Going through the process of getting a movie screened was something I never thought would happen. When I submitted my movie, I did it just so I could say ‘I tried.’ When I got the email saying ‘your panel has been accepted’ I think my heart skipped a beat. I didn’t think a furry con would be interested in a short film showing-let alone a horror movie. I emailed back and forth with one of the con runners who was extremely helpful through all my questions, since I’d never really been to many panels-let alone host one!
I made flyers for the event-and I really was thinking ‘no one will show up, people might not be interested in a movie’. When I arrived Friday, I had forgotten to pre-registar! So I thought I wouldn’t even beable to get into the con that night, but luckily I was able to get in. So that whole thing was a bit stressful, plus with everything else on my mind.
I didn’t sleep a wink Friday, I was so excited and jittery, but honestly it was a good feeling overall. Some anxiety, but I think I became less nervous as the panel approached because I knew, hey whatever happens will happen. My movie is sceening in Boston, my name is in the Anthro New England con book. This is cool!
Saturday I passed out most of my flyers and I was so surprised to find out how many people wanted to see my movie. It was mind blowing. That night, I got changed into my suit (no, not a fursuit) and I spent a long time running up and down stairs, getting the AV situated, the ANE staff were super helpful. I had even lost my name tag in among all the craziness and had to get a new one. My brain was spinning by the time we got the projector set up and I knew everything would work.
About 7:30, two people show up. In the back of my head, I thought ‘well, I know my two closer friends will show-but will this be it?’ About 7:50-maybe three people walked in. I was pretty happy. Right before I introduced the movie-about 8 more people showed. I pinched myself the whole time. I had about 25 people seeing my movie-in front of me, in Boston at a furry con. It felt like a dream and as the movie played-I felt hazy. In a great way. This is something I’ve fantaized about for so long, but never thought it would happen. I did have one walk out, but another gentleman took his spot-so I shrugged it off.
The Q&A was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I didn’t think anyone would be interested to hear how I made the movie, but as I stood there I realized no one was leaving. Again, it felt like a dream. I felt like some internet celebrity. At this point, I was so full of energy, I was able to talk about anything really.
I talked to a few people who wished to help me with furutre projects, so who knows? You may see some new faces in my work soon! After, mom and I each had a drink at the bar and I was kinda in shock. I wasn’t really able to process what happened, again this was something I never thought could happen to me. On the way home, I talked to my cousin Nick about the event-which was super fun as it was nice to just let my emotions pour out.
Anthro New England and the furry fandom made a dream come true-and this gives me another reason to defend the fandom and its partcipates, it’s an amazing group of people and without them-I feel like I’d be kinda a nobody for the most part. I think other furries can relate to that. This was a special night I’ll never forget.
Based on the Creepypasta legend, an author gets more than he bargained for when he meets a girl who needs help.
By: Aaron B.
Art by: Michelle Rudolfsson
PLOT: The journey to “The Hollow” is complete, and Jon, Vince and Ira can finally be at peace with a courageous wolf pack, but even that presents new problems. Also, Ira’s romantic interest in Vince hits an all time high.
Movement of the carriage woke Jon from his light slumber. The past night he had gotten barely any sleep due to the rain that fell on the camp. His arm around his best friend. Looking up at Vince, he stretched. “Girls will be eyeing you from long distances, Jon”. A soft chuckle followed. “Ever had a significant other, Vince?”
The dragon looked out the window of the carriage, watching the trees pass by. “I did not have time for such things, sadly. My father was quite domineering.” Jon stiffened at this thought, no longer as relaxed as his was. He rubbed his eyes. “Strict?” Vince said nothing, Jon cleared his throat nervously, hoping he didn’t offend him. “Sorry. I won’t pry.” His British accent sounded so low and serious. Prompting Jon to listen up more. “My father, Argo was built like you. Muscular. Tall. He used his strength to abuse those he felt were beneath him.” No other noise hit Jon’s ears. Not the sounds of the outdoors, nor the turning of the carriage wheels. Only Vince’s narrator-like voice. “After burning towns and killing the poor, he would raid the bars. Drink, and then take out his hate towards me. That is why I don’t have wings. He cut them.” Jon sighed sadly, slightly flinching at the gruesome image.
“He wanted me to be like him. Burn everything. Hunt others for gold and enjoy bathing in the blood of victims. I wanted no part of it. He broke my spirit. When I was a teenager. I thought about ending it all. Dragons aren’t easily killed, but I perhaps thought of jumping off a large cliff. Or maybe get myself beheaded. Instead, I ran away. Found a boat and found myself in Animalia. That is where I met Ira.” The human hugged the dragon softly, feeling his sorrow in having to remember such events.
The fire was close to being nothing but ash. The driver of the carriage, wrapped in a large blanket and sleeping the night away. Jon leaned against a large tree nearby, his eyes closed and just about to fall into slumber. Vince and Ira sit side by side, the two watched the fire slowly die. Sounds of nighttime such as wolves and bats talking among each other in the far distance, made Ira’s sensitive ears flick. Vince rolled his sleeves up silently as Ira looked to him. “I didn’t know how ruthless your father was. I’m very sorry.” She looked up, trying to make eye contact with him. The dragon leaned on her shoulder softly. Whether this was a deliberate move or just a sign of tiredness, she wouldn’t know.
The crisp morning air hit Jon’s face as he adjusted himself in his sleeping bag. With a groan he stood, slicking his hair back with his hand and putting on his slacks and sleeveless shirt. The journey would not be much longer. Vince sat still the rest of the way, but Ira and Jon were a bit restless.
The trio were handed large coats before entering “The Hollow”. Even with them on, the cold was still able to seep through certain areas of the body. The path leading to the town had been shoveled, wolf soldiers stand, wearing long sleeved shirts and armor on two sides of a long path, Down the path is a series of wooded cabins, stores and breweries. Theon walked in a straight line. his black feathery coat wrapped around his entire body, light snow fell from the grey sky. The wind wasn’t an issue on this day. His boots crunched the snow and ice as he looked to Jon the most. He had never seen such a tall and buff human in his life. “Greetings. Welcome to our land.” Vince bowed his head slightly. “Pleasure to meet you, King Theon.”
After introductions, Barry leaps onto Jon with fangs out. Before, something like this would have rendered Jon helpless, but instead he throws quite a punch to the black wolf. After a few gasps, Barry rubbed his bleeding nose, eyeing the human. “Human scum!” He hisses with alcohol on his breath. Theon roughly grabbed the back of his neck, no one in the land was a match for Theon’s strength. “My apologies for this ass.” Theon spoke in-between trying to handle him. Jon glared at the wolf, Vince gently put a hand on his shoulder. “Jon, that’s enough.” Vince looked to Theon. “Jon is not one who likes to be touched unannounced. Luckily he can fend for himself should such an attack happen again.” Theon tossed Barry to one side with a sigh and nodded. “Well, he is a very well built young man. I am glad to have him here.”
Jon sits among wolves of all varied sizes and colors, the huge fire pit kept the place quite comfortable. The Inn full of chatter and harmless drunken canines. The new visitors are given bedrooms within the inn once they get tired, the three were certainly happy to finally have bedrooms and a warm building.
A paw taps Jon’s shoulder, one of a young wolf. “What’s your name?” He softly smiled, the wolf looked about seventeen in human years. Not too far off from Jon’s age. “Jon Baker.” “Keanu, I’m King Theon’s son. Nice to see a human around. We don’t get many like you, if ever.” Keanu had to tilt his head a bit to see Jon’s eyes. Jon finished his beer. Ashka a beautiful female wolf and Theon’s wife also approached. Ashka and Keanu began to talk to Jon, all of them smile as the conversation grows with fun and interest. While Jon was a bit hard to understand, it was no doubt he would become a dear friend to The Hollow.
In another corner, Vince rests his arm on a counter relaxing after a few days of travel, also answering questions of his life journey. Curiosity seemed to be the theme of the evening, Ira eyed the dragon as she always did a few feet from him. Watching his tail sway casually, looking at every movement he made. His calm tone and his freshly cleaned scales. A few wolves did talk to her as well, but she was too preoccupied with her crush to get into anything too deep.
Barry drunkenly approaches Vince and Theon. “I think the human should leave.” The king and Vince both frown, but the dragon keeps quiet not wanting to get into another scuffle. The king is not so willing to keep the peace. “Tomorrow I shall speak to you about your blatant, unapologetic, needless thoughts. Go to your home.” The black wolf growled a bit as he finished his drink of hard liquor. The fire crackles in the background, chatter continued, but it all faded from his ears as Barry became drunker. “You dare growl at your king?” Vince steps back. “Yes. And I dare speak against your wishes to keep a useless human here.” Shoving Theon, Barry narrowed his eyes. “I do not wish to fight you. However, Jon is now a member of our pack and I will fight to protect him.” Barry chuckles dryly. “He can’t even fight, he barely hurt me a few hours ago. Make him leave.”
Another, harder shoved caused Theon’s ears to pin back. He quickly removed his jacket and shirt, revealing a white coated and toned body. The king lunges at Barry’s throat. Loud growls were now emitting from their throats. The bar attendees gather around, all but Jon, Ashka and Keanu. All of them chanting “Theon! Theon! Theon!” Fists flew, Theon was hit, so was Barry. Blood began to cover the area they stood in. The white wolf had height and a sober mind on his side, Barry had a blind and insane force on his-which was perhaps more of a hindrance. Fur was pulled, Barry attempted to bite Theon’s neck. Theon swiftly grabbed his snout by his sharp claws and threw him into the crowd whimpering.
Landing smack into Vince, the dragon fearlessly shoved Barry back into the ring with an angry grunt. Ira chuckled as she watched Vince fight back. With a bloody nose, Theon again lunged, not slowing down. Sweat pouring from his fur, the blood on his body beginning to dry. Barry gave Theon a nip in the shoulder, which barely broke the skin. Within his rage he didn’t notice Theon had his clawed hand wrapped around the back of his neck, with brute strength Theon runs behind Barry and slams his face into a nearby table. The sound of the smack and his nose bursting caused the audience to shudder. Three times. Barry’s face hit the wooden surface. Barry’s face gushes blood from every which way as Theon throws the now knocked out wolf to the floor. The pack yells happily as Theon sighs and takes a sip of Barry’s liquor bottle, eyeing the crowd he spoke tiredly. “Let this be a lesson to ALL of you! Prejudice is not part of our pack. We shall fight against hatred until the end of time! Human, wolf, dragon or horse, EVERYONE can join our pack and live a safe and happy life among us!”
Cheering louder, the pack clapped. Noticing the blood on his fur and one of his wounds leaving a nasty scar, he left the inn, Theon was met with high fives and smiles, he merely smirked as tiredness had hit him like a ton of bricks.
As the candle burned by Vince’s desk, he continued writing in a journal. A way to relax after nights of excitement, he also thought the tale of Jon should be told to all anthros for generations. The room silent, the sound of snow hit the glass window by his bed. A chill always seemed to be in the air, but a black robe wrapped around his body alleviated that feeling. His handwriting that of perfect cursive, he smiled as he wrote of the good memories with Jon. Training with Ira and the evolution of how the human went from frailness to that of a gentle giant and warrior. Ira walked into his bedroom, his concentration completely broken, but he was not upset by it one bit. The mare smiled as she closed his door, starting from his feet to his face she looked at him. The fact that nothing was under his robe made Ira a tad bit happy, but she held it in as usual. “Vince. I am surprised to see you up at this hour.” The dragon put his quill pen aside as he briefly read what he had written down. “Nice job shoving Barry. Very heroic.” She approached closer, getting behind him. Vince shrugged. “Heroic is not the word I would use but thank you.”
Her hands slowly wrapped around his shoulders, unsure if she should be doing this. Would he flinch? Would he ask her to politely stop? As she massaged him, perhaps surprisingly he didn’t say a word. No negative facial expression either. “You tense?” With a blush, Vince smiled. “Not so much.” She continued. “But I do not mind this.” His British accent ringing in her ears like beautiful music, her heart pounding endlessly. His muscles felt like velvet in her grasp. Vince leaned back in his chair. Going from a natural expression to a very relaxed and happy one.
Vince took deep breaths. Her mind clouded with happiness, she gave him a kiss on the cheek. He closed his eyes softly. Never had he felt so at ease with another anthro. His soul becoming one with her. “Vince, I can’t tell you how long I’ve watched you. How long you’ve attracted me.” With a smile, he spoke as he opened his shining eyes. “Lucky for you, dragons are quite passionate.” Ira smiles a lump forms in her throat. “Can I see?” With a silent nod, he did not protest as Ira and his lips touched. He stands slowly and softly presses her against the door, his tail wrapping around her waist.
Both wrapped in each other’s arms, the dragon’s touch so warm and smooth as he removed her clothing a tad bit, not rugged like her touch, but romantic and gentle. Something otherworldly she had never experienced.
Ella had finished making various poisons for her new-found friend. The room a large library, converted for her to make her and Crixus’ dark desires come to life. Opening the door, his footsteps echoed. The sound of overly worked humans could be heard. “How are they?” She asked as she placed liquids of all types of foul looking colors in a sack for him. “They’re much faster than my usual soldiers at making our comforts manageable, but I won’t be surprised if I have to kill at least one to prove a point.” The witch smiled as she followed him out to the main hall. His pointed teeth revealed as he gazed upon sickly humans, all doing his bidding. Whether cleaning or crafting items. They hopelessly stay silent, as they fear the large Komodo and the witch by his side. “Of course you realize no one in town is allowed at my castle, if the secret gets out that humans are not poisonous to the touch, my reputation is ruined as a protector.” She looked upon the humans. “What if I attach a lock to the front door, one that can only be broken by fire?” Crixus chuckled and placed a clawed hand on her shoulder. “You are a genius, my lady.” In the front of the hall, instead of one large chair, two stood. “I told you would work for me for a good deal.” Smiling eerily, he walked her to the front of the hall. She sits by him, knowing full well what he wanted. “You know-with this army we could find the human, Jon that escaped your grasp. The one you spoke of a while ago.” He nodded. “Ah yes, you did tell me you had a run in with him. If I remember correctly you also said two other anthros are helping him.” She nodded as he rests his head on her shoulder. “Perhaps Jon could learn a thing or two from me of how his species should be handled. Should you find him, bring him to me alive. My queen.” She puts an arm around his muscular shoulders. “Anything to please you, my king.”
PLOT: Working a humdrum office job and having a nagging boss will be the least of Nathan’s issues when he soon learns that his childhood fear-a monster living under his bed is much more than fantasy…
IN THE BEDROOM: A Fairytale
He felt the feeling he was being watched. Every night. He checked his surroundings, but never saw anything there but shadows playing tricks on him. When he was younger, Nathan Bennet was afraid of a monster in his closet or under his bed. His parents assured him nothing like that existed. Now at twenty-one years of age, he certainly didn’t believe in such things. Sometimes in life, however, beliefs are challenged, and you can be proven very wrong.
The email he wrote was a long and boring. Nathan was never one to argue if he didn’t like to do something. Deeply he felt his life had become meaningless. Working at an office, coming home, watching TV and going to bed. The endlessness of his tasks offered him nothing but boredom. He tried creative writing. He tried taking art classes, but nothing stuck. This was his life. Mundane.
Loosening his tie, he entered the break room to make some coffee. A bland looking area with a counter and a few tables. After his coffee was made, he decided to sit and watch the traffic below. He turned on some music from his phone since no one was there. As the moments passed, a few of his co-workers walked in and out. Saying a quick hello, but ultimately leaving him to go somewhere else.
That is until his energetic best friend sat by him, a long-time friend from high school. A good-looking guy who prided himself on fashion and happiness and someone who made Nathan smile. “Nathan! You’re sitting alone again. You know you can always chat with me. No reason for you to be alone.”
His name tag read Paul Tompkins. Placing his purple purse down, he looked to Nathan as he spoke. “I think the boredom of this place gets to me and I forget I have someone I can trust and actually have fun with.” With his one diamond earring, pink sweater and black skinny jeans and high heels, Paul never failed to look glitzy every day. “I’m always so surprised you’re single.” Paul admired how nicely Nathan dressed for work and his personality. He often tried to compliment Nathan, sensing the hatred of his workplace. “Well, thank you for that. What can I say? Being single is the one thing in my life I’m content about.” His tone confident for sure, Paul could tell he truly didn’t long for a girl or boyfriend. “I hope you are more than content. I think happiness is a good goal to strive for.” Nathan nods and sips his coffee. “Agreed. Maybe I’ll find a hobby or maybe I’ll get a puppy or something.” Paul nodded with a friendly smile. “There you go! I think life has plans for you, Nathan. You’re a kind and hardworking guy. I hope good things come to you. I hope you find happiness.” Nathan knew Paul was wrong. His life wouldn’t change. It hadn’t since he was eighteen working at the same humdrum office.
Evening came slowly as the workday had ended. Nathan sent a text to Paul to make sure he drove home safely. He always did, driving worried him and he didn’t have a license. Another thing in his life he was content with. Perhaps Paul was right. Happiness should be what he strives for. With that in mind, Nathan changed into a tank top and black pajama pants and began to cook dinner for himself. Turning on some 80’s rock, he hummed as he cleaned his small kitchen area and readjusted some items. A tiny spark of happiness did go through him as he listened to his music.
Taking a deep breath, Nathan curled up in bed. An average sized bedroom for an apartment. Another boring day is done and over with. He debated on calling Paul just for someone to talk to. Sleep got the better of him and he soon drifted off. A few moments after closing his eyes, he heard a strange sound. A kind of growl. He slowly sat up, thinking it was only a nightmare or maybe a creek from one of the heating pipes. The noise was prominent enough for him to stay sitting up in bed, cocking his head left to right. With a shrug, he lied back down. The creature saw everything. Peeking his head out from under the bed. He knew he had Nathan a bit creeped out. He smiled and retreated to the shadows.
Mr. Hardy left a pile of paperwork to be done once Nathan walked in. With a sigh and coffee in hand, the tired worker began his routine. Dreading every moment of painstakingly looking after Hardy’s writing. Correcting spelling and grammar errors. Nathan had a knack for correcting spelling but doing it for someone else other than one of Paul’s poems he often put online, made him want to faint of nervousness.
Always worrying about failing. Always worried about causing a commotion. He took a deep breath and rubbed his eyes. I can do this. He repeated softly. It’s only grammar. His heart raced. A lump formed in his throat. Should he get up and leave or sit and take it? He leaned back in his chair, his cubical becoming blurry, he loosened his black tie and unbuttoned the top of his blue dress shirt. The sound of footsteps approaching made him more nervous. Luckily, it was Paul. He eyed his friend worriedly. “Hon? You okay?” Nathan went wide eyed for a moment. “Oh! Paul. Yeah, just fine” he lied. Paul softly approached him, his brown hair styled nicely as always. “You don’t look good.” Observed Paul. “Really?” Nathan asked in fake confusion. “Why don’t you get a drink and take a walk? I’ll watch your stuff.” He nodded softly and left. Paul sighed, debating on whether to follow him or not. He decided against it and sat. Worried about his friend. Leaning up against a wall, he took deep breaths. This was not the first time these feelings had come up. Not by a long shot. This felt like the tenth or fifteenth time at least. Soon it’ll be over. Then what? Then back to his boring house. Why was life either high stress or boredom? It didn’t seem right.
Moving the blankets over, Nathan sat up again. Feeling a cold shiver run up his spine. This time, he knew someone, or something was in his room. He looked to one side, near a burrow. He swore he saw a tall figure. Lurking. The shadow hard to make out, the young man spoke into the darkness. “H-hey!” Of course, after he said this he expected to turn a light on and realize it was a lamp or a jacket hanging from a chair. He didn’t expect to hear the deep tone of another “Hey”. He rolled out of bed, he yelled loudly as he backed himself into a corner. He shivered, his palms sweating. His entire body shaking. Dizziness struck him next. The figure walked over to him, his mannerisms so odd. Nathan turned on his bedside lamp, expecting to wake up from this vivid nightmare.
The light shined on him, a very tall reptile humanoid. Dark green skin, a tuft of black hair on his head. His nose pointed, his tail quite sharp looking, so were his tiny pointed teeth when he spoke. The creature smiled at him. “I got you good, boy.” Nathan stood up and attempted to shove the creature away in-between tears of pure terror. Shoving him back, the creature giggled. “I’ll be back little man. Sadly, for you, this is my job.” He slithered under the bed like some large snake. With a scream, Nathan looked under the bed, but nothing was there. He began to knock items over, ripping the blankets off, seeing if he could find the creature. Running to the bathroom, he ran his hands under the sink and splashed his face. “Pull yourself together! There’s NO such thing as monsters.”
Spilling coffee on the floor, Nathan cussed quietly and grabbed napkins. Paul quickly helped him as he always seemed to appear out of nowhere. He looked at Nathan and saw dark circles under his eyes. “Nathan? Did you sleep at all?” He shrugged. “No. Never do really.” With a sigh, Paul held his hand. “I know you hate this job, and I know you live alone. I want you to call me if you’re feeling unhappy. Really. I can’t stress it enough. I can even bring you food!” Nathan smiled softly at his friend’s offer. “Maybe sometime. Thanks, pal.”
After being called into Mr. Hardy’s office, Nathan sat nervously. Going through his head, thinking if he had done anything wrong. The boss is slender, has a hairstyle that would be a throwback to the 1950s. He wore a grey suit as he sat across from him. On his desk, a picture of his family. “Nathan, I wanted to tell you what you did wrong with your paperwork.” Of course. It was always what he did wrong. Never did he seem to do anything well. It was always whiny criticism. “I noticed that you missed a few periods and you didn’t use the right size font. I’m going to ask you to do it again.” Just like that, he tossed out the challenging work he had done. Truth be told, he did as best as he could. “Sir, I’m sorry. I’ll do better next time. I promise.” Hardy nodded and smiled. “It’s a waste of time to do all that and do everything wrong.” Nathan had all he could do not to tip a chair over or kick the desk in front of him. Nathan left without a single word, heading back to his cubical. He took deep breaths and tapped a nearby pen on the desk, trying to get his mind off Hardy’s tone and annoying little nitpicks. He closed his eyes, repeating…the day’s almost over. The day’s almost over. He had no idea what waited for him at home.
Stepping into his kitchen, he yelped loudly as the very creature from last night was raiding his refrigerator. The creature at full height is about seven feet, dark green scaly skin and a pointed snout much like a Komodo dragon. His eyes yellow and kind of pretty in a mysterious way. Nathan gently backed against the wall. Gazing on something he had never seen. It spoke. “You weren’t supposed to see me.” His voice so odd and otherworldly. Nathan sat in a corner but didn’t seem as terrified as before. “What are you?” Nathan said a bit loudly, the creature dropped what he had in his hand, a box of cereal. “The monster living under your bed.” He states rather plainly. “Those don’t exist! You must be some weird undiscovered creature living in my house.” “I’ve been under your bed for quite some time.”
In a sort of rush of flashbacks, he remembered complaining to his parents when he was quite young about a haunting presence in his bedroom. Like all parents, they told him monsters don’t exist. Here one was, plain as day standing in his living room. “I don’t believe you, but whatever the case, can’t you leave me alone? You’ve scared the shit out of me.” The creature eyed him softly. “I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. You see, when a monster picks a quote ‘victim’ they live in their home until the day we die. We are born to scare. It’s in our nature. We never leave your side. Typically, of course, no human sees us, and they shrug us off thinking we were just a phase in childhood. You are the first human to communicate with any monster under the bed.” Nathan stood up and took a deep breath. Calling the police was out of the question, what if bullets didn’t hurt it? What if the creature himself killed the officers?
“Did you pick me on purpose to scare?” The creature picked the box of cereal up and munched once he got a handful. “In a sense. We are born in caverns hidden from society. Our masters teach us how to scare others in unique ways and then we are sent to houses. Most kids are easy to scare, but some aren’t. It’s all luck of the draw.” Nathan rolls his eyes, he truly hated having a monster living with him. Especially one that tormented his childhood. “Well go back to your master and leave me alone, I’m too old to have ‘monster in my closet’ problems. You scared me enough when I was a kid.” Nathan walked to the kitchen as he spoke, getting a salad prepared for himself.
The creature followed him, staying a few feet behind him. “We can’t go back. Once we pick a house, that’s it. I will live here until I die. Which won’t be far way away lucky for you.” Perhaps a tad bit of sadness hit Nathan, enough for him to reconsider his emotions. “I’ll make you a deal. You stop trying to scare me, and I’ll let you stay.” Never had anyone treated him with such kindness. The creature smiled a bit. Nathan cocked his head. “Don’t smile. Please. It’s scary.” The creature giggled. “Do you have a name?” With a shrug, he spoke. “Not really.” Nathan paused, he tapped his finger on a nearby surface. “Melvin was the name of my first dog. Does that sound good?”
Melvin sat on the nearby counter as Nathan did the dishes. Melvin cocked his head to the various sounds of glasses being clanked and the warm, soapy water running from the faucet. Doing nightly chores as a tall, reptilian creature watched was far from normal. The human didn’t talk much, he found this whole thing a bit to jarring. What would one talk to a creature about? The weather? Emotions? It all seemed so alien to him. Was Melvin lying? Would he come out with something scarier than before?
As he stole glances towards Melvin and watched him innocently sitting and doing rather normal human behaviors, another thought went through his head. One he didn’t expect. Melvin looked rather innocent. It felt like a silly thought, something that scared him so much, now shown in a different light. No longer shrouded in darkness, but sitting right by him, it gave Melvin a sort of lively appearance. As eerie as some of his movements were, his other features didn’t seem all that bad. ‘Who am I kidding?’ Nelson thought as he finished up and dried his hands. ‘He’s not bothering me now, so I won’t say anything negative. But I won’t be one to start personal dialogue about my horrible work day or anything like that.’
Sitting on the couch, Nathan watched a stupid sitcom, just something to have on as his tiredness ever so slowly began to grow. Melvin sat on the other side, again in a very human-like manner. “Want me to go back under your bed?” Nathan eyed him sternly. “No. You’ll scare me again. Believe it or not, I like when I can see you.” Melvin nodded and coughed softly, his lizard-like long tail sat in his lap, the tip nearly touching Nathan. “Guess I did an excellent job.” Due to the bad day he had and due to the anxiety he had over the past few weeks, he snapped, leaning forward. “I hated it. I hate being scared, I hate having some freak in my house! I hate what you did to my childhood. You know how many kids are freaked out due to monsters in their closets? Lots! You’re part of the problem. Just shut up.”
Leaning back, he sighed deeply. Melvin’s eyes went from curious, to down. He played with his tail. “It’s all playful fun” he finally said, Nathan scoffed. “Right. Fun for you. You never, ever stopped to consider the kind of terror you put ME through.” Again, Melvin’s eyes looked down. This time his whole head went with the motion. “It’s the only way I knew how to communicate with someone else. It’s how I was brought up.”
Listening to his remorseful voice, Nathan rubbed his eyes slowly. This wasn’t a human. This was an otherworldly being, taught to scare and that’s it. No other interaction. Not until now. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, Melvin. Honestly, I should be in awe. I’m experiencing something probably no one else has.” The creature stood up, Nathan watched him not blinking-a stare of nervousness. Would he attack? Would he yell? Who knew? He braced himself for the worst. “Goodnight Nathan.” Watching Melvin leave, Nathan turned off the TV.
As his weary eyes began to close, he heard and felt something among the blankets. “Melvin! Get out.” He whispered harshly, the creature sat in a ball at the end of his bed. His eyes glowing in the darkness. “I won’t scare you, I promise. I’ve never slept in a bed before.” Remembering his outburst and how horrible he felt after, the human took a deep breath and let him stay.
A few days passed, Nathan woke and stretched. Their relationship had not grown much, but slowly Nathan liked the idea of Melvin. He saw the creature lying on the other end of the bed, sleeping away. He was most active at night, which made sense given the creature’s purpose in life. He eyed the sleeping being, slouched over the edge of the bed on his stomach. Down his spine were a series of black, small spikes, much like a porcupine, which seemed to be folded downward. His breathing deep, much like a large dog.
Sitting at the table, sipping coffee Nathan skimmed through some news articles on his iPad, researching monsters under beds and if anything would connect. When he felt a pair of hands leap over his shoulder, he flinched. “Melvin!” he said in a slightly loud tone. He chuckled darkly and sat by him, his voice chipper. “Sorry. I can’t help it.” Nathan couldn’t help but softly smile, he thought Melvin did have a somewhat charming personality after having sometime to process things. “Look. Your purpose IS to scare. I get it. It really does bother me though. I feel like we’re on speaking terms and you don’t need to do that.” Melvin shrugged. “Fine. I’m itching to scare though. So, tempting. So, fun.” Melvin is super odd, that’s for sure, but something in his mannerisms told Nathan he was far from evil. His scaring was more playful at this stage than life threatening. Perhaps it had been that all along.
His office hours, work seemed to go by a bit slower as he constantly checked his watch, on the hand he didn’t feel quite as lonely. A bit more confident perhaps. Typing in his usual spot, Melvin was in the back of his brain the entire time. What was odd was Paul didn’t show up to perform his normal greeting. A moment passed. Nathan decided to sneak into the break room.
Paul had a large box, putting items away. He certainly wasn’t himself. His slow mannerisms spoke volumes. Rolling his sleeves up, Nathan knocked gently and opened the door. Paul smiled at Nathan-a fake smile. “Paul? Are you okay?” With a sigh, he closed the cardboard box. “Mr. Hardy doesn’t want me here anymore.” Nathan rolled his sleeves up. “That’s ridiculous. You’re so hardworking.” Again, Paul sighed. “He went on this whole tangent on how ‘uncomfortable’ I make him. How quote ‘girly I look’, how he couldn’t stand being near me.” Nathan’s heart goes to the pit of his stomach. Paul carried the box and walked toward his best friend. “Sadly, this is only a sign of hateful times.” His tone so low and defeated. Exiting the room, Nathan stood, his throat closed. He knew his boss was picky and annoying, but prejudice to the point of firing a worker? This threw him off.
Nathan sat in the break room, in a corner alone. No longer having Paul’s fun commentary to brighten his day. Sadness came in waves this day. The feeling loneliness at work hit him. More so than ever. After the break, he goes to his sitting area a bit earlier than usual. Opening his email browser, he typed his boss’ name. Every worker had their own file which could be accessed by any employee. Mr. Hardy preferred snail mail as opposed to email. With this information, Nathan found Mr. Hardy’s address and hits print.
Melvin knew something was wrong right when Nathan entered the apartment. “Are you upset?” Nathan took a seat on the couch next to Melvin. The scales on his body shined a tiny bit as the light from the lamp nearby struck him just right. “I yelled at you. The first night we met. I’d like to make it up to you.” Melvin cocked his head. “Remember my friend I told you about? Paul? He was fired from work.” Cocking his head again, the creature had no idea what that word meant. Nathan quickly explained. “He was removed from his job. Like if your master told you, you couldn’t scare people anymore. Paul’s boss kicked him out.” “Well, surely to get that sort of treatment, he did something wrong?” Nathan shook his head. “I’m afraid not. His boss simply didn’t like his clothing or his ideas.”
With a sad sigh, Melvin looked to Nathan. He had never heard of such a thing. For a monster to get removed from scaring others, you’d have to do something against the master personally or break one of the few ‘rules of scaring.’ Judging someone by appearance was never something Melvin was faced with.
Nathan looked at his feet. “Look, I have someone you can scare.” The spikes on his back slowly went up. “Is that so?” he said with a slight sneer. “I don’t have the guts to yell at my boss or put him in his place for the horrible thing he did.” With a clawed hand on his shoulder, he stopped talking. “Nathan. This is what I do. This isn’t my first time.” Nathan sighed and decided to get out of his work clothes, putting on a hoodie and jeans.
His wife was out on vacation. His kids away at a friend’s house for a sleepover. Hardy had the entire home to himself, wearing a bathrobe and pajama pants he finished his glass of wine as he turned off the living room lights and turned off the TV. The tidiness of his home showed how truly obsessive he was about neatness. Not a single thing out of place, the windows shined, everything shined as a matter of fact.
Lying in bed, he closed his book and took a deep breath as he flicked off his bedside light, lying in complete darkness. His heating pipes began to make a rattling sound, which always woke him as soon as he started to drift off. This was not natural. Melvin was rattling it. Melvin softly chuckled an evil sound that made Mr. Hardy sat up. He began to sweat a bit as he sits up. “Who’s there?” he asked as a lump formed in his throat.
Before he could get up and get a weapon, Melvin leaped onto his bed with a growl. Hardy lets out a terrified shriek as the creature pins him down with two hands by the shoulders. Melvin was in his glory. Feeling sweat of a terrified victim was what he relished in.
The spikes on his back stood up, Hardy’s eyes wide open as he gazed upon something he had never seen, Melvin was able to change his voice to the most sinister tone one could wish to hear. “WHO ARE YOU?” Hardy yelled as he struggled to get out. “The monster under your bed for the night.” Hardy thrashed about, but the creature kept him in a tight grasp. “You’re not real!” Melvin held Hardy’s jaw in a tight grip. “Fear would do you some good, Mr. Hardy. Give Paul back his job and stop treating Nathan like he isn’t trying his best. Understood?” Hardy nodded as his hand slowly reached to the bedside table. Melvin gazed into his eyes when suddenly he felt a sharp pain go through his shoulder. Melvin let out a monstrous yell as he tumbled off the bed and onto the floor. Hardy took the butcher knife he always kept there and ran out of the bedroom.
Halfway down the stairs, he tripped on the sleek wooden texture of the staircase and fell on his side, rolling on his back. The knife flew in one direction. Groaning in pain, he slowly tried to get up, when suddenly Melvin had made his way to him. His arm bled, but that didn’t seem to stop him as he placed one of his clawed feet on Hardy’s chest. “Kill Me! Come on! Creature from hell!” Melvin sighed deeply. “I repeat. Give Paul back his job and stop treating Nathan like trash.”
Shrouded in darkness, Melvin exited Hardy’s home, standing near the doorway and looking out onto the sidewalk and the surrounding suburban area. Nathan who was just about to check on him, ran to him like an owner finding his lost dog. “Melvin! You’re bleeding!” He held the creature’s hand and walked by his side. “I’m so sorry! I should’ve gone with you. I was too scared, and I knew I wouldn’t be much help anyway. I should have gone to keep watch.” Melvin couldn’t help but gently smile, this time it looked genuine and not terrifying. “I had fun actually.”
Sitting at the kitchen table, Nathan wrapped Melvin’s arm in a bandage, the sounds of crickets could be heard outside. The air conditioning made a low humming sound. Melvin sat eating a snack, looking at Nathan as he finished patching him up.
He still found humans a bit fascinating, in a way he thought he never would. For so long, he was taught that humans were nothing more than scared victims, but Nathan proved the opposite. That there’s more to the human condition than just one or two emotions. Perhaps Nathan had become a bit more open-minded to the unknown world, before fearing what he didn’t understand, maybe now he realized that just because something is not known, doesn’t make it bad.
For so long his life was a series of boring events, even now, he still couldn’t believe that a creature sat a few feet from him. In a way, he felt lucky. Lucky to have something that not everyone had. Something to make him feel special. “How did Mr. Hardy take your words?” he asked as he did the dishes, Melvin shrugged. “I hope well enough. I did my best.” Nathan glanced over his shoulder to Melvin. “Well, you are scary. But kind of adorable.” Pausing, Melvin felt a sense of happiness when he said that. Maybe he was tired of being called scared and wanted to show that there was another side to him.
Paul happily entered the office the next morning, Nathan hugged him tightly as he did so. “I don’t know what got into Mr. Hardy. He called me and apologized. Not like him at all! Maybe his superior came down on him?” Shrugging, Nathan made his morning coffee with a smile. “I certainly didn’t yell at him.” Paul grabbed a few files he needed to get going on returning to the office, last minute assignments. Walking passed a nearby window, Mr. Hardy gave a gentle wave to Nathan, he waved back in the same manner. Giggling, Paul approached Nathan. “Okay. Who killed Mr. Hardy and cloned him?” “Maybe someone scared him into changing his attitude?” “Who could do that? Mr. Hardy’s a scary guy when he’s mad. I can’t imagine someone putting fear into him.”
Nathan walked by Paul’s side the cubical area. Speaking in a low tone. “I’d feel dishonest if I didn’t open up a bit. I do know. Exactly what happened. Meet me at my house next week.” Paul eyed him. “What have you got up your sleeve?” Nathan stops him, speaking lower. “Look, you’re my best friend. I’m not going to keep secrets from you. I can’t get into it now. Trust me. You won’t want to miss it.”
The two sat on the couch, the TV on low. An odd emotion stirred through Melvin. One of comfort. As a creature built on fear, this was new to him. Sure, he felt happy scaring people, but comfortable? His whole life was spent either in Nathan’s closet or under a bed. Comfort wasn’t something he was used to. Being with someone. Talking to someone when they weren’t wide-eyed in terror was a feeling of warmth he didn’t think he had in him. For so long he was alone, no one to talk to. No one to confide in. Now he had found his goal. He once thought to bring terror to others was his goal, but maybe deep down it was to find a friend in Nathan. To find love instead of fear. The creature rests his head on Nathan’s leg, taking a deep breath. The human smiled softly and placed a blanket over him. Normally he slept during the day, but this night had proved to be an energetic and emotional affair. The human felt a sense of warmth as his friend slept deeply, his breathing so calm and so odd at the same time. Nathan knew Melvin needed a sense of comfort and acceptance, instead of getting up like he wanted to and go to bed, he let him sleep there. Melvin needed him as much as Nathan needed Melvin. Two unlikely species, living in harmony.
This lovely fursuit head was made my Vegastoye! Amazing quality and incredible detail! Can’t wait to be my fav cartoon character at a next con! 😀
It’s hard to explain in a short video review (which is here) how this movie impacted me. Since 2011, my favorite movie was “War Horse.” It was a movie that told a story of courage, which I really needed at that time of seeing it. What makes “The Shape of Water” come neck and neck with Spielberg’s war epic? I’m going to break this down into a few categories, because I really could ramble about this movie all day. So, I’ll speak of the elements which impacted me the most-while going into the finer details as well.
Elisa: The main character, played by Sally Hawkins is a kind and honest character who has a vocal impairment. The reason why I fell in love with her portrayal is because it was awesome to see someone with a disability represented so well. Disability advocacy is such a big part of my life since I have mild autism and I have siblings who have cerebral palsy, while I have never met anyone to date who cannot speak, but I think it’s important to show people of all different disabilities in movies if it’s not ‘cheesy.’
I feel like all the other movies or fictional stories I’ve read about disability is the same old story. Trying to overcome and show the world who they are inside, a sappy story which we all know the ending of. No doubt a promising idea and can be done well, but it’s been done to death. In this movie, she’s not trying to prove anything, she’s a normal human with needs, wants, hopes and dreams.
The movie isn’t ‘about’ her disability, even though it’s a very important aspect of the movie. The plot tropes of disabilities are washed away in this movie, making way for new and exciting ideas. I’m so glad the filmmaker didn’t try to make us feel ‘sorry’ for her because she is mute, we feel sorry for her in other ways. She happens to have a disability, but we don’t need it milked to make the audience feel bad.
We already connect with her on an emotional level, we as the audience already accept that she cannot speak. Why make a movie of trying to ‘prove to the world she’s better?’ Again, we’ve seen that time and time again. Elisa is a great character, and we get to see her go through so much emotion and interesting plot twists. That to me is much more interesting.
Amphibian Man: I think the aspect of this movie that’s getting talked about the most is Doug Jones as the ‘creature’ as I call him, the IMDB however calls him ‘Amphibian Man.’ I will mention that the creature effects themselves are flawless, and the actor did an amazing job with the mannerisms of the creature, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I found him the most intriguing part of the entire movie, and I think others did as well. I think my love for his character goes all the way back to when I was younger, maybe in middle school when I first saw “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” I found him quite amazing to, and I remember re-watching that movie a lot and talking about it in school. I still to this day have a love for the gill-man. I remember watching all the behind the scenes, he remains my favorite of the classic movie monsters. Not to mention, I also love any type of non-human story. I love talking animal movies, I love movies like “District 9″, where one of the main characters has a totally different outlook on life because he / she isn’t our species.
Through the whole movie, I wondered what was going through his brain, and with the upcoming novel of the same name coming out, I can’t wait to read it the moment it is released and maybe get a few of my questions answered. I think he is also 90% of why I loved this movie. I’ll admit, if it wasn’t for him-I don’t think this movie would have had nearly the impact it did. His story brought be back to the classic monster movies I love. He is my favorite part of the movie hands down. I can’t get the creature out of my head. Hands down one of my favorite movie characters.
Zelda and Giles: I put these two characters together, since I have an overall message about these two. Octavia Spencer hit the ball out of the park with her role. She is such a talented actor. I think she had all the best dialogue, she said sort of what I was thinking-apart from the religious expletives, as I’m not religious. The most hard-hitting parts of the movie for me, is not even the tragic love story of beauty and beast-but the harsh racism, sexism and overall mindset of the 60’s. The comments made by Michael Shannon’s character, Richard Strickland paint a sort of eerie fact that so many people in certain places believe.
I love how Giles is a struggling artist and trying to get his work out (I’ve been there TONS of times!) and that the fact he is gay isn’t done in a stereotypical way. As said about Elisa, I think the movie does an amazing job with making the ‘underdogs’ of the story real human beings. His sexual orientation is actually a very important point of the movie, and I think it’s amazing how the movie has a disabled person, a black person and a gay person and a non-human as the heroes. Social justice is also an important part of my life and seeing that just makes me so happy. In any 50’s horror movie, the scientist, a Strickler-type character would be the hero. The one who saves the girl in the end (much like the movie “Revenge of the Creature.”) However, this movie turns that on its head and we’re left with such a remarkable story about how courage in the face of danger can make a difference. It takes the 50’s horror movie plot points and flips everything around.
Filmmaking / Favorite Moments
Music / Cinematography: I want to frame 99% of the shots in this movie. So many times, I forgot I was watching a movie and I let the dreamlike quality take me away to this amazing fantasy world. The music is no exception, I’d call it beautifully haunting. I loved the romantic songs used in the movie, it really felt like an homage to classic cinema. The tap dancing, the black and white fantasy dance scene (I’ll get to that.) the funny little cameo of Mr. Ed, all these things made me feel like I was watching a classic movie.
Scenes that impacted Me: The film is movie magic in my eyes, but they’re moments I won’t forget seeing for the first time.
- When the creature is watching a movie on the big screen-his look of wonderment as the action is going on is so adorable, I don’t know if that was the intention of Mr. del Toro, but that’s how I felt. It gave him such a childlike naivety.
- The black and white dance scene is the most unique scene in the entire movie. It paints such a classic movie idea, the two leads dancing in a huge ballroom. It’s amazing to know that the two actors had to take dancing lessons and everything you see is in front of camera. The black and white also really added to it. It’s one of the most unique scenes I’ve seen in any movie.
- The creature looking out the window at the pouring rain. It is a simple and rather quick shot, but I get so sad when I see it. Like he’s yearning to swim.
- The final shot of the movie is what got me misty eyed the both times I saw it. The way the lighting falls, the music, the narration, reflecting over all the events of the movie. It all fits so perfectly. It’s so romantic and unique.
With its romance, horror, comedy, life drama, amazing camera work- I also like how weird the whole concept is. It isn’t a typical movie at all. The only movie that comes close to this is “Creature from the Black Lagoon”, but even that is inaccurate. It’s a romance that breaks tropes of the genre. It also harkens back to classic movies, with its bad guy story arch and mood. This movie is what cinema is to me deep down. This is a movie I will be proud to add to my collection and re-watch at least once a year and show everyone I can.
What “The Shape of Water” means to me I guess is to be taken to a strange world you’ve never seen, something somewhat scary, romantic, sometimes beautiful, sometimes makes you think of the world we live in now, it can be weird and honors classics of the past, and you’ll be glad you visited this odd romance that’s deeper than it seems.
This is a fan film of a classic TV show from the 60’s entitled “Underdog”. I hope you enjoy!
This little movie was something I had in mind for a while, what would the silly 60’s cartoon look like with a Christopher Nolan type feel? Using similar music ques and a darker tone as far as the film making style went. Well, I hope I somewhat did that right. Filming in Philadelphia was awesome and those were the first shots filmed for the movie, including my cousin Nick as the bad guy, Raff. He’s been in a lot of my movies and he is a joy to work with, always has a lot of good ideas! He was in Genesis not to long ago. The drive was long to and from that location, but I think I got some awesome nighttime city footage-which this movie really needed.
The next scene filmed was on Christmas day, with Brian, my other cousin. You’ll remember him from the Daiquiri Christmas Special and the cameo in my other fan film, Alien: Earthbound. We filmed his scene in perhaps 10 min or so in among all the holiday festivities. The scenes with dad and I were filmed a day or so later, so I combined the two scenes and I think they both flow well. Overall, this movie was done for purely fun. I wasn’t tackling some life long project, but as said-fun was the main motivator.