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Preview

fall issue one

by Bao Vy Lam: Space___________________________14 Blinds_____________________________15 Head Balloons________________________19 bookmarks___________________________30

Food Rant by Charlotte Curtis___________________12 How to Get a Summer Internship in the Fall by Shannon McPeak_________________13

Night Watcher by Charlotte Curtis_________16

poetry by Jared Muscat: Sitting Along to Wisdom_____________1 Something to Write Home About___________3 Library Cafes and Asparagus__________________7

by Mark Calabio: Stabbling Victim___________________________________2 Echoes___________________________________________9 To Fill This Empty Garden by Kyle Cords_____________________2 by Benjamin Farrington:: {An Other}_______________________________________4 Seeds_________________________________________8 Curse_______________________________________9 Someday: Parody by Ashley Ching____________5 Above is the incredible cover from our second Spring 2010 issue. In that issue, I failed to credit the correct cover artist, Jonathan Wong. He’s does awesome work, and I apologize for the error. This issue’s cover artist is Charlotte Curtis. She is an undergraduate student, part-time art monkey, administrative office drone, baker of sweet treats and future crazy cat lady. She will feed you cupcakes and make you sit on her cat-hair covered couch, but she means well.

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art

Suburban Couch Surfing by Steve Bass ____ 10

features

eussi

Chameleons by Amy Triano_____8

Owl by Desi Kalcheva______________17 Untitled by David Chen__________18

Untitled by Kyle Cords______________20 Freaky Fairies by Vivian Moon_____________21 The Breakdown by Charlotte Curtis______22 Mario Interview by Mike Chang__________23

The publication may have been funded in part or in whole by funds allocated by the ASUCSD. However, the views expressed in this publication are solely those of Mania Magazine, its principal members and the authors of the content of this publication. While the publisher of this publication is a registered student organization at UC San Diego, the content, opinions, statements and views expressed in this or any other publication and/or distributed by Mania Magazine are not endorsed by and do not represent the views, opinions, policies, or positions of the ASUCSD, GSAUCSD, UC San Diego, the University of California and the Regents or their officers, employees, or agents. The publisher of this publication bears and assumes the full responsibility and liability for the content of this publication.

Untitled by Casey Dayan________________33 At Work’s End by Vannie Nguyen_________________36 Becoming by Thomas Price_______________39

Reviews

Che Cafe Review by Karla Garcia_______________________25 Sushi Performance and Visual Art Review by Bao Vy Lam___________________________________26

FICTION

Crazy Little Thing Called FOOSH Review by Hannah Saittta______________________________26 Little Bee book Review by Shannon McPeak_____________________________________27 The Strain book Review by Tylar Pendgraft___________________________________27 Eat Pray Love book Review by Charlotte Curtis________28 Civil Twilight Review by Bao Vy Lam_____________________28


the editor

A few Thursdays ago, Mania made an appearance on Library Walk. Maybe you missed us among the 200+ other student organizations, but maybe you walked by and asked yourself, “What are they doing?” In fact, a few of you walked up and asked, “What are you doing?” As of the beginning of that Thursday, Mania did not have a banner. It made our table look bare and unofficial. But we showed up and got our creativity on. While other orgs were handing out flyers and selling food, a few of our staff spent the four hours armed with scissors, paintbrushes, and glue sticks. Some students dropped by and helped out, too. By the end of the day, we’d created a sign that I think reflects Mania’s values perfectly. You can see pictures of the sign on our Facebook – yes, we have a Facebook. It’s a little quirky, a little freaky, and totally unregulated. Hopefully, that’s also a good description of the magazine you are holding in your hands. This is our Horror issue, so we ramped up the freaky with some sick stories and twisted art. Maybe you noticed the pissed off bald guy screaming at you from the cover. Mania has a big year in store for it. I say this with confidence because each quarter, I am impressed by the vitality of the creative energy that runs through this school. The more of that energy that Mania is able to tap into, the better. Help us make it so by submitting your gnarliest work to maniasubmissions@gmail. com. If you’re interested in coming to meetings, get in touch with us through our Facebook page, or by emailing maniamag@gmail. com. And now, turn the page and sink your fangs into Mania’s first issue of the 2010-2011 school year. Steve Editor in Chief

staff list

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letter from

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Ot h e r C ontr i butors:

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POETRY By Jared Muscat

Sitting along to Wisdom I am sitting along already hearing the pillow lines seeing a smile of puckered little lips biking with me in thought at least even loftier actually on love set to see what seams to be shifting seas from obscure to classy jazzy fiestas little pick me ups of tired rewards the glamour in muscles of uphill writing the closed eyed suave head sways rhythmically timed slips of finger thumb the left turn signal for more or less by exhaust of behind just jazz clock cycles styling roll forward windless backing breeze a bellyless exclamation from Marx on talent in the form of a coffee shop university where Monk is played by Droopy backwards hat and paralyzed eyes helping along letters from e and books from researched opinion all in a sort of transparent dream ever repeating on necessity timeless simple sonnets in the air tips of feathered overtures slight drops and rises of little to no drama or fun drama at the end was the bass and a person on the ground in a robe with a perfectly straight back said silently Why feel hurt, when you can instead be silent with a proud face and resiliency to display the great meaning behind your action and belief and in that manner change mind?

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I dropped to my pen crying concentrated breaths and cycling legs onto a fake sheet with a sly humble smile

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POETRY Stabbing Victim By Mark Calabio She haunts me in the night When I’m about to go to bed Twisted knife, I hold my pillow tightly When I just can’t get her out of my head She walked a while with me But seemed to make the minutes fly So high on frantic amity Then soon right back to earth When she said goodbye Antipathetically detesting The way she told me off, I now resent her peaceful rest As she lies, serene beneath the dirt Resenting her standoffishness, She twists the penetration Since she feels it doesn’t hurt

To fill this empty garden by Kyle Cords How do I fill this empty garden? Should I start with a please or a pardon, do I wish it to be, do I dig a hole and plant a seed, a seed of wisdom to flourish this diminished ground, how could everyone ignore this canvas floor, a masterpiece is awaiting to bloom, no longer will this garden be forgotten or misconstrued, it needs my help, do I help a little for it to return a bud or a petal, this almost garden needs more than to settle, to remove the brush or show it the sky, What happens if I try too much, maybe it can’t handle to awake from its dormant nodes, will it see all it’s potential or simply explode, do I wait and see?, What happens now?, do I wait for it?, rake the ground step by step?, do I strum a guitar melody for it to hear and find its destiny?, will a tear beget a tower or do I just pour out the rest of my water and hopefully in a near hour this ground may be a garden or at least a tenet flower. O’ how to fill this empty garden.

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Something to Write Home About

{An Other}

By Jared Muscat

By Benjamin Farrington

Waves fly through fields’ sky whilst lying on my back, in some love, on the pebbles of a non grassy knoll spray painted with sea greens whipping a whisper of the wind-and the pebbles massaging my every bone, the blue above is only blue to the woman biking on the road for to me it is a night of jaz infused, with the daylight of glory octobers of orange, lined only by marine blue flows of energy, pulses, some sort of poetic novel above my rested head and tickled back and whispered ears-and Buddha, it was with Mother Ocean a sort of quote un quote myth of the great Pueblos or Anasazi or someones, t’was an irrigation system of bad egos, a meditator of the lost cause cowboys stories written in the style of Thoreau or Kerouac, glistening in abstract sketches of colored grain overtures of beans and rice and love, did marriage bond Adam and Eve? I only sit and think, said the bald boy a calf powered two wheeler cuddles up to the San Francisco hills, Redwoods nearby ablaze with lessons, no pad in pocket, no pen either-o wait-a typewriter in mind, with eraser and shading aid there sits the one with all shots on automatic fire, dangerous only if provoked to instinct, or thought, what wicked way this world sometimes wills! Is Mother Nature tired? why does this world not see her weary eyes, loving in their ever careful tears? how hidden are the unwanted ink patches in the ocean, shore, rivers, lands, and bottled waters? now, bombs also have silent options-pressed by men with overkept hair and underkept health all this still where others count Ben & Jerry’s cows flying like friendly fly balls overhead only feet away a dog of the ocean worships the sun and a white bird normally above sea sits to join the act a dolphin must have jumped at sea, and a shark have found a fish or three Professor was sitting across the room, in my head, and I think said dreams are only dreams if you don’t will itof course! a direct translation of the word will transcripting at main stage in the form of simple appreciation, as an apple drops from a tree to my head, and now I am with a bump and a treat of a tree from the soil of our mom, too cliche to say yoga of the mind, accupuncture of the soul, and meditation of the body, but-something to write home, the shaping of a wave pen.

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Practitioner of Psychoanalysis Hallucinations DMT is a necessary mechanism existing in our brains in order to provide consciousness and allows us to see the Truth. It is a natural “Psychedelic” created in your brain. Meditation evokes pineal DMT release… Possibly through EM vibrations. You came to me with a problem that can’t be solved with a few quick words. Digging a hole into you subconscious and trying to bury it won’t work either. It will fester like a sore in your mind. It oozes out hatred and anger for yourself. How can you ever ex perience love for another if you can’t love yourself and how can you truly love yourself when your keeping yourself unconscious to what is causing the problem.

The universe we live in is a forgiving one.

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Someday :

Parody to Dashboard Confessional's "Hands Down"

by Ashley Ching

That I am the one

When I saw you on MySpace

You IM me

My heart beats too fast

You take me out

To be yours is murder

You were all charm

So won’t you murder

My heart beats too fast

As you said, “F*cking Christ,”

And knocked me out

So I can be her

To be yours is murder

At my silliest joke attempt

June 12th last year

This girl is yours for game or soul mate

So won’t you murder

Remember when

Almost a date

Hook up or girlfriend

So I can be her

On September 6th

Kind glance, warm smile

Or even just friends

This girl is yours for game or soul mate

It was so late

You sealed my fate

Whichever you prefer

Hook up or girlfriend

Teachers kicked us out

Or even just friends

So we snuck into school

Whichever you prefer

Found a spot on the bench

Your air is calm It eases mine

It’s after school

I check your sign -- Yes, we’ll have the chemistry

Let’s stay ‘til first bell

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When you wrapped your arms around me

Just watch the time pass

Someday

I loved you around me

Alone in math class

We will meet once more

You around me

Privacy from all those nagging old folks

At our high school reunion

You around me

“Be home by six, hun”

How sweet you were back then

I loved you around me

That’s why they got none.

The ring of my cell phone

You around me

Don’t leave, don’t go

When you called me at midnight

Stay close so I’ll know

The leap of my heart

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And the way your eyes rolled

POETRY


POETRY Library Cafes and Asparagus By Jared Muscat outside, pipe asparagus sticks of cancer, billowing the cool of cool little slip slaps of high tops and zings of licks names pass through sarcasm whispered smile and batted hand shake eyes catch leaves caught by wind, there billows a train of notes without eraser, dancing as a wave slight giggles of the silent understandings two decades done, why be short? a nectarine is bruised in a sack as a heart in a home live in art.

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well kept personal poems play like in a wonderland, also, an air hugs style and thus enough for the sight is option and the march but hours with unaccounted for lessons truces with the past as points of the morrow verses are stanzas bus rides-wavesis humanity not in our own misadventure? stocked well with ultimate successes of failure misnomered remembrances of faith ironic captivation of deterioration! yes, we have painted a great mess ululating at our own self righteousness rewriting epics of existence, cooperatives of reason, stuck inside well wrapped windows open to all and every ‘cept the forgotten, captivated by the forgiventhe false missionaries of beatitudes relaying the link of church to statehunting kindling for bonfires dousing them in the fluid of lacking gratitude unspoken acknowledgements mis-written sacraments tombstone haikus on harvest.

Seeds

by Ben Farrington

by Amy Triano

Chameleons Today all of the haunts and goblins come out to play. Everyone is able to change masks for a day. New faces bring meaning to everything around. Those who yesterday were apprehensive take their eyes off of the ground. Irony of life emerging on a day that celebrates dying. On this occasion no one acknowledges that they have been lying. To blend in everyday, we cannot be ourselves. This is realized during occasional mental delves. Though our masks are different, we still know this is true. By societies standards you cannot be you. So we pretend for a night that we are something we are not. Despite the fact we know we are nothing like what people thought.

The pumpkin thai soup tastes even better than the one Kathy made in that house on the hill which you still dream about. It was around this hallow holy day and you typically carved pumpkins all to gather but de sided to veer away from some facial attempt. You strived for some thing out side of the common box. Some abstraction. We laughed and got pumpkin seeds stuck behind the backs of our molars. Before our wisdom teeth grew in and you got to keep yours. They crammed your bottom incisors together unflatteringly later. Your ventricles raced. He always read your face. But not that night be cause the shape sliced into that flesh was an ocean scene. Incomplete with no sand or boats or piers or children or nudists it was minimal | just the horizon. A master piece, etched as a finger print, Venus de Milo. He was fixated, you beamed victor I us. No, we exaggerate. We miss lead and stray. But the dream remains turbulent. Darker than be fore.

We grab fistfuls of candy and gorge until pain. Today is quite different, there is no need for shame. A wrap on the door, and a simple question asked. “Trick or treat?” says the person behind the mask. Candy is obtained with thanks shouted on a whim. Person after person, the trick is on them. Those who have been around for some time, Have seen the façade of this simple line. Tomorrow will alas be just a normal day. But who are they fooling? This is a lifelong charade. We are never what we appear or we seem. That unfamiliar face isn’t just for Halloween.

on float the boats adorned by library cafes.

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POETRY

FEATURES

by Steve Bass

Curse by Benjamin Farrington

Look to make to break to fake to take, looks. A black mirror paralysis. Stigmatized, shot by secular security cameras we watch our own im age. All words will lose their meaning but mine are the only kind I relate to Lo and be hold, I still re main. That name was never spoken and our curse was never broken. Beatrice squashes her face against the surface of every thing. She gets as close as physically possible. She wishes to be come unified with the sub stance, demanding reasons. Never seizing or internalizing, yet seeking, ever seeking. She begs to find the answers but the answers never give them selves away just be cause some silly bitch is trying that hard. Beatrice needs to chill the fuck out. She could use a thrilling sexual experience. That would relieve a large amount of tension. But she could never make up her mind considering a foil. Too spoiled and troubled by options and vague opportunities from men who just wanted to rob her spice cabinet dry. Beatrice continues to question every thing. To day she peers into your soul. She wonders why you bothered to arise from sleep earlier. Uncanny is an excellent way to capture the mayhem. Irony acts as a centrifugal force in addition to inter secting brain waves. we are much more magnetic and electric than we wish to accept/investigate/rationalize. Yes, but some of us realize sooner than others. And some of us try to flee while others embrace.

...... .. Suburban Couch Surfing .... .... .... ... .. .

by Mark Calabio

Once upon a line of rhymes There lived a tale I’m sure you’ve read Or perhaps you’ve heard when tucked in bed Of a Prince who mounted his noble steed To live the tale that you now read Indeed, Lies echoed in his head instead For the Prince had read these lines before He found the Princess and nothing more “True Love,” he thought, “Who else could it be? We danced and sang in spontaneous harmony!” So he waltzed into the jeweler’s store and adored A great ring of beauty so True—but so tragic Who knew! that the band had been damned with dark magic The Witch of the Wood had conjured a curse A deadening wedding for better . . . for worse? So said the Witch so thematic-dramatic: “Wind and Wood, Earth and Ember and Sand A plot in your thoughts, forever remember the band True Love decked in chains—now free it If the Truth echoes pain—so be it!” As they held the band in their hands An unheard sound echoed so loudly They looked at their eyes and stared not so proudly They looked at their souls and broke down and cried Hands still held close, they fell down and died . . . The Skies of Lies are loutish and cloudy But the Caverns of Truth amplify whines Of the Princess and Prince that echo through time Echoes of debates of “Who else could it be?” Echoes that resonate within you and me

A body greeted me from the foot of the bed. Veins bulged out of his neck and his eyes popped out grotesquely. He was a rubber Halloween decoration, of course, but in that fuzzy moment between dreaming and waking, I wasn’t so sure. After I remembered where I was, I picked up my toiletry bag and headed for the bathroom, where I made myself at home as much as possible. I then helped myself to the refrigerator and turned on my laptop, ready for another day at my friend’s house. I’d already stayed at his house for close to a week, enjoying his brother’s bed while he was backpacking across Europe. My truck was parked outside, and behind the front seats were my duffel bag, a box of soap, hair gel, basketball shoes, and other necessities. On Wednesday I was due to move to another friend’s house for another week. A few weeks after I graduated high school, my family moved from the Bay Area to Orange County, at least in theory. I qualify that sentence with ‘in theory’ because I haven’t quite made the transition yet. I’ve managed to spend most of my last two summers staying at my friend’s houses in the Bay Area. In doing so, I’ve become a practiced moocher. So far, at least, I haven’t noticed any grumbling on the part of my generous mooch-ees. I’m lucky to have the kinds of friends that can tolerate me spending extended periods of time in their house, and even luckier that their parents have a similar hospitality. Now that a four- (or six-, or eight-) year education has become more and more crucial in order to secure a well-paying job, the benchmark ‘finishing school’ is difficult to define. Some 18 year olds enter the full time work force directly after high school. However, many individuals choose to remain students until their mid-twenties. This keeps them dependent on their parents and shelters them from many adult responsibilities. Even if they don’t attend a university, many emerging adolescents live at home to save money before moving out to start their own households. I run into this phenomenon every time I try to refer to people my age. We’re not adults, and teenagers doesn’t apply to us anymore, even individuals who are 18 and 19 year olds. Sometimes I use the term “kids,” but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Our parents are able give us this kind of support because they work. Hard. Experiencing the depth of my friends’ parents’ generosity has hammered that notion home for me. Many 18-25 year olds go to school instead of work, and those who do work generally don’t make enough to pay rent, food, gas, insurance, or medical bills. Though no longer minors, we don’t bear many of the responsibilities that adults

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FEATURES do.

In a NY Times article (August 18, 2010) discussing Arnett’s findings, Robin Marintz Henig lays out five checkpoints that mark a teen’s progression into adulthood: “completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child.” While such defined benchmarks are always problematic, they nonetheless seem logical enough. The first benchmark, completing school, raises many issues that are at the heart of Arnett’s research into emerging adolescence. A hundred years ago, ‘school’ might have meant as little as learning to read and basic arithmetic. Young people entered the workforce at a young age and stayed there. Many were faced with each of the rest of the ‘milestones’ to adulthood around decade before our generation generally does. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 had much to do with slowing that progression. It kept those young people out of work and in school. This created a new generation: the adolescent. Teenagers were not children anymore, but they were by no measure adults. The meaning of ‘school’ shifted to include twelve grades. Developmental psychologists had to create the term ‘adolescence’ to adequately describe individuals of this age.

.. . .

Now that a four -(or six-, or eight-) year education becomes more and more crucial in order to secure a well-paying job, the benchmark ‘finishing school’ is difficult to define. Some 18 year olds enter the work force full time directly after high school. However, many individuals choose to remain students until their mid-twenties. This keeps them dependent on their parents and shelters them from many adult responsibilities. Even if they don’t attend a university, many emerging adolescents live at home to save money before moving out on their own.

BY Charlotte Curtis

Food Rant

I run into this phenomenon every time I try to refer to people my age. We’re not adults, and teenagers doesn’t apply to us anymore, even individuals who are 18 and 19 year olds. Sometimes I use kids, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Sound familiar? If he’s not right on the money, it seems like Arnett is pretty close to what’s going on with people our age. Sometimes it seems like we’re sprinting forwards with our heads down, knowing that there is a destination without knowing how to get there. While at other times, it feels like we’re floating from one wave to the next, craning our necks at every crest to try and figure out where to swim to. And sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and see what’s new on Youtube.

I want Slow Food. I want locally produced sustainable food. The chain of consumer purchase should logically be as follows: LOCAL - if not local, then ORGANIC - if not organic, then what? Certainly not Gordon’s fish and chemical additive fillets. Right? But what are our other options?

.. . .

Arnett’s proposed term for 18-25 year olds, emerging adolescents, works well to capture two traits that he has found to characterize people of this age group. According to his findings, we are optimistic that our future will be bright, but at the same time, not entirely sure how it will become so. In some cases, this leads to a dread of the ‘real’ world, and anxiety over learning how it all works.

i The dilemma is that not everyone can get local or organic foods. Either they are too far from a local source or it’s just too damn expensive. People eat ramen and McDonald’s burgers for a reason. They are CHEAP AND ABUNDANT. Poor families can’t serve “good” food on a limited budget. As a single middleclass American consumer with a decent job and access to many local markets, I have choices most people don’t or simply can’t afford. Long story short, I want to live in a world where we can feed ourselves and our children healthy sustainable foods even if the

FEATURES

way we get there seems difficult. Here in the USA that ideally means supporting local farmers. I want those local farmers to not only survive the epic battle with the giants of agri-business (Conarga, Monsanto), but triumphantly return to the foreground of our national food production. Yet the booming population seems to demand contract farming. Mass production. Higher crop yields. But is that even correct? Or are we suffering from corrupt politics and poor distribution? That is an issue for another day… If we really need to continue mass production then we can at least revamp it to be humane and healthy. Not just for the animals’ sake but our own too: we are what we eat. Let them roam free range. Stop injecting them with hormones and steroids and antibiotics and let the damn things LIVE a somewhat natural life before they are slaughtered. Humane conditions are a luxury for animals in agribusiness. The consumer has to pay extra to get cage-free eggs or grass fed beef. Don’t you think it’s strange that there is an option to raise cows on something OTHER than grass and natural grains? Have you ever seen the chickens crammed into cages – their stump of a cut-off beak and twisted rotting feet? Have you seen the sickly “downed” cows pushed by forklifts into slaughter houses? Have you seen the cannibalism we produce when we feed our animals the corpses and feces of their brethren? Do you know about GMO’s? Plants and animals are being Genetically MOdified, registered as intellectual property, and sold unlabeled to unsuspecting consumers. We COULD farm in a sustainable way by rotating crops and maintaining healthy soil. But no, instead we have “Round Up Ready Soy Beans” - crops literally engineered to grow in poor soil and resist a patented herbicide. More and more poisons are being put in and sprayed on our foods. They are growing our foods in depleted soil. They are destroying biodiversity. The crop yield is the same and the food quality is worse. In response to this, the European Union has banned GMO’s. Not merely disapproved of them – BANNED them, which has resulted in lawsuits and serious free-trade repercussions. This is not some minor concern; this is an international affair. What’s more, the few studies on GMO’s point to serious health hazards- really truly terrifying health hazards. Proponents of these hazardous farming practices say it’s all about saving the world from starvation. But is it really about saving the world or is it about profit and mass yield, no matter the consequences?

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FEATURES

GALLERY

By Shannon McPeak

As the fall rolls in and class workloads quickly pile up, chances are the last thing you are thinking about is a summer internship. But alas, neither is your competition.Yes, your competition, those people who apply in the winter and spring and swoop up all the openings. Wouldn’t you like to beat them at their own game? Now, this does not mean call up every company you are interested in well before Thanksgiving. Rather, it means that in a tough job market, one in which college graduates are increasingly filling up slots that used to be reserved for undergraduates, it helps to be a little ahead. Specifically, it is best to be done with much of the internship process before you even apply. Regardless of the industry you are trying to get experience in, there are two basic items you should always have ready well before you even plan to use them - a resume and cover letter. These items take time, in fact hours, to do right. This is especially true for the cover letter, which is really your one chance to stand out. Even though it might not seem like it sometimes, cover letters really do get read by your potential employers. Countless times I have been surprised to see the person who was interviewing me actually knew my cover letter well enough to recount a specific part from it, or even pull it out as a reference during the interview. In fact, chances are you will only get the interview in the first place if your cover letter is a thoughtful one, one that you put time into. So if you are going to take the time to write one, why not do it right? First off, every single company you apply to needs to be given special attention in their own cover letter, sent to them personally. Do you really expect someone to be that jazzed about bringing you in for an interview if you couldn’t at the very least take the few milliseconds it takes to address a company personally as opposed to drawing up a generic letter that could be sent from anyone from Google to Chiquita? If the generic “Dear Sir/ or Madam” letters don’t cut it for you from your friendly ACS spammer, then your cover letters sent out in mass won’t be impressing your dream company. Once you have all your basic stuff that you will need to apply set, possibly including a portfolio or demo reel if you are going

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How to Get A Summer Internship in the Fall

into anything to do with the entertainment industry, it is time to research companies so you can find out who you want to apply to. The easiest way to do this is online. Try googling (insert industry you want to enter) + “companies in” + (insert city you wish to work). For example, if you are interested in advertising, try “advertising companies in San Diego”. At this point you can read about a lot of companies at once and see which ones are a good fit for you. Many of the companies will announce when they will be accepting applications for the upcoming internship programs. This is where being ready comes in handy since many companies are not remotely on the same schedule. You might be surprised, and very sad, if you wait to apply until you are less busy, such as during winter break, to find out that your favorite company has already filled up all their positions in October or November. If you are ready from the Fall on, you can quickly apply in five minutes, as opposed to the hours it will take most people to get a cover letter and resume together. With all that being said, a little trick I picked up over time is realizing that companies do not necessarily need to advertise an internship program on their website in order to be willing to offer you a position. Many companies, especially smaller ones, will take great interest in a student who is enthusiastic and willing to work as an unpaid intern for the summer. If this is the case, try emailing them with a short description about yourself and be sure to attach your cover letter and resume. Once you have done these simple steps, the rest is a numbers game. Most likely if you apply to 100 companies (which is truly manageable if you spread out the process over a period of months), you will have to swallow your pride as half of them completely ignore you and most of the others “regretfully inform” you that they simply do not want you. This stage can go on for months, but the important thing is to not lose sight of your goal. Chances are, that with enough thought put into each application, and enough applications put out, eventually the right company will come along and offer the coveted chance for an interview, which you will no doubt own since that’s just the way you are, you early bird!

“Space” by Bao Vy Lam


“Night Watcher” by Charlotte Curtis

“Blinds” by Bao Vy Lam

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GALLERY “Owl”

by Desi Kalcheva

Untitled by David Chen

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FICTION

By: Kyle Cords

“Head Balloons” by Vy Lam

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Here it comes. The darkness again, but I learn to accept it. Considering it’s a daily routine for my inmates and me. Lying down day after day viewing how black & white the world really is. I’ve come to know this setting is unnerving, but I have learned to deal with it, unlike some. Others tend to lose themselves in the never-ending thought of why am I here? Being in confinement makes life go by faster by the unfulfilling fact of unaccomplished ambitions. We all wound up in this cage as though we are savage animals, due to the basic fact of abusing our rights and freedoms we had been entrusted to abide by. I am always grouped with the same people, I don’t know why but they tend to keep us away from the others. One of the inmates is a black male that was committed due to his unusual impulses to defecate on private and public property. He does seem to know the difference, but he does it anyway. I call him Mushy due to him having mush for brains. He spends most of his time drooling or looking for an item of relieving desire, but there isn’t any, so what’s the point. The other one is a red headed male, who I call Humphrey. Being a sex offender he tends hump all that moves. He was thrown in here by coming on to a younger girl with her parents right there, so naturally they complained, and now, here he is. There is another; a crazy old one, with the white hair, that is constantly spouting out nonsense, from unceasing cussing, to uncontrollable

yelling (it makes it even hard to take a cat nap with that old fool running his mouth) due to his severe case of Tourette’s . I call him Old Yeller. People just couldn’t take his barking at everything anymore. So he gets the shock treatment to make him stop. Then there is me, trying to fathom how I’m the sanest one in here. Yet, my condition is categorized as equivalent, to these idiots. My name is Clyde, and I am a klepto. I don’t know what happens to me when I see something shiny. I just can’t help myself. I have to take it. All things that I take, don’t ask me why, but I bury them in my backyard. I never bury in the same place twice to avoid prosecution by the Man. It’s like I’m constantly trotting on buried riches, and I like it. I get such a rush from stealing, it’s as though I’m giving in to my natural instincts, which make me who I am. When I get out of this I’ll be rolling in it and knowing me I’ll get dragged back into fetching things for people like in my dog days. The Man can be pretty unforgiving, when it comes to the things of shine. But that’s me, Clyde the klepto and I accept that life gives and I take. Morons surround me, as they await their release; to be in the yard and fresh air. Hearing the door open and close, I get anxious, beginning to lose all thoughts conscious and sane. When all that comes to mind isn’t the yelling old fool, the sex offender, or the one with mush for brains it’s Momma, Momma, Momma, Momma. Let me out bark, bark, bark, bark.


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FICTION by Vivian Moon

Freaky Fairies The Breakdown Selected lyrics from The Flaming Lips, Frou Frou and Moby, as reenvisioned by Charlotte Curtis

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“Everyone you know, someday will die…”

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Earbuds in and volume on high, I hum along content in my musical euphoria, barring myself from the outside reality. Suddenly it hits me, the realization that everyone I know, someday will die. I can’t smile. I can’t say my goodbyes. I can’t let anyone know I realized that life moves too fast and that it’s hard to make the good things last. I won’t tell anyone that the setting sun is just an illusion caused by the world spinning round. I can’t do it. I can hardly breathe let alone sing out the cheerfully dystopian lyrics.

illustration by Bao Vy Lam

“Take me, Black Bear,” the Bitch said. She came out of nowhere. The wind brushed its face, fuzz in the wind, balls flapping, tongue lapping. “Just this once, ok?” “Sure,” the Bitch replied. Taking him by the collar rubbing the stuck fur along the bottoms of his button-down cloak, the Bitch felt the pull to wince, to draw back skin and make him flinch. Big dark eyes stared back at her like babies, the ones too innocent to steal from. The worst toys to play then leave them. As her fingers reached the end of the cloak and brushed against the bump, smelling the smooth blend of fresh mahogany-smelling tufts, the Bitch couldn’t help but force hands down as her blood rose inside, as if she were riding her bike at a hundred miles per hour through a labyrinth monster’s tower, circus freaks and horns, colored mourning lords and leering shadows of a white and black mouse eating sprigs and getting closer. Grabbing bunches of bear buff and thick, she pulled him apart through the skin. You were a friend once, she thought, as she stared at the chunks of him left in the whirlwind.

So I press SKIP and Let Go. Embrace the beauty in the breakdown. Breathe in and breathe deep. It’s gonna be alright after all. There’s beauty in the breakdown and there’s no time for later, I have only 20 seconds to comply and jump in. This is the moment, this is it, I am here and now.

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Thunder booms while raindrops fall loud like bullets on tin. A voice cries out from somewhere deep in my ear canal: There’s nothing here and nothing new. It’s raining again and there’s nothing you could say, nobody listens anyway. I give up everything I know while sadness falls like water raining down, raining down. Standing at the precipice I watch the rain fall as I slip over the edge, tumbling in the darkness. A swift dive into the cold, dark sea.

Oh but baby, look at us! We’re beautiful. I’m cast ashore as a ragged joyful refugee and there are so many others here wandering, touching, fighting, crying, consoling, loving. Look around, look at us all! No matter how we push and pull, we’re beautiful.

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MANIAFALL2010

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FICTION

i

Impressions by Mike Chang

The car’s engine hums and roars as I drive through the bustling streets of New York City. I have no time to look at the looming skyscrapers, however. I’m looking for street names to follow and making winding turns. It’s not long before I find myself at a fancy apartment complex. I drive to the front to find a valet service. Pressed for time, I let them take my car and I head through glass revolving doors. An attendant welcomes me and asks me for the purpose of my visit. My boss has landed me this once-in-a-lifetime chance. Many strings were pulled to give our magazine such an amazing opportunity. This person has never given an interview since he became famous. With pride and apprehension, I clear my voice, “I’m here to see Mr. Mario.” I can see the surprise on the attendant’s face. He scurries through his list of appointments before speaking again. “Hm, would you happen to be-” “Mr. Jimmy Dural.” “Ah, yes.” He closes his book and looks up at me. “Please take the elevator to the fifth floor,” he gestures to his left. I thank him and swiftly proceed to the metallic gold sliding doors. Of course, as I press the button, the blasted machine must be at the top floor, make a few stops, and then finally drag itself into the lobby. I step in and press the button for floor five and wait some more, counting off the dings until I finally arrive. As I step out and the elevator doors close behind me, I spot one lone door in a narrow, short hallway. He’s rich, he can afford to have a floor all for himself. He has millions of adoring fans who will buy into anything that he’s in. Everything he has even just touched has succeeded. I take a breath, gather up the fibers of my being and knock. I am about to meet a legend. “Come in.” It’s short, muffled, and gruff, not exactly the voice I was expecting. Still, I hurriedly enter and close the door behind me. The sound of something frying and a delicious smell wafts across the hardwood floor to me. I follow it, and it leads me to the man of mys-

tery, residing in a big, tall kitchen. The tabletops are granite and cupboards wooden. I had come expecting a little more glamour, but I don’t choose what he spends his money on.

o

“You’ll have to forgive me for not welcoming you. You’ve caught me at a busy time.” I apologize, but he waves it aside. “Don’t worry about it.”

I have just seen this person, and I’m already amazed at the sight I’m beholding. Unlike the pictures, he’s actually leaner than some would suspect him to be. Nor does he speak with that particular accent. His voice was fairly quiet as well, not the booming voice I was expecting. In fact, some would say that he looks more like his brother… He takes whatever he’s making off the frying pan and puts it onto a plate. It looks like a small steak. “I’m a little nervous, to be honest. I feel like I’d rather have something to eat while we’re doing this. Comfort food might help calm my nerves a bit.” He brings it over to a rectangular table that can seat six and sits behind it, gesturing me to sit in front of him. I quickly take a seat. “First things first. No, I don’t have an Italian accent. I am, however, of Italian descent. I used to be fat, but I’ve lost a lot of weight since then. The only reason why I still look fat in my work is because they want to uphold my original image.” I go to open my mouth, but he seems to know my question already. “And yes, my full name is Mario Mario.” I flip to a blank page in my notebook and quickly jot down what he says. “Now that those are out of the way, as per the deal, you have twenty minutes to ask your questions.”

I spent all of last night pondering what to ask and eventually came up with three. “Let’s start small. How is the relationship between you and your brother? The both of you shared a debut, but your career was undoubtedly better than his, especially at the start.”

hospital stay.

As I ask the question, he cuts his steak into small pieces. He idly eats a piece and answers. “Luigi certainly had issues at the time. He was doing the same thing as I did and yet I was vastly more popular than he was. He was still successful, but only as a co-star in many of the works. Very rarely did the both of us share the same spotlight. I think it had to do with the names. Super Mario Brothers. Mario Kart. Mario everything. Very few people knew that Mario was also our last name, and only assumed it was my name up there.”

It’s time for the big question. “Tell me about ‘Princess’ Peach. In a majority of your works, you’re always saving her or her kingdom. Feminists have often looked on your works poorly because she’s always in a position of weakness. What do you have to say to that?”

“Did he ever show or tell you how he felt?” “At that time, we still lived in the same apartment. Thankfully he was mature enough to accept it as it was, but I could still see that he was unhappy with how things turned out. Eventually he was able to get his own big break and since then things have gotten better. I just had lunch with him a few days ago and he says he’s busy working on another project.” I nod my head as I write down as much as I can, sticking with the key facts. He silently eats, waiting for my next question. “What were the hardest transitions for you when you went from 2D to 3D games? Not all of the other great classics were as successful as you were in 3D. In fact, I would say that of everyone, you had the best transition. What were the biggest changes?” He leans back and smiles a bit. “The hardest part was learning all of those moves. Before we started working on the game, the director enrolled me in a lot of intensely physical classes. It’s part of the reason why I lost so much weight, although they altered the image so that I kept my original look. I still had to run and jump, but now I had to do triple jumps, long jumps, and even pick up a few punching and kicking techniques. Getting shot out of those cannons wasn’t the best feeling in the world either. If anything went wrong, I would be looking at a

“I enjoyed the flying though. It was all wires and effects, but it was still the most memorable part of the production for me.”

He sticks his fork into the last piece of meat and twirls it, nodding a little. “I should have known you’d ask that one.” He puts the food into his mouth and contemplatively chews. “To be honest, I’m just an actor in the game. I don’t choose what happens. It’s not my job. That’s for the director, Shigeru Miyamoto, to plan out. I take a lot of flak for it just because I’m there in the spotlight. After beating the game, not many people want to sit through the credits. They see what’s there. They see me jumping, grabbing CGI coins, and throwing fireballs from my fists.” “And in each of the games, you don’t see a lot of Princess Peach. You never know what she’s doing. Maybe for each time I fell into a pit, she tried a new way to escape from the castle. And maybe each time she was unable to. Even strong characters need to be saved.” He leans forward a little and looks at me. “Princess Peach was never a full character. In production we just took auditions of blond models and stuck the winner in at the end of the game. She was hardly the focus. You didn’t play Super Mario Brothers for the story. You played it because you wanted to run, jump, and break blocks. It’s only recently that they began to make her play a more prominent role. “It’s not us who are putting her in such a diminutive role. It’s you.” He stands up and walks to the kitchen, placing the dishes in the sink. While his body frame is large, he keeps himself small, hunched shoulders and arms held closely to his sides. His head is ducked low and he leaves the kitchen. “This interview is over.”

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REVIEWS

REVIEWS Sushi Performance and Visual Art 390 Eleventh Avenue San Diego, CA 92101

Sushi Art. Don’t let the name fool you. This place is not a restaurant where they put sushi on naked girls or overcharge you for sashimi and sake. Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Art is a non-profit art studio turned dance, music, and party venue by night. From the outside, the studio resembles an abandoned warehouse, but on the inside, Sushi Art is a visual spectacle. Boasting sculptures and paintings from local and national artists, the emptied warehouse with its tinted windows and stark white walls is transformed into the ultimate feast for the eyes every week.

Photo via Wikipedia

CHÉ CAFÉ

“Natural Reflex” exhibit by The Roots Factory and Chikle. One of many exhibits at Sushi Art. Photo via Sushi Art Facebook.

Do you ever wonder what the colorful house on the outskirts of UCSD—near Revelle – is? Well, it’s one of the places many are oblivious of: the Che Café. It is not a running business café, but a non-profit student-/community-run center, owned in a non-hierarchal collective by the Co-Ops . It is a space that envisions a better world, and promotes awareness of green revolution and social justice knowledge, with a collection of vegan food and revolutionary art. Every year, the Che Café has events to release a little stress off your shoulders, and give you the opportunity to meet new people and learn about social and political awareness in our community. As week zero began this year, the Che Café Collective held Disorientation week with various workshops, open mic events, film screenings, and band and art shows. Now, that is only the beginning—keep your eyes open and you will see many more. These gigs are must not miss events. They are fun, real, and straight from scratch. Compared to the typical mainstream concerts, films and music, they are simply worth more of your time. Don’t let me guide you, but experience it yourself. The Che Café Collective strives for radical social change and equality by supporting the individual grass-roots activists. With the tremendous beauty of individuals motivated for change, equality and empowerment, they work together to accomplish what little they can, but in the end they know they tried and never gave up. They understand that it takes time for change to happen, they do not take anything for granted, and they hold their stand for what they believe, and try to make it happen. It is all seen once you take a step into this community. It’s a space to be open-minded about, to take in the information presented to you, and to have fun! It’s time to educate ourselves – away from classrooms – and begin to learn from our experiences and appreciate the privileges we all have. As someone once told me, we can never understand and act on our own privileges until we finally recognize them. It is then that we understand how change can happen. So next time you wonder about this “foreign” area of UCSD, know that it is the Che Café. They exist, they live, they chill, and they are there as a resource to open awareness in our community that learning happens not only through books. Educate yourself and Live. Till’ next time. - Reviewed by Karla Garcia

The last time I was there, I saw Black Small and Washed Out, two amazing experimental bands that happened to play at SXSW a week before. Being downtown, parking was a nightmare for the show, but when I saw a hoard of people on the corner of the street, I knew it was going to be a good night. I bought my ticket, which was reasonably priced at ten dollars, from a lovely volunteer at the front door. Before the show started, my friends and I waited in the art studio and viewed the eclectic pieces.

As the final minutes ascended towards eight o’clock, we walked through two metal doors and the art studio transformed into a dark cavern complete with smoke and fog. Dimly colored lights danced along the room searching for faces to reflect upon. The stage was oddly placed in a corner of the room with the band’s synthesizers sprawled across the black top. At the first beat of Small Black’s “Despicable Dogs,” the room began to sway with passion and bliss. The disorientation from the smoke and fog, the ambiguous figures swaying in unison and the nostalgic music took us to another place. It made us long for something that we used to have and somewhere that we used to know, and Sushi Art was the perfect place to find that something and somewhere. That night, every single person was introduced to an empty canvas. We were brought into a white room with stark walls, a malleable space, and found something we thought we’d lost forever. In the dark, in close proximity, with our eyes closed and our ears opened, we found a sense of freedom, love, unity and imagination. - Reviewed by Bao “Vy” Lam

Crazy Little Thing Called

FOOSH So there’s this thing called FOOSH. It lurks the campus of UCSD, specifically around 9:00 pm on Thursdays. It’s mystical, it’s magical. By golly, it’s just about the most awesome thing you’ll experience in your whole life. Am I a suck up? Perhaps ( I still want that groupie t-shirt) but being a junkie of comedy is something I can’t help. Yes, FOOSH is comedy - improv to be exact, made up of our fellow UCSDians. They make up all their material on the spot, anything from the Badger Club to stripping spontaneously, to that hole in the wall (but we don’t like to talk about that). Usually a civil war jacket-clad lady named Ally starts the show, introducing two teams that compete against each other, such as “Razor Blades in Yo Candy!” and “Soy Sauce”. They sometimes even have special guest improv troupes show up, such as SDSU’s Lota Eta Pi. In a series of games, including such crowd hits as “Objection”, “Spelling Bee”, and “Spit Random Water at Each Other”, they woo the crowd and win our hearts, perhaps even our souls. So if you know what’s good for you (and are bored on Thursday nights) find out when and where you can catch their performances on their Facebook page. And no, FOOSH does not stand for “Funky Owls Ostracize Shoe Horns” or “Friendly Otters Outsmart Slender Hand-holders”. Rather, it stands for “Foosh Only Owns Sooooo HA!” (Just kidding, I don’t even think they know what it means anymore). - Reviewed by Hannah Saitta

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REVIEWS Little Bee by Chris Cleave I was somewhat skeptical when my mom handed me a copy of Chris Cleave’s Little Bee and demanded I read it. With enough reading demanded of me from my classes as it is, I needed to at least get some idea of what the book was about before I could even slightly commit. Unfortunately, neither my mom nor the description on the back cover (which simply says in effect that if you have read this book, keep your mouth shut about it) offered any hint as to what this novel is about. As I am never one to play by the rules, I guess I can tell you a secret or two before you shell out the $24.00. Little Bee is the story of two women, a Nigerian refugee who calls herself “Little Bee” and a young British widow named Sarah, who find themselves reunited after a tragic event that neither can deny, but both wish to forget. This tragic event, which occurs on a beach in Nigeria two years prior to when the novel takes place, is the secret of the novel that the reader must wait to discover in its full depth. This painful memory is the reason for the reunion of these two unlikely characters and compels the reader to read on, despite petty reasons for putting the book down such as a paper being due or a class about to be missed. So far, this may not sound like much of an uplifting, or by any means comical story. This is where Cleave’s gift lies. Little Bee is just as much a story about struggle as it is about triumph. The characters’ personalities give the novel a light that glows even in the darkest moments. As I read it, I found myself constantly swaying back and forth between worry, anxiety, laughter, and anticipation. This is a book that will not only make you a bit bi-polar, but will also make you carry it around with you everywhere, like a depressing yet somehow uplifting and comforting companion that you are glad to have met.

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan An airplane lands at JFK airport and with no explanation completely shuts down. That night, all hell breaks loose. So begins the debut novel from Guillermo del Toro, co-authored with Chuck Hogan, whose debut novel Prince of Thieves won the Hammett Prize for crime writing. The inexplicable events that happen on the tarmac introduce us to Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, an epidemiologist for the CDC, whose discovery of a new strain of virus comes as one of the few indicators of a massive vampire attack. With all the expected denials by public officials, Eph must take it into his own hands to eradicate the demon scourge with help from a colleague, a rat exterminator, his son, and an old professor whose knowledge of the vampires and feelings of revenge date all the way back to WWII. Del Toro and Hogan’s style comes with all the cinematic clarity that Del Toro’s films afford; at times it reads like a film script. As director and writer of Pan’s Labyrinth, he presented us with a world with creatures as unique in their appearances as they are in their mannerisms. Toro’s description of the vampires are no less colorful. However, for all the color that is focused on the villains, the protagonists fall a little short, with less descriptive detail. The vices and virtues of the characters seem increasingly familiar as the background behind their relationships is revealed. However, what makes this book a truly enjoyable read is that it transcends the realm of prolific vampire love stories into the realm of the truly gritty and gory. There are no glittering vampires with tortured souls (or lack thereof, depending on your preference) or steamy love scenes with cliché 1950s-era dialogue. The monsters in this story are as dark as the underground world they live in and no less forgiving. If you’re looking for a horror story with edge of your seat suspense, The Strain is a good start.

- Reviewed by Shannon McPeak

Photo via fictionwritersreview.com

- Reviewed by Tylar Pendgraft

Photo via geek-vs-life.com

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Photo via wvfurandroot.wordpress.com

The cover of this book her confidence, connect love-sick aspect of this jour- through yoga and meditais ridiculous. The curlicue with God, and get over her ney isn’t overstated to the tion. The little lessons and flowers, pasta and bead divorce. That really is the point of becoming tedious epiphanies she shares are lettering positively scream whole point to her journey, simply amazing, and she or annoying, but it comes “frou frou girly novel” in the often mentioned but close. does well to explain what much the same way a should really be experirarely explored terrible shirtless gent on horseback enced first-hand. divorce from ex-husband Liz focuses on three areas, screams “sex filled romance and subsequent turbulent each broken down into novel”. Yeah. It’s pretty A word to the casual relations with her new chapters of narrative in embarrassing, even if I loved lover. Much like a teenage which she navigates around reader; this is not about every page. girl with a bad crush, all the questions of pleasure a pleasure cruise through Europe. This is about she thinks about are these in Italy, spirituality in India, Moving onto the contents self-discovery and conmen and her problems and balance in Bali. Personof said book you’ll find surrounding their place in ally I found the chapters necting to the divine. But a self-aware humorously her life. She chides herself yes, there are moments on India and Bali far more self-deprecating mid-thirties of indulgence and petty for such “middle school” interesting than the one on American woman on a whining while studying in Italy, as this was when she thoughts as well. After all, spiritual quest to build up Liz is only human. an ashram in India. The began developing her spirit - Reviewed by Charlotte Curtis

Civil Twilight:

Review & Encounter Photo via civiltwilightband.com

Civil Twilight. The name cannot be said without being followed by puns, courtesy of both Twihards and Twilight Haters alike. Before jumping to any conclusions, save your jeering and insults for the next Twilight film. Although the band name and lead singer bear a striking resemblance to the Twilight Saga and Edward Cullen, do not be fooled. Civil Twilight is an up-and-coming band hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. This musically inclined trio is comprised of two brothers -Andrew and Steven McKellar - and their childhood friend, Richard Wouters. The band’s acclaimed manipulation, experimentation, and distortion of sounds combined with Steven’s lyrics about love and life provokes one’s heart to shatter and wrench for more. As regulars on XM Radio, Civil Twilight has been on the receiving end of all the rage and buzz in the indie circuit. They have been compared to the likes of Muse, U2, and The Verve. Currently touring and opening for bands such as Anberlin and Neon Trees, Civil Twilight has proven that they can stand their own ground. They have marked their territory in the States and are here to stay as the buzz continues to grow about this remarkably talented band.

I remember the first time I saw them live. It was after a rough day of studying. I still needed to do my laundry and I had a midterm in two days. I was stressed out and the last thing I wanted to do was watch some unknown band at The Loft on a Sunday. After much coercion from my best friend, I decided to go. It proved to be one of the best musical decisions I’ve made thus far. I was blown away by Steven’s siren-like voice, winded by Andrew’s manipulation of a violin bow, and captivated by the kick-start of Richard’s red, white, and blue drum set. Their entire set was beautiful and the intimate setting of The Loft added to the heartbreaking tone, entrancing notes, and longing lyrics. The night was a blur, in which my favorite recollection was a strange encounter with Andrew and Richard where I asked for pictures of their shoes instead of them. That night ended with me, delusional and awkward, telling Andrew he had great boots, which he mistook for great boobs! Fast-forward two months. My best friend and I are at the annual 91.1X Concert at the Cricket Amphitheater. Civil Twilight

had finished their set and the rest of the festivities had not started. Bored and left to our own devices, we decided to wander the concert grounds when I spotted Richard, who was dodging the crowd and bumping into oblivious concert goers. I immediately bolted for him and almost gave the man a heart attack when I screamed out that I was the girl who took pictures of his shoes. Immediately, his look of complete fear turned into utter joy as he recalled the strange encounter at The Loft. Richard led us to the rest of the band and we lived happily ever after, or something along the lines of that. I was too star-struck to recall. All I remember was Andrew grabbing me and shouting “great boobs!”We spent fifteen minutes talking, in which Andrew revealed he was wearing a ten-dollar watch from Target and that only two strippers came to their last show in Vegas. We bid adieu after Andrew got us drinks and gave me his pink guitar pick. I left the concert that night wondering if I had become the ultimate groupie, but certain that I had discovered a great band. - Reviewed by Bao “Vy” Lam


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artwork by Bao Vy Lam

Email us at maniamag@gmail.com

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Email us at maniamag@gmail.com

artwork by Bao Vy Lam

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M A N I A


8 f place 3rd

Untitled

By Casey Dayan

We PULLED up in the blackness of night: the stillest night in the world. We parked some three blocks away in a residential zone (for our car’s safety: that says a world more than I can describe).

Great Streetlamps flickered, casting beams of gradient light—white at nascence—into the raw red soil. Some small Sisyphus ant struggled in the dirt there, pushing ricegrain up his own little mount Kaukasos in that scarlet glow. What energy was wasted to pump his tiny beating heart!

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He walked back, out of the Streetlamps’ light, and stumbled there in the dark as he made his way towards the place where we had arrived. T: “He always does this! The kid’s gonna’ die with his eyes closed!” V: “Let’s fucking go.

“Mr. Beer-belly, Beer-belly, get these mutts away from me. I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore.”— Paul Simon

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V: “What the hell are you gonna’ do?” C: “I’ll read in the car.” V: “Are you serious, man? We drove all the way here.” C: “I’m not going…” V: “Coward.” T: “Don’t you wanna’ see what it’s like? Come on—let’s go find out! I gotta’ write this essay anyway.” C: “I’m just going to read in the car.” V: “Wow, alright. Sick.”

So we plunged into the sea of people, and shuffled up to the door. Three dog-jawed bouncers stood guarding the gates of the place. We took our spot up front where they checked for guns and drugs and things. Bouncer: Us: Bouncer:

“I.D.” “Here.” “Alright—in.”

I hesitated at the door for a moment then pulled it open. Red light shot through billows of steam born from the bodies visible through the crack of the door. We took our place in this explosion of light and sound.

It was twelve-o’-clock. The night had begun. I made note of a snake-tongued women near the entrance who stood seducing lonely men into the family restroom. She winked at us and scratched her arm-pit.

Our steps led us out into streets progressively wider: elbow-turns into more and more space. More and more people—shuffling from their respective streets onto this one—spindled off into the dark and rejoined with the destination: some feeble building: a red-lit structure thumping with moaning bass. God, I mean, what else was there to do to christen my eighteenth? This would be a consummation.

It was hard to make out the layout through the hard lights and clouds of sweat. Of the things I can be sure: there were two pole-rooms (one, a sort of open dance) each on opposite ends of the place which was divided into four sort of chambers. The other two were a small, enclosed, lockable relax room and a bar. We walked towards the latter.

T: C: V: C:

We pushed our way through the crowd of people, of which, the majority were tagged with red bracelets boasting their ages and rights. Behind the bar stood this fiery figure pouring the juice of

“C.?” “I’m not going.” “What?” “…”

the night—pouring glasses ringed with fire—black as a raven and silhouetted by the beating glow: haloed by the red red red. I stopped as I could have sworn we met eyes and he nodded and he smiled my way. Time was passing and the amount of people would have amazed you. They would horde in from the door for minutes straight, then maybe a thirty-second lull, then the next mob. God, it was massive. Every kind of person. Up at the bar alone sat a teacher and a waitress, a priest and a president. Everybody. I recognized people. Oh God, I recognized people. It was twelve thirty and people flowed in at an increasing rate. The mass of people pulsed us through into the next chamber: some fifty-or-so people beneath a high-risen stage. Look at them. There’s the fattest man I’ve ever seen! I swear to God it’s Jabba the Hutt. There he is, drooling and snorting—rubbing his leg. What are they looking at? How can it not be each other? Pin-striped businessmen with gold watches. What the hell are they looking at? This is like—like an accident you just can’t help but look at. Military men. Look at how they drool upward at those—those dancing silhouettes? Those are nothing more than black construction paper against the throbbing red glow, those are—those are strippers! They’ve come here for the strippers? We pushed our way through the room to the opening into the last chamber which was by far the largest. There were so many people, dancing. V:

“Hey! Let’s go in!”

We moved between heads and shoulders. I guess our goal was the centre. The heat was killer. Each dancing body worked like a machine. We struggled farther and farther in. The piercing and repetitive music sounded broken or stuck. Thump, hiss, THUMP THUMP! The sound, it physically hurt. Beak-nosed old men grinded against young girls. God, this was all wrong. We pushed forward towards the heart of it all, the mass growing proportionally denser and denser. That heart: pumping with that nasty rhythm. It couldn’t have been more than twenty feet away, but God it was dense. God it was bright: that concentrated scarlet light, which pierced through churning clouds of sweat seemingly setting them alight. They were enormous rolling clouds of fire. Ghostly tumbleweeds set ablaze above us. You could feel them. God it was hot. Humid from the salty moving flesh. Humid from the byproduct of this cesspool of—of sin! We slipped farther inside,


HORROR CONTEST arms and hands, grabbing and pulling. And then we were there. We were in it. In the middle of it. There we were in the centre of hundreds, thousands, millions of people, a rippling medium of bodies. It was all wrong. It was all gross and oh my God the immensity—the emissivity. A blazing sea, thumping with power: with self perpetuating infection. Each person bonded to another, to another, to another; relentlessly sticky: viscid: like a pool of salty Mercury colored by Venus and Mars. And it smelled. A putrid sulphuric stench! Flatulence and sweat. Sweat and flatulence and breath and blood! Asses and pelvises gyrating in the same artless way; like machines: these mechanisms called hearts feeding blood to skin to make no more than heat. Sweltering heat. An unending pool of sweltering heat! Oh my God we were in it! We were in it the farthest we could be! Bleary and trapped in this sweltering fetid nauseating heat! I looked at

K

There it was! The bathroom door! There it was—white. Oh God, pure pure white— emanating arcs of light in all their majesty piercing through the dark. There it was! Shining like the silent moon lining these dark silhouettes of moaning men. I felt sick. Oh god, that nauseating rotten smell. I pushed through this body of hair and flesh, against peristalsis. I reached out at some fourty-five hundred heartbeats a minute: shoved and pushed and grabbed and ripped the door open and jumped through. Oh my God. Oh my God! I made it! And that unbearable sussurance subsided in a reverse-crescendo with the amount of that god-awful bloodred light piercing through the door. That throbbing beat and awful moaning—that yelling outside. It closed— closed to a shut. And there it was —silence

“A blazing sea, thumping with power: with self perpetuating infection.

Each person bonded to another, to another, to another; relentlessly sticky: viscid: like a pool of salty Mercury colored by Venus and Mars.” V., drenched with sweat, who looked at me and I screamed! T: V:

I screamed: “Bathroom! Bathroom!?” “Oh my God, yes!”

We pushed our way through, from faceless person to faceless person. Through this undulating mess of—of Heat Generators! I lifted my head above this lake of bobbing heads in desperation for air. I elongated my spine to its limit. Backwards, I let my head fall. Up and out gasped and the immensity of the continuing hell above opened up before me: the infinitely high ceilings, like Notre-Dame’s, with scorching hellfire blazing outward through the stained-glass. An engine! A hellfire heat generator! Was it anything more than that? Where was all of this gross sweaty heat going? Where? What the Hell is it all for?! Foot in front of foot. Come on- You’ll be there soon.

And silence. And I stood there—in peaceful ghostly white. I turned on hot water and splashed it on my face—breathed deep into my lungs the diaphanous clouds of water vapor that hung there in the air, in the ghostly white light. Milky light: Illuminating light. It poured from the holes in that firmament of a ceiling onto the azure blue of the sink-tiles. Oh my God—silence. And silence. —and pissing? T: “Are you pissing?!” V: “Ahhh—yeah? Why else in the world would we fricken’ sprint to the bathroom?” T “…” V: “Dude?” T: “Didn’t you just want to get out of there?!” V: “Uh—why?” T: “Cause—cause it was horrible! It was disgusting! All those people? The Heat Generators? For nothing! V: “Are you ok, man?”

V. turned towards the mirror and pushed his hair one way, then another. Then back again. He smiled with a wink at the reflection of his own face which had no problem returning the gesture. T: “…Yeah—I’m fine. I’m—uh. I think I’m just gonna go out to the car. For some air.” V: “Yeah—no worries. Imma stay for a while, but I’ll meet you out there, alright?” T: “Yeah—yeah no problem.”

I walked out into the light of the Great Streetlamps, through the parking lot and the cool air. My eyes rose up towards the unceilinged expanse, and saw art in the orbs of fire that blazed over head. I found a short-cut through a patch of wild ricegrain. I must’ve looked a skeleton: simply bones and sweat. C: “How was it? Where’s V.?” T: “It was—gross. Like, anguish. He’s staying for a while; I think he likes it in there.” C: “Of course he does. I told you it would be bad! You shouldn’t have gone!” T: “No, man—no, that’s all wrong. No—I wouldn’t have done it any other way.” C: “Funny.” T: “No, seriously. There was so much—to write about.” C: “Generated some good stuff, at least?” T: “Haha, yeah. Oh my God—Yeah.”

2nd

place f At Work’s End by Vannie Nguyen

Red numbers beamed 3:00 and George woke up. Beads of sweat trickled down his face. It wasn’t the kind of sweat one gets from taking a jog, a refreshing kind of dew on the skin. No, it was more like a lingering, sticky, uncomfortable sweat on a humid day and George felt uncomfortable. He sat up in his office chair, the one with a broken wheel and duct tape over the cushion. Four blue walls, a wooden desk, a computer, and papers. This was his cubicle in the accounting department of Telecom Corporations. I got to get back to work, but George didn’t really remember working. Was it always this hot? The AC should be at a constant sixty-three degrees all day, every day. Must have been broken. George fumbled open the buttons of his white collared shirt and loosened his tie. The heat was stifling. George was about to peer over his cubicle to see if anyone was still there, but from what he heard,

everyone was. Phones beeping, people chattering, and papers shuffling. He sat back down and began his work. $5430.05. $6121.31. $2252.11. Fill out form 261-3A. Send to managing department for verification. It was his routine from 9 AM to 4 PM. The intercom crackled, interrupting his computations and the department fell silent. A swinish tenor voice said, “Hello workers of the Telecom Corporations. It is now 3:34. As you all know you can stop working and leave at 4:00. We know what you have done to come here.” The intercom crackled once more and shut off. He wasn’t really sure what the voice on the intercom meant, but he didn’t really care. It feels so hot! Didn’t anyone else feel this insane heat? Maybe I should open the windows? He stood up and walked out of his blue cubicle. He passed row after row of fading blue walls and heard tapping of keyboards, incoherent voices, and fluttering of papers. At last, the window! Anticipating the breeze,

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he reached for the handle and turned. No movement. He pushed harder. It didn’t budge. He tried another window and another, but none would budge. George pulled his tie looser in disappointment. He felt suffocated.

Get a hold of yourself. Just get back to your cubicle, you’ll be okay. He snatched paper towels and frantically cleaning the sink. Rushing out of the bathroom, George ducked, so that no one would see his blood-stained shirt.

Shit, he thought and headed towards the bathroom on the opposite side. He passed many rows of cubicles again. The path to the restroom seemed to loom farther and farther. It felt like an eternity trying to get there in this heat.

He sat in his chair, huffing, with his hands on his head. What the hell was happening? The clock read 3:43. He would be off work soon and could sleep because he had obviously overworked himself and needed to get away.

When he reached the water cooler on the way to the bathroom, he saw something very peculiar. As he approached the water cooler, closer and closer, he noticed frantic small bubbles erupting at the water surface. My God, the water was bubbling! He pressed his hands onto the plastic jug. Argh! It burned.

Did anyone notice me?

What the...? No, don’t think about it. Today was

“Hello

workers of the Telecom Corporations...

We know what you have done to come here.” just too weird. It was a bad day. Yes, just a bad day. He pushed the bathroom door and rushed to the sink. A turn of the faucet. A cool rush of water. He splashed his face and combed his wet hands through his hair letting is head fall back slightly as he did. George stood in front of the mirror with his eyes shut, letting the water trickle down his head, down his face, and down onto his shoulders. It dripped onto his white shirt. He opened his eyes and saw red. Blood! From where? Not from him. No. It was coming from the sink. At this realization the cool water turned into steaming blood spouting its red hue all over the white sink, on George’s face, and George’s white shirt. He screamed. Quickly, he grabbed wads of paper towels to rub off the blood, spreading it around his shirt. His mind raced. What the hell is this? George swallowed, but it was difficult. There was something stuck in his throat.

b

He peered into Patty’s cubicle. He heard her shrill voice and expected to see a slumped middle-aged lady, but she was nowhere. He looked on the other side at Jim, his plump co-worker that always used to eat candy bars that he hid in his desk. George could hear Jim’s meaty voice. No body. The next cubicle. No one. The next after. Nothing. George continued down the rows passing each cubicle. He heard all the noise, the voices, the papers, and the phones, but not a soul was there. Only George.

flashing his sharp teeth.

“It was you.”

“Mr. Jerry, sir. I don’t think I’m feeling well.”

“I don’t... I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He felt the air slowly escape from his esophagus. He needed more air.

Then Mr. Jerry parted from George, with George catching a glimpse of Mr. Jerry’s wicked smile. He gagged as the last wheezes of air left him. He remembered. The choking. The numbness. He felt that if every part of his body went numb, he wouldn’t have to feel it anymore. But now, he felt every cell in his body writhe in pain. It was 3:59 and every second that passed was an eternity until George heard that last tick of the clock. He looked up and his eyes grew wide. The clock struck but it didn’t go to 4:00, no, not this time. It slowly wound its way back to 3:00.

“Well, George. Just look at yourself. No wonder you’re not feeling well. Why do you have blood all over yourself? What did you do? It looks as if you tried to kill someone.” “What? No – of course not, this thing, I don’t know where it came from. You have to help me. Help me get out of here.” “Why George! Don’t you remember?” The tone of Mr. Jerry’s voice changed, “don’t you remember what you done to be here?” George was really confused.

He sat back in his cubicle at 3:54 AM. He would be able to leave, to get out of this place in six minutes. Just six more minute. He buried his head on his desk. Then he heard light footsteps. They got louder and louder and closer to him. Silence. George slowly lifted his head. There were two black leather shoes that were attached to lengthy legs of a pressed black Italian pants. Those lines connected to the blazer that was sitting comfortably on broad shoulders, which carried the head of Mr. Jerry. Mr. Jerry, the manager. Mr. Jerry always had this cynical smile on his face and a sly voice that made him sound more like a dealer than a manager. His deep blue eyes set on George.

s

“Why hello George, are you alright?” he said. George hesitated to reply. For some reason, Mr. Jerry didn’t seem right. “You have a lot of work to do, you know? Lots of work to get done. Busy. Busy.” Mr. Jerry smiled,

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as

zm

f place 1st

Becoming By Thomas Price

m

the incriminating yellow legal pad. He brushed long strands of greasy black hair across his forehead and tucked the ends behind his left ear. “Yeah, sure.” Charlie swung the door open without even glancing back and stepped quickly toward the kitchen. As he felt his thighs bump the table, the latching of the front door echoed down the hallway to his ears. In one swipe, Charlie scooped up the pen and pad into his right hand. He felt his fingernail snag on a slightly protruded rusty screw head. He brought his hand to his face to examine the nail as pain melted down his middle finger. Dark red blood was being to pool just under the nail. The finger went into his mouth on instinct. He tasted grit and iron. The detective, with the police officer on his heels, ducked under the doorframe and stepped into the kitchen. He seemed to unfold himself, his frame like thin aluminum bars. He towered a good half foot above Charlie.

Charlie had the yellow legal pad pinned to the grimy tabletop. His writing was furious. The black ballpoint pen left broad downward strokes and cut back through the preprinted horizontal lines in curt upward marks. When I started this, I fully intended it to be my confession, which the authorities would find after. However, upon reading it back, I discovered it had become something else entirely. It is a record, like so many of those religious texts before it, of my transformation. The reconfiguring of my essence into that most humble state of god. He came to me in a dream, the walkingThere was a brisk knock at the front door, procedural in its tapping. Charlie dropped the pen on the tabletop. It rolled to the edge and inched to a stop before making the great plunge. He jumped up at the signaling of another three taps at the door. It could be him. This idea trickled out of Charlie’s brain and took up whispering into his ear. He ran to the front door and, undoing the locks, cracked it open. “Mr. Russell? Mr. Charles Russell?” Two men stood on his doorstep. The silent one was dressed head to toe in a crisp blue police uniform, and the other, the question man, was in plainclothes, but most certainly a detective. “Charlie.” He didn’t open the door any further as sweat formed on the back of his neck. “But Mr. Russell?” The detective looked up to make sure he saw Charlie’s nodding head. “Charlie, we were just wondering if we could ask you a few questions?” “About what?” “Do you mind if we come in and talk?” Charlie felt his vocal cords hesitate. He looked back and could see from the front door straight into the kitchen and resting on the tabletop was

“I have already spoken to the police about this.” “Yes, well we still haven’t… our investigation is ongoing. We’re simply rechecking our steps to make sure we haven’t missed anything.” Charlie saw the marks on the page begin to turn into words and sentences and coherent thoughts. Why must the laws of Man, their lawmen, the putrescence of all filth, come and try to stop these divine acts? IT IS SACRILEGE!! Their long and protruding noses sniff around like mice near a trap, but their noses will be cut off“Mr. Russell?” Charlie broke from the yellow page, noticing the detective and police officer staring at him. “Sorry. You… I was writing before you got here. My thoughts do not recognize company.” “What you workin’ on there?” The police officer stepped up behind Charlie glancing over his shoulder at the pad of paper. Charlie pulled it flat to his chest.

“Charlie, you work at the Sticky Paw?” “Yes. I am a cook there.” “Yes.” The detective pulled out a small steno pad and flipped a few pages. With every flick, he licked the heel of his thumb, rubbing the sticky saliva between that and his pointer finger. Charlie felt bile slosh around in his stomach touching the bottom of his throat. “You’ve been there for three years.” “Two years, eleven months, and forty two days.” The detective’s face wrinkled looking up at Charlie. “During the course of an investigation, you want to be exact in your measurement of time. It makes things… clearer.” The detective laughed. “That’s true, Mr. Russell.”Charlie balanced the legal pad on his left forearm gripping the pen firmly with the tip pressed into the paper. “And you’re from Iowa?” “I did not realize it was a crime to be born in another state.” The detective cleared his throat. “It’s not. It’s just a…”

“It is…” Charlie’s gaze shifted around the kitchen. He saw the cupboard door below the sink creak open, and he heard them in the darkness inside. Their words were biting gnats wallowing in the sweat of his neck, leaving their tiny stings and burrowing for his spine. He felt his left hand tighten, aching for its grip. Glancing away from a moment, Charlie saw the cupboard door was closed. “It is a novel.” “What about?” The fear of discovery was gone the moment Charlie heard the police officer’s genuine interest. This blind, groveling worm not worthy to feast on my very tears“It is about the very inner workings of the cosmos, mysteries so vast that all the words ever spoken can only begin to trace its very first word. How do you think men become gods?” “I don’t know. How do they?” The officer’s grin stretched wide. Charlie stared, first, at the officer’s face, then to the detective’s, and then finally his eyes wandered to the cupboard under the sink. “By doing acts of god,” he whispered.

“Fact,” Charlie ticked off. “Yes, a fact.” The detective looked over at the police officer. The officer turned to the kitchen window with a shrug to the detective. “Woohee! That’s a drop.” “We are on the eighth floor.” Charlie was becoming annoyed. He began to flick tiny black marks along the writing line. “Mr. Russell, I’m sure you are aware of the murders in the area of your work.”

“Mr. Russell.” Charlie looked back up to the detective. “You call me if you think of anything.” He held a business card out to Charlie. “I will, Detective…” Charlie looked at the card, “Reynolds.”

s

“Come on.” Detective Reynolds grabbed the officer by the elbow, leading him down the hallway to the front door. He looked back before closing it and saw Charlie standing in the kitchen staring at them.

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The officer turned back to Reynolds seeing his furrowed face. “What’s wrong?” “Something.”

A monstrous crow dived into the window, scratching at the glass with sharp talons. It squawked with every scratch.

Charlie watched the detective close the front door behind him. He waited for the footsteps to disappear around the corner to where the building elevator was. Charlie then walked to the kitchen sink and dropped to his knees. He pulled the cupboard door open, reaching into the darkness.

“GET OUT OF HERE!!!” Charlie screamed pounding on the window. Fresh tears formed in his eyes.

“Why?” Charlie pulled out of the cupboard a large pipe wrench, solid grey with bits of flecking paint. The head of the wrench was stained dark crimson bespeckled with dried flesh. “Why would these tools of the divine torment me so?”

“What?” The officer lowered his head looking out the passenger door at Reynolds.

Charlie’s wrist bent under the weight of the wrench, “Unless-” The wrench slid from his grasp and crashed to the floor cracking the tiles. “These are not divine, but the very arrows of torment. Weapons.”

Charlie jogged back to the sink and hauled up the massive pipe wrench. He came back to the window, slamming it open and hurled the pipe wrench out at the crow. With a shrill cry, the crow backed off, flying up over the building.

Charlie pushed himself across the kitchen floor smacking into the other set of cupboards. Tight in his grip, the legal pad’s pages flipped back to the beginning. Charlie saw flashes of the words he had written: the boy was 11 and a demon, she pulled her skirt up to allow the men to all her grace, and the old man’s eyes flashed villainous. A dozen odd murders began to play across Charlie’s mind. His eyes welled up with tears as he saw himself wielding the pipe wrench. “Oh and how I wielded it. So indiscriminate. Taking all those people’s glory.”

Charlie lifted one leg and stuck it out the window. With the other out, he sat down on the window’s ledge. He ducked his head under the top pane, grasping the edge with one hand. The wind whipped at his pant leg.

“I don’t have fangs. See.” A face emerged from the blackness, a man’s face with a sparkling, movie star smile. Charlie jumped up backing around the kitchen counter and let his hand run along the wall feeling his way to the window. Once there, he turned, ready to pry it open. “Now, tsk, tsk, tsk.” Charlie turned back to the figure, but it was gone. A small sense of release washed over him as he turned to

uw

zy

“No-“ Charlie covered his mouth feeling his face wet with tears. “Your fangs drip with lies!”

Detective Reynolds turned the corner of the building, seeing Charlie sitting on the edge. “Charlie! Charlie, listen to me,” Reynolds turned back to the officer, “Get back up to that apartment!” Charlie stared out as the detective’s cries fell silent upon him. The legal pad’s pages rustled. He looked down at the sprawled writing, its righteous arrogance, its terrifying tone. “This is my confession,” Charlie whispered hugging the legal pad to his chest. He pushed off the window’s ledge and fell.

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“Those lawmen just got you worked up is all. I know what will bring you around. Pick up that wrench there, and I’ll tell you where that lawman lives. The one that mocked your splendor.”

“Did you hear that?”

y

“You lie.” Charlie thought about pointing at the figure, but stopped. He feared already raising his voice to him. “You are the Prince of Lies. Begot of darkness and… inside my head. You were in here poisoning.”

On the street, Detective Reynolds paused with the passenger door to the police cruiser open.

vz

“Hey, friend. Relax.” Charlie looked up and standing in the kitchen doorway was a massive black figure. Like its own black hole, it sucked in the surrounding light, its mass filling the doorway. Odd cracks ran up and down its frame, seeping out orange and red light. It cooed to Charlie, “These are just steps, friend. Remember. You are becoming.”

m

the window grabbing the pane.

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illustration by Vy Lam

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By Bao Vy Lam

Write and Draw for Mania magazine



Mania Magazine Fall 2010