FICTION

Drug Run

By: Dr. Rocket with Ms. Gonzo

The capacity crowd at Wild Bill’s Saloon were wildly yet amiably drunk that late August night, and some had also gotten high out in the parking lot. All were on their feet. The sweaty young Texas hipsters knew that this was the final performance of Suze’s band, and many in the crowd were her loyal fans that had packed the dive full every Friday for the last three months. They shouted, driven into a frenzy that was electrifyingly tribal.

Suze, inspired, threw every last trick she had at the revelers. Her vocal chops were up, and she felt locked in with the band as they pounded out tune after tune in sequence, barely stopping between the songs. Suze grinned in triumph. They had never sounded better.

“You’ve got to shake your money maker” she shouted, wagging her Continue reading

Story Girls

By: Michael Chin

Jackson and Lily went to St. Peter’s because their father wanted to steer them from the bad influences of a public high school. He told them getting an education was not about smoking in bathrooms or fist fights or winding up pregnant before graduation.

Jackson knew the rationale, and remembered it one week into Catholic school, after his class watched a video to commemorate the tenth anniversary of terrorists crashing planes into the World Trade Center, and pimply-faced Johnny Reds spread his arms like an air craft and spiraled head first into Jinder, the only brown-skinned kid in school. Johnny made crashing sounds as he reenacted the terrorist attacks,like they were some big joke.

Jackson remembered what he had heard about bad influences, too, when he followed Johnny and friends out of the convenience store after school, ugly blue and gold school ties bunched up in their right pockets, stolen one-pound bags of M&Ms crammed in the left.

Continue reading

Almost-Rape, American Tourists, and Pope Garbs

by Teddy Fuentes

The Mexican Dream: Almost Getting Raped, American
Asshole Tourists, and Nostalgia Dressed in Pope Attire.

I was inside a home.

This place was downtrodden but very enticing.

White walls now a cream color. Brown stains like cigarette smoke made art, staining glass never meant to be seen through.

Furniture looked stale, but with the intense feeling of always having been there. Filled with purpose laced with antiquity.

Dust converged and sat on every flat surface. Coating the place with calm and stillness I longed for inside.

It was not my home, but it was Mexico and it felt like home.

The dichotomy of my idea of safety in Mexico means I was aware of all lurid possibility, yet remained jubilant as fuck to have the feeling of belonging.

Outside, through a tiny metal cased window, I saw something very Yin to the home’s sweet Yang.
Something alive, loud, and dark.

The Pope, and a parade for his majesty, was passing by.

All costumes and serious faces with smiles whose corners emit distrust.

It gave me very evil vibes, but surprisingly little sense of foreboding.

As curiosity killed the cat, I gravitated.

Like Esoteric and hidden knowledge obsessed moth to a very endearingly paradoxical flame, I went outside intrigued.

The spectacle had drawn crowds of people who had never been in a dominantly Catholic country.
Americans wearing pastels and sandals.

Also wearing dubious intent glares through Western-lens stares that definitely had roots in mangled psyche’s which repeat to the brainwashed mind “the rest of the world is a twisted work of Art”, “A work of art to be coveted or looked down upon.”

Little did I stare at the Pope and the crowd before I was done and gone.

Intrigue at the parade turned to monotone boredom.

Then that turned into a longing to explore the Mexican streets.

To be honest, the Catholic charade was an all too familiar sight.

Having studied at least some of every facet of ancient “knowledge” and growing up Catholic, I didn’t feel impressed.

I just innately felt that visually, it was just all a ritual to steal others energy.

I very much HI-BYE’ed the scene.

I took my positive energy in my tight black jeans’ pocket and became resolute in crossing.

My Mexican butt was just happy to be in Mexico.

I was filled with nostalgia and I wanted more.

I wanted street vendors and the smell of Churros.
I wanted urban filth and all the lovely shades of brown faces of my people. I wanted Spanish coursing through my brain soothing the harshness of the English language I had been previously subjected to for over a decade.

I wanted the vibrations of a kinder more forgiving and one hundred percent Mexican place to make love to my incessant nostalgia.

I wanted HOME.

This is when I crossed through the parade. My body literally dodging bishops and silly jester-like people carrying heavy metal objects in all religious shapes and sizes.

I felt very avant-garde, breaching a procession like this in a super obvious aloof yet determined manner. It was art.

I was wearing the most typically grungy, all black outfit, too.

I was thinking, “I look a god damned fool cutting through this, oh mother fucking well, let God, let God.” and very much feeling my self.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” and YOLO type feeling.

Anyways, when I did reach the other side, I was birthed into a crowd of tourists.

To be frank, they were all light skinned American, wide eyed, giving me a feeling that this was not the sea of people my way-too-forgiving soul should navigate.

The parade was at it’s tail end and only a sprinkle of actually low key terrified Them remained.

(They probably felt their pack thinning out and were afraid of what the reverse of “stronger in numbers” means in Mexico.)

I looked no one in the eye, big head held high, as if their judgement meant nothing to me.

While having these very thoughts of “I don’t care, but I do” , I found myself past the river of eyes and walking on a beaten sidewalk.

My step grew calm and my eyes travelled to the natives walking towards me.

No, Shel Silverstein fans? This is not where the sidewalk ends.

The sun was setting orange tones and the city backdrop was grey buildings crawling with graffiti and soul .

I did not get too far down the concretely contorted and govern-mentally forgotten sidewalk until two men came into view.

They had strange mannerisms, dipping and swaying to the troughs and valleys of the ground.
I knew this drunk dance all too well. Public and full of disregard.

My immediate feeling was “be careful but sweet.”

The ominous and bittersweet tone of the surroundings swirled into the smell of alcohol they emanated.

Their aura was mysterious. But I could sense some intention beneath their red-glazed eyes attempting to seem cordial.

Using drunkenness as a buffer to fucked up things is also something I am sadly familiar with.
I said “hola, como estan” or something happy go lucky, a smile on my lips and my misandry gun on my hip.

My youthful tone was “don’t fuck with me, supposedly kind sir.”

But, like any story about men fucking up and worth telling, they did.

The drunker, muscular, towering one grabbed me from behind as soon as I was a mere inch past them.

I was in a choke-hold. One arm around my chest slash neck, and the other around my stomach.
I semi-panicked, knowing that this was typical kidnapping procedure in Mexico. Aware that it would more than likely end in violent rape and my body never found would rot six feet in a mass grave dug by elements of the Police who work with drug traffickers.

My female survival instinct kicked in. Before I even had the stench of my rotting corpse hit my mental nose, I looped my stronger left leg around his drunken spaghetti both-legs.

His knees buckled. He fell. Swift justice was candid and heard.

His skull possibly cracked. His head definitely smashed.

ssssss CRUK was the sound of his slipping and colliding with a little dose of reality.

You can’t burger king have it your way, forever, fucker.

A pool of instant-karma-blood oozed as his face lay unconsciously in a crimson lake of Don’t Fuck With Me.

Here’s the plot twist – I did not run . I did not take my unforgiving steel toed black boot and obliterate his face into a million skull fractures and brain dismemberment.

I didn’t panic. I didn’t walk away full of Pride. I didn’t revel at how quickly I disarmed his disgusting and misguided phallic-y. I mean, fallacy. I didn’t put my middle fingers in his face, pressing down on his sweaty, maybe decaying because of me skin, in contempt and as a final Fuck You.

This might disappoint some feminists of revolutionary and war-like thought, but, a Motherly sense grew within in.

The sight of his blood and his eye lids closed posed the idea of me maybe having killed another.

Another human who used to be a baby. Another brother. Another son. Another someone who was raised to become this monster I so gallantly and possibly slayed into the eternal abyss.

I felt panic at that thought. That realizing mistakes and redemption are only ideas that can be manifested with life. That we all have potential coursing through our veins, and that his was spilling endlessly at my very feet.

I turned to his partner, who is now just looking just in disbelief.

He was frozen and my mind went from “I’m getting kidnapped to get raped then murdered” to “Oh my fuck I think I almost killed this human being, I need to get help for him.”

I was showered in no guilt, but a sense of urgency to restore him back to Life.

I walked back the sidewalk the way I came. There were a few tourists still lingering.

The closest people I spotted were a mother in her mid 30’s with her small child of probably seven.

I was pacing fast and when I got about fifteen feet away I started explaining clearly but in a hurry that “someone’s hurt, I need a towel, a napkin, something-” . I was pointing behind me with a super expressive face of someone is in danger, please help, but

the white woman had a very apprehensive look. Maybe as if this was some type of con. Maybe as if she was trying to protect her child?

I am around five feet mother fucking tall…

Maybe my teenage angst black outfit spoke a little.

I didn’t care. In my mind, the tone of urgency spoke for itself.

I was keeping enough of a distance to not make then flee.

She reached for a napkin out of an American invention that looks silly as fuck but is useful and holds small objects.

Here’s where my gratefulness turned into full on external hatred- she leaned over, hand outstretched, face still bitchy, and the mother blessed napkin slipped out of her clean but nasty little bony hand. She did it with PURPOSE. She did it with subconscious malice dressed in supposed caution.
I boiled over in Mexican Pride. I boiled over and her condescending actions was heat enough to warrant an explosion.

My face filled with blood and I literally forgot what the napkin was for. My body tensed up and my throat let out steam.

“DO I NOT LOOK WHITE?” Thunder. Fire.

She was shocked, standing still, as if no one had ever called her out on that deeply ingrained Interpersonal Nastiness Americans use as a self centered tool to deflect.

Her frozen expression of fear told me the deer in the headlights stance and look was, one: not suitable for her facial structure, two: great for stabbing at anciently racist, pathological entities.
I stabbed, “This is my fucking HOME, not a ZOO, go throw your pity napkins some where else, GO GAWK AND TRAMPLE WITH YOUR EXPENSIVE SANDA-”

That’s all I remember.

Where my vocal disdain for the unsuspecting lady cut off, I now wonder if the man laying in the pool of blood survived.

Yes, I completely forgot about the man.

Yes, I am not as benevolent as previously thought.

Yes, my nerves and memory are tied and cut where racist tendencies and me collide

Yes, I felt accomplished even if I delivered a thousand degrees of Mexican defense and it was perhaps a tad unwarranted.

My native and light skin was just happy to be there, kissed by the Mexican sun, soaking in all the intensity.

Posi Negi, deadly, vivacious, touristy, unforgiving, eclectically magic and always intense, Mexico energy.

Now I sit here writing this. Longing for Mexico fills the spaces of my soul where the United States is a blessing but could never fill the cracks.

Even the tourists, the pope, and the surmounting statistical chance to be raped, kidnapped, and murdered, the location still made me feel complete.

Now I am filled with nostalgia and I want more.

I want street vendors and the sweet smell of Churros.

I want urban filth and all shades of brown painted on my Paisa people.

I want español coursing it’s friendly melodies through my brain. I want it to soothe the edgy and confusing harshness of the english language I have been subjected to for over a decade.

I want the vibrations of one hundred percent Mexican place to make love to all my senses.

I want the incessant nostalgia that creeps in daily to fade, but only because when I look out, I can see the piques of a Catholic church and can hear the Mariachi music of a crowd of six serenading a lady next door.

It’s a trip that the intricacies of my ethnic roots could come down to location. It’s crazy that I need to travel to feel closer to my Self.

I long for Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

I want so motherfucking much, and I want it so motherfucking deeply;

But in truth?

I just want Home.

 

The 58th Annual Founding Fathers’ Debate

by Tess F. Stevens

downloadThomas Jefferson takes off his powdered wig and sits near a gas lamp that hasn’t been useful since 1774. In the ghostly hours of the early morning, he pulls out his quill, dips it in some ink and starts to write. The tip of the instrument glides across the parchment in beautiful swipes of metallic black liquid.

Moments pass and then his hand cramps up. It becomes tense. Jefferson forms a fist and then he stops. He takes a breath, looks around his Pennsylvania home, locating all the books that inspired him, DeCartes and all the other French guys with hard names to spell.

He then jabs the quill through the paper, ripping it like a tissue. The satisfaction of it drives him mad. He snaps his quill and stands up from the rolltop desk and fixes his eyes on the gas lamp burning and crackling. For a moment he considers burning it all down, setting fire to the work and the hours he’s poured into this document. Should independence ever be allowed to happen, or is it better to succumb to the rule of a glorified captor forever?

That was when Jefferson was alive. Now, November, 8, 2016, he’s meeting with the other founding fathers. George Washington is the first to show up to their ghoulish meeting. They’ve commandeered the top of the Washington Monument, because Independence Hall was booked by early voters in Philadelphia.

Washington is perpetually disappointed. The afterlife has consisted of a constant struggle because, well, he was first. The first president to ever be, and he thought he had set a pretty good standard. In 2016, nearly 300 years after he left office, he’s thinking that standard could have been higher, considering how far we’ve sunk.

Washington’s earliness always bothers Ben Franklin, who could care less about the whole thing. Democracy was meant to allow people to choose, and he believes if the people have chosen Donald Trump it’s their will and that should be respected. The two sit on opposite sides of the top of the obelisk, its pointed roof causing their cascading sides to echo.

“Grab her by the pussy, huh Franklin,” says Washington with disdain.

“Well, it’s the will of the people.” Continue reading

Wasteland

art by Unitas

Editor’s note: Saira Viola’s following script for a TV series idea is on NetFlix’s shortlist for possible selection.

by Saira Viola

This Business is Killing Me

ACT ONE

FADE IN:
INT DALSTON GRITTY GARAGE LOCKUP. NIGHT
There are grubby stains on the walls, dust and debris, sealed boxes, cobwebs on the ceiling, disused broken furniture, a large stash of unopened radio equipment, a locked safety deposit box, an assortment of weapons including a Heckler and Koch 9mm. And an array of vacuum packed dildos, life sized inflatable rubber dolls and dozens of multi coloured rabbit vibrators.

MEL
What the fuck’s that?
(A monster sized purple rubber cock swings from a hook and smacks him in the chops. He ducks out of the way.)

MICKEY
Sorry boss that’s stock for the city boys’ corporate jamboree, you know their annual bonking fest.
(Grins, rolls his eyes.)

MEL
(Starts poking around in boxes and undoing packets removes some of the merchandise and inspects bits and pieces. Holds up a pack of circular discs.)
Not exactly Hugh Heffner is it Mickey? Bloody yellow butt plugs! All this tack feels like I’m in a Taiwanese brothel sadly without any of the talent. Get rid of this shit now!

MICKEY
Yes, boss.
(Starts packing the sex toys in boxes and crates and moves them to the far end of the lock up there is an old chair in the middle of the garage.)

MEL
(Turns to Tezza.)
Bring the lady in but before you do stick that on.
(He shoves a Ronald McDonald Halloween mask in his hand.)
And make sure she’s covered up before she sets foot in ‘ere. Mickey you got a choice of Michael Meyers, or our very own face of modern protest Guy Fawkes.

MICKEY
Decisions, decisions do I opt for our beloved antihero Mr. Fawkes or a psychopathic murderer idolized by slash artists and serial killers worldwide? Hmm, gotta be gunpowder Guy. Continue reading