Monthly Archives: June 2013

Issue One

Thank you to all our contributors for Issue One. We received a great mix of writing style and genre for this issue. We hope you enjoy!



God of the Underworld, Outside by Valentina Cano

Views from my Window by John Grey

The Writer by Matthew Wilson

Azhar is Violet Eyes by Tanya Yvonne

The Pupil by Matthew Wilson

Rejecting Domesticity by Valentina Cano

The Vacation by Matthew Wilson

Perfect Woman by John Grey

False Idols by Valentina Cano

The Crush by Darlene Campos

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False Idols by Valentina Cano

She was a moment trapped in resin,
dry, quiet in his hands.
He couldn’t choose where to place her,
where to drape her form.
He made no choice
and she warmed in his hands.
Second by second,
she was no longer herself
but an elongation,
a mutation,
carved from his touch.


Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I’m Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize.You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com


Interesting Fact: I am a snake fanatic, and currently have five very spoiled ones as pets.

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Perfect Woman by John Grey

There was an android I made love to

and I remembered how, holding

its perfect body in my hands sometimes,

I felt a sudden longing for all the imperfections,

for the childhood hills with their hidden caves

and the silly girls who went with me there,

and the pop songs we hummed all the way

up those rocky slopes,

and how, in total ignorance, we still

attained a kind of graceful knowledge

of our bodies and ourselves.

And here was a woman that really did

come with instructions,

but the way I followed them

was nothing to do with her at all.

Such tenderness, such afternoons and evenings,

and me whispering over and over,

every name my tongue could sanctify,

none of them her company logo.

 

 

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze” with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Sanskrit and Fox Cry Review.

 

Interesting Fact: I have been in every American state with the exception of Kansas.

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Views From My Window by John Grey

Twilight squeezes stars

from orange rind;

horizon heads off the brain

at the eyes;

stars gather at the meridian;

constellations cloud together;

each look is a leap,

every breath a rocket stage;

you grip my arm,

nuzzle my neck,

thinking this will bind me

to the earth;

your love coalesces

like the Milky Way,

plays cute games

with my reach;

ah kiss, dream;

the journey into space…

everything must be possible

so we can stay the same;





John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze” with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Sanskrit and Fox Cry Review.

Interesting Fact: I have been in every American state with the exception of Kansas.

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God of the Underneath, Outside by Valentina Cano

He looked like a statue of ashes
standing by that tree.
As if his blood dripped in unending flow
to the ground.
His eyes,
pieces of sun locked in time,
refused to look up at the sky.
Everything in him screamed a tune
only the ground could hear.
And the soil,
squelching with his tepid blood,
refused him an answer.



Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I’m Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize.You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com
Interesting Fact: I am a snake fanatic, and currently have five very spoiled ones as pets.

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Rejecting Domesticity by Valentina Cano

 

Sometimes bruises overtook
her entire body,
turning her skin into
the color of fish scales.
It came on her suddenly,
like a tide of color and pain,
while she washed her hair
or swept the kitchen counters.
She’d look down at her hands or knees
and see the ebb of purple and greens.
And with them, an ache
like a sustained scream in her bones.



Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I’m Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize.You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com


Interesting Fact: I am a snake fanatic, and currently have five very spoiled ones as pets.

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The Pupil by Matthew Wilson

School sucks. Its summer

for crying out loud and I want

to be out there with the adults.

I hate history.


Who cares who won what war

when it was all so long ago.

I hate science when we learn how

to make explosives and gym has

gone down hill since Tommy

lost an eye.

Some of the other children don’t hold

back when teachers watch and tell


us to kill.

With what we’re facing and what our

forefathers declared war on, it’s good we

are learned to be killers.


But I wish I could play outside just once

before we go on the ship, and fight to the death

against those who would take this world from us.

We took it from the humans fair and square last time.





Matthew Wilson, 30, is a UK resident who has been writing since small. Recently these stories have appeared in Horror Zine, Starline Poets Association and Sorcerers Signal. He is currently editing his first novel and can be contacted at twitter @matthew94544267.

Interesting Fact: I’ve received 500 rejections in my writing career and can drink the better half of a beer keg without passing out.

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The Vacation by Matthew Wilson

$500 I saved to vacation here with

other students and it is terrible.

The beach is too hot and I find

the locals are less than welcoming.

Apparently, they’ve had enough of our sort.

All summer I worked

hard to get enough cash

and now I wish I had stayed at

home.

Mother, please send more

money as I have been robbed

and have no means to come back.

Venus is such a ghastly place.

Matthew Wilson, 30, is a UK resident who has been writing since small. Recently these stories have appeared in Horror Zine, Starline Poets Association and Sorcerers Signal. He is currently editing his first novel and can be contacted at twitter @matthew94544267.

Interesting Fact: I’ve received 500 rejections in my writing career and can drink the better half of a beer keg without passing out.

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The Writer by Matthew Wilson

Shakespeare lies sleeping in his

bed he paid with verses.

Protected from grave diggers

by simple stones burned with curses.

 

This Stafford lad, a glove makers son

has made his mad men.

His blood covered kings and cackling witches

never to see the sun again.

 

 

Now he sleeps, close to the altar

beneath the bust of his face.

Sleeping till England has need of

plays to excite every sex and race.

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Azhar is Violet Eyes by Tanya Yvonne

I will not die here.  Lisette pulled her knees to her chest, encircling them with her long arms as her gaze moved slowly about the space.   The inside of Azhar’s bottle differed greatly from the lavish close quarters depicted in popular stories about genies she had read as a child.  Instead of an area drenched with vivid colors and lavish furnishings, the bottle’s pit was devoid of bright tones.   Where she imagined plush pillows and heavy drapery, there was hardness saturated with gloomy grays.  So, Azhar was being truthful when he stated the bottle was his prison and not his home.  She drew her bent legs closer against her curvy body as a conversation she once had with Azhar reentered her mind.

“Is it true what they say about genies?”

He had turned his deep violet eyes on her; they glowed brightly as his gaze slid over her caramel tinged hands.  “Yes, unable to kill our masters, we at times have resorted to burning their hands.”

She pulled her gaze away from his and slid her hands into the front pockets of her skirt.  “That’s an awful thing to do to a person.”

“The hands,” Azhar said thoughtfully,  “Are rarely burned to the point where they drop off.”

Lisette let out a grunt.  “That doesn’t make it any less awful.”

“I understand why you would think that is true.  But do you see our side of it?  We only do this because it is the touch of human hands that beckon us genies from our cells or, as your breed likes to call them, bottles.  An act which signals an opportunity for us to bargain with you.  Our new master.  I grant you three or four wishes, and in return you only have to grant my one wish.”

Azhar had held up his end of the bargain.  For he had granted her wish for a home, another wish for her to have someone to share that home with, and her final wish for a child to complete her family.  Yet when it came time for her to grant his single wish, she had refused to utter the words he had urged her to say.   She had no choice but to deny him what he so desperately wanted for the sake of her kind.

If only I knew what he desired before I wished for any of it.  

Lisette bit down hard onto her bottom lip a move that yanked her back in to the moment.  The dire reality of the situation was like canine teeth sinking deep into her flesh causing her body to quake with fear.  Azhar’s scent , sweet and smoky, was strong, overpowering.  She rubbed her arms hoping to keep his odor from seeping into her pores.  She did not want to carry any part of him with her.  As she rubbed, she noticed her hands.  She brought them up so that the little light that filtered in could act as a spotlight on them.  When she was seven her mother insisted she take up piano.  She detested having to devote so much time to learning the notes.

Yet now the thought of never feeling the smooth, ivory keys beneath her fingertips ever again forced tears to well up in her dark eyes.
As his master, she knew Azhar could not kill her, just maim her.  But she also knew this rule did not extend to her loved ones.  Whenever her thoughts turned to her husband and child, she would steer them in another direction like seeking a way out of his bottle.  Unfolding her legs, she braced herself against the curve of the bottle as she pulled herself into a standing position.  Squinting, she looked directly at the beam of light filtering down.  Her gaze moved onto the surrounding walls, which contained crude shapes that jutted out.  Lifting her right foot onto one of the lower juts, she wrapped her fingers around two of the higher placed ones.  Just as she moved toward trying to climb out a searing, tugging pain crept across her face.

Her hands slipped from the juts as instinctively they moved to touch on the fiery skin of her cheeks.  She let out a moan as her body connected with the hard floor of the bottle.  The tugging sensation intensified.  Her fingers were pressed firmly against her face while the eyes blinked wildly as she tried to comprehend what was happening to her.  The skin under her hands cooled as the fiery feeling died down.  Slowly, she let her fingers slip from covering her cheeks as the tugging, pulling sensation also edged away.  Her stare roamed the tight space as she sought out any reflective surface.  Spotting one, her hands were quick to grasp it but slowed as they brought the rectangular object nearer to her face.  A lump rose in her throat.  She swallowed pushing it back down as she closed her eyes.  With the mirror directly in front of her she drew in a deep breath before raising the lids of her eyes.   Her full lips parted as the breath was released.  Nothing appeared wrong with her face.  No hideous burn marks as she had envisioned.  As relief washed over her, a piercing sound cut through the silence.

Her body jerked, and the shattering sound of glass hitting the floor mingled momentarily with that of the offensive, rumbling noise.  She tried lifting her arms but could not.  Her body felt as if it were being crushed under the force of a great wave.  Just when she thought she could no longer bear it, the pressure was released.  She blinked and no longer was she down in the pit of Azhar’s bottle.

Instead, she found herself in a familiar place.  The dining room of her home.

A near exact replica of herself was seated at the table next to her beloved husband.  Her infant child cradled in his arms.  She attempted a step and found that her body was frozen.  He had made her into a living statue.  She could see her flesh was ashen in color, like those angelic statuettes in the church graveyard.  The eyes of the replica were violet in color, and she understood now why her face had felt hot and why it seemed as if it were being pulled off.  Azhar had concealed himself under a mask of her likeness and made her invisible to all eyes except for his piercing, violet ones.  An innocent family meal is what he used to draw all that she loved most to him.  Her gaze left his flaming eyes and went to where the entrance was.  Except for a single door leading to a hallway, the formal dining room was closed off to the rest of the house.  She had to close that door.  Once confined to a small space Azhar would be powerless and his body would revert to smoke, which his bottle would beckon back, imprisoning him once again.

“Now will you speak the words, Lisette?”  His voice was inside her head forcing her attention back on him.

A pool of tears formed in her eyes as her heart ached.  “No.”  The single word did not slide easily off her tongue.  Though barely a whisper it landed hard on the ears of Azhar, angering him.  The mask of her likeness he wore fell away as his body reverted to fire.   Helplessly, she watched as the flesh of her husband bubbled and fell from his bones.  She could do nothing as the pain stricken cries of her only child filled the space as its life was being consumed by Azhar’s angry blaze.

Once they were reduced to nothing more than ash swirling about her, Azhar lifted his spell off her.  She knew he expected her to fall upon the floor, weeping over her great loss.  Instead, she ignored the scent of charred flesh in her nostrils, the taste of her husband and child’s ashes in her mouth, and focused on the image of them burning to death against the genie’s body.  Her aching heart knocked hard against her rib cage as she ran for the door.

She made it out of the room and had her hands on the door poised to push it shut when Azhar realized what was happening.  Within seconds, her hands began to burn.  The fire started at her fingertips and ran up toward her wrists.  She screamed but kept her flaming hands positioned on the door.  Using her whole body, she shoved the door.  It closed with a loud thud trapping Azhar inside.  The flames threatening to engulf her hands were quelled.  She heard screams but did not know if they were hers or Azhar’s as the bottle reclaimed him.

When help arrived she insisted no one touch the beautifully, jeweled adorned bottle lying amongst the ashes of her family.  Later with her charred hands wrapped in gauze, she crudely handled a pair of tongs,  using them to grip the bottle.  After dropping it a few times she managed to get the genie’s bottle inside a rectangular, wooden box.  With her elbow she slammed the lid shut then stepped aside to watch as her sister secured the lock.  That night they walked onto the end of a long pier.

As her sister threw the wooden box into the water the aching in Lisette’s heart eased a bit.  “For the sake of human kind, I hope the sea never lets go of Azhar.”

Tanya Yvonne is a YA fantasy writer who helms the site:  TanyaYvonne.blogspot.com, which contains author interviews (Gigi Amateau, Tina Wells) and other gems concerning the wonderful world of publishing.  She holds a BA in English from Old Dominion University (literature and secondary English education were her minors).  Her debut novel is ‘Violet Eyes’ and the short story below is actually its prologue.  Tanya ends each of her blog posts with the signature tagline, Happy reading, writing or whatever:!)  In the past, she has written a blog post for radicalparenting.com and most recently for the site Writers and Authors.
Interesting Fact:  She has a near alarming addiction to chocolate covered almonds and cashews.

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