank for a bridge of rocks beneath the water. That’s when a werezebra tackled him. The zebra held him down as a werepig undid his belt.

All of his pursuers rushed out of the woodwork, but rather than snap at his jugular, they feasted on the sight of him. The werezebra bent the Wolfman over as the werepig pulled down his pants. The crowd gasped.

The Wolfman felt his tail wagging in the breeze, a nervous reaction to the situation.

The creatures bickered.

“How is he doing that?”

“Maybe it’s animatronic.”

“Do you recognize that costume?”

“Are you sure this guy’s a furry?”

“If he is, he’s not a member.”

“He’s got to be, we rented every camp ground from the highway to the river.”

The Wolfman snarled. Slobber oozed from his fangs. The werezebra let go.

The Wolfman spun around and bit the pig’s snout clean off. He thought he’d taste blood marinating the raw pork he’d bitten into, instead he tasted cotton. He spat it out when he spotted a wire frame sticking out.

Scanning the other monsters the Wolfman spotted zippers, sneakers, and open butt flaps. The man in the pig costume shuffled back to the group.

The Wolfman tucked his tail between his legs and cleared his throat. “You think I’m a member? Member of what? What do you sick people call yourselves?”

They all spoke in unison. “The Aristocrats.”

C-Drew-Lu rises
C-Drew-Lu rises

Cthulhu Crashes the Monster Mash

The nightwatchman shivered beneath the blanket. One side of his hair was black, the other had gone white. From where I stood his head looked like a Yin-Yang.

He sang, “I was doing my rounds, late last night. When something moved into my flashlight. A creature from the lagoon began to rise. And suddenly to my surprise…”

Then he stopped.

Detective Greywood shined his light in the watchman’s eyes. The poor bastard didn’t blink.

Detective Greywood snapped his fingers. “This is how he’s been answering all our questions. We ask, he takes a few minutes to compose a verse, then he sings. It doesn’t matter if anyone’s around to hear it.”

The watchman perked up. “He did the mash, he did the monster mash. He did the mash, it was a graveyard smash–”

Detective Greywood tugged me out of earshot. “You don’t want that knocking around in your head all day.”

“Was there a verse about a lagoon in the original song?”

“No, I think he’s trying to tell us the assailant emerged from the pond.”

“And the victims?”

Detective Greywood pointed to three sets of tire tracks. “I’m betting these lead to a hole in the fence.”

We followed the tracks to three mountain bikes. One was handlebars deep in the muck, one was wrapped around a headstone, and one was dangling from a willow tree.

“I don’t know art, but I know what I like.” Detective Greywood pointed to a statue in the distance.

Its robes were brown with blood. There were cracks in its sides. Someone had driven severed arms into the granite. The statue’s wings lay in the grass next to its head. Its face had been replaced, presumably, by the heads of all three of our victims. I say, “presumably,” because they were wearing masks.

Detective Greywood tilted his gaze back. “It’s not every day you see a totem pole made from Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman.”

I didn’t realize my teeth were chattering until I tried to speak. “It’s got eight arms, like Ganesha.”

Greywood chuckled, “Or an octopus.” He slapped on a pair of latex gloves and pulled something out of one of their hands. “Yoink.”

It was encrusted with blood. I didn’t realize it was a video camera until he opened the viewfinder.

While Greywood watched the video, I investigated the scene behind the statue. There was a makeshift alter made from pizza trays and beach towels, fragments of candles sticking out of wax puddles, and an ancient book. Its leather binding was warped. It almost looked like a face.

“Detective Greywood, I found something.”

Greywood stepped around with his head in the camera. He shut it the moment he spotted the book. “Well well well, old leather face, we meet again.” He pressed his radio. “Call the bomb squad, tell them we need the remote disposal unit.”

“What is that?”

“The remote disposal unit is a robot with tiny metal arms.”

I shook my head. “No, that.”

“That’s the Necronomicon: an account of the old ones and the means to summon them. Open that up and we’ll have tentacles up are asses within the hour.”

“What are you talking about?”

Detective Greywood sighed. “The elder gods created humanity as a punchline to an elaborate joke. Every so often, they like to get into people’s faces and do a little insult comedy.”

I shook my head. “I’m still not following.”

“That book is full of heckles by Abdul Alhazred. Read them and you’ll find yourself in the old one’s spotlight. If the watchman’s song is true those kids summoned one of the ancient water beings.”

Greywood slid the camera into an evidence bag. “These boys were filming themselves reading from it, probably as a framing device for a video full of graveyard BMX tricks.”

A strong gust upended the book. It skipped across the graves and fell open at my feet. The arcane script was so large I could see it from where I was standing.

I still don’t know why I thought I’d understand those words if I read them aloud, but I did. “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”

Detective Greywood drew his weapon. “You stupid son of a bitch!”

The cemetery shook. Headstones shot out of the ground like corks. Steam rose from the pond as it boiled over. Tentacles shot out from the water. They wrapped around tree trunks, pulling something up from the depths. Water splashed across the crime scene. A giant figure blotted out the sun.

“Down here, you squid faced bastard!” Detective Greywood kept shooting until he’d emptied his clip.

The book washed up onto my shoes. I felt the pages flipping at my ankles, compelling me to read further. So I did.

“The outer ones, the old ones, and the sunken ones will come together, a cosmic collective of indescribable power, and you shall know terror by its true moniker: the Aristocrats.”

“It was a graveyard smash”

merch-banner

After getting a lot requests for prints of my art I decided to open a  store on REDBUBBLE where you can find prints and a whole lot more.

Drew Tube

1. Drew Tube

I’m thinking of entering into the world of video blogging, but I don’t want to be another run of the mill media critic. I need a gimmick, a hook that let’s the viewer know that I have no shame and I’m not afraid to prove it.

The following is a collection of v-blog pitches, some are sheer brainstorm brilliance while others are train of thought train wrecks. At the end, you can vote on which ones are which.

Genre Fiction Mad Libs

Author, Christopher Booker believes writers keep recycling seven basic plots. Let’s prove him right. Collecting over-used film tropes I’ll outline the templates for making a romantic comedy, a home invasion horror movie, and a dystopian teen empowerment fantasy. I’ll compose five minute mad lib plot lines and invite the audience to help fill the character details in. A week later we’ll see the results unfold.

Pitch Perfected

Viewers suggest the worst movies they can think of and I’ll pitch them like they’re awesome, polishing these steaming turds into Oscar statues.

Listen to me pitch The Phantom Menace as a political intrigue thriller. Jar Jar Binks, a Gungan without a country, assumes the role of bumbling imbecile to trick members of a religious order into saving his world from a genocidal conspiracy.

Listen me intellectualize The Room as one woman’s descent into terminal narcissism, an unflinching examination of how personality disorders play into infidelity, a film that holds a mirror to society, forcing us to take a critical look at ourselves.

Listen to me call Gigli a shocking exposé of the mental healthcare industry, a rallying cry for the handicapped, and a mature look at sexual identity.

Listen to me nominate Troll 2 for inclusion in the Criterion Collection, calling it a film with a strong message about the environment.

Nostalgia Nostradamus

Nostalgia Nostradamus predicts which beloved children’s cartoon will be turned into Michael Bay’s latest series of sunsets and tracking shots. Thunder Cats? Voltron? Gargoyles?

The trick in Nostalgia Nostradamus’s tricorn hat is his ability to predict how producers of these reboots will get everything wrong:

– He-Man cries, “I have the power” as he raises the barrel of his new lightening gun.
– She-Ra’s wind resistant skirt is replaced with pants.
– Filmation’s Ghostbusters get’s rebooted. Not the team with Egon, Ray, Peter and Winston, but the one that drives around with a gorilla in a talking ghost car.

Nintendo controller by Bitter String Art. Check them out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/BitterStringArt
Nintendo controller by Bitter String Art.

Feminize a Video Game Franchise

I come up with plots for female leads in male dominated video game series. For example:

An Assassin’s Creed game starring Vultur, a Romani woman struggling to save her family from the Spanish Inquisition. Vultur uses theatrical weapons to strike fear into the hearts of Templar witch finders.

A Zelda game where Zelda takes the starring role. The sorcerer, Ganon abducts Hyrule’s princesses to use their blood to open a doorway to the dark world. Breaking out of her cell, princess Zelda works her way through Ganon’s dungeons, collecting weapons, freeing her fellow captives, and ascending the dark lord’s tower for a final confrontation.

A God of War game that takes place in the aftermath of Kratos’s resignation. Goddess of War follows a Spartan woman who stumbles upon the Blades of Olympus while the minions of a new crop of Gods burn her village down.

Stock Photo Theater

Original programing made with unoriginal pictures. Stock photo sites are all too happy to provide the cast, their blank business figures are begging to be turned into actors. All I have to do is supply the dialogue.

Shutterstock already has so many images of people laughing, isn’t it time they put out a sitcom? How about a whodunnit? Turns out the boardroom meeting, in this picture, is a gathering of all the suspects. How about a science fiction series where angry desk jockeys fight their technology? With all the shots of people shouting at their screens, we already have everything we need.

3. Point the finger at

Batman or Ingmar Bergman

A game where viewers guess whether a line of dialogue came from a Batman movie or a film from existentialist director Ingmar Bergman.

1. “… the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.”
2. “One day you stand at the edge of life and face darkness.”

3. “I wake up from a nightmare and find that real life is worse than the dream.”

4. “There is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge… Me.”

Answers:
1. Batman
2. Bergman
3. Bergman
4. Batman

Franchise Fixes

Franchise Fixes

I pitch reboots for your favorite ailing film franchises, raising Hellraiser, reviving Highlander’s immortality and calling Howard the Duck back to earth. Find me a series that’s at death’s door and I’ll bust out the defibrillator. Just call me Dr. Drew.

Writing Confessions

I list all the dirty tricks I use to ensure my output, like describing a setting before I know the characters or conflict that will fill it, writing dialogue with the intention of discovering the action, or planting the setups for my plot twists in later edits.

I’ll confess everything from how I spare my darlings to how I repurpose fan fiction.

Wednesday Watches

I recommend low budget, soon to be cult classics, for you to uncover on Netflix. They’re not always great movies but they’re entertaining enough for a Wednesday evening.

Clickbait Writer’s Room

A sketch comedy series, where a team of freelancers set out to ruin journalism, in order to rase their demon master Mammon. Writing titles with cliff hangers, the clickbaiters target would-be Nobel Prize winners, distracting them from their discoveries. Upsetting viewers with the first half of their captions, the clickbaiters promise to restore the world’s faith in humanity with the other, but they never do.

This coven of content creators will churn out listicles, slideshows and viral videos. Casting darkness over everyone’s newsfeed. Once they’ve sacrificed enough of our time, Mammon will rise up and claim his digital dominion.

4. Error Drew

This is my first round of ideas. Please vote on the ones you like and leave suggestions in the comments.

New Welcome Video

Readers, writers, and fellow bloggers, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Drew Chial, horror author, advice giver, and humorist.

My blogging philosophy spits in the face of conventional wisdom: I don’t do lists, cut posts short at 500 words, or limit myself to one lone topic. Shunning stock photos, I design my own images. For those threatened by big walls of text, I record audio versions of my posts.

Now I’m moving into another medium. This video explains how my wide range of writings tie together, and why they’re worthy of your time.

If you’re interested in reading my novella Terms and Conditions check it out here.

The Boogeyman in My Basement

Bloody Door

There was a peck on the door. Not a knock, but a gentle rapping that wasn’t sure of itself. This was not the beak of a raven, but that of a hummingbird. Yawning in the hallway, I thought I’m not putting my pants on for that.

The tapping stopped, whoever it was. The Jehovah’s witness had second thoughts about sharing their beliefs with someone with such an unkempt hallway. The vacuum cleaner salesmen doubted his product would do me much good. The petitioner doubted someone with that many bottles on their porch cared about wildlife preserves.

The stairs creaked as the mysterious solicitor slunk back to the sidewalk from wince they came. I shuffled over to the kitchen to attend to the pressing matter of eating ice cream straight from the tub.

My roommate had asked if I’d borrowed any of the cash on his desk. I’d helped myself to some of his razors, deodorant, and clean socks, but I wasn’t aware that he’d left any money out.

I caught movement out of the corner of my eye; a shadow beneath the back entrance. A key clicked into the lock. There came a rapping, so faintly came a tapping, and my ice cream hit the floor. I squeezed my knuckles into fists and positioned myself in front of the door.

It screeched open to reveal an intruder. His face was slick with sweat. His skin was sun dried, red enough to hide the cysts along his hairline. He was shirtless, an emaciated golem. His skin left none of his rib cage to the imagination. His shorts were a patchwork of grass and blood stains.

His hand shook, wielding the key like a prison shank.

I stepped forward. “How’s it going?”

The intruder leapt back. “Is, um, Mike home?”

Shaking my head, “Nope.” I put my hand out, “Can I see that key?”

Feigning to set the key in my palm, the intruder dropped it on the floor. Lowering my eyes, I missed his getaway. The intruder slid down the railing, tapped one foot on the mezzanine, and leapt down the stairs. He was ghost.

So it turned out this was the tenant I’d been brought on to replace six months ago. He’d been stealing DVD box sets and pawning them for drug money. Here he was to make another rental from my roommate’s library.

Running down the stairs, I saw no clear sign that the intruder had left the building. My hunch was that he hid in the basement. Flashlight in hand, I made my way through the cobwebs and the mouse traps. Shattered glass cracked under foot, announcing my position to the darkness. I scanned the abandoned storage closets. There were deflated bike tires, doors stacked against the walls, and circular saws in the laundry room sink.

There was a color crayon picture on the work bench, a crudely drawn man with a handlebar mustache. A series of violent lines sliced through his gut, a gash of black across his middle. A caption down the side read:

I DIDN’T DO IT, BUT I KNOW WHO DID.

He’d been living down there. Who knows for how long? In the coming months, I would jump whenever the wind rattled the doors, put my ear to the walls, listen for bumps in the night, look for silhouettes through the blinds, and drudge into the basement to check for boogeymen.

Though the intruder never returned, the intrusion haunted me. Continue reading The Boogeyman in My Basement

Curbside Noir (Video Short)

This is a video poem shot on my iPhone. A study in low light, lens flare and auto focus. I was looking for a visual component for my audio short Curbside Noir. It needed something to match the somber tone of its music and the spirit of its monologue. It had to be dark. It had to paint the world in silhouettes and shadows.

When it rained on the walk home, I took advantage of it, bobbing from entryway to entryway, hugging the storefronts. I cupped my fingers into a tarp over my phone. Then I let the storm put on a show.

Drizzle swarmed the street lamps. Headlights set the air aglow. Droplets turned everything into a reflective surface. Puddles tinted the street a shade of amber, light mirrored in the asphalt. I shot what I could before the rain water could trickle through my fingers. Forgive me if my white balance is a little off.

Waves mounted the curbs. Tide came to the boulevard. Little rivers flowed down the sidewalk. My shoes went for a dip. My jeans weighted my ankles. Water had pooled in the rolled up denim. There might just be a tad bit of motion blur.

Trees argued with the breeze. Leafs fluttered with the thunder. Branches swatted at the night and my video is all the better for it.

Enjoy it with the blinds closed. Continue reading Curbside Noir (Video Short)