Tableof Contents editors letter
Lucy & Olivia............................................................................. 04 Intro
LOSER........................................................................................ 06 Appetite
by Amanda Headley............................................................... 10 Temporary
by Ashley G............................................................................... 12 Originality
by McKensey Kendall............................................................. 16 Bad luck
by Gracie GoldStein................................................................ 18 DOWN
by Olivia Wein........................................................................... 20 Iâ€™m feeling sinister,
by Luke Serrano & Bella Serrano...................................... 28 Playlist
by Lucy J.................................................................................... 32 DISCONNECT
by Natalie Claro....................................................................... 33 Uniformity
by Sam R................................................................................... 34
Behind the Eight Ball
by Lucy J.................................................................................... 40 Everything is heavy
by Olivia W &Lucy J................................................................ 42 Does it get better?
by Lucy J.................................................................................... 48 Sheâ€™s Real by Gabrieila G, photos by Sofia G............................................. 52 Dark
by Haylie P, photos by Hana C............................................ 60 Future
Hanna & Talullah..................................................................... 62
editors letter The time surrounding the moments of picking this theme was.. Moody (as most adolescent moments are). As we went to our close friends, our classmates, our contributors, the guy that sat next to us while waiting for the G train, we got many suggestions for something, “dark.” (Was everyone on edge or was everyone just reading too much true crime after 10pm?). Whether all these people were interested in seeing themselves in something else, seeing it romanticized, or just bearing witness to something so common through another set of eyes, months later and with questions still unanswered, we present you with issue 8. We Think of it like a look back into what into everyone was feeling like months ago, like a time capsule that’s still relevant or butterfly clips you found from 2008 that still work. “If You’re Feeling Sinister” is a great Belle and Sebastian album and song. The album encapsulates feelings of apathy, disparity, innocence and much more. Not only is the 1996 album great, but the phrase “If You’re Feeling Sinister” is great in its open meaning. What everyone was feeling in March wasn’t “horror,” it wasn’t “scary”: it was sinister. This issue was difficult in a way we hadn’t expected. As we looked at the word it seemed so strongly related to something bloody and inhuman... so, of course, we watched our favorite horror films, and continued to read our normal amount of true crime. Although, as we went through our submissions, and were forced to think for ourself how we related to the grim that encompassed the world, we saw more of something personal than we had expected. We saw people. People on the brink of tears, or at the end of them, people who demonstrate what “sinister,” means from the inside, from the outside, in its typical sense, and in something deeper. We found that the work we were sent, the work that we made, felt sinister in more ways than one. So maybe it wasn’t as hard to reach as we had thought. Thank you dearly to everyone that submitted, suggested, created, and of course, thank you for reading. ;) We hope you enjoy ISSUE 8: IF YOU’RE FEELING SINISTER. -Lucy & Olivia Check us out on Instagram @loser.zine. (or @lucyly02 & @ollygolly123) 4
photos by Olivia W @ollygollly123
Photo from LOSER one year anniversary party
“Can you feel my pulse?“ H o l d i n g h a n d s s o d e e p l y, “ M i n e ” a n d “ Yo u rs ” m e a n s n o t h i n g .
Yo u s p e a k a n d I g e t c l o s e r a n d
suddenly my air is your air and we are no longer one and another
by Ashley G @ashgrovr
life seems so temporary. I mean, it is. my impact on the world is going to be so insignificant, that my life will have no meaning. I will amount to nothing better than what I am now. my friends? family?
they will all get over it, get better eventually. this emptiness i feel inside of me hasn’t ever really gone away. It has always been there. it was around september 2015.
my life is wonderful. I have a great family, and they love me. I’ve got good friends who are there for me.
but I still feel hollow. empty. gone. I don’t want to cry myself to sleep any more.
suicide is not an option. I am not a quitter, i will not end my life. that much I have decided. I’m not afraid of dying, fear is an emotion caused by the belief that something is dangerous, or likely to cause pain. I’m afraid that one day my pain will overwhelm the fear of hurting people close to me, and I’ll die. I can’t do that to anyone. I’ve lost people, and it’s hard. I can’t make anyone go through the pain of losing me. That would be selfish and inconsiderate. however, my decision does not make the absence of light any less. my decision to live, for the sake I should be fighting for what I want. I should be happy, I have everything I need to be happy. I know everyone has their demons, but some are more demonic than others. I’m scared of my own thoughts, my own head. I’m scared that the part of me that says I’ll never be worth anything, that I never have amounted to anything. 13
Iâ€™m a 14 year old
and origin of originality.
by Gracie GoldStein You think you’re so perfect but really should know You take yourself with you wherever you go No matter the harmony, no matter the verse There’s two sides to each story and yours is the worst Whatever walks after you through every hall Whatever’s the reason you take every fall It won’t stay alone and it won’t say good bye Like things you once silently set to the side You think you’re so different but really should know You take yourself with you wherever you go You can’t get away and you can’t break the curse Bad things come in threes and you’re still on the first
D D O O W W N N
story & photos by Olivia Wein @ollygollly123 There is a pit in the dirt you are walking down. You trip and fall and suddenly you are inside it and it is deeper and dimmer than you would have thought if you were to see it from the outside. There is a tiny spot of light from where you had fallen but it only brings enough color to the space to know you are alone. It is cold. It is dark. And, from where you are, there doesn’t seem to be a way out. The bed shakes with tears. My brother cries and I can feel his anger melt into something deeper something light but suffocating. I want to hold him tight and keep him in a moment before the wind picked up and the sun started setting before we were ready to close our eyes. But this is the sad the rain loses its romance to. This is the sad that kills and I hate this sad just as much as you do. Eventually he falls asleep and everything seems still, but only as if it was about to tip over. I miss you even though you are in the bed above me, because slowly but all at once you become someone I have met before, but only in myself. I hear how your breath has turned rhythmic and familiar and I feel safe in it, knowing you might be too. I feel unsteady in it, knowing you might be that too. There is a dove cooing loud outside our window, like it’s not sure its words can be heard. My eyelids become heavy, sleep pulls on my mind, and suddenly my breath rises and falls just as yours seems to do. And we dream in black and white. Later, I want to tell him that I know that it may sometimes feel like the lowest place he may ever live to see, but that sadness is an impermanent delusion and he will be okay. I want to tell him to just breathe and this will pass. You put your hands on the cold stone walls and find nooks and crannies in its structure. You pull yourself up one by one wondering how you ever got this far down in the first place. It is hard, and you fall more than you move upwards but eventually you poke your head through the space you had fallen down. When you are out you see the
way the warm yellow light becomes it all. It is so much bigger than it had looked from at the bottom. And seeing the wide expanse of color and light you realize that small hole you had fallen down was just that-- a small hole and you will be okay. It’s a Friday night, and we ran home after school. The air feels new and forgiving and everything will be okay as long as we have this. It’s me, and her, and you, and him, and we are running down the warm concrete with our hands in the air and our eyes pointing towards something we will later come to look back on. Tripping on each others laughs and hugging to prove our own existence. We pick flowers that grow between the cracks of concrete and dance, giddy, over where they once rested. Making funny shapes with our bodies and faces, the clouds smile with us and the breeze seems to be on our side. It grazes along the horizon, full of lit windows that on this day remind us all of the stars. We throw rocks and build futures among those little galaxies, as well as many others. It is warm and together we are our own sun. The water of the Hudson flows along and so will we, but right now it is just us four. She is beaming and everything is okay. He is skipping along the seam where the rocks meet the water and talking about what it would be like to tip over into it, pretending it wasn’t as dirty as we were always told it was. We all laugh at the idea when he says he’ll find a new family under the sea and come get us when he does. Later we sit on the edge of the stone where it meets the river. We sigh knowing this memory will return only as that— a memory. Forgetting that any other part of the world exists, we remember for quick instances realizing later that that only made it better. We would come to learn that the saying, “there is no light without dark,” refers to more than just the street lamps on Jefferson street.
D D O O W W N N 21
The world is heavy and my blood is thicker than air. Sometimes everything is too fast and others, every being walks with their own iron chains. Tenticals trapping in a waiting place. It frowns in my chest it pushes against lungs and hearts and the back of my eyes. Against my body it pushes.
The world is heavy and my blood is thicker than air
Sinister Iâ€™m Feeling
by Luke Serrano
photos by Bella Serrano
photos by Isabella Serrano @bserranoclarke
I’m feeling sinister, I’m the devil in disguise, I’m the abyss My soul, black as pitch, You think I’m a nice guy? That’s just a lie, .
Look under your bed, And find your dog’s head. Claw marks on the walls, And you keep hearing snarls? That’s me. I’m feeling sinister, Goodbye, Mr. Nice Guy, Trust me, I’m a sinner, I’ll eat you up for dinner, So before you fall in love, Stop and then you’ll see... I’m feeling sinister 31
P laylist by Lucy J @lucyly02
Halloween All Year
The Way I Feel Inside Scary Monsters Spooky A Rose For Emily
Moonlight & Roses: Andantino Playground Love (With Gordon Tracks) Some Velvet Morning Atmosphere In Heaven Devil Town I Was A Teenage Werewolf Sally’s Song Werewolf Intervention Werewolves of London Frankenstein Love The Killing Moon If You’re Feeling Sinister
photos by Amanda Cordero
The albums called DISCONNECT which represents me parting from an old lifestyle of fitting in and being almost depressed from feeling so trapped. Luckily that’s a good thing! Because of disconnecting from my old life I feel this new level of freedom…” -NC
BY SAM R @SCRAMRAP
“Uniformity is one of the most sinister things of all. Writer George William Russell agrees, having once said “The worst tyranny is uniformity.” In this photo series, uniformity is twisted and altered to the photographers advantage.”
Meet Magic Eight Ball, a UK based
the Sunlight music video can be described as a
rock band fronted by Baz Francis, formed in 2006.
Nightmare Before Christmas meets Nightmare on
They have released multiple albums (respectively):
Elm Street. With Jack Skellington style pinstripes
Sorry We’re Late But We’re Worth The Wait, Last Of
and a hallowee n based soundtrack, the video is both
The Old Romantics, and the newest, Richest Men
frightening and catchy. Come Get Your Kicks is a video
In The Graveyard. Richest Men in the Graveyard
resembling what Green Day’s “St. Jimmy” would likely
features standout songs, complemented by Keep
be like as a human. Russian Ballet delivers a snowy
Me Out of the Sunlight’s appropriately sinister video. black and white story directed by Emil Kunda, featuring The album opens with a Falling In Love’s Like a
a hellishly catchy song. Monkey Bars delivers a
Vampire, a wicked rock track. The album delivers
simplistic song and video featuring a lone Francis.
a Halloween-all year sound embellished by catchy songs with ghoulish sounding hooks. Darling Will contrasts the fast songs on the album with a slower paced song that resembles a finale of a movie. Keep Me Out of Sunlight is the essential song of the album, with a strikingly Halloween sound. Music videos are a high point for the band: The Keep Me Out of
........................................................ TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ magiceightball8 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram. com/bazfrancis8 SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud. com/magiceightball YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube. com/ilovemagiceightball WIKIPEDIA: https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Magic_Eight_Ball FACEBOOK: https:// www.facebook.com/ ilovemagiceightball REVERBNATION: https://www. reverbnation. com/ magiceightball
Everything is heavy
this earth pulls me closer.
photos by Lucy J & Oliva W @ollygollly123 @lucyly02
model Mikaila @mikaililovea 43
to protect, it pulls
the earth wants me closer
we need acknowledgement not to prove existence but to define it 45
protection is a sin let me fly
this body is a dead wait set me free
i feel for this body i feel for this soul
but they are not afraid just tired,
for they have seen it all
GORILLA MASKS, BLOOD, TRAINS, BANNAS, AND PAJAMAS
a LUCY JOHNSTON Film “DOES IT GET BETTER?” starring JACK N and JULIUS P and ZANNA A Music by JACK and JULIUS 48
photos by Lucy J 50
S H E‘S R E A L by Gabrieila G
Exploring “Satan’s home” was one of the most courageous things you could do as a child in Bellsburg. That infamous, creaky, wooden, old house was considered a bad omen. The reason for this is that every family that’s lived there is dead now. Murders, fires, suicides, arson, it’s all been there. It’s said that some of the kids who go to explore it never come back. But we weren’t your ordinary kids. We were twins, and we weren’t scared of Satan’s home. Probably because everyone else considered us as bad an omen as the house. So we would play in the sand by the front of the house. Only us three. Me, Connor, and Suzy. Connor was my twin brother and Suzy was our only friend. Other kids say that “we’re crazy if we think she’s real” or that “she’s imaginary” but Suzy’s real. They just can’t see her. While we build our little sand town, two kids walk up to the front steps of the house. I just wanted to help. “Suzy says you’re going to die in there.” Mommy used to say that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all. So I’m not going to repeat what those two boys said. Let’s just say, they head in. But they never come out. I’m not surprised. Suzy’s always right. By the time we get back to our house it’s already night time. We don’t care that it’s late, and our parents don’t either. Ah yes, those two. If they didn’t get child support money for having us around - we would be dead by now. Let’s 52
just say that what they’ve done is probably worse than what’s went on in Satan’s home. Dealing drugs, robbery, holding hostages, arson, murder - the list goes as far as human trafficking. I condemned them. They were greedy, criminal pigs. And I also blame them for our loneliness. We moved too often for us to make any lasting friends. After a while of moving everyone in our torn-apart family learned to be slick, but those two often got cocky. They would push their luck too far. They would almost get caught. They would rush home. They would grab their valuables and literally drag us to the car. And they would drive off to the next deserted, rusty, archaic, town they could find. That’s just how it always was. And while they may have been cocky, they were smart too. They knew we hated them, so they made sure that we never got access to a phone, they made sure we never lived in a place with a police station, and they made sure we had no friends who could contact the police. But that one kind of came naturally. They didn’t care what happened to me and Connor. As long as the police weren’t on their tail and they got their money - they were fine. We’re only 9 years old, but we’re mature for our age. We’ve had to take care of ourselves for as long as I could remember. Because of their various “jobs”, they’ve always had money. They preferred to hoard it, keeping it in a “hidden” safe, but on the occasions that they did spend it, it was most likely on something illegal. It took us
months to figure out the passcode, and when we finally did, we were absolutely ecstatic. We could actually buy food instead of having to pillage through trash for it. We could buy clothes to keep us warm in the winter and, if we’re lucky enough, books that would actually let us learn something. We move around too much and they don’t care enough to sign us up for school, so books have become our only way of learning. Yeah, we were leeching money off of them, but to be fair, we only took our share of it. But anyway, back to the present. Our small home in Bellsburg only had one bedroom, and I’ll give you a hint - it wasn’t for us. We got the lucky experience of sleeping in the attic. When we got home, they weren’t there. And I’ll just say - it’s better that way. Connor heads to our room while Suzy and I head to the safe, then proceed to join him. Let me explain something about Connor. He was quiet, but he was a normal kid, unlike me. I remember that there were even times where the other kids in the various towns we’ve lived him asked him to play with them. But he turned them down. He turned them down for me and Suzy, me and my “imaginary friend” that adults claim is the result of “condensed childhood loneliness”. Those kids and those adults are all insane. Or blind. Cause Suzy’s real. They just can’t see her.
I fell asleep before my parents got home that night. I dream’t about Suzy. She was really pretty. She was pale, with black hair, and she was in a white dress. But this was the first dream where I got to see her face, it was covered by her hair every other time I’ve seen her. She didn’t have eyes, they were just black sockets, and her face was as thin and bony as the rest of her body. This was also the first dream where she actually talked to me. “Be careful tomorrow.” She said. She also kept asking if I trusted her. Over and over, “Do you trust me? Do you trust me?” Of course I did. When I finally answered “yes”, she stood still and smiled at me. Her teeth were sharp and pointy. They kind of reminded me of shark teeth. “Good.” That was all she said. Then I woke up. It was Connor who woke me up. He told me that it was time to go. We preferred to spend as little time as possible with our parents, so we left the house before they woke up. As soon as we got dressed, we left in our light summer clothing. Suzy was with us too, but this time, I didn’t see her, and she didn’t talk to me either. We walked around that sorry excuse of a town for a while before we decided to head back to our sand town. But it had been kicked down and destroyed. All that was left was a heap of sand and shoe marks. I could see something in Connor’s eyes. He was mad, but he covered it up with the water that was starting to flood his eye sockets. “Who...why...” That was all he said, and I understood what he was feeling completely. We had been working 54
on that little town since we got to Bellsburg. We had buildings, homes, a church, a school, a library, a police and fire station. Everything. There were days where we would just sit there and build. There were days where we lost track of time, just building. This town was just a dream to us. It was our perfect world. A town where everyone would accept everyone else, no matter what they looked like or where they were from. A town where everyone was included. We sat there, for a while, just staring at the wreckage. Then, we met who did it. There weren’t too many kids in Bellsburg. We were the only outcasts and the only people the kids could make fun of to feel better about themselves.
They just stood there are started to laugh.
nor! She just got rid of all our problems!”
I don’t know what happened, it felt like an urge. I walk up closer to the leader of the group. And I lost all control. It felt, as though something took my body over. I felt like a spectator looking through my own eyes. I couldn’t move, only watch as i saw myself lunge at the group leader, twist his neck almost the entire way around, and his body falling to the ground.
He was petrified.
The others just stared, terror was filling their eyes. I felt great. Their fear of me felt great. They ran, and I turned around to face Connor. It’s good that you decided to trust me. Connor was as petrified as the other kids. “Look what Suzy did for us Con-
Then he ran. My brother, my twin, one of my only friends, the only person who stuck with me no matter what I did just left me. No, I take that back. Suzy was my only sister, my only friend, she was the only person who stood by me no matter what I did. So i just decided to continue building my sand town with her. But she was there this time. I could see and hear her. “Are you glad that you trusted me?” “Trusting you was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I should trust you more.” “I thought this would take longer… 55
But, this works.. Do you trust me right now, at this very moment.” “After Connor just ran out on me, I think you’re the only person that I can trust.” “Then let me show you that you’ve made a good decision trusting me.” Suzy dissolves into black smoke. Black smoke that covers and nearly suffocates me. Afterwards I lose all feeling in my body again, and all I can do is watch as I go back to my house. My parents were home this time. And they were extremely drunk. To the point that when I walk in, my dad throws an empty glass bottle at me. I- no- Suzy catches it with one hand, and throws it back at his head. It splinters, as pieces of the glass stick in his skull and blood pours from the cuts. He’s gone now. My mother stares on in horror while Suzy lunges at her. The black smoke leaves me and enters my mother. My mother then takes her gun, puts it to her head. And pulls the trigger. The black smoke leaves her collapsed body and re-enters me. One left. We head to the attic, where she ‘sensed’ Connor was with a knife in her hand. When she enters the room, I don’t see him. But she does. She lifts his bed covers and sees him laying flat, without breathing, trying to hide. He gives her one last look of terror before she sticks the knife in his chest. That’s all of them. I was filled with joy. My only friend was alive and my problems were gone. I spent the rest of the day talking and playing with Suzy. That night I dream’t of Suzy, and something told me to wake up In the darkness, I was able to make out a single figure. The figure stood looking at me with distant eyes. It was Suzy. I smiled. She smiled back. Then she lunged. 58
the darkness of my room gives me comfort in times where the earth is quaking the darkness of my room feels like an escape; from everything i have to face
i canâ€™t see myself in the mirror anymore i am just a shell of what was once something more by Haylie P photos by Hana C @h4n4c 60
the darkness of my thoughts shield me like a cape the darkness of my thoughts keep me awake the darkness of my thoughts seem to take shape; around me and inside of me the darkness of my room helps me stop shaking
THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
By Camylla Wiser
photos by Hanna & Talullah @hnnhtwl & @lullahh 62
A feeling of peace. I relax in the night, the lamppost gleaming in my eyes and the damaged grass beneath my feet. My eyes close, my feelings open, flowing out in sync to the music in my ears. Radiohead. I smile because I know I’m not supposed to. I laugh because I know I’m supposed to cry. I can’t cry now. “Today, we escape” My feet pounding, running from my thoughts. “Before your father hears us” My nightmares gone with the dust flying from my shoes. “Before all hell breaks loose” It already has. “Don’t loose your nerve” Gasping in terror of what might happen next. “Such a chill” But I’m not shaking from the cold. “A Spineless laugh” My heart won’t let me. “Now we are one in everlasting peace” There’s nothing left. I am nothing but the footprints my shoes made. The shadow of my body. “We hope that you choke” I am scared of me. Of what I might do. Of what I might say. Of what I might feel. Anything is better than this. Anything is better than the terror the midnight trees might bring. The terror I might bring. The song clicks back, replaying. “Wake from your sleep” My mind clicks back, reliving. “The drying of your tears” My feet slip back into their prints, nostalgia. “Today we escape” The lamppost in the distance, nearer with every step I take. My shadow fits into the grass. A puzzle piece finally put into place. “We escape” A feeling of panic. 63
send us your cool stuff ! email@example.com
instagram: @loser.zine 64
If You're Feeling Sinister