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With so many humans, and so many hidden talents, I see everything as a creative outlet. I am proud to say that the people surrounding us within this world, are the people who contribute to COLLECTIVE. For artists of all kinds, all with forms of their own creation, COLLECTIVE, is inspiration from the inspired. __ Editor Izze Rumpp

photo by Erika Astrid


contributors Ellen Rumel Nenah Young Andrew Mason Austin Kirkham Megan Jae Riggs Master Control

cover & logo created by


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“live in the now”


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“There are infinite possibilities in any given moment.�


Andrew Mason


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“I believe everyone can discover the tools of beautiful creation, just keep your open mind�


Death Valley Drive

in reflections of a Winter road trip or the multiple, wild parties of days long since past. by Austin Kirkham Completely silent and still, Ethel continued staring at the same distraction which had he Studebaker’s tires lurched against caused the present incident. Where once the curb, sending its front end directly there was longing for adventure in her tired at the head of a young boy. The momentum heart, there was now a thick and numbing of the yellow Commander continued on, sensation of guilt and shame. The tears that crushing and crumpling a lime-green began streaming across the desert valleys of bicycle that the boy once sat upon. her skin were the only indication that she was Crimson liquid spilled onto the hood and not suffering the same complications as Teddy the vehicle was halted by a black fence of Martin. thick metal. The remains of the bike made ound eventually arrived, a concerned a terrible shriek beneath the suspension of ensemble in the form of alarmed Ethel Hansen’s antiquated 1956 Studebaker neighbors. She remained as a statue amidst Commander, muffling the sound of her the murmurs and shouting that began tires squashing what was left of the boy’s flooding in. Sirens shortly arrived and lent watermelon head. Everything finally their voice and the heated drum of Summer seemed to stop at that and there was an kept beating on and on. Ethel’s head was eerie, peaceful silence. pounding. The symphony of red and blue Ethel was a woman of about discomfort began ringing in a massive sixty-eight years, with storm-cloud grey crescendo. Ethel responded with silence. hair gathered into a bun atop tired and Wide eyes displayed her disturbed state, a few exhausted flesh stretched across protruding animated nods communicated her compliance cheekbones. Dry wrinkles traced laugh with a Trenton police officer. lines extending from her thin cherry lips One solid click marked Ethel’s situation, up to her small, rounded ears. Theodore, but the silver cuffs wrapped around her wrists or Teddy, was a boy of around nine. His were an impossible blur in the madness and face was scattered and flattened by the shock of it all. Officer Lester Keese was Ethel’s Studebaker’s tire, however, the boy’s savior and temporary captor. His voice was clothing was without much damage. Basic strong and comforting without the manic or tan shorts, an orange button down short frightful edge possessed by the onlookers sleeve shirt and sandals marked the boy outside of the vehicle. Ethel was unable as someone prepared for Summer. There to comprehend his words, but there was a was no helmet that marked him as a boy tinge of relief in her heart, still awash with prepared for Ethel Hansen, however. grief, as the maddening roars began to fade Ethel’s laugh lines seemed to diminish away. Ruby and sapphire lights continued as her wide blue eyes remained glued flashing madly, but there was no screeching to a photograph on the Commander’s to accompany their antics. The only noise was dashboard. The faded image of Death Lester’s rhythmic, inaudible murmurs and the Valley, and a curious wooden shack, was the hum of an engine. object of her attention for the past several moments. It was not hard to become lost

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Ethel’s violent symphony had finally come to a rest and real words began echoing in her aching head. Ethel. Ethel Hansen. Her voice shortly followed these thoughts in a weak and pleading ton,e “Ethel. Ethel Hansen. My name is Ethel Hansen”. Officer Keese responded with a solemn nod, his own speech was still muffled and barely comprehendible, but a thick and deep accent of African flavor slammed out of his mouth in a strangely soft fashion, “Hello, Ms. Hansen. You’re speaking. This is a very good sign”. Lester continued holding a concerned expression aimed toward the road, upon his wide, dark lips was a dutiful frown. thel glanced toward the road as well, not fully recognizing the words that Lester spoke. Her mind was a thousand miles away and scattered about like rain from a cloud; her attention was dispersed upon the strange, shifting world before her. Grey concrete had become shining silver and black pavement shifted into reflective obsidian. All the color of Summer was bright and overwhelming. This effect continued down all of Landry Avenue. One landmark eventually caught her attention, a very vivid and bare building formerly known as Hansantiques. For a brief moment Ethel managed a weak smile. The scent of sawdust infested her mind and sparked her memory. Visions of collected amber, restored Winchester rifles, and a tremendous assortment of well kept Stetsons flashed across her eyes. This pleasure did not last long as the building flew by in only a few seconds. With its

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passing, a frown formed upon Ethel’s lips once more. Inside her head were the Martins, Tim and Alexis, very pink with youth and joy. A bump protruded from Mrs. Martin’s stomach, the couple was interested in purchasing a bassinet crafted during the roaring twenties for their second son, Theodore. Ethel recalled hearing about their eventual divorce at a dinner party, rumors of domestic abuse, and running into Alexis Martin at an airport, her eyes stained with purple blotches, and a travel bag at her side. There was so much to know, so much that had been said, and they had only met twice. thel was brought back to the present world in an instant, suddenly recognizing the words of her officer, the first audible words in quite some time. Lester spoke with sincere pity staining his voice, “We need to go into the station, Ms. Hansen. I apologize for everything that’s happened, but you seem to understand what needs to be discussed”. The station was a sickly shade of salmon with windows of tinted black. That’s hell itself. Everything began moving much more slowly in Ethel’s mind, including the world itself. I deserve this. Grey and purple matter strewn on concrete, a green aluminum bike bent like a jungle gym; both of these things began haunting her mind. More tears slipped from her eyes and she tightened her grip around Lester, needing some kind of tie to the real world. Ethel’s eyes widened with fear and before she recognized it a seat was beneath her back. Shame and doubt throbbed behind her eyes like a permanent grief-given migraine. ull grey blocks were neatly patterned beneath Ethel’s black plastic seat, forming the floor of a Trenton police station. She continued staring at the ground as Lester joined the ocean of sound nearby. Telephones were chiming, people were shouting and once more she could not comprehend the words being said. Ethel’s hands began trembling and it

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became hard to breathe. er mind went to Death Valley, that dangerous photograph on the dashboard. No, no - Don’t think of that. Not right now. Ethel gazed up at the crowd again, that blur of black and blue. Everyone nearby emanated pure aggression and Lester Keese was nowhere to be found, as such Ethel began searching for something tangible in her mind, closing her eyes. Words began returning to that sacred temple of thought; an anatomy lecture took the place of silence. The human brain is a delicate and unpredictable organ. It can spasm, it can collapse. The brain is everything and because of that principle we are subjugated to its stability. Age effects that directly, officer. Ethel opened her eyes once more, looking out to a familiar figure among the sea of strangers. Doctor Hansen, her husband and evidently her inner monologue, had arrived. “I understand that you’re saying, Mr. Hansen-,” the officer was interrupted by a snappy man, thin as a twig, with hair white as marshmallows. “-Doctor- Hansen. Yes, she was unresponsive. Yes, she did something Godawful, but she wasn’t lucid! She couldn’t have been!” Vocabulary became lost to the new symphony of argument before Ethel, much more tense and frightful than the performance an hour or so earlier. She sat entranced by the incoherence of it all and the tune of anger, mixed with utter insanity, contrasted poorly with a despairing note of fear that began to erupt in the back of her mind. The piece grew louder and more disjointed as additional uniformed men donated their instrumental madness with staggering dramatics. Ethel felt her heart

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begin racing to the beat of resounding anger and confusion. Pounding, shouting and slurred words turned into violent chords. The world blurred into shades of grey and blue before black devoured all other color. Silence came again, this time with a sense of peace.

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linding white color replaced the encompassing dark, ushered in by floral wallpaper and bleached tiles. A single and repetitive robotic chirp replaced the chaotic rhythms that Ethel had become accustomed to.. The stench of pharmaceuticals and cleaning products was utterly intoxicating and overpowering. Ethel’s senses returned to her in an instant, ushered in by terrible tasting air. For the moment, it seemed that the world was tangible and normal. In an instant, Ethel’s investigative methods returned to her in the form of narrowed eyes searching for details. Why am I here? Ethel gazed over at her right wrist and noticed a strange clean line surrounded by dirty flesh, indicating something had been covering that area at some point. There was also a scuff on the plastic blue railing of her bed, removing some of the faded paint. There was no immediate pain, she wasn’t hooked up to any IV’s. Confusion spread across her face but turned into intrigue at a nearby stack of papers and magazines. Ethel remained silent and began examining a nearby newspaper, The Trenton Tribune, dated July 24th, 2008. Major stories included a suicide in Oakton, Hubert High School shut down for asbestos exposure, a family still in mourning after the death of their nine year old son. The news is always so cheery, Ethel reflected with a slight frown. The crinkling of paper echoed in the room as she turned to read about the Teddy Martin story.


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t has been five days since the death of nine-year old Theodore Martin as the result of a negligent driver, Ethel Hansen, sixty-eight. A police report suggests age may have been a factor in the incident, however, Dr. Arthur Hansen, husband of Mrs. Hansen, has been working to prove that the woman’s mental health is sound. Mrs. Hansen has undergone significant medical exploration and trials over the past several days to investigate this claim and seems largely unresponsive. There have been no real words articulated from the woman yet, however, we reported earlier that the officer responsible for escorting her to the Trenton police station on Landry Street, Lester Keese, claims to have heard her say her name. A memorial for Theodore Martin will be held this weekend at Dover Park. We encourage our readers to send donations to the deceased’s father, Tim Martin. What have I done?! The woman’s frown contorted, widening into a maw of heartbroken design. Tears streamed forward from those ocean blue eyes, turning her faded cheeks into salty reservoirs of collected sadness. Audible cries of miserable pain croaked out from her dry, parched mouth. The shuffling of shoes acted as a precursor to her speedy nurse’s arrival. Behind the woman in pink was a giant. Tim Martin, with massive teeth set against thin gums. His shirt was the color of grease and torn jeans marked him as an impoverished man. Ethel’s mourning cry became a shrill shriek of horror directed at the muscle laden beast charging into room seventy-two. The nurse fell to the ground, pushed aside by monstrous mister Martin. Ethel continued screaming for some kind of help. A purple tunnel formed around the man and his balled up fists were coming closer and closer with each eternal second. I’m sorry. The words wouldn’t come out. I’m sorry, I am so, so sorry! All light was blocked by the behemoth’s shadow or the encroaching dark. Shouts began echoing behind Tim Martin and a paper-thin man, clad in shades of brown, was quick to respond

to the impending horror. flood of white coats began channeling into the room as well, one of the women was smart enough to arm herself with a syringe that was glinting with liquid. Unfortunately, this small army was far too late. Tim Martin made his way to Ethel’s bedside in one mad charge. He was glowing red with an idiotic urge for vengeance and as such sent his massive fist directly toward the woman’s right cheek. A loud crack rang out in the torrent of shouting and everything faded to black, sending Ethel to the abysmal dark once more.

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ahogany brown stood out amidst the pale walls of room seventy-two. That solitary color brought Ethel the first bit of comfort to be had in quite some time. Everything came into focus as she recognized her husband in his ugly tweed coat, with faded tan patches at the elbows, sitting in a green and red plaid patterned chair - right at her bedside. Doctor Arthur Hansen was worse for wear. Presently asleep, his mouth was pursed deeply and resembling a turtle’s beak. Even at rest he appeared stern and serious. Circular brass spectacles, short white hair and an absence of facial fuzz marked the man as a professional.


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thel managed a small smile at the sight of her exhausted guardian. The morning sun had begun shining through and it would not be long until he rose as well. A pain began flaring up on the right side of Ethel’s face and all present peace seemed to fade away. The swelling had gone down immensely and the woman could not help but notice an empty spot in her mouth where a molar once sat. It wasn’t the physical pain that caused her any real strife, however. I’m sorry. It had been seven days in this porcelain prison. Much of this time was nothing more than a blur. There were camera flashes, there were needles and once in a while the face of her loving husband. Nothing seemed permanent and every conscious second was blended into some anomalous and intangible moment that could hardly be investigated. The only constant was the medical miasma of chemical scents festering in room seventy-two. Ethel’s eyebrows rose at that recollection and her gaze returned to Doctor Hansen. Always a man of science. It was not hard to realize that her extended stay was a result of his consent. Anger lingered for a moment but passed with a single heartbeat. He just wanted to prove I’m not senile. They always think we’re senile. Ethel could recall the various senior moments of days at the antique store; the misplaced autobiographies, a lost pocket watch. This was not a senior moment. A fire began in Ethel’s chest, a warm and tense one without any present pain and she spoke aloud to anyone and no one nearby “My name is Ethel Hansen.” Arthur stirred at her frail voice, licking his rigid lips and murmuring muffled nonsense. Ethel felt a sense of serenity at that simple action, cooling herself. She smiled weakly at her doting companion, this time opting to slowly wrap a hand around his own balled up fist. The man’s knuckles were rough as sandpaper and composed of tense tendons glued onto thick bones, but it was more comforting than anything in the cosmos for those brief moments. Be strong, Ethel. Be strong for yourself and be strong for Arthur too. Moments passed with her face turned dumb from happiness. The sun shone brighter and Arthur found himself with fluttering eyes and rotating eyebrows, waking from his slumber. His small pine-green eyes danced around for a moment before recognizing Ethel. Arthur’s sharp features twisted into a concerned frown, from which he began speaking, “Is this you, Ethel? Or is this the drugs?” She was quick to respond with a forward presence. “My mind is my own, dear. God knows what they pumped me with, but for now I feel just fine.” “Yes, they were rather careless,” Arthur sounded bitter as black coffee before softening up, “How much do you remember?” “Teddy Martin is dead. They think I’m senile. Tim Martin is an absolute monster of a person. I’m a monster now as well, I know that, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone.” Arthur shifted slightly, adjusting his spectacles before speaking in an inquisitive manner. “And what exactly happened, Ethel?” “I was driving. I became distracted; I was trying to tune the radio station and then you know the rest. That’s what happened, Arthur.” Ethel flinched as she said ‘Arthur’, recognizing the aggressive manner she was speaking in.


“Ethel, the radio wasn’t even on,” Arhur paused for a moment, noting his wife’s present distress before continuing, “If you don’t remember-” “I remember. My name is Ethel Hansen and I remember what happened. I’m not senile, I’m not unfit. I was distracted and that’s all that happened.” Arthur opened his mouth to respond to Ethel’s assertion. The door, however, took this chance to creak open and reveal a young man in a bright grey three-piece suit, armed with leather briefcase clean as the shining tiles beneath his polished and pointed shoes. “Ah. She’s awake. Lucid as well?” The boy gave Arthur an expectant look. “Yes, lucid at last. Now, who exactly are you? I remember a fair bit, but not you.” Ethel took Arthur’s chance to respond, staring the boy down with an expression that read of thick suspicion of the utmost intensity. “Excellent. I’m glad you’re well, Mrs. Hansen. My name is George Carter - I’ll be representing the Martin family in court.” Casual yet debonair, there was a sinister edge to the young lawyer. Bleached blonde hair, bright brown eyes and an outrageous mole pinned to his left cheek made the man appear like a bad comic book character brought to life. Needless to say, Ethel wasn’t amused and neither was Doctor Hansen. “I assume that Tim Martin sent you here to intimidate us? You don’t have quite the same body structure for that, Mister Carter”. George smiled kindly at the remark. “I’m not here to manipulate anyone, Mrs. Hansen. My job is to inform and learn. It is, however, terribly rude of me to intrude so soon after you’ve regained your composure. My apologies, I’ll be on my way.” With that, the boy gave a formal bow and made his way out, leaving a silence in room seventy-two that Arthur was quick to dispel. “That lawyer has been beyond unsettling, Ethel. His attachment to the case has been more of an obsession than anything. I believe he was a close friend of Tim Martin.” Ethel could not recall Carter having visited the store while it was operational, nor were there any mentions of the man at any dinner parties or town gatherings. The man had all the making of a pedophile, but Ethel decided it best not to make such an assumption. Instead, her eyes turned to Arthur. “What’s next?” Ethel’s tone was firm and declaratory. The man’s thin eyebrows rose up, crinkling his forehead into contour lines. “You’ve passed the evaluation with some difficulty. I posted bond. You can legally come home with me, but you cannot leave town until the trial is completed, it’s been set to proceed in four days.” “So I have four days before Tim Martin beats me to a pulp or Carver sends me to rot in a cell?” Arthur blinked a few times at that, speaking in a distant and concerned voice. “Ethel, you killed a nine year old boy.” “It was an accident!” Ethel snapped, glaring toward her husband, “It was an accident, Arthur, an honest mistake.” Tears began rolling down her face, “I’ll burn for


it, I will, but today I am an old woman. I don’t deserve to lose my time left over something I couldn’t control.” Arthur stiffened at this, frowning sternly before offering a hard rebuttal, “And that boy didn’t deserve to lose his time left to something he couldn’t control either.” There was a thick silence in the air following Arthur’s point. Ethel stared him down with a wounded expression, but was not given the chance to speak. “We’ll get you home. I can’t stand seeing you here and I don’t think you’re mentally unsound. I love you, Ethel, but justice has to be met in all cases.” With that final sentiment, the man grabbed his massive coat and made for the door. His head was lowered as a confession of his own shame and guilt. Ethel tried to articulate a response, but had no such chance before the man slipped out and closed the shining white door. ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ he constant creaking of a rocking chair lovingly crafted and restored from the Civil War echoed throughout the Hansen residence. Upon it sat Ethel, clad in a respectable and dainty black and white garb with a pearl necklace composing a lovely and sophisticated outfit. Everything about her looked professional, even the purple mark on her left cheek had begun to fade back to bronze flesh. It was her court date, Arthur was in the kitchen with a turquoise tea pot while she sat in their collection room. All of history lined the walls. Ancient bookshelves recovered from Nazi Germany looked just as they did when Hitler rose and when Hitler fell. These shelves had ancient and prized texts all along their lovingly tended mahogany frames. On The Origin of Species, Second Edition by Charles Darwin. Ethel managed to catch it for fifty dollars back in the late seventies and it was now one of her most valuable pieces. It was a present for Arthur, right as he had begun teaching anatomy at the local university. She could still remember the smile on his face, how impressed he was by this clever detective of history. He hasn’t even touched it since. Ethel’s gaze danced across various globes and journals before focusing in on a shelf of faded photographs. She rose from the seat, swallowing loudly before slowly walking over to the small collection. On the third shelf up, there was a familiar image of a run-down shack with a yellow Studebaker at its side. There was a notation on the photograph that read: Death Valley, 1969. Ethel recalled the day she became engaged, Ethel recalled the hidden away vacation spot, Ethel recalled the last day they went to that strange spot twenty years ago. Sentiment filled her mouth and her withered hands grabbed at the photo, she marked it with red lipstick and a deep sigh. Arthur called from the kitchen, the tea was ready. She could smell his Latakia tobacco from the second floor. The scent was positively infuriating. It smelled like old age. It smelled like retirement. Even when he was young he tried so hard to be old. Ethel set the photo on the shelf and called back to her husband in a lively, synthetic tone “I’ll be right down, sweetheart! I just need to use the restroom.”

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thel made her way to the stairs with a silent edge to her careful footsteps. Moments later she slipped into the garage. There was a loud click as light filled the chamber. An empty spot marked where her Commander once sat and her husband’s beige Lincoln sat nearby. Arthur always left the keys on a hook near the spot he kept his weathered stetson. Ethel was quick to grab them and make her way inside the vehicle. I’m sorry, Arthur. There was a lingering sense of remorse in her heart, but it was quickly washed out by a sense of urgency. Upon the dashboard of Arthur’s vehicle was a photograph of Death Valley. In the passenger seat sat a pile of consent forms for all sorts of medications, dated accordingly with the past week. Ethel stared at the photo while the garage door began rising. Sell the pearls for gas money if needed. There’s an emergency nest egg in the trunk. Music began echoing out from the dashboard as well and Ethel was aware that her husband would soon follow. As Cash’s General Lee began blaring throughout the Lincoln, Ethel revved the engine and made her way into the street with her eyes on the clear road as compared to that of the past. ♪ Take a look back there ♪ ♪ Sirens blowing, red lights flashing everywhere ♪ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ Arthur had searched throughout the entire house for Ethel. He was perceptive enough to recognize the red smudge on a particular photograph in the collection room. He was romantic enough to understand the significance of that photograph as well. It had come too late, he recognized, and the sound of bus doors closing behind him managed to evoke some substantial fear in his heart. Justice had to be met, however, and he continued onward into the dusty courthouse set upon the largest hill in the small town of Trenton. Worried faces surrounded Arthur like statues. They were all painted with shock and detailed with eyes all looking for that senile old woman, Ethel Hansen. Occasionally there was the flash of a camera, but Arthur continued in his march. He held firmly onto his stern

frown as something of a vessel to survive the ocean of onlookers. His hands were glued to his sides and he had the posture of a king. pon entering the courtroom he was met with little noise. The faces staring at him, however, spoke with great intensity and volume. There was anger, there was fear, there was shame as well. None of these faces were like the other. George Carter looked like an excited child, Tim Martin looked like a furious demon and Lester Keese could only be described as sad. The most haunting face was that of the presiding justice, Marcus Rhodes. The man was obese. His beard was a salt and pepper octopus. The glasses he wore were rounded in a way similar to Arthur’s, however, they had a reflective edge so that one could not make contact with his eyes. The man was a solid rock, looming above the entire room with commanding silence. Arthur stood before them all. A thousand eyes were peeling his skin back, searching for any notch in the white armor he held. The room grew quieter and quieter with everyone simply staring the man down. Arthur looked up to Marcus Rhodes with his hands still serving as some kind of thick support structure. As the man awaited word from the giant hand of the law, only one thing ran through his mind. I’d rather be in Death Valley.

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Missoula, Montana photography

This self-portrait series started at a time when I was unsure of myself. As a trained photojournalist, I found it foreign to be in front of the camera, staging scenes. As it turns out, it was just the right medicine. I enjoy exploring nature, dreams and imagination.


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Bellingham, Washington visual transmission

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ONTACT the collective editorial team: izzerumpp@gmail.com instagram: @theinspiredcollective facebook.com/theinspiredcollective theinspiredcollective.tumblr.com theinspiredcollective.squarespace.com


ellenrumel.com ellenrumel.tumblr.com Instagram - @ellenrumel Tumblr: nenahshae.tumblr.com Flickr: flickr.com/photos/nenahshae Instagram: @1015saturdaynight Email: nenah.young@gmail.com meganjaeriggsphotography.com tumblr: masonspacestation.tumblr.com instagram: @masonspacestation facebook.com/masonspacestation email: masonspacestation@gmail.com Austinkirkham42@hotmail.com. Austin Martin: austinmartin.us



December 2013 edition