Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Nightmare Beings VI
I know exactly the kind of "kid's book" crocodile being alluded to here, but I really love Marsworms' more Burtonesque take on it. In any case, the misrepresentations of predatory animals in cartoons and children's books are always interesting "monsters" in their own right.
What is it about a stuffed, mangy flamingo that feels so extremely scary as a sleep-paralysis manifestation? I feel like I'd much rather deal with the more infamous knobbly-clawed hags, or the shadowy, red-eyed "apes" a friend of mine would see when they woke up immobile. It's fascinating that the flamingo began hopping on cordy's chest; entities imagined during sleep paralysis very often seem to exert pressure on the chest. In some countries, the phenomenon is referred to as basically "elf pressure."
I can very easily accept that a giant plant with dead sheep in its head qualifies as a dragon. I've certainly heard of weirder under that umbrella. I really enjoy the final twist in this dream, because it's the same kind of twist I'll have in my own dreams that feels mind-blowingly profound until you've woken up and realize it didn't make any sense.
I'd have given up trying to illustrate a monster with this many features crammed into one description, and I'm glad something so chaotic and outrageous is not only just a "vampire," but not even an especially powerful vampire, letting the mind boggle at how absurd a higher-ranking bloodsucker might look.
While it's a close call with the flamingo, I feel like this is the most frightening of this bunch, and I like the theme we've got going here with ultra-surreal versions of conventional monsters. A dragon, a vampire, and now a werewolf. The whole echinoderm/plant/gas mask/wolf skull combination is an automatic recipe for both horror and sheer badassery, and I would love to see lycanthropes take a turn this alien more often.
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