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In the Corner - page 2

Welcome to the Jungle

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Welcome to the Jungle. Credit: Google Images.

Welcome back all ye writers, poets, and demons of the night. We have a poetic issue this time, with antoher poem from resident dream-master Talia, and the start of a new, non-fiction section, 6 Word Memoirs. At the moment, it’s short but I hope it will grow with the issues to come. I know there are many great voices out there; my desire is to provide a space for them to speak.
If you wish to submit a piece, a new name suggestion, a comment on our published pieces, or even a comment on me as curator/host, my email is elros003@mail.goucher.edu. If you do write in and you want to see me respond to it/publish it in the next issue, please write in the subject line OK TO PRINT.
Without further ado, I present this issue’s In the Corner. May it inspire and confound the imagination.
Sincerely,
Your horror host – Elias Rosner

6 Word Memoir

6 words. 6. Little. Words. That’s all that’s needed to sum up a life. What you love. What you feel. Who you are. Ca n it be done in six words? Maybe not. But we tried. Do you have 6 words that describe yourself?

Beck Fink: Paint, Animals, Words, Dye, Snow, Red.

Elias Rosner: Solitude, Cats, Stories, Woods, Chocolate, Libraries.

Books on Faith

KATIE MONTHIE

What is faith? Can one have it? Is it earned? Or is it something more? Something….tangible. Katie has her own set of questions and writes it down in her book on faith.
Faith is not defined.
It cannot be melted into a candle,
Then set aflame so as to permeate
A small room with a light scent
Of faith.
It cannot be added into a cake
Either cup by cup
Nor spoonful by spoonful.
Faith cannot even be placed in a jar on a shelf,
Only to be hidden amongst other
States of being or thought that simply
Gather dust.
Perhaps Faith is best measured in words,
And so Faith is best kept in books.
I cannot hold my Faith in one single book,
As so many do.
Instead I find my Faith in the words of many,
Which manifests in my mind
Like an odd collection of works
That don’t quite fit together.
But perhaps that is the nature of Faith:
Some disorder struggling to form
And creating a hope solely, purely
Human.

 

Dreamless Man

TALIA MILITARY

What is better, a dreamless night or one filled with them? Many would say a dream is the only thing that makes the night bearable but remember, nightmares are dreams too.
He woke up from a dreamless sleep
On a Thursday morning.

If he’d had a good dream,
He might have spent some time
Laying in bed, staring at the ceiling
Debating whether or not he should go back to sleep
And try to pick up where he left off.

Had he had a bad dream,
He could have possibly spent an hour
Wondering if life was worth living
When his fears could invade
The sanctuary of his own mind.

If he’d dreamt truly bizarre dreams,
He probably would have spent the entire day
Questioning his own subconscious
Desires and impulses.

But he hadn’t dreamt anything.
There was nothing to
Debate
Wonder
Or question.

He merely pulled back the bedsheets
And prepared for the Thursday
Ahead of him.

 

Closing

And thus we reach the end (so long as you forwent the usual column structure). So, I shall leave you with a riddle and, above, a puzzle.
Without fingers, I point. Without arms, I strike. Without feet, I run. What am I?
May your month be spooky and, hopefully, I’ll see you next time, In the Corner.

Dream Journal

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They say that dreams are the gateway to the infinite, to the sublime, to our true cores. If so, then maybe the world is a little bit more strange than we think. So, record your dreams, as has been done below, and tell us what times you have seen gone by.

 

Nearly a week ago, I dreamt of goblins
In a limestone cave
Dripping with stalagmites
Surrounded by moth eaten furniture
Feasting on the innards of metal garbage cans
Discussing goblin politics

The night after that, I dreamt of cyborg-aliens
Called the Weatherpeople
Who pilfered eyes, fingers, toes and ears
To steal their victim’s identities
And a woman who had visions of their crimes
(she was a dreamer within a dream)
And confided in her psychiatrist
Only for him to reveal himself
As the leader of the Weatherpeople

The next day, I dreamt about a teenager named Mary Elizabeth
Who went to a party
Smoked a cigarette
Got into a stranger’s van
And was swallowed up by the night

That night, I dreamt of a pastry chef
Dressed in black
Who prepared desserts
In a tall glass box
Stationed in the middle of a shopping center food court
And turned all the mall rats
Into gluttonous, creampuff-craving zombies

The night before last, I dreamt about a desert town
Called Moon Valley
(because it was built inside of a crater)
And a pale boy who sold snow globes
In the town’s only gift shop
And after all the
Cave Dwellers, Space Invaders,
Lost Girls, Zombies,
And Snow Globes

I dreamt about drowning
In a sea of Purple Rain

Part 1: Grilled Cheese

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Welcome, intrepid readers. Today, I present to you the first part in, what I have been told, is known as the “Sandwich Saga.” It is a tale sure to delight and to tantalize the tongue – tis’ the seasoning after all.

The knife rubs against the grains of the bread, working the butter gently, yet diligently into every crevice. It’s a procedure. One that could end up fatal if the pressure on the knife was too hard. Ripping the bread would be disastrous for the operation. The butter is soft, filling each microscopic hole in the white bread. The heat coming from the hand holding the slice begins to slowly melt the churned dairy product, though not enough for it to start getting messy. It’s just enough for the delicious flavor to seep into the wheat delicacy. Though it is not one of expense, the bread serves as an important foundation for what is to come next. For, like a house, the foundation holds everything together. Without it, everything would fall apart. Butter side down, the bread is pressed gingerly onto a hot skillet. It hisses at the contact, the heat of the pan working the butter further into the bread in order to leave a caramelized finish.

The next part is one of the utmost importance: the cheese. Without cheese, the meal is nothing but toast. With an array of different kinds, it is impossible to not come up with a diverse and new experience. This time, however, it is back to the basics, back to what has been always known. Though sometimes sharp in character, cheddar cheese is the perfect partner for the buttery, caramelized bread. Like fine wine, the older the cheddar the better. Slices of pale yellow sit gently a top of the warming bread, a thin layer of moisture raising to the top as the cheese beings the slow process of melting. The top slice of bread is placed on top, waiting to be flipped over and join the other slice in the bliss of turning golden brown. It is a waiting game now: one that, when complete, will produce one of the finest experiences of all time.

The pinnacle of all sandwiches. One so simple, and yet it is possibly the most desired article of food in the world. How can one so modest hold layer after layer of flavor? It is Grilled Cheese of House Delicious, the First of It’s Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Cheeses and the Many Breads, Khaleesi of the Great Buttered Skillet, Protector of the Lunch, Lady Regnant of the One Stomach, Breaker of Hunger and Mother of Sandwiches.

To Sleep, Perchance, To Dream: A short story

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Note: Your friendly neighborhood editor here, just offering a warning. This story may get a bit intense. As this is the inaugural story, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer my warning. Otherwise, enjoy.
A story, a short story about what’s real and what’s perceived. About the world around us and what it contains. About a clock that reads 1:59 AM. Nothing true, nothing false, just a story about a boy and his dog. Or should I say, a child and their pet, or maybe it’s two animals, each affecting each other’s lives in an eternal quest to stay relevant in an ever changing world; changing from eyes closing, warm under the quilt, lying in the dark to standing in broad daylight, ball in hand and a smile on his face. Who’s to say what it is that the boy thinks about the tennis ball that is thrown across the yard, or maybe it’s the dog who’s wondering? It’s hard to tell in these uncertain times, what is real and what is imagined. As the boy ponders this, the dog gets up onto its hind legs and calls out to his pet boy, who comes bounding over on all fours. The boy sits on his rump, satisfied to have been acknowledged by the much older and wiser dog.
The boy called bow, whose human name was unpronounceable in the dog’s language, stared at the sky instead of the green and white ball that was being thrown once again by his master. The boy was distracted instead by the shifting and twisting skies, where the boy, no longer named bow, now found himself. The boy, uncertain of what he was doing, looked around and walked through a large marble archway. Inside the newly found room was a fountain whose water flowed upwards towards the ceiling. On the center of the water spout was a woman, or is it a girl, who was beckoning to the boy formerly known as bow, daring him to come closer. DARING him to move from the spot which he occupied. And the boy, or is it a man, attempted to walk but found himself frozen in place.
Unable to speak. Unable to move except in the slowest of motions, as if trapped in a vat of molasses. Moving his eyes side to side, the child became aware that he was back on his yard and sitting next to him was bow, his trusty giraffe. The child contemplated what used to be in front of him before turning, no longer frozen, to his trusty lion, ruffling his mane. The lion roared in happiness in response while the sky flashed a brilliant green and the boy’s house twisted and turned into shapes that were unknown to the girl, even though she had seen them many times before as her pet lion tramped throughout it. The girl, formerly of a male persuasion, slipped between the cracks of the sidewalk in order to listen to her parents’ conversation in the kitchen. This woman turned around to discover the labyrinthine corridors and hundreds of door that always comprised his house. Wasn’t it always this way in the house? He began to think that something might be off but he soon found that it was merely the hunger that ate at his stomach.
The boy realized that neither he nor his dog had eaten since twelve that morning and it was steadily approaching midnight, although his time in the yard made him think it was merely 1 pm again. Grabbing a box of Chex Mix from the cabinet in his bedroom, the boy climbs beneath the sheets and begins to hand out his food to the neighbors, door to door, and with one step, he is on the gallows, where eyes are boring holes into his sinful mind.
The noose tightens around his neck as time slows down. Why do they hate me, he thinks as his head clears for the first time in what seemed like eternity. The world around him begins to get fuzzy and distanced as the boy sees the distorted faces of those he called friends, all jeering in the crowd, all pointing and saying the same thing.
He can’t quite make out what their lips are saying.
The crowd’s lips melt and merge, the static leaving their throats turning into a vacuum of silence before one sentence resonates within it….you are worthless. Everything snaps back into focus, crystal clear, 4k. They call him false and horrible. They tear at his body with words, each comment making the noose tighten and the boy cry harder. He is unable to scream for help or reason, his voice is empty. The friends and family of the boy stop and stare. They say one final sentence and the boy’s tears run down his face in a never-ending stream. He wants to implore them, to tell them that he is good, that he didn’t mean to make them hate him but they cannot listen for he cannot speak. The crowd merely repeats their sentence, each word cutting a lash into the boy’s arms and finishing the noose. The boy submits, crying, in pain, dead to all but himself; before giving in to even that as he falls from the sky. Falling, falling, falling forever, watching the ground approach and crying. For he knows that when the ground arrives to meet him his troubles are over and the pain will stop. Others will stop hurting because of him, his pain will subside because the others say it will. Closer and closer he sees it, the ground and his dog.
WOOF! The boy’s head is covered in a cold sweat, the clock on the stand says 2:01 AM. He turns over, looking across his small room littered in toys, to his dog and smiles a tearful smile.

100 Word Autobiography: Elias Rosner

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Your friendly neighborhood editor returns, true believers. In subsequent issues, this section will (hopefully) be filled with stories from all of you. You may choose to submit anonymously but please let us know in advance. Also, while you may go over 100 words, please try to keep the word count close.

I’ve always been a surprisingly clumsy person. You might not figure that from my ability to weave in and out of crowds but it’s true. One time, this must’ve been back in 2nd grade because it was before the divorce, I was playing on the slide at my school, all set to go down. I looked over the side to see if anyone was at the bottom, and then moments later, found myself face first on the ground, my hair and mouth filled with wood chips, the indent in my chest aching deeply (for years I thought that it was from the fall). Thankfully, aside from a soreness that went away in a couple hours, I was fine.
Elias Rosner

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