Issue 9 HALLOWEEN.png

ISSUE 9

 
 

Horror Movies And Why I Adore them

- Devansh

A fairly familiar situation hovers into view. The 8x8 chessboard makes me feel safe and guarded. There’s just one problem - when I reach the end, it expands. When I reach the end again, it expands again. After all the frantic chaos trying to catch an escape route, I stand on an infinite floor of chess boards with me standing at the apex of it all. The more I hurry around, the larger the infiniteness I see. I try to find something - a door, a secret hatch, a ladder which will airlift me out of here; I find nothing. I return to the place I started from, lay down, and wait for the chaos to engulf me. That was a glimpse of my nightmares.

 

I hate horror movies. I cannot watch a horror movie without broad daylight and a blindfold just in case I need it. Actually, scratch that - I cannot watch a horror movie (The article title is making real sense right now, isn’t it?) Till date, I’ve never watched a horror movie from start to finish, only sporadic parts of them, but trust me, those sporadic parts were enough to scare the bejeezus out of me. So that’s me. My friends, on the other hand, have laughed at movies like Anabelle and Conjuring, so you get where my reluctance to watch a horror movie with them comes from.

 

Horror movies stimulate a part of one’s brain which is responsible for the ‘flight-or-fight’ response. People who like that emotion, in turn like horror movies as well.

 

Now that we’ve gotten that crucial scientific point of discussion out of the way, let me talk about horror movies and my nightmares. I watched Squid Game a while back, and this list wouldn’t be complete without the doll from ‘Red Light, Green Light’. All I remember from that nightmare was the doll 2 inches away from my face when I opened my eyes, and that was enough for me to not sleep that entire night.

 

One prerequisite of having nightmares I want to address here is that you have to be able to sleep first. And get REM sleep. That does explain why I haven’t seen quite as many nightmares in the past couple of years, but that is a problem for another day.

 

Another one of the frequent nightmares I have had is just a recurrent symbol of sharks. Just sharks generally swimming, swashing around me, while I lay in the focus of it all, paralysed. One incident I vividly remember - I am in a public pool; it’s fairly shallow, about 6ft in depth (shallow for me, I meant). And I’m doing whatever anyone does in a public pool (not pee). All of a sudden, the familiar ground beneath me is taken away, as a shark erupts from the surface, plunging its shiny, white teeth into my skin. I woke up covered in sweat.

 

There was this one nightmare I remember about hot air balloons. My family and I were on a trip to Coorg, where we were supposed to board a hot air balloon from the top of a cliff. Not sure if the travel manager suggested this, but we were supposed to climb onto the hot air balloon while it was in the air. My grandfather went first, and he jumped onto the platform pretty easily. Next was my grandmother, and she made it in as well. But slipped off the edge. I woke up with a start.

 

So, those were a couple of nightmares that come to my mind. Others are there too, but they drift off as instantly as they come. And most of the ones I forget come from cliched horror movies. To end, I just want to say one thing - to the people I am going to be spending Halloween with, this year and in the future, if you’re planning to watch a horror movie in the dark at 12 am, please let me know in advance so that I can schedule a conveniently-timed doctor’s appointment then. Anyways, happy trick-or-treating!

 

- Ananya and Shravan

Fantastic Fears and How To Fix Them

‘Tis the season to be spooky.

 

Halloween is a festival that celebrates, above all else, fear (and at times, Kaccha Mango Bites). While these fears may range from trivial matters like belly buttons, to more pressing issues like noses, the most extreme cases are given a special name - “phobias”.

 

A phobia can be defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. And while that may be “scientifically accurate” and “rigorously proven”, we’re choosing to go another route. So, for the remainder of this Halloween special, we’ll be defining a phobia as a sussy little distaste towards something, someone, or even everything (see: panphobia) that one can relentlessly ridicule. Given that the two of us also possess a distaste for certain “sussy” things (like each other), we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do exactly what our definition states and make fun of each other’s phobias: 

 

Ananya’s 1st Phobia: Mark Zuckerberg’s bowl cut

We're starting off with what is arguably one of the scariest things, possibly ever - Mark Zuckerberg's haircut. That, with all due respect, is one face I would not want in my book. When Ananya told me about this fear of hers, I tried to determine why exactly his hair was in this condition. Was his hair, like much of Facebook's revenue, lost to Twitter? Was he inspired by the countless minion memes on his website? We'll never know. 

 

As much as I'd like to make fun of it, Zuckerbergbowlcutphobia is an incredibly understandable phenomenon. To Ananya, and all of you who share this fear, I'd like to give you one piece of advice - just imagine he’s Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. And remember: this too shall pass.

 

Ananya’s 2nd Phobia: Crushing debt

Secondly, the fear of crushing debt, or "debtphobia", as it's called by one source that really wants me to believe it's a real thing. I'd readily note the fact that the British will always, always (according to Shashi Tharoor, at least) owe more debt than you. I’d also readily make fun of the fact that Ananya could always seek out a job as a Timotheé Chalamet subreddit moderator if she was running out of cash, but instead, I’ve decided to offer up some advice.

 

It's okay to be in debt. It may be emotionally overwhelming, and it may seem like a lot, but if you're careful, you can get through it. Most importantly, remember that working with a reputable debt consolidation provider who can counsel you on how to avoid bankruptcy or debt settlement is fiscally feasible and may just be the advantageous. Above all, remember that this too shall pass.

Shravan’s 1st Phobia: Mayonnaise
While nothing on this planet would give me more unadulterated joy than to simply say that this fear was (verbatim) ‘a little sus’, Shravan’s true horror, aptly called ‘mayophobia’, is one that I deem very valid after my extensive research.

Scientifically speaking, psychology states that humans dislike ‘slimy’ or ‘sticky’ food, such as mayonnaise and its likes, because it reminds them of rotten things that made them ill. However, I have a theory that everyone who has ever disliked this certain condiment was probably fed a poorly-made McDonald’s burger that became soggy due to an excess of odd-tasting mayonnaise at one point in their lives; the sacrilege that was caused to such a wondrous invention, all those years ago, had been burned into their brains, and they unfortunately never recovered.

Although I have no real way of relieving these people (including my co-columnist) of all the trauma they had undergone at the hands of multinational fast food corporations, I would like to remind them that they will probably never be force-fed mayonnaise filled burgers by their parents ever again. And if they are not able to ‘digest’ this information (pun fully intended), they must simply tell themselves this: that this too shall pass.

Shravan’s 2nd Phobia: Disappointing those around him
While I did understand where Shravan was coming from, there were some questions that still persisted. First, let’s take a look at the fear - ‘Disappointingpeoplephobia’ is a relatively usual fear among kids our age. Granted, we suffered a more chronic version of it, there were also a few advantages of this fear. For example, if someone were to ever gift us a bottle of mayonnaise on any customary occasion, we would be able to accept it gracefully, so as to come off as ‘polite’ (although, in hindsight, this seems like it would not be quite a pleasant ordeal for Shravan. Oh well).

And while I could also shed light on the irony of this fear, given that disappointing people is all he’s ever done by choosing to be a Devi and Paxton shipper, I would rather try to be of help and give all of you a piece of valuable advice - simply do not disappoint people. If you do, it’s hard to say they’ll ever forgive you, and if it’ll truly pass, but for the sake of uniformity in this article, let’s say it will.

As obvious as it may seem, fears are scary. Sometimes, they scare us. But every once in a while, it’s probably a good idea to laugh at yourself and your fears, and ask your dearest friends (or in our case, your most detested adversaries) to take a jab at the things that haunt you at night. It can help you deal with your phobias, and simultaneously help you form meaningful connections with others who share those phobias. Because, at the end of the day, there’s one common fear that unites us all:

The fear of a disappointed Mark Zuckerberg starting a rival mayonnaise business, leaving you in crushing debt (also known as “capitalism”).

Happy Halloween.

 

Sources:

https://phobia.wikia.org/wiki/Phobia_wiki - Phobia Wiki, a tool we used extensively in the creation of this article 

- Akshaj

Happy Halloweeny

How are we in October already? It seemed like just yesterday when I took my maroon shirt and pasted three circles on it and NO ONE GOT THE REFERENCE (Understandably so; it was unlikely they would anyway, ‘The Office’ is apparently “overrated” or whatever). For context, here is how it looked -

Well, after the three hole punch version of Jim disaster, I decided to dress up as myself this year, because what's more scary than me at my essence? I will literally spontaneously combust with the amount of energy I have when I am the most myself. Why do I even want to dress up? You see, I want to wear something (as the kids say) cool and hip and swag for a day, an overly fancy outfit for this year in particular, and to have fun and take pictures (to gain social clout!).

 

Halloween is a day that falls on the last day of the month of October. It is a day where children “trick or treat” which for all of you ‘living under a rock’ souls out there means that kids wear scary clothes and go door to door begging for chocolates. Yep, that’s literally  the gist of it. This article, however, will not become more informative than that, because Halloween is supposed to be goofy and fun, and not boring and historical. I want to talk about why I like Halloween, and the tiny things that make it enjoyable to me as this magazine is basically my diary at this point, here I go.

 

Here are some favourite Halloween traditions:

 

  • The Outfits - Imagine this: it’s a week before the 31st, and you are running around thinking of costumes and characters to dress up as with your friends. My costume ideas have ranged from renting them (because you didn’t want to waste money buying them), spending 3 days cutting foam, gluing and spray painting to make a viking costume with my friends. Previously, it has even involved wearing an eyepatch and calling myself a pirate, using my friend’s old costumes, to even coming back from a MUN, being too lazy to change and calling myself James Bond (having not watched a single one of the films). And of course I dressed up as minecraft Steve that one year.

 

  • The Planning - The day before halloween is when stuff gets real. The place we live in is divided into two places, with the centre of the colony being the clubhouse. So every Halloween, we decide which side we would go first: would it be up (towards the main gate) or down (towards the dead end of the layout)? Judging by our previous years’ Halloween experiences, my friends and I decide which direction to go towards and judging the time people usually go out to trick or treat; we aim to leave half an hour earlier to ensure we can visit all the houses in layout (efficient begging) before others take all the good chocolates (Hershey’s supremacy). Diabolical, I know.

 

  • The fake reality we create for ourselves - When we are in our costumes, walking down the lanes, going door to door asking for candy, that’s when imagination takes over. Dialogues like “Move move move! The house 3 lanes ahead on the left is where the good loot is at, let's get a move on guys, keep your weapons out!” accompany us screaming and shouting with the several other groups of people around us, showing off the loot we got. Truly the real Ocean's 11 movie.

 

  • The People - Talking to everyone, carrying your bag filled with chocolates around, trying to recognise people through their costumes is just irreplaceable. As one of my good friends says, ‘the vibes are immaculate’. Late at night, holding fake weapons, feeling warm in costumes together, talking endlessly as we go door to door (like salesmen, but we ask for chocolates for free, instead of selling products).

 

  • The Interactions -  I could write an entire book about the highs and lows of halloween to be honest, but that sounds very gimmicky, and I would rather pick out a few instances where my Halloween was exceptionally memorable. Imagine walking up to a house with all the lights off on Halloween, in full costume. Would you ring the bell, thinking they turned off the lights on purpose to make it scary? Or would you assume they are asleep and move to the next house? This question troubles us every year, when my friends and I trick or treat. There was this one time we decided to ring the bell and ask for chocolates and this family walked out of their house and were extremely confused as to why a group of kids in costume were at their door at 10pm in the night. What is the course of action then? What did we do? We said “We just came to say Happy Diwali” and smiled and walked away as the family told their child “See be like them, look how sweet they are”. We were so cunning and diabolical, and honestly, we were built different.

 

  • The Experience - Halloween is a time where you can walk up to someone's house and just ring their bell and ask them for chocolates and exchange pleasantries. What other day can you say “Hello! Good evening! Have a great day.” to over 100 people individually? It is a nightmare for introverts, but it brings me joy to smile at so many people and talk to them. It’s a time where people can be so nice that they say “I will go buy chocolates for you guys, sorry I forgot today, please come collect it tomorrow” and actually give it to us the next day. It’s also so much better when aunties never fail to tell you “Tomorrow is Kannada Rajyotsava, you better come for the flag hoisting ceremony”.

 

  • The candy class system - There is and has been and always will be a hierarchy in the halloween experiences. Of course, the lowest is “I don't know what halloween is, please leave.” to “I don't know what it is here take some biscuits and an apple” to “I don't know what Halloween is but here have some money you can all share ''. To the candy that is Eclairs and Mango Bites and Kismis which are the common chocolates. Then we have Coffee bite, Gold Eclairs, and Kopico (I have a bias towards coffee related chocolates). We then have the highest of the highest, chocolates for which people would fight each other for and even travel to different communities to get them. I am of course talking about the 5-stars, Dairy Milks, Zour Bombs, gummy bears, Milky Ways, Galaxys, snickers, jolly ranchers and finally the epitome of fancy chocolates HERSHEYS (not sponsored I promise). These chocolates were rare but always extremely valuable and you could often hear “Bro! That house has Hersheys” on the streets while you walk around looking for which houses to loot next. Who knew hierarchy would prevail during Halloween too, eh?

So, those are some of my anecdotes from my halloween experiences. I hope you could enjoy them vicariously and relate to some of them at least! This Halloween, no one is going to be begging for chocolates and instead I'm just going to have fun talking to my friends and watch ‘The Office’ with them so that next time they get the goddamn reference.

 
 

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW CAN'T HARM YOU

- Snigdha

The human race is defined by its endless curiosity and pursuit of all that is unknown. We study a plethora of subjects to decode everything around us, trying to find answers that satisfy both rational and transcendental demands. We develop larger machines to inspect the miniscule, and even larger ones to find noise in the hollow quietness of the universe. We’ve learnt to question dogma and doctrines. We are constantly proving and disproving, learning and unlearning as we go.

 

The fact remains that knowledge is infinite. The sheer vastness of all that is there greatly outnumbers the cumulative capacity of what we can store and understand. There is so much to know, so much to explore, that there are questions that we don’t even know to ask. And no matter how many questions we put forth, there will always be some left unanswered.

 

There is satisfaction in knowing things. In predictability. Thinking that we understand the universe and its ways isolates us from the ifs and buts and hows that usually stir inside our minds. But not every question mark gets changed into a full stop. Sometimes, all that we can manage is an ellipsis.

 

Religion and science are two fields that try to answer the same questions, but through different ways. Science tries to generalise happenings into predictable laws and ideas, while religion consists of experiences that connect your mind, body, and soul to a higher power or force. It is evident that these are two very different schools of thought, but it is also clear that both of them may hold new knowledge that we seek. 

 

If we think of our own existence, and trace the line back to the very beginning of everything, where do we reach? A singular point in time, where nothing existed, until everything did. Some people believe in the Big Bang, while others believe in divine power.

 

Regardless of what you believe in, it’s impossible to refute that we still do not exactly know about the origin of the universe. As we try to trace time back to its conception, we know that it extends indefinitely ahead of us. Suppose time was a line graphed on a Cartesian plane, and we found exactly where it started, and when it would stop. What if we realised that the plane is 3-dimensional? Or if there were lines running across every point in time, holding new information and knowledge for us to know? 

 

There are new things and ideas formulated every day. Looking ahead and behind us gives us clarity on how far we’ve come as a race of thinkers and believers, and looking ahead shows us how much further we have to go. Beside this linear strip of time, that collects and juxtaposes all we know so far, is a cosmic arrangement of unknown fact and unseen knowledge that is yet to be understood. Travelling through this fixed line, we only see a singular take on the boundlessness of the universe. 

 

Think of time as an endless escalator that has been carrying you towards an unknown destination from the second you were born, and will continue to do so until the second you die. You can look around you and see everything, but understand nothing, because for your entire life, all you’ve known is that escalator. All you truly know is that it will never stop going towards an unnamed location. All you can do is enjoy the ride. 

 

So far, we have lived with incomplete knowledge of the universe. We may still struggle to understand what our reality is composed of (or if we even do exist), but it is certain that no matter how much we know, or where we gain knowledge from, we’ll continue to thrive. Once we’ll accept that we will never truly know everything is exactly when we’ll realise how much we do know. 

 
 

Taking Poetry Seriously 

Today, I wanted to talk about one of the hardest things you need to do if you want to take poetry seriously - take yourself seriously. When I started writing poetry, I was wary of being too vulnerable, giving too much away. I thought I sounded pretentious and annoying, pretending my life and my thoughts were worth pretty metaphors. I had been reading poetry for a while, and I couldn’t write any without comparing myself to, for example, Richard Siken. I couldn’t take my poetry seriously because I didn’t take myself seriously.

 

Now, when I write poetry, I try to set aside the fear that I won’t be able to write what I think, or that I’ll sound stupid. I think poetry is one of the most honest forms of art because you can’t hide behind form and structure and extra words - at least, not if you’re any good. Your work necessarily follows the rhythm of the thoughts in your head. But if your thoughts are tentative, if you don’t trust yourself to express them in a way that does them justice, then your words are tentative too. Don’t laugh your thoughts off. Give poetry (and yourself) the respect it’s (and you’re) owed. 

 

And if my poetry is ever as sincere as the poems in this issue, especially Rootedness by brilliant founder and friend Snigdha Dhameja, I will be satisfied. 

Rootedness

By Snigdha Dhameja

 

Places shuffled in a deck of cards and we pick one every two years.

 

Belongings in a suitcase,

Belonging left behind

Comfort in cardboard boxes,

Something lost; I'll never find.

 

No matter where we went,

I always seemed to hate the new place

Mind racing like the planes we flew in

Smiling wide, saving grace.

 

Cities one two and three

Schools three four and five

Friendships broken, mended, lost

Changes many, but still I've

 

Kept going, kept it all

Inside so it won't leak

"I hate it here”

“They think that I'm a freak

 

Of nature.” Silent, obedient,

Lashing out inside.

Places shuffling, bags packed again

Mother replies: We tried.

 

Snigdha Dhameja (she/her) is constantly confused. When she’s not trying to understand why, she writes. ‘Rootedness’ is the first poem she’s written since she was 10 years old.

The Thing Is by Ellen Bass

Poet and teacher Ellen Bass grew up in New Jersey. She earned an MA in creative writing from Boston University, where she studied with Anne Sexton. Bass’s style is direct; she has noted, “I work to speak in a voice that is meaningful communication. Poetry is the most intimate of all writing. I want to speak from me to myself and then from me to you.” (Poetry Foundation)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/151844/the-thing-is

 

Everything Needs Fixing by Karla Cordero

Karla Cordero is the author of How To Pull Apart The Earth (Not a Cult, 2018), which won the San Diego Book Award and was a finalist for the International Book Award and the International Latino Book Award. She is a professor of creative writing and composition at MiraCosta College and San Diego City College and lives in San Diego, California. (poets.org)

https://poets.org/poem/everything-needs-fixing

 

Signs by Larry Levis

Larry Levis was born the son of a grape grower; he grew up driving a tractor, picking grapes, and pruning vines in Selma, California, a small fruit-growing town in the San Joaquin Valley. Levis often employed an imagist or surrealist approach in his work. As Diane Wakoski wrote in Contemporary Poets, Levis’s “work is best when the poems are short and are shaped by his imagist instincts or his gestures towards surrealism. He is a master of the brief moment of recognition where the personal is embedded in the generic … and the least effective when he allows nostalgia to reign over or shape his poems.” (Wikipedia and Poetry Foundation)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47941/signs

Hot Air Balloons

-Ishana

Like most amazing creations, hot air balloons are colourful and use fire to do productive things (if only I could do that). To me, they seem like some kind of oddly-shaped, tame dragons. 

 

Ever since I have known of their existence, I have wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. The numerous pictures that I have seen of these beautiful contraptions floating in the air at sunset make me all the more certain that this is something I must experience at least once in a lifetime. 

 

While I have travelled on planes and sat on huge ferris wheels, I feel like a hot air balloon ride would feel completely different. Here, you would be drifting in the sky while enjoying the cool breeze blowing over your face as you take in the magnificent view sprawling below.

 

But the more I think about hot air balloon rides, the less I actually want to go on one. These rides seem like one of those ideas that are better in your head and not as fun while executing. So you end up scrubbing the walls and ceiling of your kitchen while cursing Pinterest and everyone who told you that making whipped cream from scratch would be a great idea. This mistake isn’t one that can be fixed with just sugar or cream. A mistake like this can only be fixed by using a time machine to convince your past self to either not make a birthday cake without adult supervision or pay closer attention while ratios were being taught in school.

 

Another issue that I might run into will be what to do when I am on the hot air balloon. While some rides might only last for around ten minutes, others can last for upto an hour, especially if they take place over hills and other scenic places. Knowing myself, I’ll probably end up with the one person in the group with whom I have nothing in common except for the fact that we were both too scared to tell other people that we barely know each other. But instead of actually making an effort to converse, we’ll just stand in awkward silence and watch the others have fun together while our resentment festers and our hatred for each other burns brighter than the fire above us. 

 

I also found out that a license is required to operate a hot air balloon, which is legally a registered aircraft. This information makes me even more afraid to actually go on a ride because, from my experience, a license is only needed for activities that could potentially be extremely dangerous. Now, I don’t mean to imply that I thought riding in a basket attached to a balloon that has a fire burning in it would be a completely hazard-free experience, but I do know that in case anything goes wrong, my first reaction will be to set something on fire. While this may soothe me, I can say  with absolute certainty that the same would not hold true for the other people accompanying me. Their unreasonable fear would cause me to panic, which would then lead to extreme confusion in the basket. The end result would either end in me lighting more things on fire or getting thrown out of a flying hot air balloon.

 

I hope this article has encouraged you to embark on your own mental journey (preferably via hot air balloon) and think of doing something that you’ve always wanted to do. I would encourage you to attempt to do it without overthinking and try to cause as much chaos as possible. That way, even if whatever you do doesn’t feel as magical as it did in your head, you have other, better memories to remember the experience by. I also feel obligated to let you know every time I have abided by this principle, something has caught on fire.

 
 

ONE OF US

- SANJANA

The world right now is as divided as it’s ever been. The social divides between rich and poor, privileged and underprivileged are all the more clear in the light of a global pandemic. But the very same pandemic has also brought about a sense of unity across borders, unity that is surprisingly controversial despite its positive undertones. In this article, I hope to discuss how globalism is not all it’s cracked up to be, and explore the alternatives.

 

The word “globalism” means the planning or operation of economic or foreign policy on a global basis. Simply put, it means connecting the world and the myriad languages and cultures in it. To me, that sounds like a nice sentiment. However, it is something that many fear. There is a belief that in connecting with the cultures of the world, you would lose touch with your own. I myself have been privy to this; being exposed to so much of the world and that most certainly affects my mannerisms, beliefs, taste in food, and even my sense of humour.

 

Today, we live in a world which seems to be constantly oscillating between the forces of nationalism and globalism. On one hand, globalism gives millions of people access to technology, which helps them feel less isolated. In a single second you can communicate with someone halfway across the globe, and build a community of people all around the world. On the other hand, nationalism is undoubtedly alive and kicking, given the many forms of exclusionary sentiments which continue to pit one group of people against another, within countries, as well as across them.

 

An outlook I have witnessed, rooted in  small-mindedness and hatred, is another disadvantage of nationalism. While nationalism, in most areas, was created to promote solidarity and unity, sometimes it does the opposite. Creating a sense of solidarity by defining another group as “outsiders” proves to be an effective strategy to gain power. However, such a sense of solidarity is causing an unhealthy amount of intolerance towards the “enemies within” (for example migrants or other minorities). Nationalism is turning into a divisive force, undermining the very sense of cohesion it once helped to create.

 

There are many conflicts around the world today which are being fueled by these sentiments, manifested in the form of ethnic, racial, or religious characteristics. Hatred towards migrants or visible minorities has increased. 

 

For instance, the media is highlighting Muslim women in hijab that have become newer targets of resentment. It is not only Western countries which have fallen prey to tribal tendencies. Consider the fate of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the violence against the Uighurs in China, or against the Rohingya in present-day Myanmar.

 

There are undoubtedly big downsides to globalisation as well, like the fact that multi-national corporations have much more to gain than the working class themselves as they are given ready access to the human capital of countries. Many critics argue that globalism will actively harm the poor, and benefit the rich even more. 

 

The aim should not be to promote isolation. We now live in an inextricably interconnected world, shown to us by the availability of Chinese, Mexican, Thai, and Midwestern cuisine in small Indian cities, the ability to consume media from all parts of the world, and the instant interaction one can have with someone living halfway across the world. The international community can and should work together to achieve common goals. But the most important need is to seek out and support indigenous causes and allow them to engage with the global economic system, as well as promote their own. There is no magic pill that will fix everything, it has to be a multiple-step plan. Change can be slow, but it will come.

 
 

THAT SATURDAY MORNING

- MEHR

It was a sunny morning, a Saturday. I went out with my ball to go to my best friend's house. As I shut the front door, I saw some people whom I had never seen before.  

 

They were probably here to move into the house besides me - it was sold a few days ago. They were weird looking. There was a man and a woman and their son – I'm guessing. The man was middle aged and very fat. He looked like he hadn't shaved in a month and had one of those fake gold teeth. To me, he seemed like an escaped criminal. The woman was also very fat and had shoulder length straight soft brown hair. The son looked about my age and was a male copy of his mother. They were all wearing pointy, violet, witch hats with dark, purple stars on them.  

 

The man threw his used cigarette to the ground and lit another one. I had enough. Just as I opened my mouth to say something, the man stared at me with his beady little eyes. I stared back and narrowed my eyes at him. He made a maniac sort of action as if he was about to beat me. I ran to Sarah's house just in time. I caught a glimpse of his wife - who was looking worried, pulling him back by his arm.  

Walking into their house, I pulled Sarah by her arm and said, "Sarah! Did you see those people?!"  

"What people?", she asked.  

"Those! The ones outside! The ones who moved into that house!"  

She walked out of her house with me by her side, but by then they had already finished unloading their boxes.  

 

The son then came out of his house. 

"Hi", he said. 

"Hey", said Sarah. 

He wasn't wearing his witch hat anymore. I had told Sarah about them so she asked "Hey, what's the deal with your dad?" 

"Excuse me?", he said.

 

"I mean, he was about to beat my friend here." 

He looked down at his shoes. "Can I trust you guys?" 

I looked away and Sarah looked at him.  

"Sure." 

"My dad- yeah. He's not a criminal. Just a little off, you know? He's super nice once you get to know him." 

"And what about those witch hats?" He looked worried.  

"Can you guys keep a secret?" Sarah looked at him again. 

"Sure." 

"Why don't you come inside? I'll tell you the whole story then." I looked at Sarah and she looked at me. She nodded. We followed him inside the house.  

I sneezed because their house was so dusty. It had nothing but boxes in it. He led us to where his parents were. His dad got up. He had a look on his face that I couldn't understand.  

 

 "So, Jack, I see you've made some friends huh?" 

 

 He walked closer to us.  

"Well, well. You guys sure look tasty." 

 

 I had a feeling that we were dead. Suddenly, I was in pain and I knew that Sarah was too. 

 

 I won't even describe what happened next. 

 

​ON THE WAY TO HELL

- IVAN DE MONBRISON

The walls are all around.

There is no one here.

I’m in bed.

A woman screams in the street and walks away quickly.

Then it’s all silent. 

The glass of the stars is

Rustling in the wind.

I painted a portrait on the wall.

The wall is like a mirror.

Blood is all over the furniture, 

on the chair, on the bed, on the floor too.

But on the street the sun is a ball 

walking legless.

(ORIGINAL VERSION IN RUSSIAN)

​По дороге в ад

Стены кругом.

Здесь никого. 

Я в кровати.

Женщина кричит на улице и быстро идет.

Потом тишина.

стекло звезд шумит на ветру.

Я нарисовал портрет на стене.

Стена как зеркало.

Кровь по всей мебели, на стуле, на кровати, на полу тоже.

Но на улице солнце – мяч, который ходит без ног.