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THE CATCHER IN THE BARLEY

J.D. SALINGER remembered


T

hat pearly jewel, suspended in the silky night by the faint necklace of the Ursa Major, glared at the darkness and cast its eye on all. On all the plants, silenced by its xing stare. On all

the buildings, whose sheen reected a ghostlier world. And on all the park benches, especially on the one which Gareth Mellows rested, his legs great pillars from halfdestroyed ruins. The night sky held innumerable stars, and yet they paled in magnitude to the murmurings held in his heart, and how they seeped out and tainted the whole of his being, left him an ant without an acacia, homeless and without purpose. He felt dark, as if breath had been thrust deep into his body without his consent and he was overwhelmed by the sensation. He felt ready to be taken by darkness, held in its uncertain caress and nestled until he, too, was nothing, save nothing itself. The darkness was consuming Gareth, eating up his black, custom-tailored suit that tapered at the back. The soul is trapped in the body much as the moth is trapped in the light, trapped until it ies too closely to the thing that most attracts it, and in one glorious moment is stricken dead in highest ecstasy. He needed to escape it, though it was everywhere, though he didn’t know it. So he went on a walk. A walk to clear the air, to clear his eyes, to clear his mind. This wasn’t the rst time he ran from impurities, pollution -- he had run from mirthed love, deserving love, familial love. A marker of distance, a relation of physical relations to each other, was always his way of coping with incessant dread. Meanwhile, Nina gazed out quietly across the still water. She looked over her small garden, and for a moment, alone in the darkness, watched the stars and felt a chill breeze sweep her away from the world. Her loneliness enveloped her alongside the endless dark, and was broken only by the long, soft sigh escaping from her lips. She was so alone, so hungry for the company of another. Nina gazed out from her small Japanese garden across the rooftops of the compound and into the inky night sky. It may have been a sliding break in her imagination, but she fancied that something smooth and black had moved just out of the corner of one eye. Suddenly she heard a rustle. Thinking of all the various things that could slip along rooftops at this time, she pulled her Kimono tightly around herself, protected her smooth, warm, white neck with a tender hand, and shivered. A light breeze swept away the noise again, and she went back to pondering her circumstance. Without a groom, she was destined to the life she felt now -- destined to remain forever alone in the darkness. She would gladly take someone to be hers, if only, if only a man could nally understand her. These rich men who would so often come courting had no grace, were all the same, and would never be all that Nina desired. They would never be unique. Nina closed her eyes and smelled the fresh air, taking deep droughts. Her pulse slowed. An icy hand clamped down on her right shoulder and gently moved up her neck as she convulsed and let out a sharp shriek. She lept to her feet, staggering backwards and almost into the pool of water she had been watching moments ago. Towering above her was a strange man whom she had no recognition of. He wore a thick black coat, crowned by long shining ebony hair. His skin was as pale as spring snow, and his shoulders were thick and broad. In the darkness she could see reections of the moon in each of his shadowy, piercing eyes, and for a brief moment she felt herself being ung down a


tunnel into their depths. Her trance was shattered by his rough, low, accent, one she could not quite place. “Please forgive my intrusion Madam. The season is harsh and I seek a place of refuge for the night and through the morrow.” “But, but, the guards, how did you, ohhh.” Stammered Nina, her mind racing to discover how this strange man had simply walked into one of the most tightly defended lodgings in all of her father’s ef. “Again, you must excuse me, I have a way with the lady darkness and thought it best to avoid disrupting your gracious hosting with a clamorous entrance. In fact, I would have proceeded straight to the lord’s sleep chamber, but your reection in the moonlight pool caught me.” The man seemed to trail off here, staring intently at Nina for a tense moment. He picked up again “But, of course it is so late! I am very.... Hungry, and require a place to rest. Will you oblige me?” He had placed his hand on her small, warm, shoulder again. It almost burned against her smooth skin. She started to speak, but found herself drawn slowly forwards towards his immense form. Her foot caught in the garden gravel, and Nina tripped up tightly against the stranger. His freezing hand now slid slowly across her vulnerable neck, chilling her spine. Nina let out another low sigh, smelling this strange man, and thinking of how much he reminded her of a quiet black night. Not quite understanding what she was doing, she pressed her warmth up close against his cold. His other palm moved down her back and came to rest gently cradling her back, his face tilted downwards into her open eyes. “Your skin is purer than the moon, a rare gift.”, uttered the stranger, momentarily breaching the silence, allowing it to sink tensely back into place in the absence of his compelling twang. Nina now found herself gravitating closer to his face, the two being separated only by inches, breaking eye contact just for a second to marvel at the whiteness of his unusually long teeth. She inhaled deeply and without realizing it, found herself brushing lips with the stranger. At rst their touch was gentle and only to the lightest degree, but spurred on as if drinking cold water for the rst time after a parched journey, Nina began to push her body against her guest, and feel his lips caress her. On his walk, Gareth walked past trees, nearly bare with the nearing winter. They appeared to him as skeleton hands breaking through the Earth and grasping for the only sensible thing, the sky. He wished he had something to grasp. Something to hold on to. Everything passed between his ngers,

seeming weighty but ner than the sand at Mykonos. He never truly felt a sense of place when he was alone. His walked yielded no answers, and yet by its end he found himself in front of a dimly-lit house, one light in fact, at the top of a hill. The architecture of the Tokugawa Period of Japan instantly brought to mind samurai, tea ceremonies, seppuku, calligraphy. The lms of Akira Kurosawa. The digging of a sword into one’s chest, the rhythmic tensing and calming of hands, Archimedes spirals until it reaches the heart, a collapse of time. How do you describe in words your death? These are the things Gareth Mellows pondered, confusion and darkness and death. Yet the little light drew him, the little single light that provided a

way apart from the darkness. He saw the light as just-born babies see the light, as the only option. He went to it. The two collapsed into the night gravel. Nina ran her small hand across his chest, discovering that it was cold, immense, and steely. The man was now gracefully rubbing her lower back and cradling her hair in his hands. She slid her palms in circles across his chiseled abdomen, shuddering involuntarily at their pleasing tightness. He left her lips for a moment to caress her neck, and began softly kissing it with his chilling lips, Nina moaned now, shivering gleefully at the contact. She reached below his waist and felt a thick, long, protrusion, sighing at the discovery, and began to caress the great mass with short pulling movements. She pulled his face back to hers, and began kissing him now with an intense rigor. The wind blew against her neck, and she felt it dry a short, warm stream of blood that had begun to dry along its length. The man’s

lips tasted of her own salty blood, oddly pulling her onwards. The light, lacking enough in any conventional sense but revealing in the prevailing darkness, showed Gareth’s true beauty. His hair cascaded down the sides of his head and came to a foamy rest on his shoulders, swaying as he took delicate steps towards the doors. His shoulders were sharp and hardened, begging to be grabbed and pulled with all the strength one could muster. His hands were large, large enough to smother a newborn baby, yet supple enough to hold an injured birdling. His hands were not his largest feature, but the cage of his mind prevented him from showing his true strengths at present moment. The door slid open, he found the compound to be almost as lonely and desolate as the hill. The desolation created throbs in his stomach, doubling him over, revealing the muscles of his legs as they held his crackling body. Once he regained himself he went exploring. The stranger slid one hand across her back, and began to loosely pull the kimono that covered Nina’s form away. At once, she grabbed both sides of his black coat, and wrenched it apart and away from his chest. He grasped her quivering left breast, now sitting bare in the breeze, and she bit hard at his neck to suppress her low moan as his hands moved in circles across her erect nipple. Kissing the man furiously, Nina reached for his thick, leather belt, as he slowly pulled away her dressings. As she eased away his belt, Nina reached into his trousers and with pleasure, grasped her ngers around his great organ. With zeal bordering on ferocity, he smacked her small, tight buttocks with a great hand, squeezing all along. Nina tore away his pants, and like a gull on a scrap of meat lowered her head. She felt the great penis in her mouth, it stretched her lips wide and reached to the back of her throat, reminding her of the snow she would oft eat as a child. Smiling through her bulging mouth, she began grasping her lips up and down its length. He rufed her soft hair, as she began to suck faster, placing one hand at the base of the stranger and lling her lips as she reached endlessly for relief she could not nd. Her knees ground in the cold gravel, rubbing in the dirt and slowly saturating in groundwater. Stopping suddenly, she pulled the stranger up and uttered “We must go inside before my father sees!” He wordlessly followed, the two grabbing each other as they stumbled towards the door, collapsing to the dry cedar the moment they passed its threshold. She


fell on his form, pressing closer, and closer to him now. He licked her neck, intangibly biting it on occasion. Both of his hands rubbed across her small behind, spreading its checks in periodic circles. She reached two hands down, between the two still not managing to fully grasp his member, and rubbed it in long, even motions. The stranger took in Nina’s form hungrily as she began to touch herself. She slipped a nger over her clit and started to tease herself, feeling how wet she was. She closed her eyes, feeling herself grow more and more sensitive to her own touch. She kept playing with herself, icking her nger back and forth across her clit very gently, and as she slipped a nger inside her pussy, the stranger lunged at her, no longer able to sit idly. He pulled her dress up and pushed her back onto the oor. Nina was silently begging him touch her and relieve her of the unbearable ecstasy she was feeling. The stranger sensed her silent pleas and smiled cruelly. He spread her legs wide, not for a second breaking eye contact, and threw them over his shoulders, slightly lifting her hips off of the bamboo mat. She breathed shallowly as he began to tease her, brushing his cold red lips against her inner thighs, nearing her soaking cunt. Not able to take it, she grabbed his head from both sides and pressed his face in between her legs. He growled, grabbed her arms, and twisted them under her body. He began to lick her clit very gently, pausing between each lap to look up at her face to read her impatience. She knew she could free her hands and force him to devour her, but she remained patient, knowing he

would strike when he was ready. Instead, she reached up to play with her breasts, pinching each hardened, pink nipple rather hard. This excited the stranger, and he began to increase the speed of his strokes, alternating his gentle licks with circular motions around her swollen clit so that she felt the immense pleasure from all sides. He was now applying more pressure with his tongue, and she moaned, begging him to fuck her. She was so wet that she could feel her juices and his saliva coating her inner thighs. He ignored her pleas, and instead thrust his tongue as deep into her cunt as he could. She gasped for breath, unable to restrain herself, locking his head in-between her legs with her knees. He was now hungrily buried in her sweet pussy, licking her hard and wildly, bringing her closer and closer to coming. Just as she yelled out, he suddenly straightened up, grabbed her legs, sliding her petit yet heaving form close to him, and thrust his cock as deep and hard as he could inside her.They rolled over, the stranger seizing the top, and he began to thrust with overwhelming power. She ground her nails hard into his chest as she bit her bleeding lip, encouraging him with her sighs, wishing for more. He split her like a crashing timber tree, grasping deeper and deeper into her receptive body, coming hard from many angles. They began to roll again, and as Nina urged forwards starving for more, they crashed through the thin paper wall of the room and in to the next. He passed a room with a stream running through, the intrusion disgusting him, and passed other closed doors until he came upon a room, empty save three mats and a

stone in the center. The stone was as large as a ripe watermelon and was perfectly smooth, and texture titillating in its simple, sensitive pleasure. He sat on one of the mats and began rubbing the stone, slowly and with only his tips, until he grew accustomed to the feeling. Though it buckled his knees and made his feet shake, he pressed further down his digits until his palms came upon the stone, and at this he could no longer keep his eyes open, closing his world to all save the sensation. Faster and faster, harder and harder around the stone, exploring every crevice, every angle, every approach to its surface. He had never felt so gratied in his life, and yet his desire only grew, his desire to become part of the stone, to break through the surface and penetrate the stone, join himself to it, lose himself in it. He felt, in constantly closing his mind to all save this stone, that the anticipation was growing, that the feeling was becoming unbearable in its carnal enjoyment, his whole body rocking in violent tremors as he felt all his passions concentrate just below his center of gravity. He was growing, readying himself to become one with the stone, to release his life essence to it, when all of a sudden the outside disrupted his euphony with a dissonant crash from behind. Broken from his climax of concentration, Gareth turned around hastily and saw two forms rise from the cold ground amid. “Father of Raven’s Wings Gareth” the stranger exclaimed with a start, standing quickly up. “I did not know of elders in this part of the world!” “Indeed it is I” whispered Gareth with passion. “I see you nd me at a opportune time, for I too long for the warmth of human company.” Gareth opened his eyes and looked at Nina with a terrible vigor, taking an involuntary step forwards as he deeply inhaled. Clutching the stranger with one frail arm, Nina pulled Gareth into herself, dazed, but moving as if seeking to end some horrible problem she could only begin to fathom. The two men rubbed her thighs, touching her bare breasts with their probing hands, and both sucking heavily on her neck now. She broke from their caresses and descended to her knees, grabbing both of the men’s pulsating protrusions and rubbing them aggressively against her face. She placed one in her mouth, pushing it to the very back of her throat, and then the next, alternating as quickly as she could. The two men sighed and continued to rub her breasts, and she swallowed away like a snake on freshly found bird eggs. The men picked her up, turning her slowly, and the stranger penetrated her immobile form tenderly from behind. Gareth slowly thrust forward from the front, and Nina howled with joy as she rubbed the tight muscles of both men. Slowly, she felt herself lifted off of the ground by their great strength as the


cannot wash it out, nor can time. Sesame Street tests each episode on an audience of young children. Episode 2895, which dealt with the divorce of Snufeupagus’s parents, was screened by a total of sixty children in four daycare centers. It never aired—follow-up interviews found that children had not understood the subject matter.

penetrating esh pounded faster and faster. She wrapped her legs rmly around Gareth, turning to lick the stranger’s ear as he bit her neck and slammed far into her form. Gareth now began to bite Nina as well, while the stranger’s teeth drew a thick stream of blood. Nina pleasurably moaned, enjoying the thick throbs tearing her apart and sucked up the red liquid owing around her mouth. Her legs gyred and she felt she was being pulled apart by wild horses, an insatiable urge to annihilate her being. Gareth, licking his lips deeply, opened his ravenous mouth and pushed his teeth deeper into Nina’s neck, lapping every last drop of blood. He felt the stranger pushing his tongue into the cut their teeth had formed, and his teeth sliding past his, grating vast chunks of Nina off into his mouth. Nina had stopped moaning now, and the vampires continued grotesquely feasting, the silence of the evening slit only by their sloshing slurps as they drained Nina dry. Entering into this blood frenzy, the two vampires both fed fervently, stopping the gorging ritual to rub hot blood into each other’s hair, licking one another’s incisors as their maroon lips met. Incensed by the presence of a new sensation, they began to ravenously take to one another’s bodies, stripping completely, revealing muscles chiseled as David’s, pubic hair vaster than a sylvan glen, and staffs turgid in their yearning for enclosure. Each man appeared ready pillage a defenseless town, their glares were so intense, and Gareth was less than gentle in the way he pinned the stranger to the oor and proceeded to lick the blood from every crevice of his body while simultaneously sheathing his sword into the stranger’s scabbard. The shrieking emanating from the mass of bodies echoed off the walls and served only to enhance their pleasure. Gareth mercilessly fucked the stranger until he howled in pain, and at that point they both remembered Nina, who was

trembling in terror. Seeing the vicissitudal waves in her eyes, they both descended upon her and feasted, harder, faster, longer, with more passion than they had ever done before. - - - - - - - - - - Birds chirped lightly in the morning. An attendant walked through the manor, stopping suddenly and dropping a platter full of tea. The vessels shattered apart on the wooden oor, drenched now in blood. His jaw dropped and he stared blankly at the bare, drained bones sprawled out in front of him. //

Ways to ruin children1 by Maria Schapiro

In December 2008, the owner of Bridgewater Quality Meats, Ilan Parente, moved his business to Minnesota, leaving forty-four tons of kosher bison meat in the factory. When the power was cut in January of that year, sub-zero temperatures kept the meat from rotting. However, by April of 2009, the stench had spread throughout Bridgewater—a town with a total area of 1.1 miles and a population of 607 people—overwhelming the elementary school, the bank, the supermarket, and all 266 private residences. A teenage boy masturbates for the length of one lusty, lazy summer, building an unconscious association between pleasure, fulllment, desire, and decomposition. Years later, living in the city, he kills prostitutes and keeps their bodies in the basement, each body covered in layers of semen like a salt pan desert. Sometimes he enters them. When he is inside it is so cold—as cold as a Bridgewater winter. At night, in his bed one oor above the bodies, he dreams of his hometown. In every dream, every memory, there begins a strange waft of color, rippled lines of grayish red. It is an inescapable smell—tomato juice

Along with many heartwarming messages of “multiculturalism,” the young girls of Holyoke Daycare watch a slew of experimental episodes. These include the episodes in which Prairie Dawn is raped in a backalley by Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch murders college students and keeps their severed ngers in his trashcan, Abby Cadabby receives a botched abortion, and Bert is lobotomized after his OCD becomes unmanageable. The girls will be develop an intense fear of eece, bright colors, and squeaky voices. Their parents cannot explain these maladaptive behaviors. Naturally, they blame TV. “Too much junk,” they say. “If only there had been more Sesame Street.” An Austrian man imprisoned his daughter in a hidden basement room for twenty-four years. He fathered seven children on her. One died three days after birth, three were taken upstairs and raised as foundlings, and three remained in the basement. The oldest of these subterranean children was nineteen at the time of rescue. She was extremely pale and could not bear exposure to natural light. Imagine facing the brothers and sisters of your blood, so pale they are partial albinos. Of course, this is the never-ending torture of the well-lighted lives of the Upper Children. They know what grass is. They have seen a spectrum of color that the Lower Children have never seen, cannot imagine. The Upper Children walked three miles across Amstetten on a sunny day; the Lower Children do not understand the concept of distance. The Upper Children thank God. They also thank the choices of their father. Did they cry less? Did their mother, who is also their half-sister, beg him on her knees? Or are they the products of a choice without reason? It is an unsolvable problem; it haunts, it drives them mad.2 ___________________________________ 1 J.D. Salinger was a recluse. J.D. hated people. J.D. Salinger hated children. 2 Why, yes. How did you know? I do work with children. //


My cousin lays it out by Sam Alden

I remember that in 2002 I was at a wedding reception in Bakerseld, California, following the marriage of two fat people to whom I was distantly related. I was thirteen, and sitting at a table with my older cousins Claire and Sally. The country club was lled with white people with red faces. Although I’d been charged with lming the reception (this was due to my interest in stop-motion animation, which was somehow thought to provide me with the skills necessary to lm a wedding) I was more interested in reading Catcher In The Rye, which I’d propped on my knee. Occasionally my cousin Claire would stop irting with the sixteen-year-old in the cowboy hat and lean over to ask me what part I was at, and I’d say, “He’s in a hotel,” or “He’s just thinking about something.” At some point in the night, I put down the book and wandered outside. The air was dry and warm and I sat down on the manicured lawn of the club to watch the headlights on a distant desert freeway. After a while Claire walked up with a clandestine cigarette hanging off her lower lip. Claire was sixteen and she’d started smoking because she wanted to be a writer. Knowing this fact is probably the best way for you to understand Claire. “Need some fresh air?” she said, and I nodded. She sat down next to me. “God, what a bunch of phonies in there,” she said. I nodded again. Claire made a big deal out of lolling her head around to breath out her smoke. “So you’re reading Salinger,” she said, looking at me from the corners of her half-lidded eyes. “Yes,” I said. “Do you relate to Holden?” said Claire. I shrugged. “Sure,” I said. “That guy knew what was up,” said Claire. “He saw through all the bullshit and the fakes. And even if it meant that he was lonely and unhappy all the time, at least he was being real.” This surprised me. I was about a third of the way into Catcher in the Rye, and Holden Cauleld had not once struck me as a morose protagonist. The novel seemed to me to be about a young man wandering through interesting locales and meeting strange people and having pretty thoughts about ducks. I’d read it as a story about nding beauty in solitude. I told this to Claire and she gave me this pitying little smirk. “Well, I guess you’re in seventh grade,” she said. “I’m in eighth grade,” I said. Just then the 16-year-old cowboy walked

by, holding hands with Claire’s younger sister. “Hi Claire,” her sister giggled. Claire and I watched them disappear into the darkened parking lot. “That was weird,” I said. “Bitch!” whispered Claire hotly, and I looked over and saw that she was tearing up. “Are you okay?” I asked her. “I’ll tell you about it when you’re older,” said Claire, wetly dragging on her cigarette and looking the other way. “Claire,” I said, “don’t be so condescending. You don’t have to treat me like I’m a kid.” I remember that this sort of surprised her. “Sally knows that I liked him,” she explained angrily. “And she had a thing for the other guy at the table. I thought it was going to work out.” Just then a slightly chubbier teenage cowboy, who I recognized as the Other Guy, sauntered up in clicking boots.

“Hey,” he said. “Hi John!!” Claire said, leaning forward and pressing her arms to her sides. “Hi,” said John to Claire’s breasts. Neither of them said anything to me, and so I wasn’t sure if I should say hi too. “John, let’s go for a walk, huh?” said Claire, standing up. Jude looked surprised and pleased, and she took him by the arm and they walked off together towards the moonlit golf courses. I watched them go until they disappeared behind a grove of trees. I turned back to the freeway. It felt lonely to be thirteen, on the side lawn of that Bakerseld country club, with my cousins boning each other’s crushes in the dark. I tried, but I couldn’t see anything particularly beautiful in that. //


Ode to Catcher in the Rye: 237 Goddams, 58 bastards, 37 Chrissakes, and 6 Fucks by Iris Alden

This is the third issue of the second volume of THE SECESSION, now an ofcial ASWC club. Cover illustrations by Isabel Blue. Secession Inc. regrets that not all submissions can be printed. All inquiries and complaints can be forwarded to secession09@gmail.com. On a related note, The Secession is looking for editors for the ‘10-’11 school year. Please contact if interested.


Secession 2.3 Part 1