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Table of Contents

RKYV # 22 {March 2009} RKYV ONLINE LOGO - David Marshall {current} - Roy G. James {original} - R.J. Paré {original online adaptation}

Virtual Cover # 21 - Art by Lewis Evans - Layouts by David Marshall

- “Day and Night – Part 1” - By Nathaniel Baker

Poetry Interior Art - By Stephen Campbell, R.J. Paré - By Josh Bowe, Roger Davidson, Yolande Gaspard, Jonathan Biermann, Lisa Marie Non-Fiction Mueller, Stan Nelson, Lewis Evans - “Futurism in the Funnies” - By Roy G. James Editorial Column - “At the Outset:” - A Few Thoughts from the Editor Family Life - By RJ Paré - “Drunken Dragon Tavern” - By Christina Marchetti Featured Artist Review – Stephen Gibb Pop Culture - By R.J. Paré - “Comic Book Review” - By Brad Bellmore Short Fiction - “In My Opinion” - “The Magic Mushrooms – Conclusion” - By R.J. Paré - By Jim Gibson

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At the Outset A few thoughts from the Editor – by R.J. Paré “And I wonder, still I wonder… who'll stop the rain.” -CCR 1970 As I write this, my fellow RKYV enthusiasts, winter has fled Central Ontario – to be replaced with near constant down-pours. The frost has thawed and the ground is left squelchy with spring mud. Don’t worry… this column has not been replaced with a weather report. However, poor weather has left me with more time for other pursuits [when I’m not double-checking the basement – ensuring the sub-pump is operational]. My comic book creator’s studio, “Speakeasy Primates,” premiers our first batch of titles in a few weeks [S.PA.C.E. CON: in Columbus Ohio, April 18 – 19, @ the Aladdin Shrine Center]. So I have been quite pre-occupied with last minute details: notes to artists and writers; proofing pages prior to print; verifying hotel reservations etc. [as a side note I am now a huge fan of and their “name your price” bidding mechanism]. This issue of RKYV does have loads of goodies for all of you to enjoy, so let’s get down to it. I am pleased to present, this month, the conclusion of Jim Gibson’s intriguing character vignette “The Magic Mushrooms.” The story follows a night in the life of a rental limo driver – good stuff well worth the read. This issue also brings to you the first part of Nathaniel Baker’s short story “Day and Night” - delving into the background of the costumed vigilante known as The Scarlet Phantom [a character from my graphic novel “When Heroes Were” currently in development from Speakeasy Primates]. For more on this talented author, please visit: In addition, RKYV columnist Christina Marchetti whets our appetites with more medieval food stuffs to satisfy all you Lords and Ladies. Meanwhile, Larissa Gula returns with more thoughtful and thought provoking observations on creativity.

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But what about this month’s Featured Artist, you might ask? Lewis Evans is as interesting an interview subject as he is an artist. This month’s feature article reveals a creator who is a talented professional with a whimsical side. This is evident not only in the vibrant colours of his works but also in the biting sense of humour present in his interview. Enjoy the issue, everyone, and [as always] feel free to share a copy with your friends and family. STOP THE PRESSES!! [I always wanted to say that] As I get set to release this issue the weather in Central Ontario has proven, yet again, that one should not complain – it could very well get worse! No sooner had many residents taken care of cleaning up after flooded basements, from record setting rain-fall, than suddenly a late-season snow storm has set in… six inches and counting… Seriously? I didn’t realize we’d be singing: “I’m dreaming… of a White Easter…” LOL

Nabokov, writing on his Montreux Palace balcony – by Roger Davidson

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Writer’s Column Creation in our World – by Larissa Gula Not All Creation Means Artwork The idea of sharing photos will be put on hold until the May or June issue – probably the May issue. Unfortunately one of my classes is a bit tougher than the other four and requires full dedication if I want to keep my GPA from sinking, so I don’t have the time to log into a slow photo account to upload a photo. I had to pencil in time to write this on my spring break between visiting my family, and then a time to edit the final touches. So. Back to the column. This has been an incredible month of reawakening for me, so I hope no one minds this slight diversion from my typical topic. It certainly relates to creation and culture – just from a new perspective. This column has traditionally focused on artwork as the main form of creation. Yet there is a good deal of creation occurring every day that many people overlook. Or, they and their culture find this creation a source of hassling annoyance. I, for example, volunteer for the Invisible Children, Inc. group – nonprofit and founded by three young men when they were eighteen and nineteen years old in 2003, the organization has strived to collect donations and raise awareness to end a twenty-three year long war in Africa. In other words, it has strived to create peace and stability. Kristy Chapman – by Stan Nelson By the way – do not let this country dissuade you from reading. Africa is a gorgeous place as well as a troubled one. Its individual states have their own governments, and the continent has made stupendous progress since it was able to break free from colonialism one at a time in the late 1900s.

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There are always the few bad apples to spoil the barrel; in the case of Uganda, one rebel named Joseph Kony who has refused to end his war against the government, resulting in his kidnapping and brainwashing of children ages 5 to 14. He is a wanted criminal for crimes against humanities – for encouraging a genocide that has spread from Uganda into three neighboring countries (the Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic). He has taken 30,000 children total since he began abductions in the 1990s. Some have escaped; many have not. So, where does the creation come into play, other than the apparently impossible creation of peace in this turmoil? It comes in the form of three young men. Three young men who created a group and had the courage to do so when no one knew about their cause and the plight of central Africa’s youth. They created a revolution; they breathed life into teenage activism; and since they began in 2003, they have created jobs for the suffering living in displacement camps under government orders. They have raised millions to begin to rebuild schools, to hire tutors and teachers alike, and to pay for tuition so the excited can attend school.

This portrait is an imitation of the great 18th Century satirist James Gillray's “A Connoisseur Examining a Cooper.” In the original, King George is squinting at a portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper by the light of a candle on a "save-all"; in this imitation, Stephen Harper is instead gazing admiringly at a small picture of himself in cowboy garb, the paltriness of which is representative of the cultural legacy we can expect from his neoconservative government. – by Roger Davidson

Don’t believe me? For two years this group has held my heart. I have donated hundreds, irritated plenty of thoughtless people, and recruited just as many caring ones. I have slept in the middle of a muddy field with over 2,000 strangers in my city, not to mention 68,000 total across our nation in the movement called Displace Me. We got our message across; we bought peace talks. The only reason these peace talks failed? One man, one rebel leader, decided not to appear. And on this past Christmas he massacred over 600 and kidnapped over 200 children in retaliation against central Africa.

Yet Invisible Children, colleges and high schools alike, have held strong and have continued to fight for the end of the war. Because we cannot back out now; and when one approach fails, you try another. Because to back out now is to say what we created means nothing. page 6

And we have created the greatest creation possible: HOPE. Hope for the war torn adults; and hope for the children who have more motivation than the average American and who strive to become doctors and lawyers to prevent war from ever happening again. Hope. Those humanitarian groups that I’m sure people here have cursed out because we’re silly, naïve, foolish for even trying to raise money to change another continent? We wouldn’t still be doing it and occasionally having our asses handed to us by a few punks if it wasn’t worth it, if the people who did stop to listen and learn and open up hadn’t contributed, and if a couple teenagers hadn’t dedicated themselves – even the ones not to the extreme as Invisible Children’s founders. If anyone ever wants to participate in creating something as glorious as change, as hope, then now is the perfect time to do so. Help the organizations at schools and churches. Take part in the big fundraisers. And for more information on Invisible Children, and the global movement that will be taking place to spread the word that 90% of a rebel army is composed of kidnapped and brainwashed children, visit:

Imitation of James Gillray's The Valley of the Shadow of Death (1808). With modern political figures standing in where Gillray’s original portrayed Napoleon and his adversaries – by Roger Davidson

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Featured Artist Review Lewis Evans – by R.J. Paré ARTIST’S BIO: Lewis originally followed a career in engineering before turning to graphic design and photography in his twenties. Following his graduation, he worked as a graphic designer at the BBC. He then spent some time in New Zealand, before returning to England to set up a marketing communications consultancy near London , where he carried out design and corporate identity projects for companies in a wide variety of industries. In the early 1990's he spent many weekends with a community of artists at the home of the film director, Stanley Kubrick, who lived near him in the UK and whose wife, Christiane, is an accomplished artist in her own right. Here, he experimented with new methods and media, before setting up his own art studio. He has exhibited in New York, Marbella, Geneva, Vancouver and the UK. Selected work is also available through Vancouver Art Gallery and other locations throughout the world. 1. RJP: Have you always known that you wanted to be, or rather, were, an artist? Yes. Although, I don’t really know what ‘being and artist’ is. It’s a bit of a strange concept. I just live my life and have a compulsion to express myself, and it happens in paintings and drawings to some extent, but also in other ways. I do personal empowerment work, creativity courses, marketing communications consultancy and I teach currency trading as well. I guess those are also ways of expressing myself. 2. RJP: Did you study or major in art while in school? I did graphic design at college, having dropped out of an engineering course at university and taken a job in publicity. During my school years, art was always my best subject, but when it came to choosing, at age 14, what I wanted to major in, I had fears around art not leading to a ‘proper job’, and I had little guidance, so I went for engineering. It was only in my 40’s that I really committed to coming back to the art.

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Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Snake Man on Granville Media Used: Oil on canvas Size: 48" x 24" Date Created: 2006 RJP: The first thing I notice about this work is the striking and bold choice of colours. This is an extraordinarily vivid piece, in which, Lewis has managed to create an almost mythic post-modern character. From the shaved head and lithe serpent, evoking the image of an eastern snake charmer from an earlier century; to the scraggly beard and sleeveless Tee, reminiscent of a boomer era hippie or biker… this is one eclectic urbanite. I find myself drawn over and over to this painting, appreciating different aspects each time I view it. The context of the contrasting cultural elements may be foremost in my appreciation one moment and in the next I am studying the use of light and shadow as it plays across the figure. 3. RJP: Who was you biggest influence or source of encouragement, as a child, in pursuing art?

I didn’t have anyone who did that. I just enjoyed it, and then enjoyed the reactions I got, as not many other kids could do what I did. 4. RJP: What is your favorite medium to work with? Life. In terms of tools, I use oil a lot. I don’t like the plastic acrylic thing. I much prefer the earthiness and ‘reality’ of oils. Also graphite, compressed charcoal, soft pastels. Anything really. I don’t get hung up on tools.

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Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Standing Nude Media Used: Oil and mixed media on board Size: 24" x 18" Date Created: 2006 RJP: An interesting piece… the background, with all of the textured lines, really reminds me of the cross-hatching often employed by pencil and ink illustrators. The portrait, on the other hand, is represented in a more natural oil painting style with a beautiful use of light and shadows. By placing this figure over such a background and having her pose be both winsome and provocative, the resulting effect is almost surreal as though she is appearing to us in a dream or fantasy.

5. RJP: Do you use any special tools and techniques to create your art? I think technique is the killer of creativity. So I try to work with a beginner’s mind. That can be difficult, and you have to have some courage doing it, as when you are just simply expressing feelings, there is a fear around the acceptability of the work, and I find myself rejecting work I do sometimes, simply because I feel it won’t ‘stand up to’ other ‘professional’ art. Crazy really, but I guess we all have our insecurities…. I also find that it doesn’t make you attractive to the ‘art industry’ who like a well packaged and predictable product. 6. RJP: What inspires you to create art? This is a dumb question. Why do people ask that?

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Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Transition Media Used: Oil on canvas Size: 48" x 72" Date Created: 2004 RJP: There is a bit of deliberate mischief in this piece. It should instantly appeal to the South Park / Family Guy generation. Lewis has used the likeness a popular and beloved character from children’s animation [Goofy], one owned by a massively powerful and wealthy corporation [Disney]. And in the tradition of ‘subversive satire’, Lewis has portrayed him in an unlikely context, with enough amusing shock value to grab our attention while simultaneously poking fun at the corporation and our own sensibilities.

7. RJP: How would you categorize your artistic style? That is not for me to do. I just do it, and if people like it they buy it. If they want to categorize it that’s their problem! 8. RJP: Would you say that there is a "message" or "unifying theme" in your work? No. But if people feel that there is, and they like that feeling, then there is for them, and if it helps them want to buy the work, that’s great! Page 11

Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Killiney Hill 1 Media Used: Compressed charcoal on paper Size: 24" x 16" Date Created: 2009 RJP: The somber mood of the media can lend almost any subject matter a certain ‘gravitas’. When dealing with historical landmarks this can be quite an effective approach. From this vantage point, the artist is presented with other appealing options: they could decide to face the Bay – its sea waves and ships – must certainly be a popular subject; they could decide to ascend the summit and bring their talents to bear upon the crowning obelisk – often the goal of hiker’s and tourists --- the decision to bring his eye and talents to the Hill itself invites us, the viewers, to regard the land in a different light. A promontory of rock in Kingstown, Ireland, its cliff face chiseled from the wind and waves, it holds aloft the land and trails leading to its summit offering a spectacular view of the countryside. This wonderfully rendered piece seems to speak to something older than us. Before we placed boats in the Bay or monuments along the summit… before we walked these trails, the Hill was here.

9. RJP: Which famous artists or styles have influenced you? Why? This is another dumb question. Why should it be assumed that my art is influenced by some other artist? Are all artists meant to be following some sort of chain of events or something? Or can we just be creative in our own right? 10. RJP: If you could meet any living or dead artist, who would it be? I’d love to meet myself. I’d have a few choice words to say to me.

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Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Girl in a yellow t-shirt Media Used: Pastel on paper Size: 65cm x 50cm Date Created: 2009 RJP: A sense of the artist’s humour is present again. This time Lewis approaches a more whimsical subject and point of view. The use of vibrant, eye caching colours combined with the ‘girl peering into the camera lens’ POV creates a delightful image of youthful, wide-eyed curiosity.

11. RJP: What is the one question that you would ask him/her? I’d ask: “When are you going to realize that your art is powerful, honest, valid and wonderful?”

12. RJP: What do you think of the term "starving artist"? I think it’s a bit sad that it has worked its way into common usage. It is actually a sad reflection on a society that understands and values art so little, and is therefore starving itself. It is also a sad idea that artists buy into that ‘life is a struggle’. It needn’t be.

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Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: In the bathroom Media Used: Oil on canvas Size: 60" x 30" Date Created: 2007 RJP: An intriguing composition… The figure is painted in a natural, realistic style but the artist plays with our perceptions in not allowing us to see her face. The piece is ripe with suggestions of reflection. Her curves and blond pinned-back hair are mirrored by the vase, stems and closed yellow blossoms of the flowers on the counter-top. The shadowed skin tone of her back is mirrored in the colour of the counter and cabinet. Even the white of her towel seems reflected in the glare of the sunlight bouncing of cabinet and walls. Yet in the actual mirror there is just a rose-tinted glow from the sunlight streaming through the unseen window. We are left to imagine her face through all these suggestions of light, colour and beauty.

13. RJP: Do you feel more a sense of community with other artists or a sense of competition? I don’t sense much at all as I don’t meet many. I don’t gravitate to artists as friends just because I am supposed to be one. Certainly there is no competition. The very idea is quite bizarre to me. 14. RJP: How do you market yourself? Not enough. But then, I’m more interested in doing the work. I’d prefer to have an agent to handle that kind of thing, but no-one has stepped forward yet with a good deal. I have a website, do videos and the occasional exhibition - the usual things. I also have a pilot project called sitting in waiting. It’s a way for artists to sell work, support local charities and make good relationships with local businesses. Needs some development. Page 14

Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Incalculable Media Used: Oil on four boards Size: 24” x 72” overall Date Created: 2007

RJP: A wonderful and creative work… This series of inter-connected paintings provides the audience with a glimpse at the vast beauty and violence of inter-stellar space. Worlds and stars are constantly being born and dying in immense conflagrations of matter and energy. A vantage point that would provide such a fantastic point of view may not exist… but through the artist’s imagination these obstacles of distance and scale are skillfully overcome in this graphic sequence.

15. RJP: Do you find it difficult to stay motivated/inspired? Not at all. There are not enough hours in the day! 16. RJP: Do you create your art full time or part time? It depends what you mean by art. I suppose the answer is full time.

Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Bridge Media Used: Oil on board Size: 24" x 40" Date Created: 2005

RJP: The hectic and smog filled days of the concrete jungle are replaced, in this piece, with the night time beauty of our urban landscape. The lights of modern man’s architectural wonders reflected, beneath the bridge, in the calm waters of this river the city would have originally been settled upon. The bridge spans across the river’s width connecting one portion of our sprawl to the next… yet the patient waters reflect our electric lights in much the same way they once reflected the glittering of the stars. 17. RJP: What other interests do you have, besides art? Strange question. I don’t consider art as an interest, like needlepoint or playing with model trains. It’s a way of life that encompasses all sorts of things. According to question 20, art is an extension of me, which goes a bit deeper than mere interests. Page 15

Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Before the olive harvest Media Used: Pastel on paper Size: 50cm x 65cm Date Created: 2008

RJP: Rich colours and geometric shapes dominate this impressionist, almost surreal, view farm and fields. The shape of impossibly large olives dots the countryside in a variety of hues. It is interesting that the only path leads away in the same direction as the floating mirage of ripened olives - somewhere in the future. Is this dream of the farmer awaiting his harvest or, perhaps, the memories of someone who left the farm years before?

18. RJP: What advice would you have for a young artist starting out today? Be yourself, live your passions. What ever drives you, do it before the opportunity is gone. 19. RJP: Do you have any big plans or shows coming up in 2009? Yes, but I don’t know specifics just yet. 20. RJP: How would you like your art, and by extension yourself, to be remembered?

I could give a predictable nice answer to this, but I kind of feel it would sound like any Miss World saying that she wants to help children. People will remember me in many ways, some will forget me, and the vast majority won’t even know that I ever existed. All that is fine with me, because I won’t be there anyway. Page 16

Artist’s Name: Lewis Evans Title: Peaceful wisdom Media Used: Oil on canvas Size: 48" x 48" Date Created: 2007

RJP: This is a splendid and evocative portrait of an aged and weathered face in profile. The creases and lines, coupled with rich colours of fading light, present the image of a man in his autumn years. The calm set of his features a reflection of his accumulated wisdom and yet the eyes are not closed and meditative… rather they appear to be still applying that knowledge, looking forward. Of the submissions to RKYV that Lewis provided us… this was my favourite and is featured on this month’s cover.

For more on this talented artist, please visit: On FaceBook – The Lewis Evans Art Studio & Gallery His website:

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I Bite Into You – by Yolande Gaspard

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Between Bark and Tree – by Yolande Gaspard

The Magic Mushrooms By

Jim Gibson [Conclusion] THE BAR WAS SURPRISINGLY WELL LIT, and Sean was able to quickly digest the layout without having to venture far from the front entrance; he could see the comings and goings within the bar as well as keep a watchful eye on the limousine parked outside. On the left, adjacent to the front entrance was a long bar with a brass rail and at least ten bar-stools. Behind the bar was the entrance to the kitchen; and hanging from the wall a television- the Red Sox were playing the Yankees and Derek Jeter was up to bat. On the right, and across the back, were long tables, each with ten to twelve chairs. Behind the tables at the back was a stage with a five-piece live band playing, and to the right of the stage were the washrooms. He searched for Kenny and finally spotted him sitting with a small group of people at a table near the stage.

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“How are you doing?” asked a man sitting at the bar with a female companion. It took Sean a moment to recognize the man. Then he coolly replied, “Cat Williams. Good to see you. I’m fine. How are you? Not performing tonight?” “Nno... not tonight,” Cat replied before turning to face his companion. “This is my wife, Aretha. Aretha, this is...” he continued, as he turned back to face Sean. “Sorry, but I’ve forgotten your name.” “Sean. Sean Coldwell.” “Aretha, this is Sean,” Cat continued. “Glad to meet you Aretha,” Sean responded, as he reached in front of Cat and shook her hand. “Can I help you,” asked the bartender, an older man who looked like he might be the owner. “Well... a coffee if that’s possible... I drive limo and I don’t think I need anything alcoholic. Although... maybe I do,” he added with a wry smile. “No, seriously, a coffee, if that’s possible?” “Sure. What do you want in it?” asked the bartender. “Regular: A little cream and a little sugar.” The bartender left and Sean sat down at the bar beside Cat. “So, you’re driving Kenny?” Cat asked, knowing the answer but perhaps not knowing how to start a conversation with Sean. “Yes I am," Sean replied with a sigh. “A challenge...?” “I’d say that.” “He likes to throw his money around.” “Yes he does. You’ve noticed that, eh? “It’s sad, actually.” “Yes it is.” “So, do you like driving limo?” “It’s interesting. I like to write and there are certainly lots of characters to write about in this business.” “Aretha, he’s a writer,” said Cat. Aretha just nodded. “Well, not a famous novelist. I just like to write stories. Never been published...” “Someday you may be famous, you never know,” opined Cat. Page 20

“No, you never know. So... do you perform mainly in London?” “Well, I like London, but I’ve been all over, I’ve been to a couple of bars in Windsor, and stateside: Buffalo, Detroit, and Cleveland.” Crowd noise from the television, as someone hit a ball out of Fenway interrupted the conversation. Sean focused to see who hit it, and then on Cat who was also focused on what was happening. “Like baseball?” Sean asked without facing him. “Yeah, it’s okay,” he replied, also while staring straight ahead. “You...?” “Yeah, sometimes... I don’t watch it too much during the regular season. More during the playoffs... Played a lot of ball as a kid... Pitcher...” The bartender returned with the cup of coffee and as Sean glanced around the bar looking for Kenny he took a sip; he spotted him entering the washroom with two young males. Quickly Sean got up from the bar, extended his hand, and said “Cat, take care.” Then, after a quick handshake, he focused on the wife, smiled, and said, “It was good to meet you, Aretha.” Finally he took another sip of coffee and said, “I’d better go and check on the car.” Kenny stopped him just before he reached it. “Hey man, I need a favor,” he blurted out as he stood facing Sean. “Oh yeah? I’m almost afraid to ask,” Sean replied sarcastically. Kenny reached into his money bag and drew out a hundred dollar bill. “There’s a hundred in it for you if you will ask the band leader to let me sing on stage.” “Well sure, I can certainly ask,” Sean replied, accepting the money and putting it immediately into a pant pocket. Kenny, ever restless, turned and headed back to the bar while Sean went to the limo, stood at the driver’s door for a few moments, and then decided to sit inside and have an apple break before attempting to negotiate on behalf of his client; it was interesting that Kenny was unable or unwilling to negotiate for himself, giving 30 min sketch at work – Stan Nelson

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credence to Sean’s growing sense that he was not as self confident as he liked to pretend. This was good news because, if push came to shove, Sean suspected he would accept being told what to do. The cell phone rang and Sean picked it up from its position in the ash tray, thinking as he did that it was probably Jenny calling; it was now so dark, particularly inside the limo with its tinted windows, that he couldn’t read the call display. “Sean here,” he answered. “It’s me. What’s happening?” Jenny asked. Sean was glad to hear her voice; it connected him to his own reality; a reality that was progressively diminishing the longer he was around Kenny. “This guy is nuts! Listen to this. He just gave me a hundred dollars and asked me to get the band to let him sing on stage with them.” “Well, if he wants to throw his money around, take some of it!” “Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t care.” “Well, that guy’s a challenge so it might as well be worth it.” “Yeah, well I must say I agree. So, how are you?” “I’m tired.” “Why don’t you go to bed?” “Yeah, I will. It’s a little early, but I will eventually.” “I’ll call you... when?” “Uhm... let me know when you’re leaving London.” “But, you’ll be sleeping.” “That’s okay. I still want you to call me.” “Okay, but listen, we’d better get off the phone. It’s costing Kay money.” “Well, that’s too bad! If she wants you to drive then I want to know what’s happening, particularly when it’s late at night and you’re out of town.” “I hear you.” “Did you get some sleep?” “Actually, yes...” “Can you get some more?” “Probably... I’ve just got this little negotiation to conduct.” “What negotiation?” “Getting Kenny on stage...” “Oh yeah... I forgot.” “I’ll call you when we leave London.” “Yeah okay...” “Bye honey.” “Bye.”

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Sean heard the other end of the connection go dead, so he ended the call and put the phone back in the tray. Then he turned on the engine- and the radio- before turning it back off; he knew that the radio would play for a good length of time without the car running, unless, of course, he opened the door. Finally, he reached inside his Coca Cola bag, retrieved a big red delicious apple, and bit into it, not realizing at first that he’d forgotten to peel off the fingernail-sized grading sticker. As he searched for the sticker, he was reminded of a teaching colleague who had completely covered the work area’s refrigerator with them, and of his own habit at home of sticking them to the coffee- table coasters. It was difficult to find the sticker in the dark car, but by touch he finally succeeded, removed it, rolled it into a ball and tossed it into the ash tray beside the phone. Eating a juicy apple in a dark vehicle, while wearing a suit, could be troublesome, and he soon found myself constantly reaching for a Kleenex to wipe off his shirt or pant leg; he reminded himself that he’d better check a mirror to see how much damage he’d done. Finally finished, he wrapped the apple core in a Kleenex, deposited it in the Coca Cola bag, and then exited the limo. Sean needed to find the band leader, and it didn’t take long. When he reached the front entrance to the bar, a band member he’d spotted on stage was standing outside having a cigarette. He tried to get the man’s attention through eye contact but he was in his own world, thinking about whatever a musician thinks about- the next set, his wife, his girlfriend- so he said, “Nice night isn’t it,” and looked directly at him so he’d know that it was he that was being spoken to. “Uh huh,” replied the musician, barely acknowledging Sean’s presence. “You’re a member of the band, right?” Sean asked, trying to get to the point. “Uhm... yes...” “Who’s the leader?” “I am.” “Oh! Well good. You’re the man I need to talk to.” “You need to talk to me?” asked the musician, turning to face Sean; he seemed troubled and made it obvious that Sean’s talking to him was an unwelcome development. “Well, I have a request. I’m a limo driver and... Well, have you noticed the guy with the over-sized sports coat and...” “The guy buying everyone drinks?” “Yeah, probably...” Sean hadn’t realized that, but he wasn’t surprised. “Well, I’m the driver. He asked me to try and get the band to let him sing with them on stage. Any chance of that happening...?”

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“I’ll see,” replied the musician. Then he ceremoniously butted his cigarette on the brick wall and retreated into the bar. “That guy that’s buying everyone drinks, is he with you? Are you his driver?” asked a young girl who had been standing with several guys a few feet away, having a cigarette. “He rented the limousine. I’m not his personal driver,” Sean replied emphatically. “He said you were,” responded the girl, equally as emphatic. “He did, did he?” Sean pursed his lips, shrugged his shoulders and lowered his head to one side, a signal that he didn’t know what to say; he couldn’t believe Kenny’s audacity. The air was remarkably cool and dry for an August evening- probably not at all like conditions in Windsor- so Sean took a deep breath, then slowly exhaled; a short run to London was turning into a very long night with no end in sight, and there wasn’t much that he could do about it; well, he could either accept it and stay rested, or leave, but the latter didn’t seem like the right thing to do. So, rest he did. IT WAS WELL AFTER MIDNIGHT when Sean was startled out of a deep sleep by a knocking on the driver’s window, directly above his head. It was Kenny and he looked agitated. Sean sat up, opened the window, and asked, “What’s up?” “I need to hold up in the limo for a while,” replied Kenny. Then he pointed to a police car parked by the pharmacy. “Don’t tell me you’re in trouble with the law?” Sean asked, his voice slowly toning down to a whisper. “Last night they told me to get out of London and not come back.” Sean stared at Kenny in disbelief before asking, “Then why are you here?” “Those fucking cops, they can’t tell me what to do!” exclaimed Kenny, as he climbed into the back of the limo. “Uhm... I beg to differ,” Sean replied turning his head to watch Kenny slouch into the back seat; he didn’t ask Kenny why the police had issued the warning because he really didn’t want to know, but he did watch the police car until an officer exited the pharmacy and drove off without even looking around. “Probably only picking up prescriptions for his wife but he’s sure got Kenny freaked,” Sean thought, quietly chuckling.

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Kenny waited silently for a few more minutes, then bolted from the limo and headed back inside the bar. Several minutes after that, Sean followed him. Upon entering the bar he was surprised by the sight of Kenny, on stage, singing with the band, apparently fully recovered from his escape from the police. While Kenny was animated, grasping the microphone close to his mouth and moving around, Sean couldn’t help but notice that the band members, while providing an adequate background, did not appear motivated. “A coffee?” asked the bartender as after a quick trip to the washroom Sean sat at the bar. “Sure,” he replied, as he glanced up at the television; Night Line was on and the host was discussing something, probably the war in Iraq, but on a television whose sound had been turned down. “Did you hear me singing?” asked Kenny, surprising Sean from behind. “Yeah, I did,” Sean replied without elaborating. “Cost me a hundred for each band member,” continued Kenny. “What?” “Five hundred bucks...! That’s how much it cost me and they only let me sing two songs.” Sean was surprised that Kenny had paid the band that much to let him sing only two songs but all he did was ask, “So, are you all set to go?” Red Riding Hood, Johnny’s comic idea sketched out – by Stan Nelson “We’re going to Buffalo. How far is that?” “We’re going to Buffalo? When? Tonight...?” “Yeah, tonight...” “When do you expect me to sleep?” He figured Kenny wasn’t aware that he'd already grabbed some rest. “I don’t sleep so why do you need to?” “Because I’m driving, and you’re not.”

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“I’ll drive.” “No you won’t!” “Here’s your coffee,” announced the bartender. As Sean busied himself digging change out of his wallet, Kenny disappeared. The bartender, seeing Sean’s attempts to find some change, quickly declared, “No charge.” “Oh thanks,” Sean replied. He knew that Kenny was buying everyone drinks, which was probably good for business, but he didn’t expect free coffees as a spin off, so he asked, “Your place?” “Yes, along with a couple of partners.” A waitress interrupted the bartender to get a tray of drinks so Sean took the opportunity to do an eye-search for Kenny. He was nowhere in view, which was fine for now because Sean needed time to think of a way to dissuade him from going to Buffalo. Of course, he knew he could simply refuse, saying that he had work in the morning but he preferred another more compelling reason, one that Kenny would fully understand and accept without an argument. “HE’S GOT SOME MUSHROOMS,” said one young man to another as they happened to pass behind Sean. Sean’s senses immediately perked up, and he slipped off the stool and followed them outside. Stopping at the doors, he watched the two young men rendezvous with Kenny and several more young men and women near the west end of the mall. “Drugs...! Damn that idiot! That’s probably what it is in the bag and I’m driving him around with the stuff. Damn!” Sean thought, livid with rage. But… the Good News was he had his reason for not going anywhere other than directly back to Windsor, with or without Kenny. As Sean pondered what he was seeing it occurred to him that he ought to phone Kay and apprise her of what was happening. He immediately headed for the limo. “Image Limousines... How can I help you?” answered Kay. “Hi Kay, it’s me. Need some advice,” Sean responded, wasting no time in getting to the point. “Got a drug dealer on my hands, I think.” “What? I wondered. Did you know he stayed at the crowbar motel last night?” “Crowbar motel?” “Yeah, he was in jail.” “Shit, you’re kidding, right?” “Would I kid you?” “You never know.” “Has he paid you?”

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“He’s paid up until eight o’clock, with cash, but he’s going home earlier as far as I’m concerned. Apparently the police told him to leave London and not come back, and here I am in London with him.” He chose not to tell Kay about the earlier police scare. “Do what you’ve got to do. Just don’t take any shit. I called Mike- Mike was a cop who used to drive for Kay part-time- and he checked Kenny’s record. Mike says he doesn’t have a record; just says he’s considered a nuisance.” “So Mike knows him?” “Oh yeah...!” “Well, go back to bed. I can handle this. I just wanted to keep you informed.” “I know. No problem.” They ended the call, and then Sean checked the power on the phone. Seeing only one dot on the power tower, he attached the charger and then placed the phone back in the tray. After that, he scanned the parking lot for Kenny but, not surprisingly, he was gone. However, Sean didn’t intend to let him stay gone; it was time to hit the road back to Windsor. The encounter with Kenny happened as soon as Sean stepped inside the front door of the bar. “Hey Kenny,” Sean said, grabbing him by an arm as he attempted to ignore him and head outside; there was no one around to witness what was happening. “Don’t touch me!” exclaimed Kenny, backing away. “Fine, but I have a problem with you.” “What kind of a problem?” “It’s called magic mushrooms. Are you selling drugs?” Sean knew the answer- at least he was pretty sure he did- but he wanted it to come from Kenny’s lips. “I’m not selling. I’m giving them away.” “Uhm... did you happen to read the run sheet when you signed it?” “Shit no! Who cares what it says.” “I care, and what it says, and you signed it... what it says is that there is zero tolerance for narcotics in the limo. I repeat, zero tolerance.” Kenny, strangely, did not argue, so Sean continued. “I’m going to get gas and when I return we’re out of here, okay?” “You’re going to get gas? What... we’re leaving in what...? “Twenty minutes. Be ready Kenny because I’m leaving with or without you.” Kenny didn’t respond. He just turned and headed for one of the tables near the stage. Sean, in turn, went out to the limo, started it up, and drove to Adelaide. He wasn’t sure where there’d be a gas station open after midnight on a Monday, but he decided to turn left and head south. He passed several darkened and closed stations before Page 27

spotting brightly lit pumps near a Tim Hortons, several miles south of his starting point. He filled up, paid the cashier, got a receipt, recorded the total on the gas log, and headed back toward the bar. “Any trouble and I go back alone,” he thought, almost out loud, as he pulled up in front of the bar. Kenny was outside with a group of young people. “Let’s go Kenny!” he commanded. “Okay man ... bee rright there,” replied Kenny. Sean thought he detected a slur in Kenny’s speech; he was either drunk or stoned, both of which could spell trouble. “Kenny! Let’s go!” Kenny strode to the limo, opened the door and got in, but within seconds he declared, “I need a smoke,” and got back out. For a few moments he stood beside the car, and then he wandered back to the group. Sean gave him a couple of minutes, and then commanded again, “Kenny! Let’s go!” “Yeah, okay man. Just a second,” he replied, his tone sounding agitated. But, seconds later he was back in the limo. Sean let the limo slowly pull away, but suddenly stopped it when a light on the dash flashed the message, ‘Door Ajar’. Glancing in the side-view mirrors, he spotted Kenny successfully hop out while the limo was still moving. For over an hour a routine developed in which Kenny got into the limo, then devised an excuse to get back out- for cigarette breaks, washroom visits, retrieval of his hat, saying goodbye, owing money- but Sean finally followed Kenny into the bar and confronted him as he attempted to shag a woman at the bar. “Hey Kenny... I’m leaving,” Sean announced, tapping Kenny on the shoulder. Then he turned and headed back to the limo. Just as Sean was slowly pulling away, Kenny appeared, opened the back door and tumbled in. “If we’re not goin to... to Buffalo, cccan we tttake the ssscenic way, uhm ...” Kenny didn’t finish his sentence. “Kenny, it is absolutely black out here... What can he possibly see in the dark?” Sean then thought, smiling at the thought, but when he started to reply, a quick glance through the open divider revealed that Kenny had passed out on the back seat.

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AT FIRST, EN ROUTE TO WINDSOR, Sean periodically glanced to see if Kenny was okay but when he heard him start to snore, he put up the solid and placed an audio-book CD into the player- he'd started keeping one in the Coca Cola bag for times just like this. It had been several weeks since he’d last listened to Jan Karon’s novel ‘In This Mountain’, but tonight he decided it was a good time to attempt to finish it. Father Tim was praying for Dith Mallory. By the time Sean reached the outskirts of Windsor, a fire on the ridge had destroyed Edith’s home and as he parked beside the curb in front of Kenny’s home, Father Tim and his wife were embracing and declaring their love for each other. Anxiety gripped Sean as soon as he lowered the solid; a drunken, sleeping Kenny was sprawled out on the back seat and Sean’s immediate concern was how to get him out of the limo and into his house in a timely fashion- add to that the beer in the trunk and the cleaning up back at the shop- before grabbing some time for a couple hours of sleep. First things first he reasoned and popped the trunk; he'd decided to get the beer to the porch before waking up Kenny. After he’d carted the cases up the porch steps and set them beside the door, he opened the back door of the limo. “Hey Kenny, you’re home,” he announced, looking down at his disheveled, sleeping passenger. There was no response, not even a twitch. “Kenny!” he said, raising his voice, and pushing on a shoulder. “Hey man, we’re home!” Kenny’s eyes opened slightly. Then he rubbed his face with his hand, first up one cheek, and then the other. Finally, he adjusted his glasses, patted his hat down on his head, sat up straight, turned one leg, then the other and swung them around as he bolted out of the limo, on to the curb- the door serving as a crutch- and walked directly toward his porch. Sean reached into the limo, retrieved Kenny’s infamous bag, and followed a short distance behind. At his front door, Kenny began rummaging through his pockets for his keys. “Shit, where are they?” he muttered. “Oh, to hell with it!” he finally exclaimed, went to the front window, covered his right hand with his coat sleeve and broke the glass. Then he reached in, unlocked the window, raised it, took the bag from Sean and climbed inside his house. Sean impatiently waited a few minutes for Kenny to reappear but when he didn’t, he got back in the limo and headed for the shop. It had been a hard but profitable run but now it was over; it was time to flush it and move on, a response he was skilled at. Jenny didn’t stir a muscle when he climbed into bed but Crash gave a slight whimper from inside his cage. “Ssh... go to sleep Crash,” he whispered.

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The Eye Of The Hurricane – by Yolande Gaspard

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Cover Art - by Roger Formidable, Logos & Lettering by David Marshall, layout by R.J. Paré Interior Art – by Roger Price; Back Page Art by Jay Piscopo

Day and Night – part one By Nathaniel Baker The sound of the heavy rain outside filled the tiny windowless room. Vivian moved her head back, struggling to keep it up. Her red hair matted around her eyes only made the situation that more frustrating. She shook her head, only barely moving the hair out of her eyes. She looked down realizing that her hands were tied tight to the wooden chair she somehow ended up in. The loud thud sounded in the room next to her. A sound too familiar. She knew in the next room, like a hundred times before Shannon, her older sister was doing her best to protect her. The only thing she couldn’t get now, is instead of the monster being her father from when she was nine. She was now nineteen, and the last thing she could remember, was seeing her mother in a New Orleans alley way. The first time she had seen her in twelve years. Then there was the man with the black eyes, hidden deep behind a skull mask.

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“If only Danny was here….NO! I can do this! I don’t always need someone else on a white horse.” At this point her body was leaning heavily forward in the chair. Her wrists were, in all reality, grinding harder and deeper into the hemp rope. Her eyes closed so tight the blackness was beginning to throb red. Suddenly, without any warning, her body fell hard out of the chair. The red under her eyelids flashed as her body ached all over. It took her a few moments to realize that she had fallen out of the ropes. She looked back in astonishment at the chair behind her, the ropes still tied perfectly in there little knots. She shook the thought away, realizing that pulling herself up to her feet was going to be more of a task. The room, around her, spun in disarray. Nothing at this point seemed real. Almost like the first night of her new life… the night she spent hours hiding in that closet waiting for those awful men to leave. It was awful, knowing that if she came out of the closet she would find her father broken and bleeding on the floor. Instead she stayed there, clenched tight to herself underneath moth ridden coats. Wishing that it would all change, hoping for a new home, anywhere safe. When her eyes opened again she found herself in Deagan’s car. She thought of Deagan, the man that took a nine year old little girl from lower Manhattan, and raised her as a lady in the confines of a mansion in upper Queens. How could she ever repay him? How could she tell him how much she’s loved everything he’s done for her? The thought of not making it back to New York crossed her mind. She knew the man behind the door was going to do his best to stop her, and all she could do was slide along the floor. “Pathetic!” The words she found spitting from her fathers mouth all too often. They were the sick sad screams of a dying man. She huffed a quirky little laugh. Is this karma? The thought danced in her mind for a second. How ironic is it that this is how she began her life, and it’s possible it might end the same way. All because she hid and never fought. But now, was when the tables were turned the most, now her sister needed her more than ever. Her fists clenched against the floor as she struggled, pushing herself up once again. This time she slammed hard onto the floor. A sigh blew away the dust that settled on the floor bellow her. A scrap of paper moved along the air, landing gradually on the frizz of her hair. She moved her shaking hand to the paper, bringing it low to the floor, near the only gap of light in the room. The paper read in bold ink the address in which she found her sister not two days ago. Underlined below it in faded, sloppy handwriting, was: V’s Mother? “Who? No….” The thought of this being something sinister before gave her the hate she needed to get this far. Now she knew there was a lot more to this then she ever wanted there to be in her life. Now she knew those cold dark eyes. “Robbie! Robbie! Stop It! Stop!” The light under the doorway flickered, the door slowly drifted open. The light now, only, emitting above her. Vivian could see the slightly lit outline of Robbie’s burning form. “Why Robbie, why!? The man above her smirked as the flames lit randomly around his body died away. “You can’t leave us V, we’re family. Not for her, not for this! When they’ve all been taken away you’ll understand.” Vivian could only get out her weak scream of “NO!” before the door slid closed.

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Her mind now in pieces, she struggled for something real, something to hold onto. Her mind slipped back to the age of when she was nine. How Deagan and his wife Marie had taken her in. How they taught her about music, love, life, and the Spanish language. How they treated her like a princess in that palace of wood and plaster. How even Schultz had taken a shine to her and what he called the voice of an angel. At that point Vivian began to sing, in that dark hot room, she gave herself the one thing that always gave her comfort. “And when the light of the day has faded… Take in the dark, embrace it as if it were your own. Looove…” Her voice began to shake with her body, as once again she lifted with all her might. This time her body tightened and allowed her to position herself on all fours. The heavy gasps in her breath hinted at two things. How hard this was for her to move, and how thin the air had gotten in the last few minutes. “Love the…night as if it….were the day. Know it…like you would any other….and it will never fade.” She took in another deep breath, bringing herself up to her knees. The thought of her first day in The Program flashed into her mind. How she had always known she could do the things she buried away in her imagination. Never though had she imagined that there were others. How quickly they became family to her, how quickly Robbie the Wicker Man would fall in love with her. She knew it too, the first time their eyes locked. The first time they sparred, and shared blows. She knew she had his heart. The thought terrified her beyond belief. Now here she was trying to reach his heart once more, but not to keep him from getting heart. This time…this time was to prove to herself, to her sister, and her birth mother that she didn’t need their protection. This time it was to show them that they needed her. That maybe for once they could be a real family, something for her to hold onto. Maybe they could be something that she wouldn’t just fall through like everything else in this world. Tears filled her eyes as the possibility that this may be it slipped back in again. That after all of the years of Shannon, and Deagan’s protection… That the one time she needed to be strong enough, she didn’t have it in her. “NO!!!” She lifted herself from her knees to her feet, they swayed under the weight of her body. She slammed hard into the wall beside the door. Her shoulder spat the ache throughout her entire body, even causing her jaw to chatter. “Deagan, I’m so sorry, daddy…” Her voice began to crack again under her tears. Her thoughts brought her back to the first time she performed in the local Speak Easy. How she moved, and shook the audience with her voice, her…presentation. She dawned a white mask, hoping Deagan would never know she went against his own wishes of her never to perform in a Speakeasy. The temptation was to hard to resist. At least until the moment she had three hungry men holding her against the back alley after her show. Just like this night, the rain poured heavy from the heavens above. She thought her screams would go unheard, she thought she had finally made the dumbest mistake in her life. Even though all of the odds were against her, Deagan came. A bat in hand and a quick mouth sent the three thugs bleeding to the soaked alley floor, before Vivian could even get a fourth scream out. “You could always carry a tune that shook the devil in his cage.” She gave another small laugh to the thought of it. How he had probably always known, but stood in the shadows, protecting her.

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{Scarlet in - The Program, where scientists studied her powers}

Now she was trying so hard to do the same for herself. No, she knew it was no longer an option… either she was going to save her sister, and herself, or she was going to die fighting Robbie, no, the Wicker Man every step of the way. She gave out a smooth solid breath as her body slipped through the wall, almost as if she was no longer of this world. She looked ahead at The Wicker Man’s lit body, and at the chained and awkwardly hung shape of her sister. She stared at him with the look she would had given her father if she would have had the chance. Someone else took care of that mess for her long ago, and now she would fix this one.

Her body jutted forward with every inch of strength and grace she could summon. Robbie’s eyes grew wide behind the flames that covered every inch of his body with the exception of his face, and slicked back black hair. “Vivian please, you’re my light…” Her fist made contact with the only unlit part of his body, sending him back a few steps. Which is all she needed. She twisted her body quickly, grabbing Shannon with both her hands. Her body tightened around Shannon’s like so many other embraces in the past. Except this one was by far the scariest. Vivian closed her eyes tight enough to not only see the red, but other colors beyond that. Then she saw her mother. She felt the heat of the room turn to a cool breeze. She opened her eyes. Shannon now lied on the wet ground below her. The swampy air was refreshing, but not exactly where she meant to go. “Vivian?” Vivian turned to the slightly familiar voice behind her. As she turned to face her mother the blackness she had been fighting for so long had finally crept into the front of her mind. She felt her body falling as her heart finally slowed down from the adrenaline rush before..

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Her dreams that night were filled with memories of the days spent listening to Deagan play the piano as she sung along. And memories of the nights where Mr. Schultz and his family came to their home and tapped along to the newest show tunes, or songs that Vivian and her adopted father had thought up the night before. Soon they would change their dynamics, switching instruments, teaching themselves new ones. Before Vivian knew it everything was changing around her. She was chasing after something through the empty and dark hallways of their home in Queens. She walked through one room after another, finding no one, and nothing. Till she finally found the last door in her house, the one in any given reality would lead to her bed room. However, when she opened the door she found herself standing in the living room of her old house in Manhattan. The chair in the corner began to rock back and forth. Vivian’s eyes shot open, the sweat from her forehead began to run down her face. “Shh, your safe now.” Vivian jerked up, finally facing her birth mother without the fear of passing out again. Tears immediately swelled in her eyes. The green of her eyes shone like never before as her mother could only step forward, and look away. “I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve ever seeing you again.” Vivian raised her tear filled eyes to her mothers. “You know I’ve hated you for so long, yet here I am. So why don’t we cut the bullshit! Where have you been?” Her mother shook at the sternness in her daughter’s voice. The last time she had spoken to Vivian the girl must had been seven. Now she knew she had no right to stand in the same room as her, yet here she was, searching for the right words. Tracey sighed and just locked eyes with her daughter. “If I told you that I’m like you….would that make any sense?” Vivian just stared hard into her mother’s eyes, searching for a clue to her true meaning. Vivian then lost track of her mother’s words. The memories of her training at the old military base outside of Buffalo filled her thoughts. Her memory of Robbie, Connor, and Rita… How they once each said the same thing to her. “How can You be like me Tracey! How when all I’ve ever done is stick with this family, fought, and bled! How can you…..” Vivian’s voice cracked under the tears, her hope that her mother was more then a passing memory in her life. She still didn’t know how to keep back the hate in her heart. “Vivian I…..I can show you.” With those words Tracey turned to a purse that sat idly on the table of the small hotel room. The dim lights of the room flickered on. The purse itself began to lift from the now shaking table. Slowly the purse moved through the air. Tracey moved out her hand, taking the small brown bag by its handles. “Does it make sense now?” Vivian could only stare, her mind was already enough of a mess, now this. “How…?” Vivian attempted to choke out more, but left it at that one simple question. Tracey moved to the bed that took up most of the room. Vivian lying under the blankets on the floor moved against the wall to watch her mother’s movements. Tracey moved close to the very still shape lying under the blankets of the bed. She stroked at the brown hair that Vivian knew belonged to her older sister. “I was a part of something once. Something like you are now… Though in that place, they pushed me. Eventually they pushed me too hard….and well I escaped.” Vivian thought hard at what it would be like to escape from The Program… to leave them after what had happened

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between her and Robbie the night before. Then again that would mean losing Deagan to a federal prison, and allowing both Schultz and Coll to run the feuding families how they pleased. She pushed hard against the thoughts, pushing them into the back of her mind. “How are you able to do….why are we different?” Tracey shook her head, “I don’t know…I’ve never known. All the doctors could ever tell me was that I was born with this ability. They just pushed me to pursue it. Maybe everyone has a gift like this buried deep inside them. I just don’t know.” Vivian stood up, looked at her mother stroking back the hair of her older sister, and just stared. For what was probably only seconds Vivian saw a lifetime. Both the life she had lived, and the one she could have had. She shook her head and closed her eyes tight. A single tear moved down her face as the room blurred away. She slammed her fist against the red wall of her home in Queens, New York. She knew for the first time she couldn’t hate her mother. She only had love and admiration for the family she never knew she had, and it tore away at her more then she ever thought possible. The moment she had finally regained her bearings, she knew that the air to her old home wasn’t right. The quaint feeling of home was gone. Replaced by a dark, empty, sick feeling that filled her stomach. “Madre? Madre?” She knew Deagan would remain in protective custody until she sorted the final details of her deal with the program. What she couldn’t get is where could Marie had gone. The women that had taken her in like a daughter, the one who cooked, and helped refine her taste in everything. Plus for the past ten years she couldn’t think of a time where Marie had left the house alone. Upon entering the kitchen, clear as day was a small yellow note tacked to the wall near the back door. She knew she didn’t want to read it, but how else would she know how to start piecing her life back together? She snatched the letter from the wall, watching every inch of the corners of her eyes, waiting for anyone, or anything at this point. The letter was smudged in black ink, nothing close to handwriting. However she could recognize the words, Marie, Speakeasy, and Mad Dog. She knew with every fiber of her being that he was there, and most likely so was Marie, if she was still alive. She crumpled the paper into her right hand, cursing under her breath only words she had ever heard come from the drunk‘s mouth all too often. “I‘m going to keep this family together Deagan, I swear to you.” Her voice cracked as she fought back the same stream of tears again. Her head acknowledged the aspect of all of this being some type of elaborate trap, but her body moved forward anyway. Before she knew it she was walking through the door of the Speakeasy she had found to be a second home over the last year. Her memories flashed back to days when the Queen’s Harpies flaunted on the stage. How they could pull in any crowd, and keep the house packed till dawn if they truly wished it. How often she saw off duty officers come in, even the chief and mayor themselves, just to catch a show or two. Her face lit up with the idea of the duet of her and Jessica Harper starting up again, maybe even making their way to Vegas, just like they had always talked about. Her head shook away the idea. It was as fictional of a world now as the same fairies and monsters lived in. However in the last few months she had seen monsters, she had seen things no one in this room could ever imagine as reality. Still being content with such small dreams now seemed almost trivial. She knew she had to save Marie, help Deagan out of prison, finish her Page 36

project with The Program, and who knows maybe allow herself to truly be in love. Just like how she felt back in New Orleans. His eyes on hers, it almost felt like a weight lifted from her heart. Was that love? She smiled at the thought, “God I hope so.” Vivian began to notice the crowd in the Speakeasy tonight wasn’t the usual. She then started to notice how most of the room was now completely focused on her. While the other half continued moving past, doing whatever it was they had come here to do. “Miss O’Hara, I’m happy to see you made it.” A large man wearing a black button down shirt with a red tie and slacks moved away from the balcony steps. Behind him walked two sets of twos. All four men in comparison were much slimmer wearing black trench coats. Between them, was the woman she had called mother for so many years. “Marie!” Marie’s dark eyes looked up to meet hers. The bruise along the left side of her face went to show that she was a prisoner here. Marie’s eyes quickly swelled in tears, “Run Vivian, Run!” The man to her left at that point leaned into the small cluster and slammed his fist into her stomach. The blow was enough to bring her to her knees and out of breath, and exactly what Vivian needed to act. Vivian dashed forward moving straight through Vincent who stood in between them. She slammed her fist into the man that had just laid the blow on Marie, and then turned a swift kick to the other man’s groin. The two went down with ease and surprise. Vincent spun around with both a shocked and smug look on his face. “You little shit! So he was right about you?” Vivian started to redirect the momentum of her body into the next blow that would go behind her. That was until an all too familiar click sounded near her. In hindsight it’s great to get the drop on a handful of people, but normally not something so easily accomplished with a room full of New York Mobsters. Vivian dropped to her knees, slamming her fists on the ground. The intense heat of her eyes looked up to Vincent Mad Dog Coll as he stood above her clapping. “What do you want from us?” The sound of exhaustion was starting to play harder on Vivian’s voice. “No us, I want you O’Hara. I want what you do. I want you to exploit, stalk, and destroy what’s left of Schultz and his boys. You do that for me, and your lovely mother here goes home with you.” Vivian pushed herself up from the ground, her eyes only focused on Marie and the blood that dried around her lips. “Only if she will be safe.” Vincent laughed at the display of affection. “Sorry little Vivian, but I’m the only one making the deals here. This is where you say yes sir and head to the warehouse off of the corner of 4th and Lincoln.” Vivian’s glower intensified as she turned her head to the monster that stood before her. “Yes Sir!” She moved past the small crowd that had surrounded them. She glanced back once more, to Marie, before leaving the Speakeasy.

… to be continued.

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The Scarlet Phantom – by Jay Piscopo

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Poetry Selected Poems - by Stephen Campbell Stay Stay with me, don’t leave. Never turn your back. Don’t leave me to grieve. Stay with me, don’t go. I wont be the same, Without you in my home.

I’ll live with you forever, I’ll cater for your every need, Making you happy will be my great endeavour, For you I would gladly love, pray, sweat and bleed. Stay with me, don’t leave. Never turn your back. Don’t leave me to grieve. My message to you

Stay with me. Say yes. If you live with me, My life will be blessed. Stay with me? You will? Happy as can be, All my dreams are now fulfilled.

Sometimes it’s hard to please, You I love, who think I neglect, My love should put your heart at ease, But what I do you do not expect. I keep a special picture, Of your face deep in my heart, That I look upon, when alone, When we feel torn apart. I value the little things, The habits you think I slate, I love all of you. I do, There is not one thing that I hate. My every thought is full of praise, You are my morning, my refreshment, My evenings are lonely. Dark. Because you are not there. Once I thought of you and felt chill, Had it really been so long, Was I really with someone who loved me? For you, what have I done? So ill tell you now, From the bottom of my heart, With all my love, and all I have to give, That I have never felt so blessed, And am grateful for all that you give me. If you smile, and are glad with me, Ill always be happy with you. Together we will love each other, And for all time we will be lovers. I Love You.

I Kiss You – by Yolande Gaspard

page 39

Anna’s Poems – by Anna Gehmacher

Wow, Tim, "long time no see" is that all you have to say to me? It's been two years since we last talked since we last walked while you dried my tears "Long time no see" that sure is right, but will it ever again be like it was that last night? 'Cause if it's not, will ours be forever forgot'?

Well of course I do, I wanna hang out, I want you around, I won't lose you again. I wanna hang out, I wanna make out, I want you to want it too I want you to tell me how much it hurt for you, I wanna know I wasn't the only one going through this shit because of you I want you to say that no matter what I do that no matter what may happen to you

Will you walk away once more, confess your love, slam the door, and leave me picking up the pieces of myself on your cold kitchen floor?


"Long time no see" no shit, don't try messing with me, I know you were avoiding me!

you will be there,

"Wanna hang out sometime?" and pretend everything's fine, like nothing ever went wrong, like everything was fine all along

no matter how much pain we have to go through you'll stick around,

we will be one and never ever again will our love be undone.

Page 40

Terravision Couleur Écran Plat – by Yolande Gaspard

page 41

Paré’s Poetic Perspectives – by R.J. Paré


Unfinished draft… - by Roger Davidson 

Ink and coloured pencils, 9" x 12"

Brave Sir Flaherty attempts to fend off the Three-Headed Beast of the Coalition with his 2009 budget.....the ferocious Layton (the third head on the right) wants to tear him apart without seeing what's in the briefcase....



Figure 29 – Detective Comics # 443, National Periodical Publications, Inc., 1974 “The Coming of the Creeper” Characters: Creeper, Professor Yatz

Futurism in the Funnies – by Roy G. James {In Conclusion}

Implications For Education Classroom teachers and administrators, whose responsibility is supervision, should at least take notice of the comic book as a viable learning tool for students. Every edition of the famous Classics Illustrated comic magazine is concluded with the invitation: “Now that you have read the Classics Illustrated edition, don’t miss the added enjoyment of reading the original, obtainable at your school or public library.” These comics have helped every student for the last 35 years at least once to get that assigned book report in, in a pinch. page44

The following are a list of concepts worthwhile for students to learn and develop through the comic book medium:

1. Comic books are very much a part of today’s nostalgia craze. This craze should not be thought of as retreating back to “the good old days,” but rather as an attempt to understand our past so that we can come to grasp with our future and its apparent trends, changes and shock elements. Educators may wish to look at the so-called “Golden Age of comics” beginning in 1938, ending in the early 1950’s with the creation of the Comic’s Code Authority on charges of youth corruption and cultural debasement in 1954. 2. The need for hero-worshipping is very much a part of a child’s maturation period. Perhaps a child’s superhero can be an athletic superstar. For others a close intimate relative; still others a comic book superhero to emulate and wistfully day-dream about. The need must be satisfied if children are to develop sturdy ideals. 3. Fantasizing is a worthwhile venture for students in recognizing fantasy from reality. Many of the futuristic ideas of the previous pages of this essay are highly imaginative yet most are contemporary based with projections into the future. Herbert Kohl in his article “Comics and Myths” points out, “from comic books centered on white male heroes of twentieth century America, we’ve moved to the children’s own creations, and beyond, to the gods – male, female, androgynous, neuter, black, brown, red, yellow, and white – people have created over centuries to represent powers they had or wanted and to explore through stories and tales the consequences of having or desiring power.” 4. Values clarification ranks highly in the development of today’s student. It should, then, be noted that crime is never successful in today’s comics. But even further are careful to take a humanitarian attitude about the strange concoctions that may someday be a reality. (see Figure 29) 5. Comics can be used to prepare students for Toffler’s “Future Shock” by helping them to understand that what seems to be, today, may not be, tomorrow. Change is inevitable, desirable and worthy of student’s attention. This theory, expressed in Figure 31, cannot be ruled out as ridiculous until proven otherwise, even though it may appear highly far-fetched.

Figure 30 – World’s Finest Comics # 241, National Periodical Publications, Inc., 1976 “Make Way for a New World” {page following}


6. The writing and design of comic books require great degree of creative thinking that is based on fact. The illustration of Figure 30 is chock full of information that is correct and may not have occurred to students prior to exposure to the particular comic involved. At least the story attached provides the opportunity for the reader to weigh the probability of the events and outcomes as to ever becoming a reality. 7. Comics are a definitive and profound form of escapism (Figure 31). 8. Comics illustrate a search for a better life through time and energy saving devices.

Figure 31 – Warlord # 1, National Periodical Publications, Inc., 1976 “This Savage World”

RKYV ONLINE would like to thank Roy for sharing this classic essay with us over these many installments. It has certainly been a fun and nostalgic look back at a piece originally written to be looking forward. A delightful exercise I have dubbed on numerous occasions as retro-futurism.

Starting with the next issue of RKYV we will be looking for a new Non-Fiction column exploring, in detail, some element of pop culture. Contact me if you have an idea for one you would like to write!


Family Life The Drunken Dragon Tavern – by Christina Marchetti Hey folks this recipe is definitely, an adults only, recipe. While I was working for the Victorian Order of Nurses, a patient's family offered me a piece of this unbelievably rich chocolate cake. Thank god they were the last visit on my list that night. That’s all I needed to complete an otherwise horrendous night, to be pulled over for eating and driving. I received this recipe from said family. Enjoy.

Cheese and Butter – Medieval / Renaissance Food Clip-Art Collection – By Cindy Renfrow Double Chocolate Raspberry Bacardi Rum Cake 1chocolate cake mix 1 12 ounce package semi sweet chocolate chips 1 31/2 ounce instant chocolate pudding 1 cup of Bacardi chocolate rum (if you want something different, try some spiced rum) 1 cup raspberry preserve 3/4 cup water 2 tbsp shortening 1/2 cup canola oil 4 eggs 1 ounce vanilla wafer

Increase speed to medium and beat times two minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Pour into very lightly greased 12 cup bundt pan. Bake 50 - 60 minutes or until done. Cool 15 minutes remove from pan and continue to cool. Heat the preserves and rum. Strain to remove seeds. Put cake on platter and prick full of little holes with tooth pick or fork. Pour rum raspberry mix over top in increments allowing time for the cake to absorb the liquid. Continue until done. Melt remaining chocolate chips with shortening and use this to ice the cake. Melt the vanilla wafers and drizzle over top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, pudding, oil, water and 1/2 cup rum until just moistened.

Tastefully yours, Tina

This cake decorates beautifully for the holidays. It is one "fruit cake" you will not have to worry about not being eaten!!!!


Karissa Allercott – by Stan Nelson


Pop-Culture Comic Book Review – by Brad Bellmore Black Panther

Rating: Thumb Partially Up Marvel has released a new Black Panther series, alluding to some significant changes with an alluring cover featuring a female Black Panther rather than the traditional male. The story is written by Reginald Hundlin and drawn by Ken Lashley. The first issue opens with Ororo (Storm form the X-Men) as T’Challa’s (Black Panther) new wife serving as the queen of Wakanda by making a public appearance. While addressing some school students, her husband’s jet returns. It crashes into a building as she tries to stop it. T’Challa is badly injured. The first issue follows a nonlinear arc, jumping between past and present to reveal what happened to T’Challa as attempts are made to preserve his life.

He had been invited to join a powerful cabal and when he refused, one of the members, Dr. Doom attacked him. Whether this was retribution or if the invitation had been the mere setup for an ambush is left to be revealed in upcoming issues. In the meantime, someone must step into the place of the Black Panther to protect the people of Wakanda.


The cover makes it pretty clear that that someone is a woman. But who that woman is will be revealed in future issues as well. Is it Ororo? Or someone else? The art is strong. It has the typical Marvel dynamic motion and larger than life presence of the characters. The layouts add to the strong drama of the story using a lot of splash panels and large close-ups allowing the faces of the characters to help tell the story. As interesting as the story is it gets interrupted by a brief history of the Black Panther. I love getting comic history like that. It’s fun to learn where a character has come from and how they have grown, especially when that history spans several decades like the Black Panther. The placement of that history was quite puzzling though, breaking the flow of the story, almost making you think the tale is done before you get to the final fight and the big payoff scene. Overall, this is a fun comic that took me back to my youth and reminded me of why I started reading comics to begin with. It just lacks something in a sense of power or intrigue to truly hook me. I probably won’t continue following this story but it is definitely NOT a waste of money. Odds are ok that anyone buying this will like it.

Mouse Guard

Rated: Thumb Sideways Eisner winner Mouse Guard, written and illustrated by David Peterson, continues to portray the story of mice living in Lockhaven. These mice are anthropomorphic in that they speak and operate in complex societies like humans, complete with tools, weapons, buildings and industry appropriate to the era: Winter 1152.


They are not some odd morphing of two different species like the turtles of TMNT. These mice are mice. And oddly, they seem to be the only intelligent creatures in their world, in an anthropomorphic sense. The other creatures – snakes, owls, bees, crabs, bats – all seem to behave as the animals would be expected to naturally behave. The best part of Mouse Guard is the art. Each book contains striking pictures. I often find myself in the midst of WOW moments and stare at a page at length soaking it all in. The details of the backgrounds transport you to their world, bringing you right into the woods, or the village or the catacombs below it all. The animals are extremely realistic. I suspect that Peterson spends many hours observing the animals he draws. Never has a comic book mouse ever looked so mouse-like, even when behaving in a very human manner. Conceptually, Mouse Guard is one of the more unique tales I’ve encountered. Their world, their culture and their village are tangible and inviting. The depth of the characters and the way they interact with and rub up against each other is as fascinating as it is realistic. And with each issue I fall in love with the details of how they deal with their world: acorn caps for snowshoes, hares for steeds, harvesting water from icicles. As much as I love these aspects of this series, I find the story lacking. The story of the Winter tale follows several mice that are returning from a quest to acquire medicine for the mice of their village, Lockhaven. All of the dangers of the wood that a mouse may deal with rise up against these mice: predators, extreme weather, and difficult terrain. Ultimately the group ends up separated with each party traveling as best they can to return to their home. There seem to be too many jumps between story events that don’t get connected. I get the overall flow of the story, but sometimes feel left to puzzle out what is happening. And not in the good “try to solve this mystery” sense. Visually, Mouse Guard captivates me and I will continue to follow it for that reason. I suggest taking a look at this series for the art and the creativity behind the world this story offers you. Be forewarned that that telling of the tale may be lacking though.


IIn My Opinion – by R.J. ParÊ The Watchmen - Movie Review I have been hearing both praise and scorn for the film adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons dystopian graphic novel "The Watchmen". Finally I was able to go and see it for myself. This movie works tremendously well as a deconstruction of the "comic book movie genre". This follows naturally as the original comics were a harsh and deconstructive look at heroic comic books. If you enjoyed the film "Unforgiven" and understood what Clint Eastwood set out to do with that film, then perhaps you will appreciate what the Watchmen Movie is all about. In a more realistic world setting than traditional comic book movies, costumed vigilantes are exposed for the flawed, emotionally and psychologically damaged people they would have to be in order to dress in tights and beat up muggers in alleyways. The film can be hard for some to watch; it pulls no punches. The film exposes human brutality [prejudice - abuse - misogyny - rape] and makes no attempt at redeeming these folks through heroic actions. They do what they do because it is what they relish:. the blood, the excitement, the fetish of being a costumed vigilante. This doesn't mean that they don't desire to help the world... but rather it is an admission that while their motives are entirely selfish the results of their actions exist [in their minds, at least] as justifications for the violence. This a theme that has been explored in literature and film many times before. Can the ENDS justify the MEANS? I would like to address the criticisms that some reviewers have heaped on this movie: Page53

1. That the story has too many plotlines and is confusing. I completely disagree. The screenwriter and director streamlined this film from its comic origins omitting many of the supporting character's storylines and many of the literary devices that Alan Moore used in the comic to establish mood. [ie: notes, journals, newstand pirate comics, the psychologist's home life with his wife, the role of the right-wing tabloid the New Frontiersman etc] Most of these devices and storylines were used quite effectively in the original comics as a means of drawing the reader in further to the sense of despair prevalent in the world of The Watchmen. In a motion picture, musical score and cinematography can accomplish this and do so quite well in this film. 2. That the Cold War back drop has no relevance to today's audience. Well, if history is such a no-no for movies then I guess that every war movie and period drama should never have been filmed, right? Of course, that is absurd. Either the politics of the Cold War make for an interesting setting for you as an individual or they don't. It is no measure of the film's quality or lack thereof; merely a reflection of your personal tastes and interests. For myself I cannot stand period piece romances, but the wife loves them. However, an historical action film like “Braveheart� - well that was a lot of fun. As for Cold war politics... they left their stamp on the psyches of anyone old enough to remember air raid sirens and learning to hide under your desk in school. Anyone who can remember sitting by the television and wondering if the bomb would be dropped. Certainly, it is an acceptable setting to tell a story in. 3. That the film is too long. I did not mind the extra half hour beyond the average running time for most films. For big budget adventure/SFX movies it has become the norm. The film balanced the somber pacing of the early scenes, where we get to know the characters and deal with the consequences of The Comedian's murder, with the faster paced action and SFX scenes as the film built up speed and raced towards its climax. I would not have complained if it had been even longer - but shorter? The director would have had to cut more elements of the story out and this, most likely, would have made for a less interesting film. 4. That the comics were better. Well, really you are talking apples and oranges here. The comics had their own story-telling technique... all that wonderful bonus material that I thoroughly enjoyed even more than the films score and effects. However as the comics reached their conclusion they had a terribly campy climax with giant squid monsters that really had nothing whatsoever to do with the earlier plotlines - regardless of how much exposition Alan Moore gives the characters at the end - come on! - A giant squid monster? You never really buy it and you can't see how the people in the comic do either and thus you are left with a rather silly ending to a great series. In the film, the screen writer and director - after streamlining the plot - tie in elements from earlier in the story for a much more satisfying ending that seems to suit the world they have created. I would have to say I enjoy the ending of The Watchmen Movie much more than the ending of the comic book story. As a member of the audience - a giant squid monster would have destroyed my "suspension of disbelief" much as it did in my teen years reading the comic. So in conclusion I recommend this film unreservedly. Just make certain you do not walk into the theater expecting to see Superman or Spiderman, this is not that sort of film.


Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons – by Pauline Paré Wikipedia says “A season finale is the final episode of a season of a television program. This is often the final episode to be produced for a few months or longer, and, as such, will try to attract viewers to continue watching when the series begins again. A season finale may contain a cliffhanger ending to be resolved in the next season. Alternatively, a season finale could bring open-ended storylines to a close, "going out on a high" and similarly maintaining interest in the series eventual return.” I recently watched the last episode of Life on Mars and was very pleased that the network allowed the show to wrap up the plotline and have a somewhat satisfying ending to the whole thing. This month also had ER ending its 15 year run. A series finale should always be memorable, even if it doesn’t make everyone happy. The recent finale of Battlestar Gallactica just blew me away. It was an amazing end for an amazing series.

These are some of my favourite series finales: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - There was the ultimate battle, some great lines and The Hellmouth that Buffy has been fighting for so long was destroyed, leaving a giant crater where Sunnydale used to be. You can’t get more awesome than that. Battlestar Gallactica - A great and thorough ending to an amazing series, the finale of BSG was also happy and uplifting which was quite contrary to the rest of the show’s dark mood.


Cheers - I loved how it ended with Sam coming to a stage of self-realization. He sees that his bar and his life make him happy; he really doesn’t need much more. Rosanne - It was a strange and bold end and on many a ‘worst list’ but it was memorable and interesting.

Quantum Leap - Giving a spiritual meaning to all of Sam’s missions. He did always act like a guardian angel.

Family Ties - It was a great example of an emotional ending. I grew u with this family and this finale brought me to tears. When a series is this good, it feels as if you are saying farewell to good friends. Speaking of… Friends - I did think the Rachel and Ross ending was a little corny and clichéd but I also loved it! It must be the romantic in me.


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