Here's my entry in the "EVIL ORCHID GARDEN" Bookplate Contest which just concluded over at Will Schofield's majestic A Journey Round My Skull blog. This contest caps off a larger, multi-tiered celebration of the exquisitely-illustrated German fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten. As noted over at the site, my design takes inspiration from the Dracula Simia orchid variety (as wickedly weird in real life as one would hope "little dragon monkey" flowers to be)! Anyhow, plenty o' twisted entries to ogle, folks, so go check 'em out! They're the perfect eye candy to gobble up alongside other toothsome Halloween treats.
I saw how Mercedes, smiling, said something to the Russian, -- saw how he put a Bolognese tear between his lips, held it thus for a long time, and then gave it to his beloved.
In that instant a gigantic orchid sprang out, torn lose from the darkness in the confusion of leaves, -- the face of a demon, with lustful, thirsty lips, -- without a chin, only iridescent eyes and gaping, bluish gums. And this terrible plant's face trembled on its stem; swayed as in evil laughter, -- staring at Mercedes' hand. My heart stood still, as if my soul had seen into an abyss.
Do you believe that orchids can think? In that instant I felt that they could do it, -- felt, as a clairvoyant feels, that these fantastic blossoms exulted in her hair. -- And she was a queen of the orchids, this Creole with her sensual, red lips, that silent greenish shimmer of skin, and hair the color of dead copper. -- -- -- -- No, no -- orchids are no flowers, -- they're satanic creations. -- Beings, which only show us the feelers of their gestalt, show us false eyes, lips and tongues in whirlwinds of color which numb our senses, so that we do not suspect the horrible viper's body which hides itself, -- invisible --, in the realm of shadows, bringing death.
Drunk from the narcotic scent we finally returned to the ballroom.
(Excerpt from Bolognese Tears by Gustav Meyrink, 1904)