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This issue is a symbol of our promise to you: our readers and artists. There will be many issues to Enhance and each issue will have so much to read and enjoy that you’ll forget about the time. Enhance is an online quarterly literary and art magazine that explores the human’s perception of life through literature and art. Enhance is interested in publishing new and emerging artists as well as the seasonal artist in all genres. Did you miss the first three issues of Enhance? Read them for free at MEMBER OF THE


TA B L E O F CO N T E N T S 6. L au g h i n g G h o u l —Vi mmy

8 . W h e n S p r i n g Co m e s —Ab iga i l M athe y & I s a be lla D e Co nt i

9. J u g g e r n au t

— C h ar le s Por tol an o

10. At S o m e P o i nt, —I ngamar R amirez

11. C i g a r e tt e s a n d co ff e e —Vi c tor Par latto

12 . Pa n d o r a —J o hn R oc he

13. B r o k e n Et e r n i t y — Sylv i a Vi llalobo s

14. S o r r o w N e v e r c e a s e s , Preview — M ac ke nze R i ce

L E T T ER F ROM T HE EDI T OR Writing letters has to be the hardest part about releasing a new issue. I’m not saying that reading through submissions and choosing the greatest ones is easy, or that opening an InDesign file and tweaking margins, kerning, leading, and other design aspects is easy either—it’s actually hard too! But, writing the letter is just a tad harder. I’m going to guess that it’s because I’m too excited to discuss all the wonderful pieces. Or, I’m too happy that this issue marks the end of our first year. Actually, I’m just too excited to carefully pick out words to describe how truly excited I am! I am so proud of each issue of Enhance because each issue has wonderful, unique, and interesting pieces. This issue contains some ghosts, a spring eulogy, inner turmoil, illegal ladybugs, flirtation, and so much more! I want to thank everyone, again, who submitted. Truly, infinite thank yous! I also want to thank our sponsors and our lovely proofreaders! I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed working on it. —Sopphey Vance, Editor

L au g h i n g G h o u l

—Vi m my

i can see you sitting up there, sniggering as i search around, sitting on top of your grave, as i search in vain for one.

i lived a little longer then he, but now i’m afraid i search, in vain, for i can’t find him, laughing ghoul it gives you pleasure.

laugh with glee ghoul as i start, at the bottom of the hill, working my way up, behind angels i tread.

to see others such as i, my sight grows dim, the sun is rising to the east, i’ll sleep on my cold marble bed.

around tombstones, under trees, looking for the one i seek, at times i want to hold you down, while i strangle the laughter.

under a shroud of dark grey, hiding me from the hot days, i’m so cold, i’d like to warm up, feel the suns tender kiss.

but you would laugh harder, so chuckle away ghoul, i search for my love. buried somewhere near me.

laughing ghoul my skin is grey, my lips are pale and cold as ice, my hair is lank from lying around, i need loves kiss to warm me.

perhaps you’ve seen him ghoul, fair of skin, blue of eye, sighing alot, as lonely as i, such a true heart has he.

laughing ghoul help me please, my eyes are getting heavy, for if you should spy my lonely love, i beg thee tell him where i lie.

laughing ghoul i beg of thee, if you my lover doust spy, please tell him i look, for no rest can i get.

i’ll awake and see him there, full of vim and vigor, i’d blush pink, fix my hair, hold him close forever.

until he’s in my arms again, we had a wreck on the way home, his head was smashed, while i was thrown.

laughing ghoul you laugh harder, to see my sad plight, colors fade to grey at last, i fear it’s much too late.

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for when i sleep today, i may not awake tonight, objects are growing dim, my time is almost done. laughing ghoul should you see, my sad lonely boy of blue, tell him i searched in vain, but could not find my love. for tonight i’ll not rise again, my time here is gone, laughing ghoul ‘tis so sad a plight, i can’t see the hilarity. closing my eyes to the light, i seek comfort in my dreams, holding my sad lonely love, one last kiss do i give. on his lips so pale and blue, tousling his hair so fine, his eyes would smile, as i sink beneath the ground. laughing ghoul....

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W h e n S p r i n g Co m e s

—Ab i g a i l M athe y & I sa be lla D e Cont i

I’m sorry about last year, things had gotten so bad that in my broken anguish I was unable to see. My eyes were too busy clouded with tears. I was unaware that you passed; the hole I dug was so deep it kept my soul ignorant of your sweet seduction. In my heart it was just winter. I looked at you and seemed oblivious to your beauty. You patiently waited. You danced and celebrated, trying to draw me out. I stared and failed to see the sun rising. Your fragrance was so inviting but it wouldn’t move me. Your sweet songs that you sang calling my name were mistakenly drowned by sobs. You held out your hand and I couldn’t see it; I rejected it over and over. You gave me your heart and I turned my back to it. I left you in the darkness, in a blindness that should have been only mine. I didn’t know any other way for you to understand that you were always perfect, and I took your amazing beauty for granted. The tears flowed and they crashed instead of simply falling. I should have let you catch me but I fell to deep and not even your whispers could guide the way. I could see your light but it just seemed too far away. Summer came and I finally reached for you but my heart told me you left me and things were never the same after you were gone. The tears had slowly faded my heart slowly put itself back together. Fall was

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here and in me this yearning to see you awoke. I missed your lovely whispers and songs that I should have listened to. My heart was hopeful that somehow, that hadn’t been the end of our story, and for me it wasn’t the end of that love. I was hoping that our love had just hibernated, but the thought of this winter this cold yet to come unsettled me. I wonder what memory will take over again when I see you. Would the pain re-appear or will our wildflowers bloom? I miss those times and my heart is still yearning for your soft whispers and the warmth you bring. I miss the way your songs would lull me to sleep or how your breath made me sway. My heart aches to gaze upon your restless beauty again. But, I am hopeful that our love is still there. That you haven’t lost your faith in me completely. That I haven’t lost the most magical thing I ever had. I caught a glimpse of you and thought I was dreaming. I heard the whispered hint of your song for just a second. Then I heard it again and it was like a dream. You came back for me beautiful as ever. Your sweet seduction drew me in; your sweet fragrance hypnotized me. In you, I saw the Sun rising out the flowers blooming and the eagles dancing as they mated for you. Lovely Spring you came and once again stole my heart away.

J u g g e r n au t

— C h a r l e s Por tola no When the bad news grew worse becoming unbearable making breathing almost impossible there was no way we could ever stop to think how hard life is or to get off the path; it’s like being chased by one’s demons, with us only wanting to keep from falling, just got to keep putting our best feet forward taking the days as they come flying by, we make sure to duck, for events are too far beyond our control so all we could do is keep running as fast as we can praying and hoping not to be crushed by the staggering realization that this is to be our fate forever running trying to stay one step ahead of the unrelenting rush of worries wanting to roll-over our sensibilities. [ Pag e 9 ]

At S o m e P o i nt,

—I ngamar R amirez

while walking barefoot along the borders of summer and absurdity I was abducted by illegal ladybugs * (it gets better) they insisted that I let them trace irregular crop formations across my hand and then urged me to finish my ice cream sandwich it was perhaps the least traumatizing abduction in the history of reported abductions around the world and given a few word changes many people would start to question the outlandishness of this story but you asked me how my day was and how was yours? * I consider anything without photo-ID to be suspicious of illegal residency

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C i g a r e tt e s a n d co ff e e

—Vi c to r Par latto

I still have my humor and a piece of love that grows and fucks. there hasn’t been a woman, yet to make me forget what so funny about this world and the next. “how many times have you had sex, platano,” an old friend said and I looked over at him, and shrugged, “I lost count after I lost my virginity.” he laughed. we both laughed as we took our cigarettes with coffee. we were never good friends, but today felt different. not like I never thought of him as a friend, but how can he understand me? how can I expect it to be? but he understands now. he’s bled my blood and I his. we’ve bled for a woman we loved, and laughed at our pain after. I throw my cigarette at the ground, still lit and look at him enjoy his still. “with pain like this, you have to enjoy your cigarette and coffee for as long as you can, platano.” i nodded. wise words from a man who’d lost his wife. wise words, indeed. maybe tonight I’ll find a 20$ hooker on 17th street: try to have coffee and cigarettes at 9 at night. [ Pag e 11 ]

Pan d o r a

—J o hn R oc he It starts with the eyes mirth cascading to chin’s perfect pool rising in mists of mischievous smile flashing white teeth pink lips. Then you click to see rest of the photo: face attached to woman lying belly down in clover-sprinkled grass floral print jacket open to reveal inviting cleavage foregrounded folded hands counterbalanced by legs in the air bare feet swinging over head waving nonchalantly at the camera. By then it’s too late to resist.

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B r o k e n Et e r n i t y

— Sylv i a Vi lla lobos

The final toll of the black bell Sending souls in heaven or hell a casket filled with agony of songs ,and unfinished poetry Of forgotten romance and punished defiance Of regrets and memories redemption and tragedies a blanket of guilt covered thee into decay ,and a broken eternity. Of a ruptured vein and of poisoned rain the failing vision and unfinished season of angst and sorrow to live and die tomorrow of a mother’s gentle hands and of vermilion sands inside the gathering that cries and as well as the murmuring flies a blanket of guilt covered thee into decay ,and a broken eternity

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S o r r o w N e v e r c e a s e s , Preview

—M a c k enze R i ce

She stood there taking cleansing breaths, knowing that she couldn’t focus on the past when the future lay only a few small steps in front of her. She breathed once more and allowed the anger to melt away. Closing her eyes, she focused on the sorrow that always surrounded her, beating at her defenses and demanding her to pay attention to it. Dropping her defenses, she pulled it towards her, allowing it to flow into her as a steady brook. She allowed it to fill her, overwhelm all of her senses allowing it to transform and became sorrow personified. A pair of black baggy dress pants encased her long runner legs and a simple black tank top hugged her curvy upper half. The tank top had a low cut back, allowing her black wings with red tips, freedom. She flapped her wings just once, allowing them freedom before folding them against her back. Opening her eyes, she stared ahead at the door that separated her from her greatest challenge, hiding it away from the rest of the world. With a simple twist of her wrist and a gentle shove, she pushed the door open and almost staggered. The sorrow flew at her with hatred and anger, brutally beating at her, demanding she kneel in front of its presence. Her hand flew out, gripping [ Pag e 1 4 ]

the door to hold her weakened body up and that is when she felt it. Her shocked eyes flew to the door and she called the ward to life. It flashed to life in a bright green light. The never-ending knot that was before her was extremely familiar to her; it was the knot of healing for sorrow. Running her hands lightly down it, she watched it shiver as she increased its potency and lifespan. The sorrow was so twisted that it would easily eat away at the ward and only in the length of a day; it would have disappeared had she not aided it. She allowed the ward’s strength to flow into her for one precious second and then stood straight. “Silly little sorrow,” she cooed softly. “Did you think you could beat me down? You have lived for too long as this evil energy. Allow me to help you.” A brutal attack lashed out at her but she ignored it and took a step into the room, closing the door behind her. “Don’t attack me.” She warned lightly. “I am the ultimate sorrow and I could easily erase you right here and now.” But you will not. Hissed a disembodied voice. Because you cannot without killing the thing, I inhabit. She fought to keep the shock and horror from her face. The darkness

that was within every angel, a twisted gift given to them by the gods, had merged itself with Lucian’s sadness. The confidence she had felt earlier disappeared. Gritting her teeth, she quickly ran through many options of how to untangle the darkness from the sorrow. Any choice she made would have to be exercised with extreme caution or she would kill her patient. “You are right but why will you not allow me to help you?” She approached the bed, ignoring the lashes that were coming at her from all sides and marking her body with angry red welts. She knew if she paid attention to the physical attacks that she would lose. The darkness that inhabited them all was a foul consciousness that waited in the shadows for them to fall. It preyed on the weak, but the Darkness itself had one large weakness, the lack of a consciousness when it came to ending lives. It was a vicious circle because with the consciousness the other sect seemed to have, the Darkness would have extreme difficulty ending the lives of loved ones that fell to the sirens call and became Demons. This body is delicious and filled with so much energy. The sorrow he feels

for allowing Eve to die is a fine wine. Just think, it laughed cruelly, if I can kill him or change him, it will haunt your realms till the end of days! She clenched her hands so tightly that her nails bit into her skin. If Lucian turned, if he became a demon it would forever scar them. If the darkness managed to drain him dry and kill him, she would not be able to tell anyone for fear it would occur again. She looked down at the man that once had been the shining light for the muses and felt tears roll down her cheek. At one point in time Lucian had been a full framed man that standing tall and proud. Now his frame was gaunt and bones protruded where the skin was stretched tautly across it. His once short and well trimmed blond hair was shaggy and long. His regal face was marked with lines of stress and pain that she was sure would never go away. “I can’t let you continue,” she whispered softly. “I have to end you.” She closed her eyes. “Even if it means ending Lucian’s life.” Malevolent laughter rang out through the room. I would like to see you try. You are such a sorry excuse for one of the Darkness. Tears. It scoffed. What dark angel cries at the [ Pag e 15 ]

thought of ending a life? I will destroy you even as I destroy him. She brushed at her tears. She was not ashamed to be seen crying nor did she feel anger at the goading from the darkness. She sat down on the bed beside him and felt resolve fill her. “I see now that there is no reasoning with you. Fine you have chosen your path.” Her eyes hardened and her voice spoke of no pity. “I will cause you to exist no more.” She gently laid her hands on his chest and sent her soul seeking deep into his. A violent wind tore through the room pulling at her physical body trying to distract and dislodge her. Nothing distracted her from her search. She needed to find the darkness and untwist the sorrow from its grasp. If she managed to untangle the deadly weave than she would be able to handle the sorrow and Lucian could handle the darkness. The darkness was not a mindless vicious animal; no it was one with thought and purpose. She had to be more cunning than the darkness and she was. In its arrogance, it forgot one simple fact. She was sorrow given life. She was drawn to sorrow and sorrow was drawn to her. She found the darkness, its oily black fingers interwoven into a cloud [ Pag e 1 6 ]

of multi-hued energy, the sorrow that Lucian felt. Every now and again, she could see flashes of brightness from Lucian’s soul. It reassured her that despite the darkness and the sorrow, Lucian had at least a little hope when it came to rejoining the realms. She began to the difficult process of untangling the sorrow and darkness. She lifted one tendril and wanted to scream out in agony. It felt as if she was dipping her hands into acid. She wanted to drop it, everything in her screamed at her to drop it but she knew if she dropped it, she would never be able to reach the sorrow beneath. She called to the sorrow, offering it shelter within her body. Relief flew through her as a small portion of the sorrow answered her call. The tendril she had been holding wrapped itself around her wrist and tugged at her even as the last of the freed sorrow filled her body. No longer able to contain the scream, she let go. “Come back,” commanded a voice gravelly. “Come back Little Red. Leave that place now!” She could not resist the command, not even if she wanted to and found herself slowly returning to her body. She blinked away the tears and turned her head to stare into the most vibrant sky blue eyes she had ever

seen. All though sorrow had dulled them around the edges, strength still remained in them. “Lucian.” She sighed. “Lucian!” She yelped as she struggled to sit up and pull herself off Lucian’s chest. “I am sorry.” She apologized, a blush staining her cheeks. She was horrified that she had collapsed on HER patient. She was as weak as a newborn but she could not let him know that. A ghost of a smirk flashed on his face. “It’s fine Little Red.” “I didn’t think you would awake so soon,” she said turning the subject to his condition. “I only managed to take maybe a thimble’s worth of sorrow away from you.” “You should have not taken any of it.” His eyes narrowed as he spoke to her. “It was dangerous, foolhardy and I should have been allowed to seek peace in the arms of death.” Anger flooded her body. “Die?” She snarled. “Why should we allow you to die? You are the Angel of Light, leader of the light angels. Death is not for you.” Lucian turned his head away from her as pain rippled across his features. “I did not save Eve,” he whispered. “I deserve to die, she was my mate and I cannot nor will I live without her.”

Dakota pushed herself up off the bed roughly, anger making her movements jerky. “You were not bonded to her Lucian. I know sorrow, I am sorrow and I would have allowed you to seek death if you had been bonded to Eve but you were not.” She paced the room in agitation. It seemed as if no one trusted her skill when it came to sorrow. “You are needed now. You can’t allow one death to take you away when others need you.” He turned, his eyes pegging her with a mixture of sorrow and anger. “Do not tell me what I can or cannot do. I have been leading my people for hundreds of years,” he said snapping at her. She stalked over to the bed, leaned over him and pegged him with a stare that spoke of no pity. “Then lead Lucian. You have been lying unconscious for five years as an invalid, allowing sorrow to course through your body. Are you so selfish that you thought of no one but yourself? What about your sister, your brother, your realm? They all need you but you allowed yourself to be taken away by one childish and selfish girl.” She pushed away, needing space from the man that was infuriating her. With quickness that surprised her, [ Pag e 17 ]

Lucian grasped her wrist and pulled at her so she could not walk away from him. “What about my family?” His eyes hard and dangerous. Dakota felt fear flash through her for one brief moment. The man that was before her was one that had led his people with determination and strength. There in his grasp she could see why his realm had mourned for his loss as deeply as they had. “The Council charged Serine to watch over you. She has been taking care of you for these past five years and it has begun to take its toll on her. And your brother,” she shrugged almost carelessly. “Well he has found his mate but his secret has become known since his mate... well she is slightly impulsive.”

Read the first part of the Angels and Demons Series

—Click the Book Cover for more information

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All Original Works Belong to the Authors —Magazine Design ŠCopyright Sarai Oviedo 2011

Enhance No 4 - April 2011  

The Fourth Issue of Enhance Magazine by Sarai Oviedo for On Impression.

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