ART, MUSIC, FASHION & HORROR
letters from the editors
feature photographer: patrick estebar
thinking in the dark by cristina rizzuto
toronto: a misuided rant about its identity by timothy morrison culture feature: of a kind art feature: krystina plante gallery review: walnut studios - spring for art
music review: junior bob
literature feature: david innanen - where we meet on dundas
CON ENTS 05 photo feature: kalen artinian
art feature: marcela calderon
music feature: VLSONN
fashion feature: FUTURSTATE
exhibit review: nuit blanche 2013
arguably stranger than fiction
letter from the editors
literature feature: a very bad night
to our readers, Perhaps “horror” was an unexpected choice to centralize an arts publication around, yet when you think about it, we have had a fascination with the unknown for all of time. But what is it about the macabre that has our dark and twisted, and seemingly sadist selves so needy? We are first introduced to the spookier side of things when we learn about the “boogeyman under the bed.” As we grow, we need more. We need gore. We need ghosts that resemble something that is more psychologically intrusive than a floating white sheet. We begin to align religion with the creepy, and waves of coldness with the uncanny. Those things that we cannot categorize – control and resolve – we both fear and fixate upon. It is exactly this – it is the unknown. And our fascination with the unknown may be largely dependant on our quest for sensible thought: comprehension of items is relative to them being in an a priori condition. Upon this quest, we have evaded normative life and are transcended into a magical place; where anything is both possible yet impossible. Thus, in art - where one’s creation is fundamentally limitless – capturing the unknown is a quite the fitting force.
Welcome to the horror issue. Let me start by explaining my train of thought with this issue’s theme: Yes, there’s the obvious one – it’s nearly October and Halloween is upon us. But that actually wasn’t my initial thought. A couple months ago, Lindsey and I took a little vacation in Mexico, and one of our nightly performances on our resort was a “horror show”. I remember thinking, what the hell is a horror show? That could be literally anything. As it turns out, it meant a Ghostbusters interpretive dance mashed up with five minute Phantom of the Opera, and very very tall bed sheet ghosts. That’s obviously not where we’re taking this issue, but the fact of the matter is that Horror as a genre is totally expansive: its an umbrella from which so many different ideas evolve. Working with it as a theme for this issue afforded us the same freedom. Thus, our features for issue06 are diverse, and represent very different alleys of horror. There’s darkness, there’s spooks, there’s violence and gore, and the unexplainable. But one question that we got to ask every single time was: what scares you most?
Although curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back; in this issue, we hope to send you down a path into the unknown while keeping you at a safe distance so that at the end of your journey you will be able to return back into our comfortably categorized world.
Fear is often subconscious, and we channel our subconscious through our creative process. Our content for the Horror issue shows just some of the ways that horror can manifest from an idea to a finished piece. So turn off all your lights, (and dim the brightness on your monitor), light some candles, burn some sage, and take some time to sift through issue06.
Boo! Lindsey xx
Best, Erika xx
KALEN ARTINIAN Kalen Artinian is a jack-of-all-trades, if you will. He’s a writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and a lover of all things film. He also produces and directs music videos. His works are clever and engaging, deliver a healthy dose of violence and gore, reflecting both older and more contemporary modes of filmmaking. We met at the TIFF Bell Lightbox to chat and discover that we have very similar tastes in movies. At the same time, I got some insight into his creative process and the method behind his madness. (erika balint) EB: So how did you get into directing and filmmaking, and what about it appeals to you? KA: For me its very much sort of the escapism of it – even right now I almost use it as a form of medicine. Like, say I’m having a shitty day: I’ll just throw a movie on and forget about it. And like 90% of the time it’s Reservoir Dogs. Even when I was young it was an escape for me, so that’s kind of what I wanna do for other people. EB: I love that. So do you work solely in the horror genre? KA: Somewhat. Its tough cause, for instance with my film Hellvetica, to me that’s a dark comedy, but it played in a bunch of horror festivals cause there’s a bit of blood and stuff in there. But I’m really into horror, and right now that’s what I wanna do for a while, but I feel like eventually I’ll branch off into something else. I feel like with horror, you can kind of get away with anything.
EB: Yeah, there are so many different sub-genres. KA: Exactly. And like, all the horror films I love, like Cronenberg, John Carpenter, they’re all actually about something else – that’s what I love about it. Zombies are probably the best example: all zombie films are actually about something else but the zombies are there to just fill it out. EB: So what’s your favourite horror sub-genre? KA: Haha, lately I’m into the sort of “satanic” sub-genre, like Rosemary’s Baby for example. Cause I’m not necessarily religious, but nothing’s really scarier to people than Satan. Like, he could be real, could not be real. My new film has a bit of that. I’ve been really into the 70’s and 80’s horror – I was telling my friend, I think I should just set everything in the 70’s and 80’s, cause stuff like cellphones, it all just ruins it. And I’m really into the 70’s and 80’s Italian stuff, like if you’ve seen Suspiria:
these are beautiful films. They’re like borderline art film. Like my new film, Ruby’s Secret, it’s a four-minute short with no dialogue. That’s very much inspired by me being obsessed with the Italian stuff. EB: What’s your process like for composing a story? KA: That’s such a tough question, cause half the time I don’t even remember how it happened. With my previous film Hellvetica, I had the title first. I was just in Microsoft Word looking at font and thought, maybe I can do something evil with this. Where that film came from was unlike anything else. I was trying to write a horror story, and had trouble doing it, and the film is about a guy struggling to write a horror story. And then it kind of just spirals from there, and he ends up killing someone for research on how to write a horror film. For me it always starts as a visual, like I’ll think of a really cool shot or scene and think, this would make a great movie. And then I go from there. I think more like a cinematographer – I have the shots in my head before I have any dialogue. EB: Yeah, but I guess on a very basic level, that’s how a lot of creative pieces come together. So, you know how with many horror films – or the good ones – there’s these isolated moments that just stick with you forever? Can you think of a couple that affected you that way? KA: Yeah, I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet. It’s kind of love it or hate it: Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem. I can’t forget half of the shit in that movie. The whole movie was like, I’m gonna remember these visuals for the rest of my life. Specifically whatever that baby-like thing was. And there are a few. Like for example, I can’t watch The Shining. I just can’t watch it. It did something to me as a kid, I don’t know what. EB: That’s so funny because The Shining came up in my previous interview as well. KA: I don’t know what it is maybe six months ago and I hadn’t seen it since I was a child, and the second the twins showed up I was like, fuck this. I can’t do it. EB: I think a lot of people feel that way about that film, haha. I actually wanted to ask your opinion on the sort of… outlandish but more understated style of David Lynch-type films versus the totally outrageous style of Tarantino or Rob Zombie-type films. KA: I think they all have a place. Like I love Twin Peeks, I only watched it last year for the first time, and I still haven’t watched Fire Walk With Me but I’m excited to, but I feel like they all have a place – I feel like Lords of Salem was almost a combination of all of that. Like I’m a big fan of David Lynch: Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, I just love how you always know it’s a David Lynch
film. A lot of people don’t have that. And Tarantino, I think he’s amazing. Also Robert Rodriguez, he’s like a huge inspiration to me actually. Like you can ask probably any independent filmmaker and they’ve all read his book Rebel Without A Crew. It’s an amazing book, it starts of as a sort of journal, and then it’s a bunch of great advice on how to make stuff for really cheap. EB: And what was your involvement with TIFF this year? What did you go see? KA: I just watched as many films as I could. I bought tickets to three but I ended up seeing way more. EB: What were your two favourites? KA: I loved Why Don’t You Play in Hell, it won the midnight madness audience, and... I don’t know. Everything I saw this year was really good. Like I loved this film I saw called Almost Human, and that was really cool cause it was their first feature. And for your first feature to make it into TIFF is huge. Also, my film is playing in Spain along with one of their films, and they were like, we’ll watch your film in Spain! EB: Cool! Which film? KA: Ruby’s Secret, the newest one. EB: Yeah, I’ve seen from your website that you’ve shown in a lot of festivals. And really diverse ones too. KA: Yeah it’s kinda crazy. That first film Hellvetica, we kinda just made it to make a movie, and thought, no one’s ever gonna see this thing. And then we got like ten festivals. EB: Amazing! KA: I’m working on some new stuff now, and it’s like I’m not writing for an audience who actually know my work. It’s cool, but it’s an added sort of pressure. And it’s tough to not pander to an audience, but I didn’t do that previously. And I realize now that you can’t do that. If I like it, I don’t care if everyone else hates it. If I like it, that’s okay by me. Cause I really try to make stuff that I don’t see, and the next projects I’m working on are just getting progressively more fucked up. I’m sort of finding my voice as a writer I guess. Kalen Artinian has some things on the horizon for you guys to look out for: Hellvetica will be online, full-length for you to watch midOctober; check back on his website. He’s also given me a glimpse into two projects that are currently in the works. The first is a merging of live-action and animation with a Twin Peeks meets Kickass feel. And if you liked Drive or Deathwish, you should look forward to the completion of his second project. Keep checking back!
pandora words and letters arranged from lorna crozier’s the magician by matthew walsh
shadow letters by ahmed el-hindy
we are not ghosts we will not haunt when we die we will leave the ones we loved alone and wander by ourselves in the early morning haze
So then I`ll join the sawed woman asleep in her box. It’s too late now--she woke but did not see you go and now I am her eyes.
we are not ghosts and though we are haunted by each other our faces remain unseen we are phantoms we move in and out of sync
The cape we’ve torn to bits. We buried the rabbits (covered their grave with stones). It’s as if your house disappeared, the woman pulled from the laundry basket.
we are not ghosts we are not the dead but the dead walk among us like walls we stand at corners with our own existence like moths we wait in the dark to flutter our tuckered wings at the first sign of light
The wind learned to sing songs out in the yard. He remembered back when the woman had eyes in her head. I ate her love bone (it was most delicate). My most magic moment came when her legs kicked. Even stones couldn’t hold her down. Half of her screamed that she had taken a rat for a lover. I swallowed her tongue too, til the head was empty as a magic box. ii.
we are not dead but we are dying our love is drowning in an ocean of spooks and the night is sharp, it is no longer raining and we are not ghosts we are nothing of the sort but we are dying dying dead to lay beside each other in identical holes with symmetrical stones laid out above detailing our conquests by saying nothing at all
The magician traveled on smoke to the home that had been his. He left his hat on the daybed and opened the box to the rats eyes hiding in his wife’s head.
‘here lay two ghosts their eyes will never close they will haunt each other forever may their lies turn to lives and unfold’
illustration by emma tacq
CARRIE by Sabrina Parolin Embroidery on linen//Submission for Girls: Fact or Fiction exhibit at Light Grey Art Lab
SUSPIRIA by Sabrina Parolin Embroidery on cotton.
FATHERâ€™S DAY by Sabrina Parolin. Embroidery
3 2 Illustrations by Tristan Douglas 1. Bat 2. Burger Ghost 3. Hack and Slash 4. Bad Ghost
A rg u a b ly Scarier than Fiction BY TIMOTHY MORRISON We have a dark and twisted past. Some events are undeniably horrific, malevolent and we wish weren’t true. But, let’s face it: human beings are vile, disgusting creatures. Whatever happened to good will towards man? Nice try, Luke 2:14. Mark Twain, the greatest literary mind of the 19th century said, “truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” Fiction has a code, a set of binaries and it must stick photography by storm luu and kyle turner to a predetermined outcome. The beta male gets the girl, the good guys always win, talking animals band together to save their humans. But, reality is just a bunch of little accidents colliding together and spinning around on a blue marble in a black sea of ubiquitous emptiness. While genocide and slavery are well documented and irrefutable. Some things are not, Saint Peter’s Gates, Reptilians, Santa Claus, the Boogieman and the like. They’ve been augmented, segmented and classified as myth, urban legends, fables and simply a product of our imaginations. Life isn’t as innocent as a pile of kitten because even they have claws.
Ripper as a zip-and-slip client. I guess they didn’t want to be served as mince meat pie for Christmas Dinner. I digress. Carol Poles was a sweet little girl, I would imagine at least, who disappeared. It is not known if she was abducted, ran away, was left 40 km Northwest of London or actually killed and disposed of. Many people organized to find this girl, going door-to-door in hopes of a Christmas miracle. Unfortunately, no one was willing to open their door to strangers in the even that they suffered the same fate as the working girls. They thought of a solution to find young Carol Poles, they banded together and went knocking on doors, singing the songs of Christmas. No one feared the songs of their Lord and Saviour and opened the door without hesitation to let the search parties look through their homes before moving on. Long story short, Carol Poles was never found and Christmas Caroling carried on as a bittersweet tradition and a verb. (Think about it.) But, that year the Christmas Carol was born. Be good to your lunch lady Here’s a tale about the Sloppy Joe. We all love ‘em. There’s just something satisfying about the tenderized, sauce-drowned meat dripping out from between a pair of buns. It’s probably twice as satisfying for Joe O’Sullivan, the innovator behind the 20th century’s greatest creation. Take a knee Steve Jobs.
Sing your heart out
Joe was a diner owner in the Dirty Thirties. He was a butcher by trade who knew his way around the kitchen. He sounds like quite the catch, a cook and an entrepreneur at least I think he was, his wife didn’t.
Christmas is the happiest time of year. Being an atheist, I love Christmas and you probably do too. I love it all, snow, presents, mistletoe, turkey stuffing and caroling. (Maybe I should have capitalized that.)
Mrs. O’Sullivan didn’t love Joe’s meat as much as Joe thought she did. She wanted a new sausage and it was nothing Joe could prepare in his diner. So she found a new lover who could satisfy her.
But, Christmas Caroling isn’t all that festive, especially if you were living in 1888 London, England or your name was Carol Poles. Many ladies of the night of Christmas Past may remember a time when they feared the possibility of acquiring Jack the
One night after work he returned home to find his wife in bed with another man. Joe went red. He killed them in blind rage. Poor Joe was heartbroken. He still wanted revenge and he knew how he was going to get it.
Being a butcher, he knew what to do. Joe took the corpses and ground them into something that’d I’d imagine looks like that red sludge we buy at the grocery store and call ground beef. Joe had almost gotten away with his crime, but he needed to dispose of the evidence while still getting the justice he thought he deserved.
photography by storm luu and kyle turner
The next day, the DIY widower invited his in-laws and the parents of his late wife’s companion to his diner for lunch. He had explained to them that they ran off together and he wanted to let them know that he was happy for them. He told them he would be serving his specialty as a peace offering. That day the very first Sloppy Joe–sans the beef–was made. The two adulterers were served up on a tarnished platter drenched in his special sauce. When his father-in-law bit into the sandwich he commented, “this is a little sloppy, Joe.” From then on, the Sloppy Joe was made with ground beef and Joe’s special sauce and enjoyed by many bewildered children, I included. The product of his revenge became so popular that he made millions off of it and established the company Manwich. It wasn’t until his deathbed that he spilled his guts. Maybe these stories won’t keep you up at night or haunt your dreams, but the idea of something seemingly innocent holding a dark and twist past is scary in its own right. We already know corporations and politicians are evil, it’s the things we don’t know that are the most haunting. What else are we looking at through rose coloured glasses?
marcela calderon, psychedelic mayhem
photography by krystina plante
MARCELA CALDERON DONEFER Marcela is a talented Toronto illustrator with a wild imagination and a free spirit. Her works are manifestations of small,
everyday ideas that evolve into playful narratives with a dark twist, often featuring strange and otherworldly creatures that you either want to run from, or adopt as your imaginary friend. Marcela and I met with hot drinks in Bellwoods on one of our first crisp, fall days: the perfect backdrop for our interview that followed. (erika balint) EB: So, do you wanna start off by talking a little bit about your art practice and what you do? MCD: Sure, where to start... I don’t know. I feel like I’m not really good at doing things that are realistic, and so I try to just use my imagination, or let my pen kind of guide me - and things just happen. But it’s nice to have a mix: things that people can kind of recognize, and then total abstraction. EB: So you ground it in realism, but then your imagination really steers it. MCD: Yeah. So my stuff is still recognizable so that people can connect with it and understand it. EB: Do you have a process? An art-making ritual? MCD: Yeah, I actually have a bunch of my sketchbooks. But, its very raw, and my sketchbooks are almost like a diary that I take with me everywhere. And some things just come out, some are just little notes, or even recipes. So a lot of stuff comes from the sketchbook and then turns into works, paintings, or whatever else. EB: Yeah, so I know you paint and make all kinds of cool shirts and stuff, do you work with printmaking, or do you paint them by hand? MCD: I just hand-paint everything, so my whole thing is that there’s never two things that are the same: it’s a completely unique piece that you can wear. EB: That’s cool! Do you do any work with zines or anything like that? MCD: Yeah, I’ve done stuff for OCAD’s zine fair. So for the past couple of years I’ve sold little zines, shirts, and whatever. That’s something that I wanna get into more in Toronto. EB: Yeah like Canzine, and TCAF. MCD: Yeah, stuff like that. It’s a good way to meet people, and zines are such an awesome way of getting a little idea out there, and it can be the most random thing. EB: Yeah, there’s no rules! I love that about them. So, the little creatures in your drawings: what am I looking at there?
MCD: Um, I don’t really know what these characters are. They just happen, and I love them. It’s so fun to see them turn into something – some kind of creature. And that seems to be what comes out of me the most… these creatures. And I don’t know if maybe they’re some kind of duality of people. Like people have these little weird things about them, things in their personality that come out. EB: And little bits of you infused in your creatures? That’s really cool. Is there anywhere that you draw inspiration for these creatures or is it entirely internal? MCD: Uh, I think it’s entirely internal. I enjoy looking at other people’s work, but I try not to draw too much inspiration from it. EB: For sure. I actually find your work kind of reminiscent of childhood nightmares. Is that something that you draw upon at all, or is it just me? MCD: I actually don’t really remember having many nightmares as a child. But I feel like in my art there’s a naiveté to it. I’ve been thinking a lot about time and how you’re the same person as the small you, and as a bigger you – you’re always still you. And I try not to lose that essence of being a kid.
I don’t know if maybe they’re some kind of duality of people. Like people have these little weird things about them, things in their personality that come out. EB: I love that. That definitely comes through in your work as well. Can you talk to me a bit about your Demons of Humanity project? MCD: Yeah sure. So the idea behind it was, I was drawing different demons and existing beliefs of these demons from around the world. Most of them were of some kind of religion, but they’re all from different cultural backgrounds. And I was connecting them with different moments of disaster in history. So the illustrations were basically made as if the demons were the cause of those historical disasters – instead of us. So it’s kind of a play to make us realize that we are the demons basically. We are the ones causing harm onto ourselves.p h o t o g r a p h y :
rick indeo // makeup: diana mejia // model claudia stone
EB: That’s really interesting. Like we fear these demons, but
marcela calderon, less putrid
our own actions really mirror what we fear. MCD: Yeah basically. Its like, demons were created to explain things that we couldn’t – or that we didn’t want to. Everyone has this side to them where you have dark thoughts. Like you wanna hurt somebody but you don’t actually want to go through with it. So I think we all have that in us, it’s just part of human nature.
in metal and like, gore. I enjoy listening to metal a lot and it also inspires my art sometimes. EB: I think that’s cool cause I think that when it’s something like a book, or musical lyrics, you don’t have a visual. And so your mind is allowed to wander and manifest its own imagery, which can be the scariest thing. MCD: Yeah, I think my own head is probably where the most horror happens because like, sometimes you can’t control your own imagination, and if you start to let a thought grow that really freaks you out… EB: Definitely. So I think it’s harder and harder to put a scare into people nowadays, but what would you say scares you the most? MCD: Probably other people. I have this love/hate thing with humanity. Sometimes you can’t know or control what somebody else is gonna do and there have been horrific things throughout history that people do to each other and I still don’t understand. That’s probably the biggest thing. Also, underwater caves… those types of things really freak me out.
marcela calderon, xaphan - demons of humanity
EB: Yeah, it’s like a way to absolve ourselves of guilt, or blame. MCD: Exactly. I feel like we’re at a time where people need to wake the fuck up about how we’re living and just realize what we’re doing to ourselves. Like, the Earth’s gonna be fine. We’re not. EB: Oh man, that’s totally true. Do you have any other projects that you’ve done in a series like Demons of Humanity, or has it been more individualized works? MCD: Mostly it’s been individual works, apart from things I’ve done for zines as well as some comics. This one I thought of because of your horror theme came from this zombie dream I kept having – so I just illustrated it. EB: What was it called? MCD: Um, Putrid. EB: I like it. So within the horror genre at large, what interests you the most in terms of films, or literature, or art, music… MCD: I like some film, but I find lately horror hasn’t been very good. Like it doesn’t stay in your head or actually freak you out – it’s very momentary. Like, The Shining. I really enjoy The Shining. EB: For sure, it’s just so creepy. It’s not startling or shockvalue, it’s just this eeriness that you can’t shake. MCD: Yeah, pretty disturbing. Probably the main thing that’s like a daily thing is metal [music], cause there’s a lot of horror
EB: I totally agree. Deep-sea life is the scariest thing in the entire world. On another note, if you could embody any one of your demons, which would it be? MCD: It’s hard to say. There are a couple of them that are kind of self-portraits in a way. But there’s one: Comet Rider, she rides comets in space and she has three boobs… so that’d be pretty cool. To just ride around in space and go to different photography planets and meet other weird creatures. by krystina plante EB: That’s awesome. So to finish up, I wanna know if you have any upcoming shows or projects that you’re working on currently. MCD: Right now I’m working on clothing mostly – I have an Etsy shop, so I wanna expand that and start selling some of my clothing at shops like in Kensington, record stores… so right now is like a transitional point in my life where I’m done school, and I’ve moved so my surroundings are different, and so I now finally have all this time to just create whatever I want to without someone telling me a specific way to do things. I’m looking forward to that a lot. And there’s one thing I’ve been planning… I’m hoping it’ll happen this year before the end of the year. I wanna work with live bands and I wanna do a show where the live bands are playing and I’m creating live art. So kind of working together and vibing off of each other. I think it’d be super fun to just have that energy and go crazy painting. So that’s in the works. Check out Marcela’s creepy crawlies online here And check out some fun prints and wearables at her Etsy shop.
photography by krystina plante
marcela calderon, marcelaâ€™s brain juice marker doodle
NUIT BLANCHE Spooks and Startles at Nuit Blanche, 2013 by Erika Balint
Us Torontonians know that every year come October, the city participates in our very own one-night-only nocturnal art fair. Nuit Blanche is a conflicted event: many patrons set out in the hopes of seeing great art, and instead wandering around aimlessly asking: “where’s all the art at?” Others meticulously devise a plan and race around the city to cross as many exhibits off their list as possible. For what seems like the vast majority, however, it’s a night to fill up clear plastic water bottles with badly mixed drinks and stumble around the city, haphazardly drifting in and out of what they might not even recognize to be “art”. But for those of you who do want to devise a plan and experience some of the excitement that Nuit Blanche has to offer, I’m here once again to offer up a few promising exhibits. Now, wandering about in the dead of night in search of tucked away art pieces is strange and eerie enough in and of itself. But since this is the horror issue, I thought I’d point you all in the direction of a few projects that promise to deliver a healthy dose of the heebiejeebies. The first project I’m gonna mention is titled: (X)Static Clown Factory from Ruth Spitzer and Claire Ironside, and its part of Parade, curated by Patrick Macaulay.
douglas donald/claire ironside/ruth spitzerartist, (X)Static Clown Factory, www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
It’s a multi-media street performance filled with balloons and other inflatables, flagging tape, bubbles – oh, and clowns. A whole assembly line of clowns frozen in time in their whimsical little workshop. I myself am not profoundly afraid of clowns, but even I can appreciate how totally otherworldly and unsettling this might be. The clowns you meet may be happy and playful, while others might not be so friendly. Some of the audience may even be sucked in to become “clownified” themselves. Weird. You’ll find this project (no.42) at University and Gerrard West. Another project within Parade is called Monster Child from artist Libby Hague.
libby hague, Monster Child, www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
This one is an interactive work in which you may spin a wheel of fortune and consult a child oracle about the tension between monster and child. Also featured in this exhibit is a giant, moving monster-spider (again, even if you don’t have a crazy fear of spiders like I do, they’re probably not at the top of your list of favourites). The exhibit seeks to allow us to explore the darker side of our imaginations whilst dabbling in the realm of childhood nightmares, and subconscious fears and anxieties. This project (no. 64) is located at Queens Park Crescent East and College
Finally, this project is an independent piece for Nuit Blanche titled A Collective Nightmare from artist JoAnn Purcell and Seneca College’s School of Creative Arts and Animation.
joann purcell/seneca college, a collective nightmare, www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
It’s an interactive installation where a segment from Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’a short film Un Chien Andalou (1929) will be recreated. The basic frames from the film will be redrawn in black and white from a projector by students, from which the audience is invited to fill it in with their own reactions and nightmares with colour. These will then be photographed and added onto a continuing loop to create a sequential nightmarish timeline. The original film will be playing on loop as well throughout the whole interaction. All of the composite frames will become one finalized work of art at the very end. I think this collaborative fragmented project holds a lot of promise for some really dark and twisted ideas to emerge- after all; the human imagination can be a horrifying thing. This project (no. 106) will be situated in the Gladstone Hotel on Queen West. Some honorable mentions include: Howl by Robert Hengeveld which features an ongoing hunt between coyote and rabbit;
Shrine by John Notten - a gothic cathedral constructed out of urban waste
john notten, shrine, www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
Campfire by David Hoffos - featuring an urban campfire and all of the traditions that come along with that type of atmosphere.
david hoffos, campfire, www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
Thrilling Night Cinema by Magic Lantern, which explores film genres such as horror and sci-fi across five films.
Shrine by John Notten
robert hengeveld, howl, www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
william andrew finlay stewart/benjamin freedman/jackson klie/adrienne crossman/aleks vujosevic/graeme maitland, thrilling night cinema, www. scotiabanknuitblanche.ca
I think this promises to be one spoooooky night, guys.
VLSONN For our music feature this month we called upon our friend Ahmed El-Hindy to interview Toronto producer and DJ, Vlsonn. Vlad has been making music since early 2000. He got his start recording bands in his basement, moved on
to become a member of an all-Romanian Judas Priest cover band, eventually honing his talents and his sound in
order to produce his own strange brew of electronic music. He has been involved with the Toronto music scene for nearly ten years now, is currently finalizing some tracks for the label Loveless in Miami, as well as putting the finishing touches on a new EP. (by ahmed el-hindy and erika balint) AH: I hate to start off with a question like this but, what is the worst band that you have ever loved for a significant period in time? V: It’s hard man. I’d be embarrassed to admit the first two Limp Bizkit albums. I just loved those. I wouldn’t say it’s embarrassing to say that cause its not cool or whatever, but if you listen to the drumming in them, like the drumming and some of the instrumentals, there’s a jazz influence there. I could say some bands that my dad got me into but, some of those bands are still
kinda cool. Like, even the band Yes is pretty cool. AH: Yeah, my answer would be like, Hoobastank. Or POD, who we found out was a Christian rock group. Sigh. Alright well, other than maybe Limp Bizkit, none of these bands really have any satanic influence. Let’s talk about the dark lord’s influence in your own life and, in as much as you’re from a colder – I wouldn’t say sadder – but a darker part of the world. You are obviously Romanian and there’s
photography by matthew brackett
a bit of a darker influence there. I wouldn’t specifically say that Satan reigns over Romania, but a lot of really heavy music comes from those parts. If not within the actual community, within the people who make music nowadays. Having said that would you have any – whether it be cultural or throughout your life, you know – any dark influences, any… I wouldn’t say satanic tendencies but you know, evil stuff. For instance, I know that you and I share a favourite clothing company that focuses on said aesthetic. So how do these things kind of relate to you? V: Well, I’m atheist, so I don’t really believe in anything like that, although I am into the imagery and I find the practices really interesting. Mainly the symbolism. But I also like the fact that there’s always a black to a white, so… to the bullshit that’s, let’s say, the Catholic church, there’s an anti to it; that whole part of it. I don’t believe in it at all cause if you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in the devil, but it’s definitely just about the music and about the imagery. Like Scandinavian black metal bands. Death metal bands like Venom and Enslaved. Even Pagan imagery is really interesting. But for me it’s just the symbolism. I don’t believe in any of that shit. Though! I’ll tell you this. This one time I was in Oshawa, and I was 14, 15. My friend lived there. And these kids took me to the forest and they started doing these like fucked up – I didn’t know what they were doing at the time. But they had black candle wax and big hoods, and they started chanting and putting the wax on themselves. And I’m seeing these kids burning themselves with wax and I’m like, this is fucking lame. Are you kidding me? Like, it was cool, they were doing pentagrams in the forest, but then really they were just bored. So that’s probably as close as I got to any of that. AH: Alright so Vlad, what is your greatest fear- or as I like to call it, your “life nightmare”? V: I don’t know, just reliving the same week over and over again. Just like, doing this. Forever. Being stuck in a time loop, like time/space warp. That would freak me out. AH: So like, if you had a really bad week and it Groundhog Day-ed itself. V: Yeah. Or even just one motion, just us sitting here forever. Like, even if you don’t know it. AH: So your greatest fear is the Black Lodge. V: Pretty much. AH: So, in terms of that being your greatest life fear, what would be your greatest fear as a DJ – or in turn, your DJ nightmare? V: Well I think it would be like, if the Black Lodge was Nocturne. Just playing the same party over and over.
AH: Like, at a vampire bar. V: Haha, yeah. AH: What would you say is the worst gig that you have already played in your life? Like, the weirdest, or just, the most disappointing. V: Well, I mean, I was gonna say doing random weddings... but, I don’t even use my real name. Sometimes when I’m broke I just do it. And you don’t tell anybody and just get paid. You feel embarrassed, you go take a shower, but… sometimes you gotta get paid. Or just any “mis-booked” events. When you get people coming up to you in the club asking if you can play some gig and it turns out to be some weirdo shit or way too drum and bass or even worse, happy hard core. AH: So since we can’t just focus on darkness, what is the best gig you’ve played in the last couple of years? V: Oh man… I can think of two right now. I think opening up for DJ Rashad at Wrongbar, that was a lot of fun. It was just such a positive atmosphere. And then the one Mansion gig in the church, opening up for Addison Groove. That was fucking amazing. Those were within a couple of months of each other. AH: Yeah both of those were great. Ok here’s another strange question… if you could be one person for a day, who would it be? V: Kevin Spacey. Maybe. I just think maybe it might be torture, so I don’t know. I mean if it’s just for a day and you get to come back with that wisdom, then it would have to be someone who has gone through some shit that you hadn’t, or never will go through.
AH: Yeah, Kevin Spacey is the perfect answer then. That or, obviously, Malkovich. But that might be scary cause I think he may actually love himself too much. And then who would be the worst possible choice if you had to wake up in someone else’s body? V: Maybe like, being a baby. Or like, John McCain, cause he’s a piece of shit and he’s really old. AH: *laughter* And then lastly, what do you love and/or hate about the Toronto music scene? V: My favourite thing is… well that’s kind of a difficult question. There’s good things. There’s friends in the industry, we always get some of the best DJs that would come to North America, but I don’t really know. I’d have to think about that honestly for a while because that’s a loaded question. In terms of artists there are some amazing ones in Toronto, that’s pretty much the best thing I can think of, and I know some of those people, and they’re good people. And then there’s the negative side of it where, you know, there’s a lot of things happening in the city but a lot of people get sort of the shit end of it. And either you’ve been through it or you’ve see it, and its hard to distance yourself from that side. But you have to realize that it’s just the city. Its just one scene, and there’s so many ways you can get around in it. AH: You kind of got to it, but I was gonna say, a lot of people struggle to answer that question and its because Toronto hits all the different boundaries. Like, we have decent clubs, and we have some fun places and then some horrible places and we put up with it. But that’s realistically it, we are putting up with Toronto because unlike Montreal, there isn’t like a handful of great venues. Even the promotion companies in Montreal, it’s mainly all friend-based, they don’t really fight over artists, they just kinda split them. V: That’s sort of what I was trying to get at. But that’s the thing, that’s something you have to be okay with, and if you’re not okay with it then don’t be involved in it. Just hearing people talking about all the backstabbing and all the shit that happens, and you think to yourself, that’s one aspect that makes me not even want to be a part of it. But at the same time you know good people and you just try to see the good. Otherwise, you’re not gonna be doing anything. And the other part of that is also the liquor licenses, and the whole monopoly is not just in promo companies like you said, it’s in venues as well. We don’t put to use the buildings that we have, like the abandoned buildings. We just don’t take risks. AH: Amen. Keep up with all things Vlsonn on his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vlsonn // his soundcloud http://www.soundcloud.com/vlsonn // and his personal musings: http://www.twitter.com/vladsonn
FUTURSTATE Laura Stewartâ€™s Futurstate is a line premised on, well, exactly as the name denotes - our future state. With tones of an impending apocalypse, Stewart creates pieces of hybridity, melding together militarianism, industrialism, and technology. To capture our end of days in a medium such as fashion is not as common as is found in other channels, yet Stewart quite poignantly depicts such imagery with structured silhouettes, suble detailing, and a monochromatic colour scheme. To align Futurstate with the catastophic prophecies telling of disaster, desolation, and madness: From destruction comes creation, and Stewart proves this by leveraging her work off of societyâ€™s unpredictable demise. (lindsey omelon) photographer: zaiden // make up: melissa nicholl using all MAKE UP FOR EVER // model: anna coquette
LO: Was Futurstate born through your own personal style? Do you dress like you design? LS: Yes. I’ve worn black since I was quite young, and never liked the idea of looking like anyone else. I’ve often used clothing as a means of self expression. The first inkling of Futurstate was all about making something to wear out on the weekend. LO: Which came first? LS: With Futurstate I delved more into the futuristic dystopian mindset and started designing what I imagined others would enjoy wearing out clubbing. A sharp and modern look that was dark, slightly devious and edgy. A style to embody the feeling of belonging to a certain alternative tribe, while remaining distinct and individualist. LO: What is the inspiration behind your work? LS: Often I find that inspiration comes through a lot of sketching and daydreaming. In terms of research I tend to indulge in looking up fashion from different eras, film costuming, military history, lingerie, dystopian sci-fi films...the list goes on and on. Often inspiration turns up in the most random places. I enjoy keeping an eye on street and club fashion as a way to gauge the general feeling of what is going on at certain points in time. LO: Can you describe your creative process? LS: Once a theme is discovered, I sketch as much as possible and choose which styles to create for a collection. Next it’s on to drafting (my favorite part), sourcing materials, and doing up samples. That’s the concise version – it’s not exactly that straightforward... LO: This issue is entitled “the horror issue.” Your work has carries themes of an apocalyptic future. Has this always been an interest of yours or has it come about in creating your line? LS:My interest in the apocalyptic future has definitely developed since creating Futurstate. I grew up with Star Wars, and love sci-fi / dystopian film - it is often an inspiration when designing. Some of my earlier film influences I’ve drawn from have been Dune, Blade Runner, and The Fifth Element. LO: What is your opinion on our obsession with an apocalypse? LS: Perhaps it’s an underlying tendency toward nihilism / anarchy? But maybe underneath it all, it’s about rebirth. Starting from scratch - imagining a better world beyond our own. LO: What is a cybergoth and how is it that this “being” came into existence? LS: Alternative subcultures are always shifting and modifying in terms of music and fashion. To me the cyber industrial scene has grown from the evolution of industrial / electronic music,
combined with rapidly expanding technology. Embodying technology & the future. LO: Is this your only “job” LS: Yes, for the most part. I’ve also become intrigued with costuming. On occasion I do some work for the film / tv industry. LO: What are the three main ingredients of your line? LS: Militaristic Industrial Futuristic
Perhaps it’s an underlying tendency toward nihilism / anarchy? But maybe underneath it all, it’s about rebirth. Starting from scratch - imagining a better world beyond our own. LO: Describe the Futurstate customer. LS: Our customers tend to be involved in the alternative scene, often musicians, or into clubbing, creative types, techie types. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it tends to be a range of cool and interesting people from different corners of the world. LO: How do you choose your models? LS: We look for models with a strong individualistic aesthetic. LO: You’ve been involved in many shows. What has been the most memorable experience/moment? LS: I remember one of the first runway shows I did for |FAT| Fashion Art Toronto. I had designed a new collection and I remember walking out at the end of the show to an amazing amount of applause - that moment has always stuck in my mind. LO: Where do you think Futurstate is headed? What’s the future for you as a designer? LS: On the verge of releasing a new group of designs and website for Futurstate. As a designer I’m also interested in exploring new genres including dark contemporary fashion, footwear and costume design. LO: On that note – where do you think we the general population is headed? Do you believe in an apocalypse? LS: I think we’re living in an interesting time, things are shifting and that is exciting. Apocalypse? No…at least not with a big bang. I think it will always remain as a great source of inspiration.
“Goddamn it”, Abigail heard the driver mutter as he walked back around to the front of the bus. As if there had been a chance that it was anything other than a flat tire. As if this night could have gotten any fucking worse. She looked up from the magazine she was skimming as he boarded the bus to deliver the bad news. “Well folks, looks like this is the end of the line. Back tire’s blown, and I sure as shit don’t have a spare in the trunk. I’m guessin’ we’re lookin’ at, oh... 20 minutes to half an hour for the replacement to show up, at this time of night.” The news was greeted by head-shaking and quiet muttering from the ten or so late night commuters. “Of course, yer all welcome to settle in till it arrives, if we’re not so close to where you’re goin’ that you’d rather walk. Can’t imagine wantin’ to walk myself, weather lookin’ like it is. Smells like storm to me”. With that he settled himself back into the driver’s seat, propped his feet up on the fare-box, and opened up the Sunday paper. A battle began in Abby’s head, re-igniting the angry fire that had just recently begun to cool, doused by the trashy celebrity gossip rag she’d splashed it with. Half an hour? Could she really stand to sit here that long? Running from your thoughts wasn’t so easy on a broken-down bus. Where exactly were they, anyways? She hadn’t been paying attention. Cupping her hands to her face, she peered out the window. About a block up ahead she could see the park. The park, ok, if she cut through she’d come out only 5 blocks or so from her apartment. If she remembered right, the bus route would take her all the way around the park, making a few detours along the way before dropping her off at about the same spot that the walk would take her. Walking would probably be a lot faster, and might help to satiate her raging mind. She looked up to the sky for signs of a storm - looked pretty clear. The trees seemed to be standing still, except for a slight breeze. What had the driver said, “smells like storm”? What did that even mean? She rested her head in her hands, rubbing at her temples. Glancing down at the new peep-toed wedges she’d put on before leaving the house that night, she became doubtful that walking was the best idea. The path through the park was dirt and gravel, more suited to the sneaker-clad dog-walkers that frequented it than to the girl in the pencil skirt and wedge heels.
A Very Bad Night
by brianna van riet
So it was settled, she’d sit and wait on this goddamned bus and try to keep a cool head until she could get home and vent to her room-mate, Leslie. She wished that she could at least call her and get out some of her frustration. She knew that Leslie would just be sitting at home right now, absorbed in episode after episode of Game of Thrones. But the ever absent-minded roomie had left her phone at the bar last night, and it had vanished.
had been met by the slamming door as Abby ran down the walkway towards her car.
Abby leaned her head back and groaned as her cell phone began to vibrate in her purse again. “Marc”, her call display flashed.
And now, after 2 missed connections and an hour and a half on public transit, here she was. “Fuck it”, she thought. She had to get off of this bus, had to walk it off. With the decision made, she gathered up her purse, left the rag magazine on the seat where she’d found it, and walked to the front of the bus to be let off.
“Fuck you”, she muttered, declining the call. This whole disastrous night was his fault, the cheating bastard. Thinking about it made her blood boil, her teeth clench and her face flush. To think, she’d spent most of the day planning out dinner, driving to the market to spend too much money on swordfish steaks, wild mushrooms, and even a bottle of truffle oil that seemed it must be worth it’s weight in gold when she saw the price. That was ok though, it was worth it, HE was worth it. She’d gone home, taken a bath, and put her hair up in rollers before slipping her skirt and slinky, deep-v tank overtop of new lingerie. Pulling out the rollers and spritzing herself with perfume, she’d grinned over how clever she’d been, calling him that morning and breaking their six month anniversary dinner-date with a fib about catching the flu. He’d offered to come and keep her company, of course, but she “hadn’t wanted him to catch it.” Little did either of them know, the only thing he’d be catching that night was a fist in the face. She’d packed up her groceries and made the half-hour drive to his condo, letting herself in with the spare key hidden beneath a small potted shrub. Singing to herself happily, she had prepared a beautiful dinner, set the table, and lit candles around the house. As she was pouring an expensive bottle of red-wine into a decanter, she heard the click of his key in the door, and... voices? He must be talking to a neighbour outside. She stood there smiling as they walked in - him behind her with his hands on her waist, whispering something into her ear as they stepped through the door. What followed had felt like a movie - Marc choking out “Abigail?” as the bottle she’d been holding shattered against the concrete floor, splattering the soft beige suede of her new shoes with dots of crimson. Her mind became clouded with rage at the sight of them. The woman, Krysta - here was the best part, here’s where it got REALLY good – the woman was his fucking best friend’s WIFE. Abby had seen pictures of Marc as the best-man at their wedding. She had backed away from him sheepishly as Abby snatched up her purse and cardigan from the kitchen counter, marched towards the entrance and, without even thinking about it, punched Marc in the jaw. His stunned stammering
Fumbling through her purse for her keys, she’d let out a frustrated scream as she realized that she’d left them in the ignition, and the trusty little Golf had locked herself up. Looking around in furious desperation, she’d seen the number 6 approaching the stop across the street and run to it.
“You leavin’?” asked the driver. “Yeah, I could use the fresh air”, Abby replied, stepping down towards the door. “Well, I’d be careful miss, I said I smelled a storm, and my nose ain’t often wrong about such things. Get to be my age, and you feel it in your bones when bad weather’s on the way. Watch yourself.” The door swung open, and Abby muttered a thank you as she stepped out into the still, crisp night. Had she anticipated walking, she would have worn a better jacket, not this light cardigan. But then again, had the evening gone as she’d planned, she’d be lying in bed next to her wonderful, handsome, charming boyfriend with a belly full of fish and wine, not marching down the street in her new heels, cursing the man she’d wasted 6 months of her life with. The night seemed vacant - the only sounds the clicking of her heels and the drone of distant traffic. Abby took her phone from her purse and checked the time. 11:47, not her favourite time of night for walking through parks alone. Oh well, it’d take her less than 10 minutes at a brisk walk to make it through the slightly winding trail, and back out into the familiar streets. The park was coming up on her right now, she’d walk past the saplings and skunk-cabbage that grew around the park’s lagoon before reaching the trail. Abby glanced at it as she walked by, noticing the shimmering reflection of the moon on the gently rippling surface. She had almost reached the edge where the wide trail opened up when she heard a sound that made her stutter in her steps. Something splashing in the lagoon. A fish? No, it sounded too large, maybe a duck or something. She tried not to think about it too much, nor to notice how quickly the wind was beginning to pick up. She hurriedly turned onto the gravel trail, the lagoon still flanking her on her right. The water was silent again as her shoes crunched along
the gravel, and she glanced through the sparse trees to see the water again standing mostly still. She’d nearly cleared the lagoon when the splashing resumed definitely something bigger than a duck, though she couldn’t bring herself to look back - then the sound of something hurrying off into the brush. Her heart caught in her throat for a moment, and she silently cursed herself for being so jumpy. This was a park, a city park, granted, but there were bound to be plenty of animals living within it. Raccoons enjoyed the occasional swim, didn’t they? She didn’t know, but it sounded ridiculous. Shaking her head at herself, Abby continued on down the path, which now took a slight turn to the left, leaving the lagoon out of sight behind her. She walked with her head down, watching the shadows that she cast under the rusty glow of the park’s lamp posts, pulling her cardigan tighter around her as the growing wind began to blow her long hair around her face. It whispered and moaned through the trees, and Abby didn’t even hear the footsteps of the man approaching her, pulling a nervous looking Afghan on a leash behind him, until he was right in front of her. She looked up and gave him a slight smile as they passed, and barely heard him mutter something about a “nice night for a walk” as the wind blew the words from his mouth.
Another flash of lightning, and there was no mistaking the small figure standing in the trail ahead of her. She screamed as the sky darkened once more, and limped off into the trees beside her. “please, oh please...” she whispered. When the lights of the lamp-posts began to flicker, she started to wonder if she should turn back. She wasn’t even halfway through yet, and there definitely WAS a storm on the way, did she really want to be stuck in the middle of the wooded park when it hit? No, she didn’t, but the truth was that she just couldn’t bring herself to walk back past the lagoon again. It was stupid, but whatever it was she’d heard had scared her enough to keep her walking, though she was increasing her pace all the time. “Just please don’t let the lights die until I’m out of here” she whispered, looking up to the sky and seeing dark clouds beginning to blot-out the moon. The path took another turn to the right, and looking into the woods she could see a large, hollowed-out stump, probably an ancient old tree that had been the unfortunate victim of a lightning bolt at some point, in a small clearing in the trees. Thunder crashed in the distance, bringing with it a flash of lightning that illuminated the forest, and there in the clearing she saw, what? A figure peering out from behind he stump?
No, it was her imagination. She was nervous, and her mind was playing tricks on her. Trees could cast strange shadows, it was probably nothing. Nevertheless, she found herself speeding up to as much of a jog as her heels would allow her. The wind picked up again, and suddenly, here came the rain. It blew icily against her face and neck, and she squinted to protect her eyes. “Damn it!” she cried angrily. She cursed herself for getting off of the bus, and for allowing herself to become so worked up and afraid. She covered her head with her hands as the thunder crashed again, and looked into the woods as the accompanying lightning flashed. Nothing, nobody, just trees, shrubs, and an old, decrepit stump. The rain began to pour and she cried softly to herself; she had never felt so pathetic and afraid. Her hair was instantly soaked, her new shoes ruined, and if she didn’t get out of here soon she was going to freeze. Abby ran, stumbling on rocks, splashing through puddles, and she began to doubt her memory of just how long this trail was. The park was about 4 city blocks wide, but the trail made wide swerves on it’s way through the woods, she might not even have reached the halfway mark yet. The thought shot a bolt of dread through her body - how long might it actually take her to come out on the other side? And all of a sudden there came the panicked feeling of being watched. She looked behind her, peering through the flickering light to see if she was being followed, but there was nobody there. She continued to run, her dripping hair whipping her face, stinging her eyes as the wind blew it about her head. She needed to talk to someone, anyone, to help calm her down. Still running, she pulled her phone from her purse and dialed her mother. It rang twice, three times, four, and she was about to hang up in frustration when her mother answered. “Abby, I was just telling your aunt...” she began, “Mom!” Abby yelled. “Mom I don’t know what to do, I’m, I’m lost...” “Abby? I can hardly hear you,” her mother replied. “Are you out there in this storm? You’re going to catch your death of cold, Abby!” “Mom, I’m in the park, I’m by myself, I’m scared, mom...” Another flash of lightning, and this time Abby was sure she saw someone out there, standing in the trees up ahead and to her left. “Oh god!” she screamed, turning and running back the way she’d come. “Mom, there’s somebody out here, I’m so scared! I need help!” “Abby!” her mother cried, obviously distraught. “I can’t hear you over the wind, did you say you’re in the park? Just calm
down, honey, I can’t understand what you’re saying!” “Oh no...” Abby moaned, looking behind her and seeing a smaller figure standing sentient in the middle of the path a few yards behind her. She turned and kept running, stifling the urge to vomit that her terror was producing in her. “Oh mom,” she sobbed, “there’s someone here, someone following me...” And suddenly she tripped, fell over a gnarled tree root protruding from the dirt, twisting her ankle painfully. Her phone flew from her hand as she thumped against the wet ground, and she lost sight of it as it splashed into a puddle ahead of her. “NO!” she screamed, crawling forward towards the puddle. She groped for it, scratching her hands against sharp rocks before finding the smooth plastic of the phone case. “Oh god, oh please god”, she stammered, trying to illuminate the dark screen. But there was nothing, the phone was dead. She staggered to her feet, wincing at the pain in her ankle. She would run, no matter how much it hurt, she would run, and she would get out of here. Another bolt of lightning and crash of thunder and she looked back again, but the briefly illuminated trail was empty. She felt a moment of relief - maybe she’d imagined it, fear could do funny things to a person - and then the lights went out. She stopped, stood still as the rain poured and the wind howled, blowing leaves up around her. She could barely make out the path in the dark, should she keep running? Her ankle wasn’t broken yet, but with another fall it probably would be - and then what? Looking desperately around her, she could suddenly make out distant lights through the trees to her right. The field. There was a playing field on the other side of the park, not far from where this trail let out. The lights over there must not have lost power yet, and at this bend of the trail the forest separating her from the bright, open sanctuary of the field was quite sparse. If the lights stayed on she could probably make her way through without much difficulty. Another flash of lightning, and there was no mistaking the small figure standing in the trail ahead of her. She screamed as the sky darkened once more, and limped off into the trees beside her. “please, oh please...” she whispered, making her way over rocks and fallen branches, going as fast as her injured ankle would allow her. She was almost there, she could see the glinting green of the grass lit-up ahead of her, she was going to make it. Just a bit further... Another scream caught in her throat as something darted across her path up ahead, and she gasped as something, a rock probably, struck her right thigh. She kept running, and when
another rock struck her in the side of the head she collapsed into the soft wet grass of the field. Moaning, Abby rolled onto her back and saw a man running towards her. “Are you alright?” she heard him yell as she closed her eyes and slipped into unconsciousness. Abby awoke in the man’s arms. her head and ankle ached, and she was completely disoriented. “Marc”, she mumbled, “I made swordfish, I’m not really sick...” “I’m not Marc”, the man said. “Found you in the field, don’t worry, I’ll get you out of here.” All of a sudden it all came back to her. Thank god he’d found her! But they were back on the path, where were they going? She was about to ask when she caught sight of the street up ahead, this was where she’d come in, he’d found his way out in the dark. “Thank you, thank you...” she whispered, and closed her eyes in relief. Almost out, thank god. Then the man turned sharply to the left, and she could hear his boots crunching over branches and rocks, and suddenly the smell of skunk-cabbage was overwhelming. Abby opened her eyes in alarm, and looked up into the man’s face for the first time. His huge-pupiled eyes rolled in his head, and he smiled down at her, revealing double rows of grey teeth. Gill-like flaps fluttered beneath his ears, and he stifled her screams with a large, moist hand as he carried her to the water. Over the sounds of her thrashing Abby could hear a gurgle of child-like glee ahead of her as she was swept into the darkness of the lagoon. Brianna Van Riet first discovered her fascination with fear when she was a child – when she first experienced the rush of being afraid. To distract her five year old self from the seemingly never-ending travels to her grandparents, her parents would tell a story about a terrorizing clown preying on young children. Van Riet later realized that this was no story with veiled parental teachings, yet was based off of Stephen King’s It. It was from this that Van Riet contends that there exists no greater adrenaline rush than what is felt from fear and she channels this notion through writing. Her work is largely influenced by Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter, Clive Barker, and Ramsey Campbell and has remained a lifelong fan of Stephen King.
what’s next? After doing what we do with FEMMELDEHYDE for a year now, we’ve decided it’s time to switch things up a bit. Going forward, you can look out for a new issue quarterly rather than bimonthly, while we work on expanding the FEMMELDEHYDE family and making subsequent issues even better. See you in December!