Another Local Yokai: Sairenheddo

Meet サイレンヘッド, Sairenheddo (Sirenhead). On Long Island there’s an insane number of partially-filled strip malls, the result of decades of overdevelopment and a zoning/planning ethos of “build it and they will come.” The problem is that “build it and they will come really only applies to the ghosts of baseball players. There were an abundance of never completely-filled malls before the rise of internet shopping let alone the pandemic! And now we have virgin forests being cleared for extremely dubious reasons all while the decaying strip malls are allowed to crumble.

But I figured out what is happening in those malls – it’s where Sairenheddo comes to life. A close relative of the rural monster Sirenhead, Sairenheddo is its urban manifestation. Those lights and sound systems that are no longer needed to illuminate empty parking lots or to draw the attention of shoppers slowly absorb the either of concrete and tarmac and neglect, morphing into Sairenheddo. It then stalks around, adding to the sound pollution on this poor island and killing people by bursting their eardrums and internal organs with sound waves.

For this one, I tried drawing it first, then asking an AIbot to come up with an image.

A pencil and paper drawing of Sairenheddo standing on an island with dead trees in the parking lot of an abandoned strip mall.  Sairenheddo is a many meters tall, skeletal biped with two sirens where the head should be. The buildings have broken windows and doors and there is rubbish scattered around.
by Annelies Kamran

I don’t think the aibot really grasped the whole concept of “Sirenhead” so I’d say this was not as successful as others have been. I picked the top center as my favorite of these because I think the parking lot and building show good cracks, unauthorized vegetation, etc.

Nine different versions of "sirenhead standing in the parking lot of an abandoned strip mall" by the image generator Craiyon.
This version from Craiyon shows a good amount of decrepitude, and the siren visible looks kind of like a car radio speaker.

Much obliged to Trevor Henderson for coming up with this monster!

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