Almost a year ago, I visited my sister, who was studying in France, for a two-week vacation. We travelled throughout a couple cities in France, and I went on a short jaunt to Geneva alone. Like all disenchanted North Americans desperately seeking an air of borrowed sophistication for the next time we had to talk to strangers, we were very easily charmed by the beauty we found. However it wasn’t all soft-lit beaches and elegant stone buttresses; some of the stuff we encountered was, shall we say … creepy as shit?
Strolling through memory lane (aka my iPhoto app), I became nostalgic for some of the unexpected horror shows I encountered and decided to share. I mean, I am really stretching the “sci-fi and fantasy” thing here; most of this is really just the stuff of nightmares. But the origin stories I have created are pure flights of fantasy, so I figure what the hell, I might as well include this totally gratuitous travelogue. And so without any further ado, Creepy Shit of My Trip to France feat. Geneva:
Because nothing says “Warm, welcoming dining atmosphere” like a disembodied head missing half its teeth and bleeding from its orifices, mounted on the ceiling and watching you eat. Bon appétit!
“Hey, you know what’s really sexy? You know what really get’s me going? Deer-women.”
“… you mean women named Bambi?”
“No, deer-women. Like when a chick has deer features. God, that’s hot.”
“Oh, doe eyes. You mean big, lush brown eyes with long lashes? Yeah, I can see that. “
“No no, more like a woman with the actual head of a deer. And you know what? Not just the head. The markings of a deer, too. I like a woman with the body of a Maxim centrefold, the head of an actual deer, and just … fucking, like dappling. A gorgeous, dappled, big-titted deer woman. Get me hot, and you know what? It also makes me want an Orangina.”
Philip’s membership in the Gentleman Hunter and Taxidermist Society was rescinded, but thanks to an eavesdropping executive, he landed an advertising campaign for a major soft drink company the next day.
From a distance this one doesn’t look so bad. Your average classically-inspired clockwork. Mildly troubling, like something on your grandmother’s shelf you hope never to inherit. But creepy? Not really, right?
Wrong. Let’s just break this down, shot for shot here, shall we?
First off, the expression on this woman’s face is flat-out terrifying. That is a face of pure malice: the slitted eyes, the demonically arched brows, the blood-red lips revealing an evil, toothy grin. And why is she grinning? BECAUSE SHE IS HOLDING A GODDAMN HUMAN FACE. “That’s a mask,” you say? I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you for a second. Unless you mean that it is a human face she is planning on using as a mask in some Hannibal-Lector-eqsue fashion.
And speaking of said cannibal, let’s take a closer look at her son, lurking above her in a tree nearby (I am going to presume it is her son, because as you will see the family resemblance is striking).
LOOK AT HOW HUNGRY HE LOOKS. Tell me that this behatted nymph boy did not just devour the carcass belonging to that face. You cannot. He is still making a chomping expression! He ate the man whose face his mother is currently holding, and were it not for her need to use said face as a mask, this baby would be finishing the job. Consider the fact that a child of that size/age has climbed atop a tree. Where is he getting the upper body strength for that? From consuming mass amounts of human protein, that’s where.
Okay fine, you’re unconvinced that this woman is brutal murderess, feeding the bodies of her dead lovers to her cannibal son and using their faces as masks to help her escape the long arm of the law? Fine, fine I give you Exhibit three:
What’s that? Another discarded face on the floor and a monkey who looks VERY CONCERNED about the company he keeps.
I think we can all agree that human statues are creepy. However, if you travel enough or if you live in a tourist-friendly city, you can kind of get used to them (deeply-repressed Today’s Special or Weeping Angel issues notwithstanding). But guess what? They know this. The human statues are wise to our hard-won psychological well-being and they are upping their game. They will fuck with us and if simply standing still for an impossibly long time and covering themselves with a metallic patina won’t do it, then by God, they will throw ACTUAL DOLLS PAINTED TO LOOK LIKE THE HUMANS PAINTED TO LOOK LIKE STATUES into the mix:
This is next-level fuckery. Look at her! Look at her Holly Hobby outfit and slightly outsized feet. What is she? How is she? Do you know what the human statue belonging to her was doing time of the photo? He was getting food at a food stand, all animated and chatting like a normal person. Did this make the whole thing less terrifying? NO. NO I ASSURE YOU IT DID NOT. The aura of eerie that shiny doll-girls cast cannot be easily dispelled. Not even by roasted nuts.
“Uh, there’s no easy way to ask you this, but …. have you been talking to Philip in advertising?”