Category: November 2015

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Yelling Unheard

Illustration by Sam Beck

Dear Ghost:

Your aged-old tactics don’t scare me. Stop jumping from corners. Stop opening your mouth to yell. I can not hear a word. Your weak attempts to get me to leave are silly. If you want my attention, you might try being nice. Greet me with a hug rather than bulging eyes and decaying claws. Try to smile. And… Happy Halloween.

~Frustrated Tenant

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1

Wedding Day Portrait

Bonded ox-hairs wet into a smear of ashen-pearl. Victor muses over his listless subject… her flat-sable gaze and overwhelming pungency. Over peaked shades of plum, he delicately strokes, asserting the translucence of her skin. THUDDD!!! She topples hard from the chaise. Victor unwieldy jigs across his canvas, cursing, “Thorns and nails!”

“Yyyyyg! Fetch more rope forthwith. And a tighter knot this time!” singing smartly.

 

 

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The Protégée

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

Red anger swirls inside.

This is my studio, my artwork, Damnit! If that twit says we once more, I’m going to scream! That nervy bitch dares criticize the crimson I use for blood… and to a patron?!!

I’ll show her blood’s true color!

Behind the studio, sharing a smoke, I slid my palette-knife across my protégée’s carotid, splashing a canvas.

The piece sold instantly.

 

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The Scarer

Illustration by Vaigh

I choose the most lit and safest home tonight; I crave the challenge. Costumed princesses and hobos bobbing for apples while parents check for unwrapped candy; I study their fears. Their quivering lips and racing hearts belong to me ‘til dawn. Childish illusions amuse me, knowing their tears and whimpers aren’t far off. They’ll not forget me… my return will always see to it.

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Halloween Madness

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

Noises scrap across attic floorboards.

Climbing splintered wood into forgotten shadows,

Dank mold and dusty perfumes assault my lungs.

My shutter-eyes adjust to dimness.

Squinting, I crawl towards scratching noises under dark sloping eaves.

Tiny skeleton-hands withdraw into inkiness.

My skin slithers as my long-dead daughters’ face shoots out, snarling. Not possible!

Black eyes glint, her sharp fangs hurtle!

“Twick-‘r-Tweat, daddy!”

Madness swallows me

 

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4

Battered

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

A bottle of spirit in one hand, my hair in his other. He dragged me from my roots into our bedroom.
I pleaded. I begged. I cried.
He removed his belt; I shuddered at the sound of its shearing friction. Deliberately, he wrapped the leather around his right hand, the steel buckle left dangling.
My name is Mari. Today is my one year anniversary.

 

 

 

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5

Game with Charlie

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

Peek-A-Boo! I see you.
Run and hide… there’s no way out.

Scream and shout… not a soul can hear you.
Feel my breath on your neck? Your hairs are standing on ends.
Naughty child, do hear those muffling cries next door?
Metal chains clinking… nails scratching down the wall?
Come and see… join the fun.

Let’s play all night long.
Peek-A-Boo… I see you.

 

 

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1

One Pebble

Illustration by Benjamin Hill

Sakiko hesitates. She stands on the threshold of his World Bank office. She has been here often.

Sakiko waits. He is not here. She feels his presence – perhaps it is the lingering scent of clove cigarettes. Her eyes settle on the Balinese Barong mask. Its expression is less sinister today. The Javanese shadow puppets no longer seem trapped; they are fluid, daring…

Like Sakiko.

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2

The Hollywood Expiration Date

Have you noticed the Hollywood expiration date?

If you are a guy, maybe not. If you are a girl, you probably have. Have you noticed that the best female actors in the world suddenly start disappearing right around age 40?

It’s been around since the golden age of Hollywood, the classic age gap. Take Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1957); he was 58. Hepburn was 28, a 30 year age gap. No one thinks of it as strange, because that is the norm. Other examples are Frankenstein (1931): Colin Clive was 21 years older than Mae Clarke.

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Halloween Traditions

Illustration by Taverner Scholar

There’s a full moon tonight, and the air is cool and crisp.

Bright, colorful, dried up leaves crunch under little feet.

Jack-o-lanterns glow with happy and scary faces lighting up the dark paths. There is laughter and squeals all around as children, dressed in their costumes, gather together to collect small pieces of sweets from each spooky house.

Hours pass as the candy overflows.

 

 

 

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