Great Lake Review Fall 2015
e Great Lake Review SUNY Oswegos Literary Magazine Fall 2015 e Great Lake Review is open to submissions throughout the year. Please submit your ction, nonction, drama, poetry, and visual art as an attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org Like us on Facebook: /pages/Great-Lake-Review @greatlakereview on Twitter @greatlakereview on Instagram greatlakereview.wordpress.com greatlakereview.tumblr.com e Great Lake Review is a product of your SA fee
e Great Lake Review SUNY Oswegos Literary Magazine Fall 2015 Special anks Laura Donnelly Creative Writing Department Editor-in-Chief Julian Daley Managerial Editor Danielle Minnick Secretary Christina Bandru Head Editor of Drama Michael Jaquez Head Editor of Fiction Marissa Capuano Head Editor of Nonction Kevin Son Head Editor of Poetry Ryann Crofoot Faculty Advisor Laura Donnelly Treasurer Molly Cappiello Art Manager Melissa Gottlieb Drama Editors Gabriella Fernandez Jennifer Moss Fiction Editors Julia Brennan Julia DRozario Kirstin Swartz Nonction Editors Linne Ebbrecht Robb Lee Kaela Towne Poetry Editors Tiany Baez Sally Familia Morgan O Grady Nathalie Pena
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TABLE OF CONTENTS Art Beyond the Frame by Marissa Miksad ......................................... Cover Olden Days by Andrew Golembiewski ..................... Rivers End Page Singularity by Andrew Golembiewski ................................................ 1 Withered Yellow by Andrew Golembiewski ....................................... 8 Wishes by Andrew Golembiewski ..................................................... 15 Cold March by Andrew Golembiewski ............................................. 28 Red Wash by Kimberly Pitzrick ......................................................... 36 Open Lights by Marissa Miksad ......................................................... 44 Forget-Me-Not by Rebekah Tanner ................................................... 52 Vogue Cover by Andrew Golembiewski ........................................... 56 Nonction Show and Tell by omas Bauschke .................................................... 9 Corporate Branding by Megan Truesdale ......................................... 41 Dont Let One Bad Produce Item Spoil the Bunch! by Nicholas Capella .................................................................................. 53 Drama Hunters by Aaron Golish .................................................................... 16 Boiling Potatoes by Liberty Yalch ....................................................... 37 ink Brain ink by Scott Kesselring .............................................. 45 e Problem with Drowning by Jennifer Woodru ......................... 57 Fiction In the Garden of Gethsemane by Susan Velazquez ............................ 3 Ends and Beginnings by Steven Jester ................................................ 23 Addicts in the Attic by Rebecca Ziegler ............................................. 31 e Hive by Jordan Dedrick ............................................................... 50 Poetry Aerlife of Leaves by Anna Swisher ..................................................... 2 U.S. Army Issued by Stephanie Gray .................................................. 13 Wildower by Sequoya Fitzpatrick .................................................... 14 ere is a wax museum o in Los Angeles by Maggie Gaiero ......... 21 Signed Copy of Insecurity by Shannon Ariel ..................................... 29 Years Eight rough Ten by Jordan Dedrick ..................................... 55
1 Singularity Andrew Golembiewski
2 Aerlife of Leaves Anna Swisher When we die, our lives continue on in the shape of a fallen leaf. When our organs fail and blood stops streaming through the small tubes underneath our skin and electrical impulses no longer make sparks within our brain, and our sight is surrounded by a dark vignette like the lter on a captured memory Our last breath is pulled not only from our lungs but from every cell that ever belonged to our human form. When we exhale for the last time, a silk ribbon that tastes like clouds from the light-blue morning sky departs from the space between our lip s and dances around our frame, collecting any nal energy that had been unfortunately forgotten. When our skeleton turns frail and our eyelids become permanently closed, the ribbon that contains every former thought folds in on itself, solidifying into the jagged shape of a leaf freshly fallen from its home on a sturdy branch. Crisp and wrinkled, we lie on grass dotted with droplets of dew. As time goes by the wind rearranges our position, carrying us to new patches of earth. And in our travels we are stepped on by boots large and small, their grooves ripping our already delicate form. Some days we are mistaken for little sparrows, hopping along in search of seeds. But we are able to recognize the true leaves from those who merely pretend to be plants.
3 In the Garden of Gethsemane Susan Velazquez e click, click, clacking of the ballpoint pen doesnt really help my thought process any better but I continue to push on and o the spring as if with one more click, Im nally going to get the words I need on the blank page before me. I cant do this. Well, I can do this, I mean I have to do this. I just cant think of what to write. What do you write down before youre about to die? I put the paper away and decide to concentrate on knotting the noose. I can think as I work; Im a multitasker anyway. I used to write my sermons as David blared his cartoons on the TV and Annabelle and Naomi fought over whether or not Naomis skirt was inappropriate. Sometimes having them in the background and overhearing their conversations gave me ideas. I sort of wish they were here right now but the kids are at school and Annabelle went to the church to take care of things for me. I dont deserve a woman like her. Shes putting on a brave face and facing all those people for me. I bet theyre all hovering over as she tries to set the books right again, set my mistakes right again. How are you doing? I bet theyre saying, with their eyebrows raised in condescending concern and their eyes searching her blushing face, looking for a bit of gossip to pass on. I can see them in my minds eye so perfectly. I think the reason I can picture them so clearly is because, well, I used to be them. Whenever I heard Bob Morgan fell o the wagon again or the Larsen kid got suspended again, Id put on that face. How are you doing? Id ask. Would you like me to pray for you? ey always said yes because when a pastor oers to pray for you, its hard to say no. But I could feel them squirm uncomfortably as I loudly asked God to forgive them of their sins and set them on the right path again. Were supposed to ask God for forgiveness when we sin but no one likes to do it. Its easier to live with the guilt and shame alone than to let other people know about the bad things weve done. You did a bad thing, Delia told me. Im giving you the chance to make things right. Except she didnt give me a chance. She just dangled it in front of me and then took it away, that stupid goddamn bitch.
4 No, no thats wrong. Its wrong to take the Lords name in vain. And I guess its wrong to call Delia by that name, even if she deserves it. And she does deserve it, by the way. But I should try to make things right and say sorry to her family in my letter. Maybe thats how Ill start. I am sorry. I know thats very least I can do. But I am sorry. I dont know what else to say. I wonder how anyone does this. I think about David, not my son David, but the David from Samuel. He was once Gods favorite and then he strayedbadly. And more than once too, if you dont remember. And each time he came back to the Lord and the Lord forgave him. He didnt get o scot free, mind you. God made Davids son die as punishment for scorning him so badly. I scorned God, but I killed my son myself. Is that my punishment? Or is that still yet to come? Its yet to come. I can feel it. e police have already been around asking questions, telling me that I was the last person to see Delia alive. I told them that I havent heard from her since she told me that she decided to keep the baby, that maybe she went to her mothers. e ocer wrote this all down but I could tell that he didnt believe me. Still, he told me to have a nice dayand oh, dont leave town any time soon. Well get through this, Annabelle told me, several hours aer I confessed to what I did. Well, the rst part of what I did. is was before we knew how much worse things could get. She had ignored me all night, refusing to meet my gaze throughout dinner. e kids knew something was wrong without even asking and quietly excused themselves to their rooms as soon as possible. Eventually, Annabelle made an excuse to go to bed early too. It wasnt until I snuck into the bedroom to steal a pillow and blanket for the couch that she nally acknowledged me. I wasnt sure I heard her at rst until she repeated herself. Well get through this. I know we will, she said but she was laying on her side with her back to me. I stood there awkwardly, not knowing if I was supposed to slide between the sheets next to her or just keep standing. I compromised and sat on the corner of the mattress. Annabelle sat up and scooted next to me. When she turned to face me, I could see the tears forming in her eyes. I dont know how Im going to forgive you right now, she whispered. I swallowed. I didnt know how I was going to forgive myself, let alone have anybody else do it for me. Maybe we should pray, I suggested half-heartedly. I wanted to kick myself as soon as I said it aloud but Annabelle sat up and nodded.
5 She bowed her head and began to speak. Lord help me, she sobbed. Lord help me forgive John and what he did. I know he loves me but when he told me that he went o with that other woman and got her pregnant, I just I couldnt hear anymoreI didnt want to hear anymore. I quietly stepped out of the room as she continued praying and slept on the couch. I nish the noose and I wrap it around the beam around the garage. I tug hard, making sure itll be able to support my weight. I look back at my suicide note and try to see if theres anything else to add. I debate confessingon the one hand, it would give Delias family some peace and they would stop trying to nd their daughter. But on the other hand, I dont want my kids going through their whole lives knowing their father is a killer. Satised with the noose, I look over my note for any spelling errors. is is going to be published in the local paper, I know it is. I cant aord to embarrass my family even further. ey dont deserve that; they didnt deserve any of this. I apologized in my note, thats good. I vaguely mention Delia and how sorry I am that she lost her baby. Wait, should I say that? I dont know how many people know shes missing, let alone pregnant. Ill just say that Im sorry for what I did to herno, to Annabelle. Ill say Im sorry for straying from my marriage and Im sorry for using the churchs money to cover up my mistakes. Maybe I wont mention Delia at all. If I do, the cops will take it as an admission of guilt. I already confessed what I did to God; I dont need to do it to anyone else, do I? I burn the note and start over, leaving Delia out. I dont even feel bad. If she just went and took care of it like she promised, none of this would have happened. What was the point in me giving her the money then? I should have known that she was lying through her teeth. I changed my mind, she told me. I want to keep the baby. I want to start a new life and be a better person, honest. Its like you always say in your sermons: its never too late to ask God for a chance to start over. You did that once, why cant I do the same? No one really changes, no one does. I was a bad kid who was quickly becoming a bad man until Pastor Lee saved me. He told me that I could start anew but he was wrong. I didnt stop drinking; I just hid it better. I didnt stop stealing; I just did it in smaller amounts. And I didnt stop lying; I just got better at it. I didnt stop being a bad person, I just felt guiltier. I helped Delia, in a way. She would have gone through her whole life trying to be a perfect person, constantly playing catch up and trying
6 to make up for the mistakes in her past until she broke down because no matter how much other people forgive you, you cant forgive yourself. I grab the step ladder from the kitchen, where I was xing the light bulb earlier. I was trying to do some nice things before I lex the lightbulbs, put the dishes away, vacuum the rooms, put a casserole in the oven. I walk around my house for the last time and Im angry that I feel so sad. I shouldnt get to be sad. I set the ladder up in garage, underneath the noose. I just have to take a couple steps up and then one step o. I know what I have to do but I still stand there stupidly for several minutes. en I realize its because I have the urge to pray. For some reasonno, I know the reason I burst out laughing. Suddenly, Im reminded of the sermon I gave last Easter, which focused on Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew that he was sent down to Earth to die for humanitys sins. It was something he probably knew the moment he was birthed from Marys womb, mind you. But I dont think he quite grasped the gravity of sacrice until he was there, alone and kneeling in the garden. He lived among us for approximately thirty yearshe had a mother, a father, a brother, friends. He loved people and he was going to leave them. Physically, I mean, I hastily amended. e Lord Jesus Christ is always with us. Amen, responded the congregation but it was more of a kneejerk response than a genuine reaction. I remembered looking out into the crowd and seeing how everyones eyes were glazed over. No doubt they were already thinking of kicking o their uncomfortable patent leather shoes, eating the honey glazed hams currently roasting quietly in the oven, and watching the little Sunday school children shriek excitedly as they participated in Easter egg hunts. Everyone was just groggy from the heat, Annabelle told me that night as we were preparing for bed. Without me even saying so, she knew what was troubling me. I had been preaching for almost a decade at the church and still no one seemed to be listening, no matter what I talked about. You gave a lovely sermon, she assured me. I never thought of Jesus that way, she added, attempting to make me feel better. No one thinks of Jesus that way. I sometimes forgot to think about Jesus that way too. It wasnt until I was reading my bible, trying to ignore the y year old Scotch sitting in our cabinet that Bob Morgan asked me to keep for him, that I nally remembered that verse about how Jesus tried to ask
7 God to remove the cup of wrath he was about to drink. It gave me the inspiration for his sermon; I wanted to tell everyone that they were all weak. Even I, a pastor, was weak. I was weak all the time and I was about to break but it was alright because through the grace of God, they could all be saved againwe could all be saved again. But people were falling asleep and no one heard me. And aer a while, I stopped hearing myself too. I keep thinking about that failed Easter sermon as I climb the ladder and wrap the nose around my neck. I stand for a moment, pausing. Jesus knew what it was like to be weak, I remember. He understood what it was like. I can be forgiven. So I step o the ladder, unafraid.
8 Withered Yellow Andrew Golembiewski
9 Show and Tell omas Bauschke It was at Jacobs funeral; motorcycle accident at age 27closed casketa harsh way to go if you ask me. We hadnt seen each other or spoken in many years. I had since nished high school, served three years in West Germany in the Army, moved from job to job, drank heavily, and generally lived life as I pleased. My rst and only Grateful Dead show was at Soldier Field in Chicago on the day before the funeral: Friday, June 26 th 1992. It was International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Tracking. No shit. And I thought anything was possible. Hardly anyone was in the stadium to see the Steve Miller Band open the night. We were partying in the parking lots. Dropping acid by 3pm, my girlfriend Noreen and I were wide open. Aromas from all the dierent foods, body odor and Patchouli made us feel like we were in a dierent country. Acid made us feel like we were on another planet. Hippies bartered handmade cras for food, drugs, concert tickets, bus tickets or rides to the next show. Turns out, hippies took money too. I bought a hand carved bowl from a dude for $8.00. Carved from a fourinch section of a broom handle, it looked like an ancient wizard with a long, wise face straight out of e Hobbit. I just had to buy it (Gandalf winked at me). Once in the stadium, reworks really set o my acid trip. I vividly recall giant round lighted screens that swirled and mixed a kaleidoscope of colors with the music. Between sets they did this face morph with each band members face melting into another; a truly magical sight. I especially remember the opening song, Hell in a Basket, drinking many beers and toking on joints that were constantly passed along our 18 th row. e peak of the aernoon was epic sex with Noreen in a porta potty surrounded by 50,000 beautiful, cheering people. Evening brought a brilliant, deep red sunset over Chicago and Jacob suddenly began to linger on my mind. He would never see a show or a sunset again. In grade school I had a bully nemesis, Darren, who took to riding my ass for a few years. I already endured the unocial nicknames of Nazi and Kraut, due to my German immigrant parents. By eighth grade, Darren gured hed drive the point home and nally cornered me in the mens locker room. We were just coming to blows when Jacob came out of nowhere and broke it up. ey kind of frowned upon ghting at our little Lutheran School. e incident was kept quiet and Darrens black eye was forgiven as
10 horsing around during a Four-Square game at recess. In spite of such a silly and revealing lie by the teachers, Jacob remained the only classmate in all my grade school years to back me up. Jacob and Darren werent friends anymore. Back at the show, Rock-Med suddenly raced down the center aisle with some dude on a stretcher and the security guy yelled, ats why you gotta stay out of my fucking aisle! All the commotion brought me to a nal realization: Jacob was gone and I could very well be next. In my state of heightened emotions, I suddenly became deeply committed to attending his funeral the following day. Noreen noticed the tears and knew it wasnt the acid. Youre gonna ruin my trip, bud, she hissed. Got some shit on my mind, darlin. Dont call me darlin, she said. You know I hate that. Grampa used to call me that. Going to a show the night before a grade school funeral anyway. Psh! What do you care? You dont even know the guy anymore. Let it go, I told her. And so she did let it go. Aer a once in a lifetime, spectacular concert experience, we crashed at her friends place in Wrigleyville and early the next morning, Saturday, June 27 th 1992, I got her bitchy, hung over ass up and drove ninety miles back to Rockford. I would never see her again. I had nothing to wear for a funeral; no formal clothing of any kind. Settling on a pair of reasonably clean jeans and a pair of old Army combat boots, I added my only clean shirt: a tie-dyed Peace, Love & Vegetable Rights t-shirt from the show the day before. I was brutally hung over and clearly shouldnt have driven across town to the funeral, let alone from downtown Chicago earlier that morning. Arriving late, I approached the same old cronies. I had no friends from grade schoolthen or now. ey looked me over in astonishment as I coolly walked the line and shook their hands, somehow remembering their names. eir erce contempt at my really long hair and inappropriate clothing was palpable. Apparently they had all remained very Christian, suit wearing, well-adjusted, productive members of society. Well, good for them. I was there for Jacob and required nothing from any of them. e ceremony began abruptly when I heard a grunt or what may have been a snicker. I hadnt eaten anything yet that day. Perhaps, in my state of acute starvation, a small amount of body fat laced with LSD from the day before was released back into my bloodstream. e sun suddenly tuned to a warmer, buzzing color. Shadows seemed deep and menacing.
11 e pastors voice sounded like smooth butter. I glanced beyond the immense, bottomless chasm dug for Jacobs con and noticed a glowing, red marble grave stone. It moved; no actually, it snickered. Ashes to ashes. Mwah, hah, hah. e laugh began as a low mued guttural chuckle. Dust to dust. Bwahhhhhhh ha he heee haaaaaa, the laughter crescendoed to bitter heights as the terrifying stone breathed like a human chest, laughing at some nal cosmic joke. e Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, the Pastor continued as the stone howled. Horror mounted in my spleen and worked its way up my dry, acidic throat. I was shaky and about to pass out. Someone must have been picking up on all this because a hand came down on my shoulder and gently led me to a chair. en, the ceremony was over as abruptly as it began. No Pastor in sight. No forgiveness. inking I was distraught, people must have le during the petrifying laughter coming from a grave stone mocking my mortality. No more of this, I thought. It was summer 1992 and I couldnt tell you a single thing that happened since I got out of the Army in spring 1988. Scarcely remembering the dazzling concert the day before, I suddenly missed Jacob, or at least the thought of him. He had been that one person on earth who backed me up when I needed it most. LSD taught me one crucial lesson: reality should be fun, but reality should also be fullling and fantastic; not harsh or painfully intense. Coming back to the present, sitting in a cemetery, I realized Darren was next to me. Hey Tom. Hows life, Darren? I responded, leaning forward to hold my head in my hands. Could be better I guess. Couldnt help noticing your shirt. Ya know, Jacob and I were going to road trip to that very show in Chicago yesterday. We ran into each other a couple months back and started riding together. He wanted to see e Grateful Dead; some kind of bucket list thing, like hiking coast to coast or some shit. Way Cool. It was a great show, I said, nodding gently with a spitting headache. You basically get up every morning and do whatever you want, dont you? he asked. Yeah. And your point? I replied. My point is: its pretty damn clear we all have only one life, and
12 precious little time. I never think about time, I said, standing to leave. At least it looks like youre living the life you want. Reckon us Germans are good at that, I said, turning to leave. I just thought, he said, his voice trailing o, I only wanted to wish you well. I turned back, shook his hand and silently walked to my car with Darren looking aer me. Good to see you, Tom, he shouted as I turned the key. We parted strangely. No happy reunions. No resolutions. Darren was shing for something with his sudden concern. Maybe he sought redemption for his poisonous, grade school, name calling bullshit: he was a black classmate that oen called me a Nazi Jew killer. Shit, in 1979, at age thirteen, he knew as little about Germans as I knew about Africans. But words really do mean things, dont they? Or perhaps he thought I lived in some kind of bachelors dream and wanted to live there again too (without the responsibility for his wife and children and mortgage that is). He was lying to himself then. True, everyone lives only one life, but precious few live the life they want to. And no one lives without regrets. us began a new chapter: I was done with LSD, having learned all I would learn from it. Reality is not merely stagnant, repetitive and lingering, it instinctively seeks new directions. Realizing that I now needed to live in a sober world, or soon die as well, my new course led forward into the mountains. Not long aer Jacobs funeral I gained a sudden idea, an obsession really, to do something very real like walk two thousand miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Within two years I would refocus my life, plan out the journey and save enough money to do the trip. On October 3 rd 1995, I completed the AT on Mount Katahdin in central Maine; 2,168 miles over six months, thru hiked, straight through in one shot. I was also a purist, which meant I walked every single foot of that trailno hitches or shortcuts. As I hiked, I sometimes wondered if Jacob had ever heard of the AT; if, perhaps, it was on his bucket list. It fullled me to imagine that he had in fact heard of the AT and wanted to take it on, but had never found the time to hike it. I felt that maybe I had lived that wonderful journey for him; that this time I had his back when no one else in the world did.
13 U.S. Army Issued Stephanie Gray For my father, Cpt. Lincoln Citizens call for boots on the ground. ose dust covered boots are a Syrian Desert. ey are boots of courage. Boots that run with the power of a thousand fallen soldiers. Foreign soil clings to the treads. e leather sha supports the soldiers steady stride. Its laces are a hissing snake. Dont tread on me. ose boots stand before the enemy. Ever sturdy, ever ready. Standing in those boots is Americas protector. Armed with an M4 and faith, he is content with his fate. A healing man mends the wounds caused by enemys hands. He is an eagle. His talons rip evil from the land. His wings, forged by the sacrice of his brothers blood. ey will always call for boots on the ground. He leaves his trouble where he leaves his boots. Gently, he wipes tears from a little girls eyes. Yes, he is a protector. ere is a man in those boots on the ground. Pearl 2015
14 Wildower Sequoya Fitzpatrick Bruises. Like daisies were pushing up. My body is a garden that Will always lean towards the sun. So the Forget-Me-Nots in my chest cavity And the Baby Breath in my lungs, Will never see silence. Like the Roses on my tongue.
15 Wishes Andrew Golembiewski
16 Hunters Aaron Golish INT. OLD LIFT -NIGHT Two FEMALES in black and yellow body armor are going up a creaky li. ey are wearing respirators and holding assault ries. eir name patches read DUTCH and RINGER. e dim light overhead ickers. Ringer is whistling the GhostBusters theme. DUTCH (interrupts) So you catch that movie last night? Ringer turns to face Dutch. e li moves slowly and creaks loudly. e light continues to icker. RINGER e sappy rom-com or the one with the vampires? DUTCH e vampires doofus. Even I know you dont go for that romance bullshit. RINGER What can I say? It bores the hell
17 outta me. e li catches and stops with a jolt. e light goes out and the li is in complete darkness. Ringer and Dutch turn on their ashlight attachments and begin to look around. e oor indicator is stuck just before the fourth oor. RINGER All this trouble for four goddamn oors? Ringer turns to Dutch. RINGER (CONT.) We just had to take the elevator, didnt we? DUTCH (shrugging) What? I thought it would be more fun than the stairs. Ringer kicks the wall of the li. RINGER Just look at all the fun Im having. DUTCH Im sorry, but that attitude of yours isnt going to get us out of here. Ringer shines her light on the ceiling and spots a maintenance hatch. Ringer opens the hatch and climbs through. We see her light move around the sha. RINGER (O.S.) CLEAR!
18 Ringer reaches her arm down to help Dutch up. INT. OLD LIFT SHAFT -NIGHT Ringer pulls Dutch up and they use a knife to pry open the door to the fourth oor. e two exit cautiously. INT. ABANDONED BUILDING -NIGHT e oor is dark. e two exit the sha in formation and sweep the oor with their ashlights. ey nd a mangled body with esh missing. DUTCH JESUS CHRIST! What in the hell do you think could have done this? Ringer squats down to examine the body. DUTCH (CONT.) Do you think were dealing with a Nagaraja? RINGER No. It doesnt look like it was a vampire... DUTCH Maybe it was a werewolf? RINGER I dont see any hairs or claw marks. (beat) e bites almost look... human. DUTCH I dont think a human could cause this kind of damage.
19 A drop of blood hits Dutchs visor. DUTCH (CONT.) What the... Dutch is interrupted by something falling on her while roaring. It is a GAUNT LOOKING MAN with whited out eyes and esh hanging from his barred teeth. Dutch lets out a blood curdling scream. Ringer shoots the Man multiple times before he stops moving. She helps Dutch back to her feet. DUTCH ank you. RINGER No problem. I got your back. e two turn to examine the new corpse. RINGER (CONT.) What the hell is it? DUTCH I dunno, it kinda looks like a zombie. RINGER is far North? ats new. Ringer lets out a yelp of pain and falls to the ground as the corpse from earlier bites her ankle. Dutch shoots it in the head several times. DUTCH Oh my god. Are you okay? RINGER I dont know... Ringer pulls o her boot and winces at her bleeding injury.
20 RINGER (CONT.) SHIT! DUTCH Goddamnit! RINGER You know what you have to do. DUTCH I cant. RINGER YOU HAVE TO! Ringers breathing quickens in pace. RINGER (CONT.) JUST DO IT! Tears well up in Dutchs eyes as she pulls out her side arm and points it at Ringers head. RINGER (CONT.) Just promise me something... DUTCH (holding back sobs) Anything. RINGER Dont watch that vampire movie. (beat) It sucked. Ringer coughs up blood and starts to growl. Dutch turns her face away as she shoots Ringer in the head. CUT TO BLACK.
21 ere is a wax museum o in Los Angeles Maggie Gaiero Lodged between the place a lady got her hair dyed pink last month and the mortuary that cremated her cat two years ago. Lodged next to the veteran who now hides under re escapes in the alley when it rains, imagining ash falling and bodies melting into the dirt, bodies missing legs, parts of heads blown across the sand murmuring the names of these fallen friends to try to keep a wisp of sanity in his brain but its like trying to catch that one grain of sand spilling through your ngers at the beach. e wax museum. Down the street from the Murpheys house who lost their only son, four years old, with grass stained knees, mop of hair combed back, and a polo for church, running out into the road aer the house cat, aer the mouse, aer life. Now the father drinks whiskey because it vibrates inside his skull, attempting to strangle the cries of his wife yelling stop, the squealing tires, crystal cracking, the cries of his son who wasnt blessed with the immediate kiss of death, of himself. e wax museum. I myself have been, not to it, there on that street, not the place with Hollywoods nest memorialized. It was a place with white walls, no pictures, no smiles. No ashing cameras, but ashing machines, beeping sounds. Robot breaths forced in and out of bodies that no longer had real breaths to breathe. No longer opened their eyes, did not move by themselves, whose very consciousness is debated and wrung out and twisted like a tug of war rope between some spiritual being and science and all that was real, was the wax museum my grandma had been on display for a month, cancer had brought her in, shut o the light behind her eyes and drawn the curtains shut her nails ever more yellow while her skin ushed blue, ushed grey and a line could read her heart beat but it could not read me my favorite fairy tale book, could not say my name like a song, and I did not know
22 they were about to put her away in some back closet and I was too frightened to look for one more second at her face, to tell her I loved her, to touch her that I too would become wax.
23 Ends and Beginnings Steven Jester Fieen Minutes to Midnight e town seemed so peaceful in summer, so light and carefree. e shops were all open. e people bustled in and out with their groceries and their goods as I walked down Highburgh Road. No one was worrying then. e electronics store I passed had a at panel display in the window turned to news no one cared to watch. No one that is, except me. I watched a few minutes, the headline graphic catching my eye. Disturbance in Europe, it cried. However, without the sound of the reporter and nothing but a map of the Baltic, barely anyone paid any attention to it. e problem seemed so far away then. How naive we all were. ~*~*~*~ Ten Minutes to Midnight e heat of summer may have cooled with the passing to fall but the reporters cry out, Tempers are rising. e news talked of separatists and terrorists, governments around the world tightening the noose around freedoms once taken for granted. Even here. When my family tried to vacation to Spain that October, we werent allowed to leave. Anyone going to the continent forfeits any protection from the Crown, the customs ocer told us at the airport. We cant keep track of everyone and if something were to happen itd be impossible to get help to the aected areas. With that, we cancelled our trip. So much for tanning in the Mediterranean. ~*~*~*~ Eight Minutes to Midnight A cloud of hot breath oated through the wintry air as I watched the bizarre construction project in the vacant lot next to my house. A precaution, our councilor said when my father asked. A ridiculous mess, I thought. e ground had a big hole for the entrance in the center of the plot. Workers brought in concrete and rebar to reinforce the underground walls. Boxes of supplies and provisions lined the street, waiting for the shelter to prove usable before taking the trip underground.
24 I passed two other such projects on my way towards classes at the University of Glasgow. e one closest to campus was the furthest along, pairs of workers shuttling in cot aer cot as the nal preparations were getting underway. e frantic whispers of troop movements in Ukraine, Poland and Russia coupled with readiness exercises in the States and in Scotland lled the air just as much as the winter cold. Nerves were on a razors edge. Some international students huddled around television and computer screens, praying for news from their homes. History professors warned of global ruin and religion professors were calling for the End of Days. No one listened. ~*~*~*~ Five Minutes to Midnight State against State!! America Plunged into War against Itself!! e headline bolded in e Daily Record signied the latest in a series of stories detailing the growing tensions: Russian Flag over Kiev! Anarchy in Middle East! Seoul in Ruins! ese headlines and others like them are why my father sat in the kitchen that March, cleaning his hunting rie. When I asked what game he planned on hunting, he told me that if those, unruly southerners, from London wanted a piece of his land theyd have to tear it from under his cold dead body. It was a popular paranoid delusion of course; those, unruly southerners, my father mentioned were also our countrymen. Somehow, our neighbors convinced themselves that England was going to take advantage of the crisis. For a time, they convinced my father as well. Everyone was on edge. Even a few of my friends were looking towards Canada or Australia; they were so far unaected by the madness in the rest of civilization. Canada had already closed the border with the States, fearing the ethnic tensions and economic distress of her southern neighbor would lead to the headline plastered on the copy of e Record on our kitchen table. ere was talk of them closing their airspace soon my friends told me. ere were dark, ominous clouds as I watched their plane take o from Glasgow. ose clouds opened up and poured when the news said American separatists shot their plane down because it got too close to American airspace. ~*~*~*~ ree Minutes to Midnight
25 e distant repetitive re of anti-air gunsta, ta, ta, tasounded just as haunting as when I rst heard them aer Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom jumped to help the American unionists. Over the course of the past month or so thoughta, ta, ta, taI seemed to notice it less and less. Normal, as it once was, was no longer. Militia drills replaced university classes. Many of my remaining friends were draed into roles that suited them, nurses and intelligence ocers. I was draed into strategy and infantry command. e Home Militia of Scotland knew of no gender boundaries; with the separatists in control of most of the American Navy and invasion a distinct possibility, all that mattered was what you could do and how well you did it. My father gave me a misty-eyed, resigned stare when I told him my posting. at look told me all I needed to know. He had his duty as well, protecting my sister, still too young to understand. He never expected his eldest daughter to become a soldier. ~*~*~*~ One Minute to Midnight With every new tragedy the tensions rise. e latest news from overseas was dire: British ships accompanied by the last reaming American loyalist ships were heading for a showdown with Russian forces at the Strait of Hormuz, the Wests vital fuel spigot. When my father heard the news, he tried to take my sister to safety away from the city. He drove all over, trying every major road. Army and Marines supplemented by Militia forces had completely secured Glasgow, no one in or out. So my father and sister bunkered down, gathered supplies and coordinated with our neighbors to prepare the local shelter. I visited them when I could, but I had only a few precious hours o duty before we were separated again. We tried to persevere, to endure and get through this strange ordeal. We all thought common sense would prevail. ~*~*~*~ irty Seconds to Midnight We were wrong. No one knows who red the rst warhead. No one could even conrm that the Americans sent were even loyalists.
26 e spread of crisscrossing missile contours conrmed the worst fears from the Strait. Launching missiles and falling warheads traded across the sky. Contours from Britain joined them. e haunting sounds of sirens and the scurrying of people hurrying to the shelters built only eight months past accompanied those contours, retaliation almost a certainty. e Home Oce, under authority of Her Majesty, ordered the Home Militia to a separate shelter south of the city. My father and sister crammed into our neighborhood shelter with three other families. Just as I was hurrying into the tunnel of the shelter, I witnessed a giant reball high in the southern sky. It blocked out the contours as it burst over the horizon. My commander ordered the doors sealed and I rushed inside. ~*~*~*~ Ten Seconds to Midnight As I sat on my dingy cot, surrounded by colleagues and my team, my thoughts dried to my father and sister. e commander told me that those shelters were designed for fallout, not for a direct strike. With radar equipment limited, there was no way of determining if the city was a target. For the rst time since the death of my mother, I prayed to the Lord for the safety of my family. I prayed for the safety of us all. e loss of the lights followed by the earth seizing around us answered my prayer, as I fell o my cot and knew no more. ~*~*~*~ Midnight ~*~*~*~ Dawn Eighteen months passed. I was in a coma for six of them. e doctors told me that a light xture crashed on top of me causing a massive head injury. ey say Im lucky to have survived. Others werent so lucky. e estimates are vague at this point, but data suggests almost half of the worlds population, three and a half billion people, were killed in the global nuclear exchange and the fallout that came aer. It still isnt safe to be outside for more than an hour or two at a time, but enough to restore some vital services like communication and food supply. Glasgow took a hit from a relatively small warhead late in the
27 exchange. ere was massive damage, especially around the university area. Most of those sheltered nearby, including my family, perished in the blast. e emptiness inside me during the last year was almost overwhelming, making me question why I survived if I was to live in this world without my loved ones. ese doubts washed away however, the moment those shelter doors opened the rst time about a month ago. Dressed head-to-toe in safety gear complete with sun-shield, we were the rst from our shelter to venture out into the ruins. It was morning, and at rst, we couldnt tell. en a few slivers of dawn light peaked through the radiation haze. We stood in awe; the wretched magnitude of destruction contrasted with the beauty and hope of the struggling rays of light. I stared up at the sky and smiled, blinking a tear away from my eyes. From that moment on, I dedicated my life to living in memory of my father and sister, and all those who didnt live to see the world heal. It was the dawn of a new morning, a new start.
28 Cold March Andrew Golembiewski
29 Signed Copy of Insecurity Shannon Ariel e door is open and so is the shop, a neon pink sign saying so, but I stop at the threshold. A screen blocking me out. Gays the Word? I am a duality. By denition: happy, ecstatic, carefree? Absolutely not. Attracted to the same sex? Last I checked, yes. For me, the word is more apt to be anxiety. e lanky man behind the counter judges me with a smile as he carries on with the butch with an armful of books. I walk, tripping over my feet and my insecurities. Patrons stare as if they know, as if the American practically oozes out of my ever pore. Even Virginia Woolf glares from the cover of her own best of collection. Im one of you! I want to scream but a scene is the last thing I wish to be, the last thing I want to add to my list of denitions.
30 I grab a copy of the wrong book, speed to the counter, pay with stfuls of cash and a face as red as the rst color on the ag. Even in a community of outcasts, the very meaning of who we are: taboo, tting in gets no easier. Belonging is another closet to be stuck in.
31 Addicts in the Attic Rebecca Ziegler ere are moments in life when the conscious mind is rendered useless. For instance, when one parks the car and starts walking past the Wednesday night bars to avoid the monsters called Insecurity and Loneliness. When their feet keep walking, propelled by their disease, as their mind screams, Stop! Turn around! is is not where you should be! But then where should I be? Where should I be? Keep walking. e porch is not illuminated. e streetlamps dont reach this far because this is not where the respectable people of mountainside suburbia are going. e respectable drunks are in bars on Wednesday night, but no no, not I. I am moving my feet over the sidewalk with my disease silencing my conscious mind. What does it matter that I probably have to fuck one of them as long as I get at least a gram of blow and a six pack? ats not so bad is it? ey are howling up McEwen Street toward me. Well Im sure theyre all clean. eyre respectable, working men. Ive known Tom since I was thirteen. e wooden porch steps have holes in them and a cold and sweating beer is thrust into my hand. I dont ask questions; I drink. Get out of here! Shut the fuck up; this is not the time to think.
32 I am led inside where they dial phones frantically as their pallid faces drip with sweat and their eyes bulge from their heads. I want to peel my skin, but I have no energy. I want to laugh, but it scares me that I cant feel anything, so I chug their beer from behind the couch where they cant see. ey wont notice me anyway when the search is in full swing. No one wants to sell us blow on a Wednesday. I wonder if its because its Wednesday night and they have to drive to a real job tomorrow, or if theyre tired of watching us waste away. I know I am but its absurd that they would be. What do they care as long as they get their money? I dont even care enough about myself to quit, so why would my dealer tell me? I am handed a small blue jewelry bag with powdery white particles encased within. I ick it open and smile like a kid on Christmas as we ascend the attic stairs. It is July and this attic is one hundred degrees, but the beer is cold and Im about to get high. We scoop the white substance out of our respective bags with a key and an evil, twisting smirk plays across my face. Tom disassembles a box cutter and passes the razor around. He cuts a straw and hands it to us. We spent all of our dollar bills on this and straws are free from Burger King. I wish I could smell money when I kneel at the small round glass table to inhale the rst line, but that is not for addicts in the attic, that is for the rappers, rock stars, and rich guys. It must be nice to have a dollar bill le aer getting high. **************** e attic isnt so bad now. I can see the elegance in the lth. e dust dances in the dim light and the cocaine looks like pixie dust on the table. If I snort enough I might be able to y. ese guys arent so bad now. I can see how beautiful their sweat is, trickling like uneven, rocky streams caressing their brows. ere is holy grace in the ickering streetlight on the corner of McEwen and Main. If I stare at it long enough Ill be absolved of my sins and gain salvation. But do you really want to be saved, isnt this just easier? Didnt you want
33 to feel this way? Well, yes and no. I wanted to feel alive, but I didnt want to live this life, this lie. Everyone is laughing to ll the ugly silence; I can tell that they dont mean it. is is not a place to let people know things, not even the way that my real laugh stutters on the exhale. Ive heard Tom laugh for real, red faced and crying, one eyebrow cocked and his upper teeth protruding, but he does not laugh like that tonight. Tonight we laugh a nonchalant, huh, ha, so that no one can say that this isnt fun anymore. In between beers, when I remember that this is the twelh one and I open it even though I dont want it and I drink it even though I hate myself for it, I read Allen Ginsberg. I feel things that I am afraid of as I pour the remnants of my soul into Howl. I am howling defeat out of the attic window and I am killing myself with every inhale. Dylan calls me toward the steps. Zig, lets go downstairs. I was going to stay up here. Havent you had enough? Well yeah. I lie. en come downstairs, I wanna fuck. I know what you want. Dont be a fuckin bitch about it! Im sorry. Alright then, hurry up.
34 His skin in rough and sticky and feeling him on top of me makes me sick, but I tolerate his jerking and thrusting and let out a pitiful whimper so that he might even think that I enjoy it. I try to trick my body, just think of something sexy, but I cant because all I can think about is how pathetic this all is. How were just parasites. No one cares about me or him, but he gets to fuck me and I get free drugs; thats all this is. I try to ignore their eyes when I enter the attic again. I le my bra downstairs, what does it matter anymore. ey can stare if they want. ey can think what they want, it wont matter anyway. Its four in the morning and then ve and everyone slowly pours into the street. Everyone except me. I see Tom tiptoe into the attic. You okay? My sigh says it all, or maybe its the h of vodka that Im clenching at eight in the morning. My eyes well up and words dont matter anymore, because Tom knows. Or maybe he doesnt, but Im tired of turning away the people who want to hold me when Im falling apart. I murmur to myself more than to him about my dirty, bruised past. He doesnt understand. at doesnt matter. He cuts me three lines and Im more aware of my heartbeat than I am of my thoughts. ere is a creak on the steps and Dylan says he needs me. ere is no longing or urgency in his voice. He doesnt need me. He just wants pussy. Something tugs me toward the steps from behind my navel anyway He doesnt look at me so he cant see my puy eyes and when I lay next to him on his bed he ignores them. He sits me in his lap and puts a water bottle to my lips. Vodka. It looks like hes feeding a crying baby, a seventeen-year-old baby who cries for vodka. He peels o my shirt and fumbles with my bra clasp. I wont help him. He pulls my shorts down and slips o my underwear as he kisses my neck.
35 You need to act like you like this. His sweat drips onto my forehead and I cant look at him. I forget to moan when Im supposed to and this frustrates him, so he makes sure that I make some sound even if its because of pain. I try to ignore it. He rolls over and I stare at the lone ray of light admitted through the black sheet used as a curtain. He gets up and tosses less blow than usual on the table. You should have moaned when you were supposed to. I start cutting lines before I even put on my underwear. I look at the razor and wonder if Ill have the time to drag it up my arm in someones bathtub tonight or if Ill be too busy wallowing in my shame and synthetic ecstasy. Its hard to commit suicide when Im so busy destroying my life. I wipe my bleeding nose on my arm and leave without saying goodbye. I wont ever do this again. Tom, should I come over tomorrow night? mm I mean if you wanna sure. He shrugs and shuts the door behind me. mm I mean if you wanna then thats ne. I smell like vodka and sex on a ursday morning in mountainside suburbia. e shopkeepers on Maine St. look at me like Im the devil himself as I fumble with the key and hop into my cars drivers seat drunk again. With well rehearsed recklessness I feel my way home. e blacktop is smooth and I dont have to think to avoid the potholes. I drive with the windows down and pretend that I enjoyed myself because this was all supposed to be fun wasnt it? Who are you kidding? is stopped being fun long ago, but youre shit out of luck kid, because Im in control.
36 Red Wash Kimberly Pitzrick
37 Boiling Potatoes Liberty Yalch CAROLINE But I dont want to be a chef, mom! Looked what happened to you! GINA Sometimes we must make sacrices for things in our lives that we love. CAROLINE Not when I dont want to make a sacrice in the rst place. GINA Just because you are frustrated with something that you love doesnt mean you can push it all aside. CAROLINE (Mumbling to herself) I can do whatever I want to do. GINA What was that, dear? CAROLINE Nothing. Nothing at all. GINA e onions must be cut into thin slices to put into the stew. I want them light enough to oat on the top for decoration. CAROLINE (With sudden anger) Why dont you do it then? (With sudden remorse) Im sorry mom. I just got too out of hand. I shouldnt have said anything. GINA (Suddenly recalling her youth) Honey you know I wasnt always like this.
38 CAROLINE exits the stage. GINA goes into costume change for a chefs attire CHEF XAVIER walks in. Lights on GINA. GINA (Talking to the audience) I was so young and full of life. Combing ingredients and pouring my heart into my art and creations gave me life. I was young and foolish. at was my downfall. Entire stage lights up. GINA can be seen working in a kitchen. CHEF XAVIER How is my best apprentice doing this ne evening? GINA I am doing wonderful. I am so excited to be the top chef tonight for preparing the feast for the dean. CHEF XAVIER Well it has been an honor to teach you everything I know. I am sure your leadership will take command this evening. GINA I sure hope so. is could be my big shot into nally being recognized for my work. CHEF XAVIER (Leaning in very close and touching GINAS hand.) I cant wait to see what surprises you have in store. GINA (Talking to the audience) Lights on GINA. CHEF XAVIER exits. I should have seen the signs. e four years I was in school, Chef Xavier always had a careful eye on me even though I was just one of his students. I would always catch him watching me. He would keep me aer class and show me many things. I though he was being nice in having so much hope in me for just being a student. As the years progressed he began to stand behind me while I was working and place his hand over mine to show me how to cut properly or stir. I was uncomfortable but I thought
39 nothing of it. Nothing of it at all. Entire stage lights back up. at evening the kitchen is busy making the food. GINA (Turning to a person) Please clean up that counter I dont want to have to worry about that! (Turning to another person) e meat needs tenderizing and then start mixing the desert batter. CHEF XAVIER enters quietly. CHEF XAVIER (Standing behind GINA) How is everything going? GINA (Startled turning around) Oh. Hi, Chef Xavier everything is running smoothly. CHEF XAVIER I was thinking maybe aer this is all done I can buy you a drink and dinner. GINA Oh, I am sorry. My boyfriend is taking me out tonight. CHEF XAVIER (In fury) I have been working constantly for four years to get you here and you cant give me not even an ounce of respect to let me take you out! CHEF XAVIER smashes a plate to the ground. GINA Chef Xavier, it is nothing against you. You are my teacher and I feel that it would be inappropriate for you to do that. I have a boyfriend, aer all and you have your wife. CHEF XAVIER (Becoming chaotic and irrational) I could build you up to this and then I can break you down.
40 rowing everything on the counter to the ground. GINA (Bending down to pick things up) Chef Xavier, what are you doing?! Not hearing GINA or seeing her below, knocks over a giant metal pot of bowling potatoes o the stove along with the utensils beside it. GINA (Screams) Lights dim. GINA and CHEF XAVIER Exit the stage. GINA changes back into earlier clothing and reenters the stage. All lights on GINA. CAROLINE enters in the background. GINA (Talking to the audience) I shouldnt have bent down. I should have gone and got help. I should have never looked up to try and stop him. I was rushed to the hospital soon aerwards. I never got the recognition I deserved and Chef Xavier was never seen again. At least I have never seen him. CAROLINE Mom? Are you there? Hello? Entire stage lights up to nd CAROLINE in the same place in the beginning of the play. GINA Yes, honey, I am sorry. I was just thinking. CAROLINE I think you need some rest, mom. I will cut the onions perfectly and describe every single detail of how they look to you as soon as you wake up. Let me grab your cane and I will help you to the bedroom. Both characters exit the stage. Lights turn o. END
41 Corporate Branding Megan Truesdale A few days before moving to Florida with his girlfriend and new daughter, one of my managers showed me a fryer basket-patterned burn on his arm. It was bright red, blistered, and swollen. Its straight horizontal lines werent going to fade. Just a little something to remember this place by, he said, just the going away present I wanted. Hey, Meg. Come here and let me give you one, too. So we can match. I backed away, faking fear as he pretended to reach for a hot fryer basket. Id rather not remember this place, I told him, thinking that I would want to shed all memory of this job as soon as I could. Working for a fast food corporation with a bad reputation is hard enough. Let alone, working for a location in a busy shopping center in an area with chronic overcast weather, a high rate of depression, and a population abandoned by abusive businesses that poisoned the land and shipped jobs overseas. For these reasons, the people in the area are especially miserable and see my red and black uniform as an invitation to treat me as badly as they feel. On top of tackling the surprisingly challenging tasks I had to complete, dealing with the poor management, and working long hours (the longest shi I had was een hours) in hot, greasy conditions, I continually had my days ruined by grown adults tantrums over simple mistakes or delays that were usually out of my control. Im sorry, sir, I can take this back and x it for you right away. Dont fucking call me sir. I just want my damn money back. Cant you do anything right? Just smile. e man continued his outburst as I stood there, trying to ignore his harsh words and smiling. I walked away when he was done. It was the end of a ten hour shi in the burning heat of July. I had been standing over hot grills all day with no air conditioning or fans. Our crew was struggling to keep up with the long lines and complicated orders, probably because we were all quickly becoming dehydrated. Many other customers had been rude that day, but this man was particularly rotten, sitting in his clunky car next to his pregnant girlfriend, a lit cigarette bouncing between his lips as he yelled at me. He made me cry in the back of the restaurant for ve minutes. All of this because someonenot even mehanded him a sh sandwich with tartar sauce on it. eres a manager at our store who seems way too happy for
42 someone who has had this job for over ve years. Every day, she comes in and greets each of the crew individually with a smile. Okay, yall. We gon have a great day! We would roll our eyes at her. Its never a good day at this job, Chee-Chee, was our usual response, even though we knew that because she was there, it would be a better day than usual. It was hard for us to understand how she stayed so positive, but I admired her for it. I think she knew better than the rest of us that nothing any of the customers said was personal. And even when it seemed every customer was ready to jump over the counter and knock our teeth out, she would focus on the positive experiences: the customers that let their small children order for themselves, and while they told you what they wanted in their kids meal, they would bounce around in front of your register so excitedly that you couldnt help but grin. Did you see that adorable little angel? Guys, look! is guy has a cute dog at the window! Dont pay him no mind, sweetie darlin, hes probably just so hungry hes grumpy. ese small things she reminded me of kept me from walking out on my job every day. eres a lot to learn at this fast food restaurant. I learned it all very quickly. I know how to clean, x, and maintain all of the equipment in the store, how to place ads, how to cook, assemble, and inspect all food items, how to take orders and money, how to solve issues with the computerized registers, how to set up a shi plan, how to manage a shi, and how to deal with any customer complaint. As much of a pain all of these tasks are, and as much as my managers overwork me because I am one of the only people with so many abilities, mastering all there is to know in a job is extremely rewarding. My job isnt fun, easy, glamorous, or well-paying, but I excelled at it. Youre so good, my coworkers joke, that youre the only Crew Member of the Month ever. I was chosen in January of this year, and the only person for whom the management remembered to make a hanging nameplate the whole year. e second to last day before returning to college this summer, I burned myself with a fryer basket. I guess thats how this company makes sure you never forget them; it seems to happen to almost everyone who thinks about quitting. I have a permanent physical scar on my le forearm to remind me of the days Id come home smelling of grease and sweat and stale beef. A brand to mark me as one of those underappreciated people who wake up at four in the morning to make a miserable soccer mom her egg and ham sandwich and fresh coee with two creams and two Splendas no more, no less with a smile. A physical
43 manifestation of the hard work I put into a job that nobody else seems to take seriously. Truth be told, I dont need the scar to remind me. I couldnt forget this job if I wanted to.
44 Open Lights Marissa Miksad
45 ink Brain ink Scott Kesselring Lights up on stage. Two men/women, referred to only as L and R, stand in front of a giant control board. ey keep glancing up looking towards the audience as if there is supposed to be a monitor where they are looking. ey talk extremely fast to each other. L Heart? R Still beating like a champ. L Lungs? R Slower than usual, but still pushing on. L Liver? R eyre working overtime tonight. Everything should be clear by approximately 5:57 A.M. L Wait woah, whats going on in the penis? R Standard boner, nothing to worry about. L And how is the brain doing? Both stare at each other for a brief moment before laughing to themselves. L Okay, everythings looking great and in standard order. Grants got
46 approximately 5 minutes before he wakes up, so we got time for one more dream. Is the next one ready to go? R reaches down and lis up a thin metal sheet. R Dream File: Ask Brittany to Prom and She Says Yes is locked and loaded sir. L at one again? Really R? I dont even get why you made it, Brittany rejected him in front of everyone. R Hey, tonight was my night to pick. And some of us like to rewrite some events for fun, dreams dont need to be about sex and violence. L Yes, but itd be nice to see something new every once in a while. I think you just hate making new ones because youre lazy. Ready to launch? R Ready. L 3! L reaches down onto the machine and pulls out a thin sheet of metal. R grabs the dream le he was holding and places it down. Both L and R then press the red buttons on the machine and hold it for a few seconds before letting go. R Ugh, I wish the day crew would bring us something new to use. And where are they anyway, they should be here by now. L Dont worry, those guys always run a little late. And what do ya mean something new to use? R What I mean is they dont tell this guy to do anything. All they make
47 Grant ever do is lie on his back while watching reruns of Seinfeld. He orders all of his meals to be delivered to his door so he never has to leave the apartment, then he drinks himself to sleep. ats boring. If I wanna make fun dreams for him, I need some kinda inspiration for him. L Not necessarily, dreams dont need to be rooted in reality. R Oh yeah, trust me I know Mr. (Mrs.) I Made Grant Ride a Unicorn to the Pentagon to Save America From the Terrorists. L Oh come on! Just as I was leaving I saw him writing that down as soon as he woke up! He loved it! R Speaking of waking up, wheres the day crew? eyre never this late. L I dont know, but they have like three minutes. eyll get here. R ey better. So what are you doing aer the shi? L Well rst Im gonna rest and then I think Im gonna write another dream where Grant goes to save a princess from a dragon. He travels all the way there, but when he gets there he already sees a knight in shining armor trying to save her, so he kills him with an ax! Oh, and then he fucks the shit out of the princess. R Can at least one of your dreams be likenormal? L Sure if I wanted it to be lame! R Sure, cuz writing dreams that he could actually do and use as inspiration is lame.
48 L To each their own I guess. So what are you doing aer work, just gonna sleep the day away until your next shi? R Naw, I was thinking about going back to the Cognitive inking Department. ose guys are always so busy and I love watching them work. L Oh hey, Ive been meaning to ask you: whats been the big commotion over there recently? R Turns out one of Grants friends told him theres more than 5 senses and he is freaking the fuck out about it. L Gotcha. So wait, are you going over there just to hang out and watch or are you thinking about transferring?! R Oh relax L, you know I would never leave you! We work so well together! Its just sometimes listening to them yell and debate can be calming. L Hey R? R turns to face L R Yeah? L If you wanna go, go. Im not gonna stop you frL and R immediately begin to sway and shake and if there is an earthquake on stage. R What the hell was that?!
49 L Shit, Grant woke up a minute early! What do we do, the day crew isnt here yet! R Looks like its up to us to take care of Grant today! You go nd the day crew, Ill stay here and make sure things dont get worse. L You sure? R Of course Im sure! L runs o stage le. R reaches over and grabs a throttle. Besidestoday looks like a great day to go outside. END OF PLAY
50 e Hive Jordan Dedrick TWO weeks aer the murder, silver handcus were placed around the wrists of Dr. Hoyt. ey were too tight, a move that delighted Detective Maloney as he looked the doctor in the eye. I bet theyll love you in prison, especially aer they hear what you did to that girl. Pervert, he said, while pushing Dr. Hoyt into the back of the police car. ONE day aer the murder, a black trash bag washed up on Cunningham Beach. A jogger on her morning run noticed the black obscenity and scoed in disgust. It was not until she made her way back toward her car, passing the bag a second time, that she noticed a pale arm peeking through the poorly fastened strings at the top of the bag. She didnt believe it at rst, but upon a closer look, she conrmed that it was an arm. She immediately called the police. When Detective Maloney arrived on the scene and interviewed the jogger, she was crying and her mascara was running down her face who wore makeup during a workout? How am I going to get through this? she asked. Detective Maloney walked over to the black bag, pulling the sterile gloves over his hands and pulled the side over to observe the girl crumpled inside. Her eyes were open, a clouded blue with petechial hemorrhaging she was strangled to death by the bungee cords that now lay in the bottom of the bag. She was young too, maybe een or sixteen at the most. Detective Maloney grew ill thinking about what kind of person she could have been. ONE day before the murder, Dr. Hoyt cried into his satin sheets, staining them with lthy tears undeserving of the so comfort. He could not help his urges, even though he knew he was wrong. He was reminded of his demons when his doorbell rang earlier that
51 night. It was the girls mother, Mrs. Mason, bringing by a payment for the last four sessions. She asked to use the restroom, entering his private sanctuary and making him shiver as he thought of the girl they had the same eyes. As Dr. Hoyt laid in his bed, he thought about the all the sessions to come and how he was going to suer until she was gone. Please God, give me strength. FIVE days before the murder, Allison walked slowly out of her session, defeated yet again. Tears ran down her cheeks, a sign that showed her mother that she was making progress a breakthrough. Her mother looked at Dr. Hoyt with eyes full of appreciation. She was thankful he was getting her daughter to move on. At the beginning of Allisons session, she sat in the chair that faced the ornate mahogany desk across the Oriental rug. She stared down at her hands, folded delicately in her lap, brushing her thumb across the birthmark on her le hand. She didnt need to look up to know that the hunt had begun she could hear the penny loafers sco against the hardwood oor and then the light padding on the rug until they were in front of her. He stroked her hair and lied her chin to look her in the eyes. SIX days before the murder, Mrs. Mason returned from the local grocers and emptied her bags onto the granite countertops. A sponge, bleach, Frosted Flakes, two boxes of extra-large, black trash bags, pasta, Alfredo sauce, and four bungee cords. In the bedroom above, Allison pulled the duvet over her tired body. Aer another long day at school the whispers and stares and the snickering behind her back plagued her she tried to fall asleep using the sound of the murmuring rain pattering against her window. It sounded like a hoard of bees.
52 Forget-Me-Not Rebekah Tanner
53 Dont Let One Bad Produce Item Spoil the Bunch! Nicholas Capella Its inevitable; I will always nd one moldy piece of fruit or rotten vegetable when restocking a display. You know immediately when one is present. e smell hits your nose as soon as you place the box that is housing the spoiled item on your cart. Youll pick up the box/bag and the disgusting stench clings to your nose and paralyzes your sense of smell in that particular moment. If you asked me what my top three most unpleasant rotten items are, I would say (from bad to absolute worst): Onionsthey smell like an onion but much stronger and sting your nose. You know right away when you have yourself a spoiled one. In the netted bag that the onions tend to be packaged in, the other surrounding onions are wet and have taken on the scent of the spoiled item that lay hiding within the bunch. In a sick way, its like a game in which you have to nd the rotten one but you dont win anything and your hands smell like onions until you go home and wash away the sadness. Tomatoesas if tomatoes werent gross enough already, (excuse my bias opinion as tomatoes are the only food that, since I was child, do not sit well with me) when they are rotten, they are even worse. A rotten tomato is relatively easy to spot since tomatoes come in a one layer box that has no top, allowing you to catch the rotten one right away. Unfortunately, about 99.9% of the time, the tomato has transcended its solid state as a lovely, aesthetically pleasing red fruit/vegetable (depending on your beliefs) and succumbs to a liqueed, melted mess. It is undoubtedly revolting; the musky stench clings to your nostril and makes your stomach ip. Just try your best, hold your breath and put up those tomatoes that have been unaected by the spoiled item on the display. Potatoesnow again, this list is my opinion. You dont have to work at a grocery store to experience a rotten fruit or vegetable so Im sure that there are a few other people who might disagree with me but a spoiled potato is equivalent to garbage. Anything that someone would place in a garbage or dumpster shares the same smell as a rotten potato. ey are the most dreaded spoiled item in my book and I know the very instant when I have one in my possession. First, the smell with hit you instantaneously. Potatoes come in plastic bags and eight of these bags are placed in a large paper bag. Now when you open the paper bag, the stench quickly strangles your sinuses. Your head pulls back and you fear for yourself (in some cases, eyes of the workers have rolled back into their
54 head then proceeded to collapse on the oor, but I have yet to see this happen). e other plastic bags take on the smell of the one containing the rotten potato even if it is without the plagued item. Finding the rotten potato game is even less fun (if at all) than the nding the spoiled onion game. ere is nothing pleasant about this situation you are in. You nally come across the bag containing the rotten potato (whether this is a good or bad thing is up for debate). is is indicated by the wetness that has enveloped itself around the bag from the rotting, melted potato. e stench is creating gurative smog around your face, making it hard to breathe. e smell has caused you to hallucinate and you are now under the impression that you are holding a bag of roadkill and not potatoes. Our department states that you open the bag and empty out the potatoes that are not rotten and do away with the spoiled one. I say, fuck it and throw that bag right in the dumpster. Luckily, I do not come across these horric manifestations that were once edible as much as I do the less grotesque but still ghastly, rotten lemons and limes. Lemons in particular. I never fail to nd at least one bad item with these two fruits. Lemons are packed in a box with three layers of about 20 lemons on each. If youre lucky, itll be on the top and you cant miss it. Its unnatural white with a greenish tint is rather striking, and the overly sour smell brings tears to your eyes as it charges through your sinuses. In some unfortunate cases when the plagued fruit is positioned on the bottom layer, the lemon will have been rotted out completely and leak itself on the bottom of the box. is is disgusting and myself and other produce employees selshly avoid touching the box and leave it for some other ill-fated soul. Being that this is such a reoccurring theme with this fruit I took note of it fairly quickly. Why are there always bad lemons/limes in the boxes? I curiously wondered to myself. Further investigation revealed to me that a lemon is so acidic that it will actually make itself go bad. e juices within the fruit spoil the lemon which why the rotten lemons presence is so apparent in the life of a produce employee. Limes are not as horrendous of a sight, but are similar in the way in which they can become spoiled. I once had a box of limes that I was about to dump into the mixture of our citrus table in the department. Immediately, I noticed a lime that looked as if it was covered in a green powder. I picked it out of the box and on my hands, the green powder. e lime was pruned and looked as though it was completely dried and sapped of life. e lime had in fact dried itself out because similarly to the lemon, it is so acidic that it can actually dry itself out. Unlike the lemon however, a rotten lime is much easier to deal with and for that reason is more preferred.
55 Years Eight through Ten Jordan Dedrick Oompas sleepwalking is what sealed our fate as the weird family. Being picked up in three dierent locations the red house on the hill, so steep the bus ached and wheezed trying to reach us, Grovaters house with soap hanging from the trees like Christmas ornaments, but we were Jewish Or the Funeral home with the hearse that had a at tire, parked in front heroically Starting a new school was hard enough, the blow was soened by Charlie (we are going on fourteen years of friendship) Having two sets of holidays because the parents didnt work out or get along No. My destiny was sealed when I became the girl with the crazy grandpa, spewing out Yiddish insults and killing Nazis in his pajamas.
56 Vogue Cover Andrew Golembiewski
57 e Problem with Drowning Jennifer Woodru e stage is simple: a cardboard sun hangs from above stage le, and separated from stage right by a string of pool buoys in center stage. HARRY and SYLVIA are on one side, and ALEX is on the other. ALEX sits in the middle of the stage, just under a string of pool buoys. He is wearing pool goggles, a swim-cap, and a childs pair of oaties on his arms. He speaks with a child-like voice. ALEX (calm) Help. ALEXs brother HARRY appears with SYLVIA on stage le. ey are wearing swimsuits and irting with each other. HARRY I can li about 250. SYLVIA Wow, you must be really strong. From beneath the string of buoys, ALEX looks over at HARRY and SYLVIA, raises one hand over his head, and holds his nose with the other. When he speaks, neither HARRY nor SYLVIA pay any attention to him. ALEX ats not true, Sylvia. HARRY Yep, Ive been liing for a few years now. What with football and hockey being so labor-intensive. SYLVIA You play football and hockey?
58 ALEX NOPE! HARRY Yeah. I play quarterback. SYLVIA You must be really talented. What position do you play in hockey? ALEX Harry doesnt play hockey. He cant even swim. HARRY Oh, hockey. Uh, I play le center elder? SYLVIA Ha, ha. You dont sound so sure about that. HARRY Well, Im sort of ALEX LYING! SYLVIA All over the eld? Like, youre the only one who can actually play the game? Youre the only one who can save ALEX ME? SAVE ME? SLYVIA e day. HARRY I do what I can. Ive been teaching my little brother how to toss the old pigskin around. SYLVIA ats sweet. ALEX raises his hand as far above him as it can go. He gasps for air.
59 ALEX More like Ive been teaching him. HARRY Hes the younger brother, so its like Im preparing him ALEX FOR DEATH. YOURE PREPARING ME FOR DEATH. HARRY For life. You know? SYLVIA I get it. Say didnt you come here with him? ALEX YES, SYLVIA. YES, HE DID. HARRY Hmm... He must be at the snack bar. I gave him ve bucks earlier. SYLVIA at was so nice of you! ALEX No, that was two hours ago. SLYVIA I want to meet him. Lets go see if we can nd him. HARRY Oh okay! SYLVIA takes HARRYs arm, and they walk ostage as the lights go out on stage le. ALEX watches them as they go, and lowers his hands. He looks at the audience as he speaks. ALEX And then I was saved. No, I wasnt at the snack bar. I was underwater for about three minutes as my brother irted with Sylvia, and le me to be saved by some clown with an inatable crab. Was it the ideal rescue? No, but at least
60 An inatable crab is thrown at ALEX from stage right, and hits him. ALEX At least, this was the only crab I had to deal with the next day. e stage lights go out. e play ends.
Were nice people.