the official unofficial university art and literature magazine
Note from the Editor Joseph Francesco Taft Cesare Welcome back uYELL students! Last issue of the year, and it’s been a crazy one. Thanks to everyone who voted: I’ll be acting Vice-President of Communications next year, so be prepared for big changes at uYELL and UEL alike. You’ll notice this issue is perhaps slightly edgier than the last- I’ll be working for the university next year, but seeing as I already have the job the editorial attitude for this issue was pretty much anything goes- so I hope you all enjoy the slightly darker over-riding ethos. There’s still plenty to laugh at, though. You’ll see a lot of the ‘old’ favourites, as well as some new artists, many of whom I met during campaign week. Thanks to everyone who has submitted, whether you’ve been published in this issue or not. Without you, UEL would have no hope of becoming a hotspot for young artists. I can’t encourage you enough to do your thing over the summer holiday. If you write, write. If you’re an artist, create! If you’re a musician, play! If you’re a photographer, click! And if you have ideas about things you’d like to see published, then please email me. Send me your work and you can be featured in the issue at the beginning of next semester. I look forward to seeing what next year will be like, and what UEL will continue to offer all of us. As usual, anyone interested in submitting work should not hesitate to email me, the editor-in-chief (aka Joe) at: firstname.lastname@example.org
uYELLnow is: Editor in Chief Joseph Francesco Taft Cesare Editorial Consultant, writer Joseph Pierson Editorial Consultant, writer William P Thomson Graphic Designer Max de Courcy-Wilson
Contributors James Anthony - Ghostwriter, Consultant. Jonny Clark â€“ Fiction Writer Luke Griffin - Poet, Metalhead. Sebastien - Scapegoat Russell Carter - Science Fiction Writer James Ousley - Comedy Writer Keosha Blackwood - Writer Elaine Pice - Comedy Writer Sarahjane Larkin - Fition Writer Anand Maniar - Comic Writer
Foreign Correspondents Daniel Peters - USA Carley Jean Dandrea - South Korea Kamran Riyadh Parwana - Afghanistan Creative Alexandros Lernis - Head Artist Lina Tjerneld - Artist Eve Lacy - Illustrator Vicki King - Photographer ...and you? E-mail email@example.com to become part of our staff.
Letters to the Editor Dear “Editor in Chief ” Hopefully you’ve found time out from doing handstands, listening to kiss and chucking that bastard lighter around to read this email. Honestly, it’s gettin’ pretty ridiculous. Firstly, you are very welcome. I’m sure all MY help over YOUR campaign week was appreciated in full. Despite your charming approach I know your success was much more attributed to the fact that you were hanging around with a younger, funnier and not to mention much handsomer person than anything you actually did. So, you’ve asked me to edit one of your pieces- the underground thing. I did my best man, but you know what they say, you can’t polish a turd. Still, its got your name on it, so if it still sucks it’s your issue. However, if it’s funny, I’m taking full credit. I bet you’re regretting telling me you’ll print anything and everything I write, as long as it was on time. HAHA, I’m all over this issue. It’s simple supply and demand: they want me, let them have more of me. So, if you need any more advice on writing or “how to be funny” (you complete tool) get in touch and I may respond. Though I’m not promising anything. You’re welcome , JMO (Mr Cool Dude ) Dear James, Thanks for taking the time to write me. I bet you think you’ve made me regret mentioning that uYELL needed some letters TO the editor, rather than just FROM the editor, while we were “hanging out” the other day. The fact is, I hope people keep writing in, and now you’ve opened a much needed forum of discussion. I’m glad you did too, because there’s something I’ve been needing to discuss with you. And since you thought it necessary to air your grievances in a public forum, here we go: I know it’s easy to get a little bigheaded when you’re a comedy writer and you see people laughing at every word you say and everything you do. You see, this is a bit awkward...because there’s a reason why you’ve “suddenly” had so much “success” since the beginning of last semester. Please allow to me explain a few coincidences in your life that you may not have noticed as such. This year you’ve been highly published and had a friend, personal editor, and basically... lets face it, life coach who expects nothing in return. At the same time, things seem to be getting a bit tight back home. Your parents are all of a sudden broke and you think some guy at Uni has the money to publish his own lit mag in the midst of the credit crunch? Nah man, open your eyes. Your mom has been paying me to be your friend. Or at least that was how it started, but your heavy drinking made it too hard for one mere friend to tear you from your messy depression. So I pitched the idea of the lit mag to her, and said I would get you involved as much as I could no matter how much editing I had to do... and we both know it was a lot... as long as she paid for it. So despite what I’m telling you now, don’t let anyone ever argue that you’re not a pivotal part of this operation. As for the campaign, that was an extra fifty, and I should get a medal for still winning with you lurking around behind me. That was creeping, not canvassing, dude. Luckily most people heard the rumours and tried to ignore the blank stares and sporadic laughter. She also paid up for piece I “asked you” to edit for me and the preposterously ironic nickname “Mr. Cool Dude”... and all of this to build your self esteem. I was hoping with this new sense of stardom you wouldn’t notice that it’s not included, but now it’s all on the table. Yes, people are laughing, James, but not for the reason you thought. I hope we can still be friends (I need the cash until my real job starts in July), Joe (aka Editor in Chief ) 3
Just Us Now Millie was always up late on a Sunday morning. Funny dreams of pink ponies and ice-cream kept her infantile body unconscious until about 10 o’clock most weekends. In fact, Sundays were always pretty routine in Millie’s world: late start, lazy day, bath, hair wash, blow dry, bed...rinse, repeat. Except today Millie’s Sunday began with a terrible crashing sound. ‘Why does this take up so much ROOM?!’ She recognises the voice, but the harsh tone and sheer volume of it makes her sit bolt upright in shock and fear. From under her duvet, she starts to feel uncomfortably hot and her muscles begin to tense. Her heartbeat begins racing and each passing second of deafening silence intensifies her terror. Suddenly, she kicks the Holly Hobbit duvet away from herself and jumps out of bed. She makes her way down the stairs, quickly and quietly, seeking the safety of her mother. As her small, cold, clammy feet touch the lumpy, greyish carpet of the hall, she sees her parents in the kitchen. All the letters that had, until now, been left habitually unopened, hoarded between the kettle and the wall, were now spread all over the grey linoleum floor. Both parents are stood still, like statues, each immortalised in their own defiance of the other. Millie’s father towers over her mother, who stands with crossed arms, refusing to make eye contact. With her husband’s eyes boring into her head like lasers, Millie’s mother growls through heavily clenched teeth, ‘Well, first things first, and that’s our daughter.’ With a rush of late-summer hay-fever and extremely bad timing, a small but conspicuous sneeze escapes from Millie’s nose. As the sound rings out through the silence her father’s stare flickers away from her mother’s face, and his eyes meet with the sight of Millie standing barefoot by the shoe-rack in her bright pink Babe pyjamas. He instantly straightens his stance, ceasing to lean threateningly over his wife. In what appears to be anger, he pushes past his wife and then knocks his daughter out of his way. In his haste to get out of the front door he doesn’t hear the disapproving shriek: ‘ADRIAN!’ Millie has only been pushed against the wall of the staircase, but she can hear her blood tearing through her ears from the shock and speed of the whole thing. With her heart hammering in her tiny ribcage and her head filled with confusion, she bursts into tears the second her mother put her arms around her. When the tears and initial shock have subsided, Millie asks quietly, ‘Where’s Daddy gone?’ ‘Daddy has a lot of stuff to sort out,’ comes the answer, bereft of eye contact. ‘Come on, then, Dolly. Let’s get you dressed.’ Millie’s dad didn’t come home that night.
by Joseph Francesco Taft Cesare
As I was going to sleep that night, I considered the very real possibility that she may end my life before morning. The night’s head games had been particularly intense, and as I lay in bed, freshly fucked, tasting my own bloody lips, I didn’t wonder IF but HOW she would do it. I decided promptly that she lacked the wholehearted and heavy-handed commitment required for some blunt force trauma... and actually, any bludgeoning was far from her style. My girl, would never do that, I considered her far too delicate. It occurred to me that she WOULD theoretically poison me, however. Except that I do believe that her contrasting elation earlier in the evening was sincere, if maniacal, so she probably hadn’t the foresight to do so. Poison, however, is probably closer to considerable. But why would she, my wilting, blooming flower, want to end me, her well-intentioned but clumsy gardener? As I shiver with post-climax, the beautiful, brutal, buxom, blonde on my arm roles over and kisses my chest. Through the haze of deep sleep she reaches out a hand, which at first strokes my chest, but soon is digging deep trenches into my flesh with her claws, as they wander painfully down my stomach. I flinch and squirm in pain but not surprise. She does this all the time, like some fucking cat...and then I realized EXACTLY how she would do it. There was this blade I bought her for her 16th birthday, to protect her when I couldn’t. It now shimmered red and deadly in the faint light that crept in from the street, on a bedside table beneath the window. She kept it with her always, dreaming of a day when its cruel design would be selfrealizing, an equalizing force in her life. I had encouraged her to cut me once, in the throws of a sadomasochistic romp, and she eventually did, but not before I told her to... and I quote...’stab me in the heart.’ I know it sounds dramatic, but our eyes met as she sliced into my chest, and she screamed in orgasmic crescendo, as the blood; MY BLOOD trickled down to her pink linen sheets. So how did I sleep with this knowledge curled up beneath my arm, leg draped over my body? I don’t know exactly but I remember it wasn’t difficult. 5
What I would do if I had to fight an animal
by James Ousley
It’s not likely to happen. However, should you find yourself in the precarious situation of having to fight an animal, what would you do? I’ll tell you what I’d do. Caterpillar They are not quick, they are not clever and they can be easily crushed (even by accident). If you happen to be naked and there is nothing you can use as a weapon to defend yourself, then my advice is to simply just kneel down in front of it and shout obscenities (e.g. NICE FACE, ASSHOLE!). This will degrade it to death. Octopus Now, an octopus does not sound threatening. But consider this: I was going to put a shark on this list until I saw a video of an octopus mauling the fuck out of one. Trust me, they’re hardcore. If it’s on land you will definitely have an advantage, but my advice in any case is bear in mind Japanese cuisine as you enthusiastically take a chunk out the back of its head. Should you find yourself in this position, there’s every possibility you’re on a Japanese game-show, so don’t fill up, because there’s probably more Octopus head on the menu later. Giraffe Just point and laugh. It should quickly die of shame. Dolphin Our editor assures me that dolphins are dangerous [ed: don’t ask; long story]. They look pretty lame to me. For the sake of argument though, lets say it can actually use its sonar to pinpoint vital organs and thus strike a fatal blow. I’m unconvinced. Dolphin’s are basically cartoon sharks. I can’t really bring myself to be scared if Flipper [ed: you’ll be sorry...] Silverback Gorilla Right, don’t really have an approach for the silverback. They are mean bastards. With one punch they could mash your face beyond all recognition. The usual procedure for dealing with an angry silverback is to shit your pants, shut your eyes, and hope it stops pummelling you before your internal organs are turned to pâté. Even landing a decent punch to one of these hairy beasts would probably shatter your fist and while you’re nursing your wounds the gorilla is laughing and throwing its own shit at you. Beyond having an anti-aircraft gun, or a really long pole with a knife on it, just avoid gorillas. Vin Diesel What’s that? He’s not an animal? I beg to differ, this meathead is more animal than human. I bet he struggles to put two pieces of bread together, and probably thinks a sandwich is a woman with a pointy face and a broomstick on the south-coast. He doesn’t act; he’s just told he actually IS that person, and after the second or third time he believes it. Distract him with a brightly coloured object and hit him with a chair. Prick.
Life getting you down?
Drugs have become the inspiration behind many great artistic endeavours and are responsible for those epic nights out on the town.
Fed up with your daily routine? Colours and shapes looking dull? Need inspiration? Drugs offer a multi-coloured galaxy of psychedelic Do you have too much money in the bank? visions and sounds of all natures. Red Bull just not doing it anymore? Why get up for work or classes when you can crawl Well why not try drugs? out of bed at midday and sit around in your pants? One customer said: “I am literally indestructible.”
...another said: “I used to be able to feel my legs, now they’re just a memory.”
So stop taking life so seriously and pick up some drugs today. PLUS! Oorder now and get £5 off at Millie’s Cookies!
by James Anthony
The Sunday Food and Wine Review
by Aleister Clifford Editor’s Note: Aleister Clifford is, infact, James Ousley and Joe Pierson.
Rococo’s Manet Street (just off the Charing Cross Road) WC2 The short-sleeves evening is cooling pleasantly as I enter a large, open-plan room with chalky terracotta walls, some inoffensive if uninspired coastal prints dotted across them, and a service of pretty, young, variously European waitresses as benignly inviting as a warm bath. I’m served with a plain little wine menu and a couple of Luke-warm recommendations by one of the aforementioned tartlets at one of six pedestals spread around the room, each capped with a knackered tin bucket. After such a limp handshake of a beginning, the wine then comes as a surprise. I start with a crisp South African white that pinches the back teeth with a spike of lemon and then move on to two more whites, both Chilean, one of which is so peachy and warm that I have two large glasses of it and retreat to the window seat for a more leisurely experience. The place fills up and I move on to a bottle of Pecorino Abruzzo, a heavy, stout red full of bitter acorns, sharing a glass with Catalonian Camilla, who’s Catalonian, and a terrible flirt. What with the wine defusing its mellifluous charm amidst a simmer of convivial flirting, it takes me until the third glass of a second red to realise that Camilla doesn’t work here, that Camilla in fact spends her time getting pally with fat-walleted suits in conference hotels. I haggle, which is rude, but apparently the recession holds no prisoners and we nip to the lavvy. A bar’s bathroom is the most conclusive evidence of the staff ’s sincerity in their claims to truly care about the customer. A clean, elegant, gleaming bathroom is the honest heart of a good bar. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you much about them here, except that the sinks are just about waist-high on me, if you know what I mean. Ah, Camilla- and she disappeared into the night in a silk scarf trail of murky perfume and a clutch of counterfeit bills. Don’t look at me like that- the editor won’t accept hookers as expenses. A good critic always comes prepared. I helped myself to another bottle of a rather fine Bordeaux and announced my overdue departure with an unworldly belch. Goodnight all! Abra-Kebabra Can’t remember... Soho. I loitered in the streets for a while asking passing citizens where I might locate an eatery or restaurant, but to no avail. A reprobate asked me for some change to which I responded with a sharp backhand and a slur on his ethnicity. All this excitement made me slightly agitated in my inebriated state and I was promptly sick.
After scraping some of the warm, Bordeaux vomitus off my trousers with a nectar card I did chance upon a small eatery. Abra-Kebabra, a rather quaint establishment that had the aroma of rancid fat and old plastic tubs. I asked to be given the most popular dish on the menu and was handed what looked like fried scrotal sack amidst grease and shredded lettuce carelessly thrown into a shop-bought pita bread. The foreign gentleman serving me then gave me a bill of £4.80 for this hideous concoction of mashed body parts and less than satisfactory greens. I found this offensive, so I explained to him who I was and that “I don’t normally pay for food” but it did not seem to hold any water. Upon searching or my wallet I realised that it was surely in the handbag of a Catalonian whore called Camilla, who was God-knows-where by now, so I traded him my dinner jacket for the meal. The kebab incident left me feeling slightly empty and void of emotion but my spirits were raised when an all-night off-licence came into my view. Hoorah! So, after pausing for a moment to urinate in one her majesty’s post boxes I went forth and acquired some ‘tinnies’. There is nothing quite like watching the sun come up with a beer in hand. The smell of urine and vomit was quite powerful but it did not distract from the spectacle of a warm orange glow bouncing majestically off broken glass and wet asphalt, a truly pleasurable evening. Four Stars Recipes For Students by Elaine Price Part One: Savoury Delights! You know the kind; a few friends back to your place after much merriment and you want to be the perfect host. Your flatmate has stolen the tortilla chips and Maltesers and you’re faced with the meagre contents of the fridge. At this stage you don’t care whose contents. Don’t despair! There is still a chance to show your culinary genius! Your friends at uYell are here to help with a series of recipes for the most unusual of ingredients at hand. Try this one; it’s the height of sophistication! Top Tip! If you are short on crackers and are looking despairingly at the stale bread, drizzle thin slices in a little oil and bake for a few minutes. You can ‘wow’ your guests with home-baked bruschetta!
Aromatic Cheese Balls Ingredients: 2 packs of Philadelphia cheese 8oz of shredded blue cheese (yes, mouldy cheddar counts as ‘blue’) 1 small can of sardines, chopped (the sardines, not the can, very painful if you get that the wrong way round) 1 tablespoon of minced onion ½ teaspoon of hot chilli sauce 1oz of black olives, chopped 2oz of chocolate drops 2oz of peanuts, chopped Cooking Instructions: Mix all of the ingredients, apart from the peanuts, in a bowl and roll into small balls. Roll each ball in the chopped peanuts to create an elegant, crispy shell. Chill overnight (if required the same night, ten minutes in the freezer will suffice). Serve with your favourite crackers. 9
Do Fairytales give girls false hope?
by Keosha Blackwood
As a young girl I was read fairytales at night. Encrypted in these fairytales were ideologies of romance and grandeur. These ideologies were created to make the world seem wonderful and the notions of ‘happily ever after’ seem real. This was easily achievable because as a child fairytales are all you know, therefore when developing your knowledge the original implantation of the ‘love story’ inevitably grows. The ever memorable ‘love story’ became the main feature of every girl’s hopes and dreams. We believed in love at first sight, but as we grew up we were forced to come to several realisations: The first: the ‘Cinderella story’ may actually have faults. It’s easy to end a story on a high note. We’d have learnt more about life if the story didn’t end with Cinderella fitting into the glass slipper and winning the Prince’s heart, and instead showed us the result of a marriage born of such impulsiveness. What do they really know about each other? Maybe the Prince has a drink problem. Maybe he just has a foot fetish. The second: not everything will go according to plan. The ‘Cinderella story’ fails to warn us of heartache and pain. Through reading fairytales we are unaware of how relationships can turn bad because the details of ‘what happens next’ are never included in a story. We are unable to understand that a relationship can end because people can fall out of love. Basically, fairytales give the reader a rose-tinted view of the world and it isn’t until we are hurt by what we believe in that we start to see the way things really are. We realise there is no set plan in life as in the stories. We now know that we have to create our own paths and rescue ourselves because there may not be that special guy to come and save us. I am sure by now you think that there is some bitterness to this article but the third realisation which I left out earlier is: Always have hope … I stick by the notion that fairytales do give false hope and yet…I still believe that there is a Prince Charming out there for us all. There really might be that one special person who takes your breath away, that special person who makes you feel like you have never felt before. So when this does happen, hold on to it. Experience it and enjoy every moment because, just like the fault in the fairytale, you never know if or when it will end…
by Joe Pierson
It’s hard to drive when you’re drunk as hell and fucked-up on crack. It’s even harder to drive while drunk, fucked on crack and having to negotiate the gear-stick with your girlfriend’s head in the way. It’s next to impossible to drive while you’re blind drunk, high on crack and butt-naked, your girlfriend on your lap. That I managed it is a boast the authorities considered with less respect and admiration than I thought I was due. By the time the blue lights flashed in the rear-view mirror Alice was driving (Alice can’t drive), we were both stark-naked, drunk and fucked on crack, and the Micra was sodden with cider and strewn with burnt tinfoil and dangerously removed clothing. The officer tapped politely against my window. With remarkable poise (given the circumstance), I calmly unscrolled the window and said, “Excuse me, officer, but you’ve come at rather a bad time. Could you possibly give the blonde and I a couple of minutes to gather our wits and underwear?” Six days I’d had my licence. We appeared in court on Valentine’s Day, which had a certain symbolically indicative irony to it that I think we were both quite pleased with.
Time for Chains?
by William P Thomson
Every great society or civilization (or industry, to approach this cynically) has become so off the back of whipped, cuffed and/or tortured workers. Ancient Egypt was built by thousands upon thousands of enslaved people working up to their deaths. The Great Pyramids reduced now to the entertainment of people from all over the world who marvel and take photos to make their fridges look brighter. How many people look upon the pyramids and think of the those who suffered to get them finished? The British Empire enslaved people wherever and whenever they saw fit to become the backbone of a tea-sipping nation known for their manners. We have our own pyramid; the height of our civilization: The British Museum. Which is a beautiful building. It’s also a beautifully glowing symbol of Imperialism. The legacy of slavery casts its shadow upon every era of success and progression. We like to think we have left it behind as we approach a more modern, cleaner and generally fairer way of living. But we are also enslaved, just as people have been throughout history: our fences staked by business and commerce, secured by the weave of politics and guarded by industry. Is it an unsurprising motif to our modern life; an illusion of freedom and knowledge that ensures this same illusion’s own survival? Or is it that many are aware but simply cannot do anything? The government is assuring us every day that we are in control of our own lives, our country and our world. But we’re not so stupid. Politicians, governments and laws don’t control people, money does. More specifically large corporations and banks. The recent G20 summit may have convinced you that we are either on the road to economic recovery and the banks have learned their lesson, or that we are still spiralling out of control, set in a never-ending groundhog day (except that even if we do have Bill Murray’s sardonic character to break the trend, he simply can’t do enough). The truth is the G20 summit only proved that now the banks cannot be touched; they are invincible. Even with many angry people demanding answers and heads, our government simply ejaculates more intangible money that exists only as a representation of value into a system that is inherently flawed. A system which is restricted by an intrinsic need for debt makes the economy peak and trough with an increasingly polarised frequency. This will probably never end. And it is probably too Utopian to imagine that we could all stop working, and stop pulling together for the common progression of capitalism and consumerism. Many like the world as it is, or at least the opportunities in it. A few would like to dream of a different way of living; perhaps a more basic way of living, which can be pure and sustainable. Capitalism appears to result in self-destruction. Keeping ourselves aware and spreading knowledge and understanding means there will always be some hope. Knowledge is experience, and change may only begin once we realise that politics isn’t the answer. We are.
My Time in Uganda Eh! These guys can shoot. They’ll pop you off quick, no misses; how can they waste bullets in their situation. They are tough, ey yi yi! The toughest, just walking with torn, beat-up shoes or no shoes at all. Their land is only this bushy cacti; the thorns are too dangerous! Yet their feet are tough and their bodies tall and alert, covered only in simple cloth or naked. They do not fear. Ak47 on the shoulders behind their necks, arms resting on either end of the gun. Shit! to all those medallion-necked rappers, don’t go telling me you’re some hard hustler, I’ll only compare you to these guys, and then rename you ‘fragile bling’. They are cattle-raiders, bandits, but mainly known as the Karjong warriors. The tribe is the Karimojong; their land is vast, arid desert in the North East of the pearl of Africa: Uganda. Their livelihood is traditional, their women beautiful. With multiple beading and scarification they walk their lands quiet and out of reach. Because of this conflict the region is black-listed and every night you lay in bed comparing the different bulletsounds outside. Personally, I wouldn’t call the killers murderers, and I wouldn’t judge them by the heads they have taken. Please understand that when tribal situations get this screwed-up you can’t blame the actual tribal people, but instead the world’s inequality forcefully hiding them in these conditions. I am in my first year of UEL studying Sociology and Third World Development. I have been out twice to Uganda for a period of 8 months. I first went out there specifically because of my spiritual faith, and now feel completely compelled to sacrifice all I can for the work in Uganda, specifically for the people of the Karimojong. I aim to place myself permanently within their lands, setting up organisations that focus on violence and tribal politics. Due to the many graphic images I have witnessed through the conditions of rebel combat- (IDP camps of Lira District), spiritual warfare (Mbale District), starvation (Kumi District) and inequality (Every District), I am attempting to make my own contribution. Presently, my focus is on helping to manage and finance a Christian organisation, which is concerned with an orphanage and a primary and secondary school situated on Montane land. It is called GEODO (Girl-child Education Orphanage Development Organisation) and I have set up a website (www.geodo.webs.com) to increase the awareness of the project and, hopefully, to attract donors, as there are no sponsors involved at the moment. Please visit the site and take into account the critical situation. Any donations would be used wisely and prayers through any religion or faith are highly appreciated. The site of the organisation is of two tribes (Bugisu and Sebei), regions where traditional female circumcision is practised, hence the focus on girl-child equality. I would urge all of you to research some topics- Northern Uganda, Karimojong, IDP camp, LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army rebel army), Bugisu, Iteso, Kampala- just to get a better understanding of what is going on. Understand these situations are serious, and if you are interested in knowing the extent of what I have witnessed, or for any further information about what is happening here, then please contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org
by Joseph Francesco Taft Cesare
by Sarahjane Larkin
You’re almost there, almost. You’ve reached the high street, not long now. As you pass the closed down Woolworths, your feet pound the pavement and adrenalin begins to course through your veins. You need to do this, you want to do this. Your strides lengthen. It’s not your fault; you’re not in the wrong. You did your job; you did what was asked of you. People liked you; you were nice, kind, efficient. You didn’t deserve the way she treated you. It was your right to stand up for yourself: Your human right. So why, then, did she fire you? Fear, stupidity, jealously? All of the above? You were good, a threat, a great white shark, lurking in their midst. She fired you. She fired you, because you’re her competition. She’s power-mad, she doesn’t want you to take what she naively thinks is hers. But it’s not, it’s yours. She’s frightened. She’s no looker. No, far from it. Now you, on the other hand, you’re not half bad. Even if you do say so yourself. She’s prejudiced; this is discrimination. On par with the Nazi’s and the KKK. This must be brought to attention: She must be punished. This is why you’re doing what you’re doing. It has to be done; you’re the only one who can do this. It’s your calling; your destiny. She’s taken everyone in, wrapped them tightly around her little finger. Either that or they’re playing along through fear or their own hidden agendas… Everyone has their own agenda. The blonde, pregnant girl across the street, she wants to keep her man. Reign him in, that’s why she has a bun in the oven. The guy, just ahead with the dog, he has a little dick. He wants to look stronger than he really is, and that group of kids on the corner: All boys, fags and bottles in their hands, they want to impress a girl, that or just a trivial, intimidating gang thing. Either way, it’s no good, not working, they’re just pathetic. Not like you, your agenda has meaning, a purpose. You’re better then those fools. Whoa, watch that car. You can’t get killed. You have an important job to do. You don’t have time to die. You can do that later. If you die after your good deed, well that will make you immortal. They’ll sing songs about you. You’re here now. It’s dark. That’s what you need. The element of surprise, she won’t see it coming. The streetlights overheard flicker, but you can still make out the cars. You check your watch-7.40pm-perfect. She’ll be in her car, watching Corrie on her portable TV. Time to strike. There she is, in the Ford. How pathetic. This is just too easy. You feel around the waistband of your jeans and take out the gun. You walk forward. She can’t stop you now, it’s too late. She still hasn’t seen you. Is she blind as well as stupid? Probably. You stand in front of the windshield, your heart beats erratically and your palms begin to sweat. You fire a bullet into the air, making sure you still have your nerve. She’s seen you now, her eyes are wide. You pull the gun down and aim for her chest. Your index finger jolts quickly, and red strains emerge on her uniform. That will teach her. Now, finish it off. Put the gun to your temple and become an idol. You just need to pull the trigger, one last... 15
The Butterfly Defect
by Luke Griffin
A child’s reflection paints an angelic face in ripples that glide with elemental grace. She’s shattered in tatters, a shadow of dark matter rocking, whispering, chanting forever a horrible tale of horrific endeavours. The full moon scowls, howls and chants Insane, maniacal, bloodthirsty rants, Genetic structure changes as she enters a trance. As her molecules manipulate Atomic systems pulsate, making way for a mangled state that advocates demons born through nothing more than hate. Can you see the beauty quickly fading from her face? Her tears are causing ripples as they self destruct in their escape. Denied of utopian reside, our kind is far too strong not to push and pull the tides of blood and pain that must surely rise. And so it seems the hour of penance glimmers in her eye, This flower by the sapphire lake with wings like a butterfly. The effect of tearful ripples is enough to wake Poseidon, the quiver of her sorrows shakes the world that she resides in. The moon fails to orbit; scattered in the fragments of design, as the reaper picks up his scythe....but for just this one last time.
I am a Pigeon
by Owen D.P.
They tell you not to feed us, but never say why. It’s because we’re vermin, rats of the sky. We number you by millions, you can see us cotching, You should be unnerved. We are ALWAYS watching.
Because it’s cheaper than therapy Because I wouldn’t rather talk about it And because you read it.
by Russell Carter
Part One: reprinted from Issue Two Purgatory, Soarn had hated the place as soon as he had set eyes on it from the drop-ship’s window. A grey unwelcoming place populated by grey unwelcoming people. Dark brooding forests covered much of the planets surface and where they weakened in density even slightly, high winds and hurricanes would ravage the land. That had been eighteen months ago and the passage of time had done nothing to improve its appeal. Now, staring down his laser rifle’s holographic sights he feared this cold miserable place would be his tomb, though not too dissimilar from any other tomb he supposed. A dust devil skittered across the ridge, grey ash dancing in eddies of the tiny vortex. The wind tugged at his clothes as if searching for a way in, as an invading army might hunt out a weak point in their enemy’s defences. BANG a loud explosion only a few meters away shook Soarn from his reverie. Rock and dirt showered outwards from the point of impact, throwing one woman back off the ridge where his squad was waiting, her face and chest reduced to a bloody ruin by the shell’s detonation just in front of her. Soarn narrowed his eyes and swiftly scanned the boulder-dotted plain. And then, where before there had been nothing but a barren wasteland, there were suddenly several dark-armoured figures, striding purposefully across the plain. “Get down and return fire!” Soarn yelled at his comrades. He brought his rifle to bear and quickly, focussing through his sights, picked out a target. The distant figure now so clear was huge, a barbaric warrior who had three trophy heads swinging from his spiked suit. Squeezing the trigger he fired a shot directly at the creature’s helmet. Inside the rifle, helium atoms were suddenly bathed in light at a precisely calculated frequency. The atoms filled with enough energy to strip their electrons away, creating a sea of charged particles. A crystalline structure in the middle of the charging chamber drew the nuclei toward itself, their positive charges unable to resist the structure’s siren call. Suddenly, the structure lost its charge, and the electrons and protons flowed back together, mixing violently as the electrons released twice the energy they’d gained. All of this took place at subatomic levels in a microsecond and Soarn only noticed as a ghostly beam connected him to his target. Over the din of gunfire from both sides Soarn thought he heard a howl of pain and he saw his target jerk backwards. Regaining his balance the veteran warrior raised to his full height and roared, the sound rose above everything else and the enemy seemed to advance even faster. Soarn gulped hard for he knew his weapon was the most powerful his men had and all of a sudden it seemed as if Purgatory’s cold grey earth was about to swallow him whole, at least now he wished it would.
Part Two Soarn swallowed hard. The sudden emergence of this enemy from the seemingly featureless landscape, closing fast in loose formation, suggested a knowledge of infiltration and deployment built up over numerous conflicts. That, and the fact that the first and only reports from other outposts had been nothing but incoherent screams or throaty gargling sounds. The frontiersmanâ€™s weapons were proving ineffective against the solid armour of these monstrous foes. Shotgun shells ricocheted off or disintegrated on impact; at best some of the higher calibre weapons penetrated a few centimetres into the toughened metal. The coming wave slowed for a moment before it lit up with bursts of gunfire. Soarn just spotted the same warrior he had shot raising its ornate weapon to fire then, inexplicably, found himself thrown to the ground on the other side of the ridge. It took several seconds for his nervous system to register what happened. The first that told him something was wrong was the sight of the right arm lying several meters away. Then, suddenly, sickening awareness flooded his consciousness as he felt hot blood pumping from the tattered stump of his shoulder with every adrenaline-quickened heartbeat. Pain engulfed him in a cold wave and he felt his stomach purge itself. Seeing their commanding officer fatally wounded, some of the frontiersmen lost the will to keep fighting in the face of such overwhelming odds. Dropping their useless weapons to the ground they got to their feet waving their arms in surrender. The better trained men watched helplessly as each and every one of them was cut down in a hail of fire. The remaining men turned to run and came face to face with more of the death-dealing savages. Another group had already flanked their position from behind. There was a high pitched hiss that quickly became an angry roaring blast as a massive flame engulfed them that left nothing but charred smoking husks. A riveted boot crunched down on the ridge and a black-armoured figure stood over Soarn, gazing down at him from inside the hellish visage of his helmet. Fear suppressing the pain wracking his body, Soarn dragged himself through the no-longer grey dusty ground, inching his way to his severed arm and the rifle still in its grasp. The warrior watched as the man tried pitifully to pull the weapon free of his dead hand, his fingers slipping on the blood-slicked butt. Tired of the sight he raised his gun and fired.... Hell had come to purgatory. The very thought brought a wince to Brechâ€™s battle scarred face. He felt more at home here than any planet he had visited since leaving the home world. This was a wild place, invigorating and barely tainted by humans, a paradise that would not, could not be lost. Brech strode amongst the carnage. Where he thought he still saw a flicker of movement he fired off several rattling shots from his gun. This was the third stop on a healthy day of cleansing, and this was the point of it all. It was not some senseless war in the name of some god or false idol, some supposed leader of men or power hungry corporation, this was simply balance, and these were the reasons why they fought. Mankind was one of the greatest threats to itself and the universe. The brotherhood had existed almost as long as the human civilization. They are taught that in the days of their creation they fought under their true name, The Morning Stars, but they were forced to work in shadows after a brutal war that nearly destroyed them. In travelling across space however they found their own home and expanded and evolved alongside the human race, never forgetting their reason for being. They have always been hated, by those who existed with knowledge of them long enough to feel any emotion, and they would never be understood. None of that mattered, after all, angels donâ€™t need faith. 19
‘We are Doomed.’
by Johnny Clark
I told Adam I was undecided about going out. My stomach was still doing the food-poison flips but I thought the speed would decide the matter for me... once I was out. So I cast the die and dressed down as much as I could without dressing down. The night proved to be worth the gamble. Just not by any of the conventional standards... I was really just a bolster to Adam as he went to a fag’s club he didn’t really fit into to meet a guy he wasn’t really interested in. And that suited me; I wasn’t interested in going down a storm. I just wanted a dynamic atmosphere to set the speed in me alight. With that catalyst I could write until the pages caught fire. That was my goal. But it wasn’t that easy. The people Adam was to meet –let’s call them Blond Sissy and Dodgy-hand weren’t interested in my attempt to slip under the radar. And I was too amused by their mastery of camp to restrain their roving hands. To be brutally honest, I spent the bulk of the night holding in my urge to bray derisively all over their faces. But that would have ruined the spectacle. So I smiled politely and drank in the delicious sight of the over-familiar homosexual in his preferred stalking-ground. Blond Sissy wasted no time in draping himself over Adam with a deliberateness which suggested he wanted to prove he controlled Adam’s desires; a viewpoint that Adam’s ‘lie back and think of England’ expression didn’t really support. Meanwhile, Dodgy-hand whiled away the disco-lit hours by making my arse his personal stress-relief toy. Seems I’d shot myself in the foot- Dodgy-hand liked dressed-down guys. Well. C’est la vié- at least I wasn’t an ugly wallflower. People who haven’t witnessed the gay scene are often unaware of how intense it is. For all their pillowey camp, Gays are remarkably volatile people. A rude boy might last a few beers on the scene if the constant goosing didn’t terminally damage his ego first. The more these scene-hardened Gays drank, and the more rowdy they became, the further my narco-augmented spirits lifted. It wasn’t their gabby, grabby jubilation which finally reached me, after all the hours wondering if the speed had kicked in: it was the sheer ludicrousness of the situation. Adam and I deliberately placed a look of the greenest envy on the face of Blond Sissy with a hyperbole-laden act of affection. I bought my customary shot of JD and raised my glass in a semi-ironic toast: ‘to the poor deluded gay masses and their fools’ paradise.’ As I began to finish writing this, Dodgy-hand grabbed me and asked, all familiar-like, what I was writing. I wonder, what am I writing? A scathing indictment of the Gay scene? Perhaps. But still, I love it. My sense of irony will have it no other way.
Image (right) by Lina Tjerneld
Don’t Be That Guy
by James Anthony...Oops. I meant Sebastien [ed: no I didn’t.]
Amongst a circle of friends, no matter who they may be, each person represents a certain role. There’s the mental one who always makes the night out more enjoyable, the ‘smart-arse’, the ‘arsehole’, and the calm, collected friend, the source of logic and a (usually maternal) figure-head whose shoulders are made of Kleenex when things run amuck. There is also a member of the group who, like a leech to the vein, draws energy from the circle of friends, usually with their trusty companions- drugs and alcohol. This member is widely known as, ‘the liability’. Now I’m sure you all have one. That wonderful friend whose one-way system of take and take keeps pulling your patience out from underneath your fingernails and shoving it down your throat. That friend whose imbecilic escapades just can’t contain themselves. They lack any understanding of the body’s limits whilst drinking; they see the line that clearly marks the point of no return... and then snort it without hesitation. What could possibly have led them to this way of life? An unfortunate past? An early exposure to the wonderful effects of Nytol? Who knows. There is no scientific proof to it, no statistics or case-studies on orang-utans, but my own theory is simple: these people are merely born without a sense of social responsibility, most likely those babies who couldn’t find their way out of the womb and had to rely on the latexed helping hand of the man in white to aid their escape into the world. Another thing worth mentioning about this rare breed of person is that they never seem to have their own capital. This, for some unknown reason, leads them to believe that it is absolutely fine to become financially porous. Phrases such as, “pace yourself ” or, “that’s my pint” fly straight over their heads. And this absorbent sponge is always an equal opportunities sponge: their behaviour is not exclusive to their own friendship group as this social hot-potato can’t help but try his wacky bullshit with the largest man in a mile radius. This causes panic; the, “here we go again” wave of annoyance as the all-too-familiar Peace-Keepers’ Handbook tiredly cites, “He’s had a few too many... Sorry about this mate, he’s always like this”, and, of course, “We think he’s tosser as well”. The following morning’s stories, however hilarious, pale in comparison to the ball-ache that leads to them. Don’t be this person.
I Know Best
Advice from your friend the TV
Look at me! I’m your friend! Let’s hang out! What’s that? You’ve got to go to work? Nah man, Rocky 4 is on! Look at me! Look at me! Who’s your buddy? Let’s chill! What’s that? You’ve got to take a shower? No you haven’t! I don’t mind the smell! Just look at me! LOOK AT ME! I’m your soul-mate, dude! What’s that? You’re hungry? Fine, But don’t go far- just grab the phone and dial! I don’t mind if you get fat and gross... As long as you look at me! Look at me! I’ve got what you need, man!
What’s that? You’re BORED? Wanna party? Cool, cool. But don’t go anywhere: I’ve got a weed-dealer’s number right here! He delivers too! We can wait for him together, and after he gets here You’ll never want to leave me again! You can just look at me FOREVER. Look at me! Look at meeeee... I [heart] you. What’s that? You have to pee? Fine, fine. Just come RIGHT back when you’re done... Or you could just do it here...? I don’t mind... What? Yeah, you like your couch, of course... No problem, just come RIGHT back And look at me when you’re done... 23
by Eve Lacey
It all begins with an empty room. An empty room: A space which holds nothing, but is in itself something. Consider the hole. A hole: A lack of something, which holds nothing within itself, but is, in itself, definitely something. And what about us?
by Joseph Francesco Taft Cesare
by Lina Tjerneld 25
Advice from a Law Student Night out anyone? You’re already wasted, high on weed or ‘ket’, and you go to a club, drink some more and trash the club’s bathroom because you’re freaking out. You then decide that you are being looked at funny by someone else in the club. You conclude that the appropriate course of action is to kick the shit out of him. The guy ends up in hospital with deep cuts and broken bones and you spend the rest of your evening in a police cell. But whilst being apprehended by the police you hit out at one of them and end up having to be restrained by CS spray, chords tied round your legs and arms and carried into the police station (trust me it does happen). To make things worse, the information gets back to your university. So now there are two problems. One is the knee-jerk reaction, the other is the legal side. First the knee-jerk reaction: You’re fucked! But the editor of this newspaper wants more than this as he has asked for a legal article [ed: thank you!] So here is an explanation of the basic law. Step into my office, aka, my flat in halls. Alcohol Even when you’re over the age of 18 in the UK there are still restrictions on the consumption of alcohol. If you’re drunk before entering the club the bouncers do not have to let you in, and if they do the bar workers do not have to serve you. It’s the old: “I’ve think you’ve had enough” - “I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough” situation. A worker at the club can also have you ejected at any point that they believe the safety of others becomes a concern. Assault on guy in the club Under section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861, assault (pertaining to mild cuts and bruising) can be regarded as the offence of Actual Bodily Harm (ABH), which can carry a jail sentence of 5 years maximum. However, deeper cuts or broken bones can be classified under section 20 of the same Act as Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). This is regarded as a more serious offence and will carry a 5-year jail sentence. A conviction for GBH will be more damaging to any future employment than a conviction for ABH. If the attack can be proven to be intentional, the charge can be changed to GBH with intent. Now this doesn’t sound like much, but under section 18 of the same Act it can amount to life imprisonment. Assault on the police officer The assault on the police officer can be charged under the guidelines set out above, but there may also be a conviction for resisting arrest, the punishment for which depends on the level of resistance.
General note The owner of the club may want you to pay for any damage to the club which you caused. If this is the case then the trial judge or magistrate will order you to pay a fine as well as giving you a custodial sentence. And in case you hadn’t heard From the 26th January, of this year, Cannabis (weed) became reclassified as a class B drug. Any possession of the drug will be seen as intent to supply. Possession of any drug, whether there is intention to supply or not, will result in a criminal conviction. The conviction will stay on your record and can limit any future job prospects. Disclaimer Any information received in this article is a result of the author’s own research and knowledge. Any person who finds this advice to be contradictory will not be able to refer to this article as evidence. The author bears no responsibility or blame [ed: but will if someone has to.]
by Eve Lacy
by William P Thomson
Your tall half crying is winning no speciality here Kiki Try marathons more poised But youâ€™ll have to be more confident like ping-pong If you smoke or study painting hush for the time being Come off and on it You then stood apart feeling monstrous Gratuitous freedom in a beautiful sweater Bright yellow sports car Quiet and blue-eyed Your poignant grief held high for all to glare at like children Madame Chaboux cuts your morceaux ronds like an all seeing raping fuck eye Golden blond threads along slogging drains You live like jugged hare contained and exampled when fences are breached At least for the present I assume your plugged For now.
See you next year?