June 18, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Smiling With the Lights Out
Story by Brian K. Jones
Photography by Adam Chapman
It started 21 days before the Mayan prophesied end of the world. I wasn’t too concerned about that, it struck me that the end of the world was unlikely to be forewarned; more likely that it would come unheralded. The breadth of everything you once knew obliterated into a scream of abstract nothingness in a quick spasm as you sat to take a restful shit or stepped in to kiss your wife after a long day of work. Yet still, civilization’s death loomed inevitability like the long shadow of work on an early Tuesday morn.
The radio DJ prattled on about the weather, his fake charm nestled in every phonetic uttering. Deliverance of the streaming rot into the hollow shell of my skull; I braced for a turn felt a booger in my right nostril and picked at it lightly. Driving to work on slow country roads was like a long slow dance with a slovenly captor. One who was so confident in your captivity that he allowed you to stray just far enough that you might pretend you enjoyed the spoils of freedom. In many ways it was worse than true cell block captivity.
May 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Story by Eric Martin
Photography by Adrienne Pike Adelphia
First you call the number in the classified ad.
Then you get the “unassembled materials” in a 2 x 2 box.
Then you put together the jewel cases for blank dvd’s by hand, one by one, until the box is full again.
Then you send the box back to where it came from, somewhere in Florida.
Then you supposedly have a life or an income, if those are different.
It’s not the dream and it’s not the choice that you make when you are twelve or twenty, but it is the reality when you are half-way into your thirties, your back went out fifteen years ago, and you still want to make a life for yourself. The only thing to do is look around you, find out what is there, and take what you can get.
You pick a place cheap to live – Alaska – where the people you know only know you for what you are now, not for what you were or what you might have been. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 10, 2013 § Leave a Comment
The Children’s Section
story by eric m. martin
images: public domain
His name was Joe, which was short for something else but there’s no need to get into that here. His name was Joe and people sometimes told him that he “thinks too much”.
Often Joe would be told this after he blurted out a fully formed argument where he debated both sides of an issue and came to his own conclusion.
There was nothing to say in response to something like that so people said, “dude, you know, sometimes you think too much.”
If he had taken up only one side of the argument maybe people would have said yes or no or I see what you mean, but he took up both sides and got the predictable response.
On his face there was a hint of accomplishment, as if this was what he was going for.
Because it happens sometimes, Joe fell for a librarian at his local library. The place was divided into two sections, like so many neighborhood libraries. There was the spacious children’s section on one side and the smaller “general population” section on the other, crammed with novels, reference books, cd’s and movies.
Joe always looked to the left as he came into the library, at the children’s section with its bright colors, its ridiculously diminutive chairs painted red and yellow, and its pro-reading propaganda posters.
His own childhood felt far away. There was no bringing it back either by sitting on a tiny red chair and waiting for the past to come flooding back, trying to remember what had gone on back in those Twinkie eating days, or by standing and staring minute after minute into that red and yellow LARGE PRINT section of the library.
Joe hoped that Lisa, the librarian, wouldn’t notice how he always spent a moment considering the children’s section when he came in. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
April 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Story By Brian K. Jones
Photos by Bree Fesh
Looking at himself in the mirror made him feel shallow and sad, he analyzed the imperfections of his face with despair. He tried to tell himself that he had little control of how he looked and that it was beyond vain to be placing worth on such matters. He couldn’t help it. He was fascinated by his repulsiveness.
George uttered the words at himself with a sterile disdain, “I hate you.”
His reflection in the mirror looked back at him with tired eyes seemingly saying, “I know you do.”
George closed his eyes and put his head down to look in the sink. Starting the water he looked up again and screamed violently. Running his hands through the cold water he started to calm, he splashed some on his face and turned off the sink.
George’s pants loosely hung around his waist as he walked around his apartment. He found a t-shirt and put it on before finding his keys. As he walked out the door he looked at the cluttered mess around his mattress and felt something inside of him sulk.
George staggered down the stairs and into the car his parents had given him for his birthday. Pulling into traffic he nearly sideswiped the car in front of him narrowly avoiding rear ending a pristine sedan at the stoplight in front of him, “Fuck!”
The light changed as George looked down at his pants which were stained with ash and smeared drops of beer. Snapping out of his daze he heard the car behind him honking. George rolled down his window, “Aww Fuck you! What’d I ruin your day?” « Read the rest of this entry »
March 24, 2013 § Leave a Comment
February 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
from: A Day in the Life and Death of Higgs Boson
“Perhaps we don’t lose our innocence, our idealism and youth. It may be that we give it, willingly or not, to those who truly need it…”