Bohemia Letter From Editor Beloved readers, Happy October! I hope our first labor of love left you filled with anticipation for more Bohemian prose and poetry. We’re raving mad and the follow-up to “Launch” is “Raven.”. ‘Tis the season for sending chills and thrills with some camp, class, horror, and mystery. Oh what fun it is to create a spooky edition of Bohemia for October. We are loving the feedback from the community. So many have contacted us to give us “props” or ask to participate. Your letters, e-mail, and well-wishes are always welcome. Thank you! And thank you to our sponsors and advertisers for partnerning with us to promote local art and literature. The Bohemia staff is my dream team– fun, bright, imaginative people that I am honored to be in association with. Thanks guys for every thing you do. You are Bohemia. This month, we’ve got creepy crawly stories galore for this gory issue. The monsters include zombies, a werewolf, psych-ward psychos, Edgar Allan Poe, the mad hatter, a lovely geisha, ghosts, and much more. Read all about our cover gal, Amanda Rebholz, the Queen of Scream, and read her evocative story Evitpac. In addition to
n house-Hixso Amanda New ire na di Editor Extraor
fabulous articles and poetry– short story writers Gary Lasseter, Michael Bracken, Kelly Digh, and Whitney Van Laningham make their first ever appearance in Bohemia. We also have a brand new short story by previously published writer Jack Larimore. And in fact, this issue is chock-full of all kinds of tantalizing tidbits. You might want to keep it in the basement closet under lock and key. Oh bold readers, don’t let our creatures from beyond catch you off your guard… bahahahahaha. Much love my sweets.
Photos by Noelle Argubright
Special Edition: Halloween 4 ��������������������������������������������������������������������������My Bohemia
Colleagues and Contributors
8................................................ Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven
Owner and Editor-in-Chief
9 ������������������������������������������������������������� Blackbird, Fly Away!
8 ����������������������������������������������������������Where the Wind Blows
Jim McKeown Assistant editor, PR, blog
10 ������������������������������������������������������������� Eye of the Beholder
Amanda Rebholz Staff writer, nonfiction editor, photographer
13 �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Evitpac
Eric Doyle Staff writer, fiction editor Lisa Hathaway Staff writer, photographer, illustrator, blog Esmeralda Uvalle Staff writer, blog Dominik Young Blog
Art & Photography
Penney Simpson Layout and design director
16 ��������������������������������������������������������� The Zombie Collective 18 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ Survival! 22 ���������������������������������������������������������A Frightening Festivity 23 ���������������������������������������������������������The Queen of Scream 27.................................. Cotton Bales, Goatmen, and Witches: Legends from the Heart of Texas
Jessica Randazzo Art and photography editor
28 ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Wwharewolff
Lindsey Parker Photographer
30 ������������������������������������������������������ Interview With An Entity
Renny Quintero Illustrator
32 �������������������������������������������������������������������� Trypanophobia
Ad Sales & Subscriptions
33 ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Plath-atudes
Rebecca Melton Ad sales manager
Noelle Argubright Subscription sales, ad sales, staff writer, photographer, illustrator
Stories: Michael Bracken, Kelly Digh, Jack Larimore, Gary Lasseter, Whitney Van Laningham
Bohemia: Waco’s Art & Literary Journal (Waco, TX)
Poetry: Kelly Digh, Isis Lee, Carmen Merritt
Volume 1, Number 2 October, 2011 ISSN No. 2162-8653 Printed by Waco Printing Co. Cover Photo, Amanda Rebholz, photo by Jessica Randazzo
page 3 • bohemia • october 2011
Models: Married With Sea Monsters (Carrie Burt, Kat Dixon, Ryan Hull and Alden Tarver), Fonedead (Daniel Cole and Billy Robinson), True Love bar’s Eric Mitchell, William Blackwell, Chelsie Dansby, Rachel Gross, Hannah Howard, Elizabeth Powell, Jeremy Randazzo, Colton Treadwell Make-up: Amy Cook (“child” zombie, geisha), Jimi Vandolah (MWSM zombies)
Baylor students take the opportunity to pose downtown with our Bohemian models.
My Bohemia Eric Doyle
We are believers and doubters, itinerants and natives, soccer moms and face-piercing misfits – bon vivants and motorcycle mechanics. Our Bohemia is founded in contradiction: populated with third grade teachers and rogue scholars, power-tie businessmen and graffiti artists. We are gypsies with mortgages, poets in minivans. We’ll leave Waco as soon as we graduate; we’ll be buried here beside our parents. We’ve climbed Machu Picchu and played tour guide in Rome, accidentally stumbled into bordellos in Budapest. We’ve never left the state. We’ve collectively cancelled out each other’s votes for years. We agree on very little except that Waco can be lived more artfully. We are not Greenwich Village or old Montmartre. We will not ape the modes of LA and London: that affected disaffection, that anemic irony. We are Central Texas, and our Bohemia will be of our own design. We are likely to be provincial, unrefined, embarrassingly earnest. These are the risks of honesty. We are the anti-zeitgeist, the everyday poets; collage artists playing in the Louvre. We’ve no grand designs, no rebellious credo. Bohemia is only a way to make our lives more human. page 4 • bohemia • october 2011
Dr. jekyll and Mr. Hyde By Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson originally wrote ‘Dr. Jekyll And Mr Hyde’ as a ‘chilling shocker.’ He then burned the draft and, upon his wife’s advice, rewrote it as the darkly complex tale it is today. Stark, skillfully woven, this fascinating novel explores the curious turnings of human character through the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, a kindly scientist who by night takes on his stunted evil self, Mr. Hyde. Anticipating modern psychology, ‘Jekyll And Hyde’ is a brilliantly original study of man’s dual nature - as well as an immortal tale of suspense and terror. Penguin Group USA, 2003 Photographs by Jessica Randazzo
by Edgar Allan Poe
Photo by Bradly Turner
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door -
That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door; -
Only this, and nothing more.”
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” -
Nameless here for evermore.
Merely this, and nothing more.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
This it is, and nothing more.”
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”
page 5 • bohemia • october 2011
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
the raven by edgar allan poe
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore -
Respite - respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore:
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door -
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore -
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!”
With such name as “Nevermore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil - prophet still, if bird or devil!
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown before -
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting -
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Of ‘Never - nevermore’.” But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
page 6 • bohemia • october 2011
[First published in 1845]
Blackbird, Fly Away! by Carmen Merritt Incessantly rhyming; reverse, I’m rewinding. I find I keep typing“tweet-tweet”
They are mockingly heard.
What do they want?
sick and illiterate.
Lying awake in bed, I’m a literate liaison for Lacking and lewd language; these forsake and demise!
fastidious fit you see.
He’s the characters I typechirping the words, and it seems that I heard him flapping in my brain. Singing and pingingPain tapping; he is written wings writhing. I’m wallowing and writing; he’s swallowing my brain. I am cursed, lips are pursed.
phrases I’ve already been using;
in my lucid dreams.
I’m reusing, to my choosing, continuing still,
me, and this-
instead offor the black, banal bird-
Masticate my musings-
and tackily terse rhythm and rhyme.
Alliterate my soul;
Free verse eludes and escapes.
this poetic state of old.
Unable to preclude-
I reiterate I’m losing.
Language remains intact.
Forsake this mind!
Imagination lacking depth-
In a cursory state,
I wake to find-
terminal templates of
a nursery rhyme forms,
my case meant
is not to bow
to words that wow. Erase the “know how”.
fly away -
the choosing of vowels.
and give me back what’s mine!
Confused and conformedI wish to reform this verse. Verily in vain, for it’s vehemently scorned and inane. I’m forlorn. I inverse myself, and I’m the same. I am tornbut not insane or perverse. Proper diction is a curse; a learning crutchit’s my cane. I’m worse with words that haunt and taunt; hopping and popping in my head.
page 7 • bohemia • october 2011
Artwork by John Garner
Where the Cold Wind Blows
Photos by Jessica Randazzo
By Michael Bracken Around mid-day one of my deputies- Clarence Ledbetter-- found Emmy Lou Scruggs shuffling barefoot along the railroad track south of town wearing nothing but a muddy cotton nightdress. He brought her into the office, sat her in a hardback wooden chair where the oscillating fan on my desk could push her stink around the room, and set Stump McCoy to looking for me while he watched over the delicate young widow. Stump found me finishing a late lunch of ham, biscuits, and gravy, and I followed him up the street to catch Clarence leaning back in his chair, feet propped up on his desk and a toothpick spit-glued to his bottom lip, staring at the damp nightdress molded to the young woman’s sylphlike figure. Even though she had soiled herself, she remained a sight to pleasure men’s eyes, so I shooed Clarence and Stump from the office to prevent distraction, and then approached the young widow. My bulk cast a shadow over her. “My girl.” Emmy Lou looked up. Her delicate fapage 8 • bohemia • october 2011
cial features and milk-white skin hid behind long strands of dark, dank hair. There had been talk of her entertaining unnamed men while Ezekiel was down the mine, and wagging tongues suggested that he had finally reached the end of his line.
after his shift at the mine began without him, Ezekiel’s head had been found in the driving wheel-- the powered wheel driven by a steam locomotive’s pistons-- of a train scheduled to take several cars of coal down the mountain that morning.
“My girl, tell me where you slept last night.”
I had sent Stump to the Scruggs home up the road from the train yard to fetch the missus, but even though the lights were on and the radio softly played gospel music, she weren’t there. I set my deputies and some of the woman’s neighbors-- those not already looking for Ezekiel’s body-- to hunt for her, and both groups had searched for naught until Clarence found Emmy Lou shuffling toward town.
She looked away, toward the window, toward the mountain beyond. “In the pines.” “Don’t lie to me.” “In the pines,” she repeated, “where the sun don’t ever shine, and I shivered the whole night through.” There were places in the forest surrounding Montrose where the pine trees were so thick that the sun never reached the ground, and pine needles afixed to Emmy Lou’s nightdress and tangled in her coal-black hair implied the truth of her response, but not the entirety of it.
“My girl,” I said. I snapped my thick fingers in front of her face to get her attention and raised my voice. “My girl, what happened to your husband?”
Her husband had been a hardworking man, a life-long employee of the Montrose Coal Mine less than a mile from where we sat. Late the previous evening, two hours
She slowly focused on me again. “They come to take me up the mountain.”
“Them what live atop the mountain.” I had been to the top of the mountain as
a thirteen-year- old hunting deer, a place where the cold wind blows, where no man lives, and where I would never voluntarily return during my lifetime. All these years later, after witnessing some of the worst depravities one man can exact on other during my time as sheriff, only nightmares of that day made me wake bathed in cold sweat.
“Not men,” she whispered. “Not men at all.”
“They come at night, when ’Zekiel’s down the mine,” she said. She wasn’t talking to me. She was talking through the window to the mountain beyond. “They say I’m one of them but I say no. I tell ’Zekiel. He don’t want me to go. So he stay home a’night and when they come down the mountain for me, he tell me to run.”
Through the tangle of her hair I saw tears slide down the young widow’s milk-white cheeks. “’Zekiel fought them. He fought them all and he told me to run. I cain’t run no more.”
Near forty years her senior, Ezekiel had married Emmy Lou not long after her first blood. Her parents had seemed only too happy to be shed of the girl because she bore no great resemblance to either of them, and she’d not made more than nodding acquaintance with anyone in town despite passing through all six grades with the Ledford girls and the five McCulloh cousins. Despite their age difference, or perhaps because of it, the newly married couple had appeared no different than any other in town until the tongues began wagging about Emmy Lou’s nocturnal visitors-- visitors that her neighbors only saw as shadows through the drawn shades of the shotgun shack she shared with Ezekiel. “My girl,” I said. “Tell me about these men you entertained.”
page 9 • bohemia • october 2011
I had seen no men atop the mountain, had seen no living thing of any kind that afternoon when I was deer hunting, but the cold wind blew through me and I knew I was not alone.
The sun had slipped down the sky while we spoke, shadows had grown longer, darkness would soon be upon the town, and I thought I had no more questions. Because Emmy Lou had committed no crime, I had no right to hold her. When I told her she could leave, the young widow stood and stepped toward the door. Clarence and Stump were certain to be waiting on the other side, eager to discover what I had learned about the events of the previous evening, and I had one more question. “My girl.” Emmy Lou stopped with her hand on the knob. “My girl, where will you go?” Ezekiel’s widow didn’t look back, and when she answered I knew I would never see her again unless I climbed to the top of the mountain. She said, “I’m going where the cold wind blows.”
Eye of the Beholder By Jack Larimore
I would not be. For three months I had endured the cold—it the master, I the slave. The cold lurked around like a prowler in the night. I could not see him, but I knew he was there. I could not see him, but I could feel him. I could not see him, but I tell you I could hear him… rattling his chains in the dead of the night-morning… the screams from the trees… the wails from the walls… the agonizing torture of it all. But this near fortnight—the one of which you want to hear—was the most torturous of all. “Hello, my love! How are you this evening?” “I’m fine.” “Fine? What then can I do to make you more than fine, my love?” “Nothing.” It had become a tired conversation, the same one every day over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over… like the persistent and perpetual cold that chilled to my bones. And if there truly were nothing more that could be done, then what else could I have done than what I did? So, on the first night of the near fortnight in question, I followed a different path home. I stopped by a local establishment and requested a mere cup of coffee. And when the coffee was delivered, the attendant said: “We’re rather busy tonight, but I’ll keep an eye on you.”
Photo by Jessica Randazzo
“And all my days are trances And all my nightly dreams Are where they dark eye glances And where thy footstep gleams—“ Edgar Allan Poe Hear now the tale I have to tale—the tale I must tell, for it is the tale you want to hear. If you did not want to hear this tale, then why would you be here, listening to my words? Only you listen not with the ear but with the eye. Before you read one word more know that this is an honest tale which I now tell, for I am an honest voice, a trustworthy voice, despite what my partner or even Mr. Larimore, whose very existence is a lie, may tell you. page 10 • bohemia • october 2011
And not just honest am I but loyal, as well. Tell me then, after this tale I tell, what differently I should have done—what you would have done were you me. I assert you will have no judgment, for I did what only I could do, and the very thought of doing anything else is imaginary and I, therefore, will not hear of it. Do you see? I am many things—we all are many things—but what I am not and never have been is deceitful, devious or disloyal. No, not even when surrounded by such, and therein exhibits to an even more heightened sense just how very honest and loyal I am. It was the dead of winter—the coldest month in the coldest year I’d ever known. And that is not hyperbole; for it were, an honest voice
The first sip was as scorching as the sun whose rays in months I had not felt. The room was cool and dimly lit, and the coffee warmed a coldness inside me that never could be reached by the sun. I sat and sipped, watching the patrons interact with each other until my eye settled on one unsuspecting soul, who became the object of my visual desire. For nearly three hours and countless cups of coffee, I stared and stared and stared… and dreamt. And with each cup of coffee, the attendant assured: “I’ll keep an eye on you.” Those were the only words I heard all night for my eyes were so affixed upon the object of my desire nothing more did I hear. Imagination ran wild; desire grew deep. But I never spoke a word. I never approached. I never touched. I never even so much as moved, other than my hand lifting the coffee cup to my mouth and the occasional blink. Finally, the imagination and desire grew to a point I could no longer honestly take. And so, I went home.
“Hello, my love! How are you this evening?”
STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!
“Fine? What then can I do to make you more than fine, my love?”
surely I would be then. For two nights now I have managed to keep my sleeplessness a secret and all the while keep the source of my sleeplessness a secret, as well. Be still. Be quiet. Be calm. Be still. Be quiet. Be calm. Be still. Be quiet. Be calm. Be still...
STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! PLEASE! STOP IT!
“Leave me be.”
“You are a vile being.”
“Admit your transgression!”
It was then and there I knew—I’d been had! Surely my partner had seen me earlier in the night. But what was seen? My choice of another path? My entrance into the establishment? My persistent stare? All of it? Or, worse yet, the thoughts within my head?
What was that? Was that my bedmate? No, only I am awake. Certainly it was nothing.
Can’t you hear me? I did nothing wrong! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!
“How can you live with yourself?”
That very night the torture began. I did not sleep for eleven nights, nor could I sleep even when such was desired. On the first night, I lay in bed as thoughts ran wild. I’d been had! “And yet I did nothing wrong,” thought I on that first night. Furthermore, my eye was killing me—the right eye, I could not stop rubbing it. The itching, the itching, the itching, the itching, the itching, the itching. Stop… stop… stop… stop… STOP! I could not stop. Would you not stop what should be stopped if what should be stopped could be stopped? Honestly, I could not stop!
“You honestly are the most dishonest of all the dishonest souls.”
And just then came the blaring alarm, and with it the awakening of my bedmate. Not a word said I, no, not one word, mind you. Eyes still wide open, covers still clinched in fear, I lay there and not a word said I and not a word did I hear.
Nor sleep could I, regardless of fatigue. On the second night, I closed my eyes not a wink, neither did I toss or turn. No, not one bit. I lay on my back with the covers pulled up to the whiskers of my chin by white-knuckled fists that could not let go; I stared at the ceiling in fear as if the pale white structure above knew of my wrong-doing even though I had done nothing wrong. I heard every sound there was to be heard that night—every scratch of a limb on the outside window, every twitch of each bed bug’s feet, every drop of water from the bathroom faucet, and yes, oh, yes, especially each and every breath my dear bedmate took and gave. I heard everything. On the third night, my eyes finally overcame my fear and closed. I faded away into a deep, deep slumber. But the dreams! Oh! The dreams! The painted pictures on my mind! I was being chased! I could not move! I would be caught! Surely, I would be caught! I could not move! I was caught! I was caught! I was caught! … Then, my eyes burst open with an even deeper, more dreadful fear. And my body, yes, my body was drenched in sweat, a cold sweat mind you, but a sweat nonetheless. Oh, I must not wake my bedmate. Truly, if my bedmate were to wake there would be hell to pay. If I’m not already had by now, page 11 • bohemia • october 2011
There it was again! What was that? Who is that?
But I did nothing wrong! I swear it! I swear it! “You know what you did.” Nothing! Yes, I know it! That is what I did! Nothing! And of just that I am aware! “You cannot lie to me. Lie to yourself if you so desire. Lie to your partner if you will. But you cannot lie to me. I’ll not hear of it!” I tell you I did nothing wrong! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! Then came the blaring alarm, and with it the awakening of my bedmate. Not a word said I, no, not one word, mind you. Eyes still wide open, covers still clinched in fear, I lay there and not a word said I and not a word did I hear. For three nights more this continued. Each night the voice: louder. Each night the accusations: more damning. Each night my defense: more resolute. But on the seventh night, there came something more, something more hideous and more sinister as the night-morning carried on: the screams. “Do not lie to me, you dishonest, disloyal, deceitful, vile creature!” I tell you I did nothing wrong! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! And with that, the screams began… first soft and subtle, a moaning of sorts, and then slowly and steadily they grew louder and louder and stronger and stronger and higher and higher and louder and louder and stronger and stronger and higher and higher and louder and louder and stronger and stronger and higher and higher and louder and louder…
“I cannot stop what I did not create. These are your screams, not mine.”
Again the next night, it came again. The screams… the piercing screams of my haunting… first soft and subtle, a moaning of sorts, and then slowly and steadily they grew louder and louder and stronger and stronger and higher and higher and louder and louder and stronger and stronger and higher and higher and louder and louder and stronger and stronger and higher and higher and louder and louder… STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! “I cannot stop what I did not create. These are your screams, not mine.” STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! PLEASE! STOP IT! Again the next night, it came again. The screams… the piercing screams of my haunting… STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! PLEASE! STOP IT! Again the next night, it came again. The screams… the piercing screams of my haunting… STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! PLEASE! STOP IT! Again the next night, it came again. The screams… the piercing screams of my haunting… STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! PLEASE! STOP IT! This must stop. But how can I make it stop? How am I to confess to something if there is nothing to which I can honestly confess? All day long I pondered what to do, and by the evening there seemed to be but one solution. Yes, just one, only one thing to do, and
so the one thing I did. Again, I tell you, if there were something more that could have been done then that very thing I would have done rather than what I did. And, so, on my way home, I visited a neighborhood pharmacist. I told him of my plight, that I had not slept in nearly a week. “Put two drops of this liquid in your evening drink. Within an hour, you should sleep with ease. Two drops.” I took the liquid home and in preparation for the evening meal, I placed two drops in my evening drink. Then, thinking of the horror from the previous nights, I decided it best to put two more drops. Surely such would not hurt anything but rather provide a deeper, more peaceful sleep of which I’d none in eleven nights.
Damn! Another passage then. Shakespeare perhaps…
“Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye, and where care lodges, sleep will never lie…”
“Why are you doing this?”
And then, the screams… the screams!
Slowly and steadily, I moved closer and closer to the eye… closer and closer… closer and closer… closer and closer… until the tip of the blade was as close to the eye as possible without yet touching it.
STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! PLEASE! STOP IT! I looked over and found my partner sound asleep, upright in the chair. But the screams did not stop. And then the voice returned. “The hearing ear and the seeing eye…” Yes! Yes! What must I do? Make it stop! Make it stop!
“Hear me well: The eye is not satisfied seeing.”
“If I must.” But in the twinkling of an eye, I forgot into which glass the liquid was dropped. This is the honest truth, I tell you. An honest mistake it was. What was I to do? Surely by fate the tainted glass would find its way into my partner’s hands. What to do? What to do? Alas, I decided to let fate run its course and accept whatever hand it dealt. We ate our meal and drank our drink. We then retired to the den and I prepared a fire. We sat in silence, both staring and the enchanting flame. It was the most peaceful encounter we’d shared in quite some time, and yet not a word was spoken. My partner broke the silence. “Read something.” I walked to the bookshelf and chose a compilation of classics. I opened to a random page and began to read aloud. Shakespeare: “Ay, an’ you had an eye behind you, you might see more detraction at your heels than fortunes before you.” Damn! Another passage then. Shakespeare perhaps…
“The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen…” page 12 • bohemia • october 2011
I raised the knife to the eye—some six or seven inches away.
Damn! Damn! Damn! Must everything haunt me! Will I never escape the torture of my transgression!
“Hello, my love! How are you this evening?”
“Fine you are then. I’ve prepared a meal for us. Won’t you join me?”
waited. Finally, my partner’s eyes slowly opened. Upon a return to consciousness and realization of the surrounding, my partner let out the most hideous of screams ever heard.
Silence fell upon the room and with it cold descended despite the fire burning more fervently than before. I stared in fright but knew then what to do. I tell you it was the only thing I could do. I went to the shed and found a length of rope. I went to the kitchen and found the sharpest knife in the drawer. I returned to the den to find my partner still asleep. I carefully wrapped the rope around my partner, oh, so carefully did I wrap… around and around and around and around and around… but slowly, carefully, gingerly so as not to awaken my partner. Careful, yes, but the knot I tied tight as could be tied—so tight my hands swelled as if to bleed. Then I returned to my chair and waited patiently for my partner to wake. Waited and waited. While patiently waiting, I pondered how to do what must be done. Waited and waited. Should it be slow and steady, a tedious prying or a rapid thrust? Waited and waited. Which would cause the most pain? Which would be most fitting for the scorn of my transgression? Waited and
“Because I can.”
“Please, please! I beg you! Don’t do this! Don’t do this!” “I must, my love. I must. An eye for an eye. Trust me. Everything is fine.” The screams returned, louder and more frantic than ever before. They grew louder and louder and louder and louder and louder and louder. I tell you they grew so loud I could not hear the thoughts in my own head, so I joined the screams. AHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!
AHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!
And with one quick thrust, I plunged the knife into the depths of my very own eye.
Photo by Lindsey Parker
Evitpac by Amanda Rebholz
razor-tipped ends, the knuckles knobby and roughened from scratching at the glass. It watches, black forked tongue lolling from the teeth that jut from its maw. So long since those teeth have had something to feast on. Its belly rumbles with desire. She shudders for breath, comes up short. The nurse hesitates as the machine beside the bed stutters, then beeps again. “Madame,” the nurse says gently, politely, “can I get you anything?”
Behind the silvered glass it sleeps, and the silver drives fresh agony into its being every time it opens murky, terrible yellow eyes. The silver is what binds it, THEY figured that out long ago, and that is why it remains here instead of escaping to do its will. Three hundred years in here. The world has changed. The ancient gypsy woman who owns its home, she knows what is contained in the mirror but she is feeble, fumbling with an oxygen mask to try and tell the nurse. She has no living relatives, no one to inherit the terrible burden her bloodline has borne for so long. An ancestor bound it, a ritual and a bloodied handprint pressed to the back of a gilt-framed looking glass, and the women in her family have been its keepers ever since. Generations of Romani have kept the glass polished and pristine, but none dare gaze into its depths even to casually check makeup or tweak a hairstyle. A few of them kept it covered with cloth to remove temptation, but this current incarnation of keeper did not. She believed in the devil you know. She never had children, her womb as barren as its soul, and so she is the last. It hears her hacking cough, the rasp of phlegm, and its head comes up in interest, a hand coming forth. The hands are too long, the fingers bearing extra joints before the
page 13 • bohemia • october 2011
off the precious metal.
The woman’s withered face turns toward the mirror. The beautiful, polished looking glass with its ornate silver handle, its sleek silver back, the blood long worn
hands to its surface, tongue laving the reflection. Slowly the reflection wavers and the silver hair turns ebony, the eyes almost violet, the skin the color of cocoa. The old gypsy woman stares at the reflection of the girl she was seventy years ago. She begins to weep, and the tired heart skips like a Victrola. Inside the mirror, it laughs. It shows her things from the wrinkled whorls of her brain, memories of her long-dead parents, her brother who drowned when he was only four. Her many failed attempts to bear children. Flashbacks of her life, decisions made, roads traveled. The woman’s tears are free now, and the nurse holds the mirror, her forearms twitching a bit under the strain of its weight. But she does not lower it. The old woman will not make it through the night; let her look, let her say her good byes to the girl in the mirror, the nurse thinks. She has no idea what the woman sees. The woman sees herself as she is now, weathered and pitted, the fine seams of the wrinkles joining into an atlas of pain. She raises one gnarled, withered hand as if to touch the frame, to try and push it away. She is too weak. Her heart too. It stops. She slouches onto the bed, eyes glazing almost instantly. Her body tired of the fight, her spirit forlorn.
“This is beautiful,” the nurse says as she approaches, lifting the looking glass off the wall with careful hands. “It’s very old, and so heavy!”
Inside the mirror, it pulls away, dreaming. Without a caregiver, it will find a new home.
The woman on the bed cannot protest through the oxygen that prolongs her weary and worn heartbeats. She rasps instead. The nurse eyes the gilt frame, idly marvels at how much it must be worth.
It wonders what people are afraid of these days.
Three hundred years.
It cannot wait to learn.
“Do you want to see yourself?” she asks. The gypsy woman tries to shake her head, but the nurse does not catch the feeble, failing motion and turns the mirror instead. The face in the glass is not the strong, beautiful one it once was. The high cheekbones have sunken, the eyes have no passion in them, and the lips sag without teeth behind them. The old woman is at once terrified and bewildered. ‘Where am I?’ she thinks. The reflection winks. The old lady does not. It presses against the glass,
The Coming Day by Kelly Digh I share my tears with the moon Her silver sorrow plays over the field Cold fingers pry open ancient cracks Showing herself in granite old and new. Her light kisses the one I love I am not jealous. She cannot reach six feet down, For that is where my heart lies. This oak, shading me from the moon, Spread its roots through the hill long before our lives began Long before our hands used its bark as a playground Long before we used the limbs as balance beams Long before your hands slipped. I call it neither friend nor enemy But I can call it home, Call its fallen leaves my bed For I cannot depart without my soul. The Church bell tolls and the moon takes flight I am alone with the scent of earth And a quiet so deep it sounds like ripping flesh. It is not the night or the shadows I fear It is not the light or the coming day It is not the raven that perches above It is not that falling stones in darkness black Words that marked the sleeping dead Are now muted, lying where they have broken The field opens wide a hundred mouths Regurgitating those who woke below. Soon they shuffle across the ordered lawn Stumbling, falling, learning to crawl Some aimless, some moving to purpose Yet none bother me beneath my tree. My eyes rest on the nearest stone The bed it marked still empty, waiting Listening for the creak of discarded nails. Come to me, beloved. I have been waiting. Do not make me weep again. Unable to bear the sight, I drop my eyes like a bride, sick with the scent of her own perfume. And lo, by the moonlight, what do I see? I see my lover, come back to me.
photos by Jessica Randazzo
page 14 â€˘ bohemia â€˘ october 2011
Just Like Me (Ian’s Story)
by Lisa Hathaway Dear Ma’m or Sir, Whomever you may be My name is Ian, this is my story I will try to tell it in way, less gory
But… Intelligence still remains, They are called “Married with Sea Monsters” Band of Marauders, so it seems Able to communicate through video and music So it seems… I’ve been searching for them Venues where they played Closing in on them As I speak
I woke up just over a month ago
I knock at the door,
Feeling a bit strange, feeling out of place
As I speak
Something different about me
I hear a creak…
Little did I know, I lay there born again I looked in the mirror, not once but twice
I hope they are JUST LIKE ME
My eyes were blood shot
I hear the clicking sound of a round being fed into the chamber
Pale reddish dark circles, lie beneath
I smell gun powder and fear and suddenly I feel as though
My transformation failed to complete
I shouldn’t have come here
I am not as witty, Not as witty as before
The shot rings through my cerebral As the blow sends me to my fall
This I noticed… My senses and strength have become more My senses and strength are heightened More than a mere human I am different from the others My skin has not manifested, Torn, or mangled as the rest But… There still is one problem I thirst and crave for live human flesh But I am still different from them I feed upon the wicked and the dying I rationalize this as being fair and best Still, I am not like the others The mindless, the cold, the rotting skin THEY… want me dead There are those that have not transformed THEY… want me dead They think that I’m mindless That’s what I let them believe But… I know there are more out there More… JUST LIKE ME I‘ve seen their photos In “Bohemia Magazine” They do possess flesh problems
page 15 • bohemia • october 2011
Illustration by Lisa Hathaway
Zombie Collective by Isis Lee
Lunch Time I see them walk with what is pending As it is all impending doom Moving from the depths of hallows Darkened as they search for food As dead woods creek and darkness blooms They come in droves behind the shadows Sneaking into what was once known. They stalk the night and stir disaster Unleashing hunger calling, “Brains!” And subtle patience claims the will To hunt through the city and what remains. They grow in numbers consuming life And spread their curse into the streets. Their groans and moans grow clear and closer They seem to smell the fear in me. I hide and wait in hopes of rescue And quickly realize it will not come. So here I am in tragic waiting For I will soon become their lunch.
“To Be or Not To Be a Zombie” O I ask what the purpose To curse me with this will to feed
Untitled The agony in missing you has come to find me here right now Amidst the dark and stench of nightfall where ghouls and demons tend to creep I search through ruins of our hometown in hopes the soon my heart will find you And that somehow you’ve found some shelter as the dead rise from their graves. I feel the urge to call out your name but the fear that grows in me Knows that soon they will come forth in massive number hunting me. So I am quick and in all my movements as I sneak through ghost town streets Knowing that somehow I’ll find you and together we will be. As my hope consumes me all I think is that you wait for me To come rescue you from all this hell and what the darkness seems to bring. And my darling I will find you and the promise that I keep Is that nothing will come between us and reunited we will be.
On brains of humans so disgusting
At the steps of your apartment as I look around I see
That it seems a tragedy?
That nothing seems any different and my hopes arise in me.
I recall in being human And seems that I am much the same
And I rush to your apartment door believing that you are just fine Hiding in a closet, or somewhere else inside.
Of course now I am always hungry
As I enter your apartment it seems shock begins to breathe
And only brains are what I crave.
For I find that everything is broken and trashed to smithereens
Human flesh and meat is sour And bitter to what I can taste
I sigh as I come to now accept that you must have made it out And without a second thought consider how or where you will be now.
And truth be told I am disgusted
As I ponder to what my next move is I hear a stirring in the hall
By eating meat, and guts, and brains!
As if something is now moving coming at me through the dark.
And so my curse is devastating. To a former vegetarian turned zombie,
And what I see is more than what I could have ever come to think Is my darling all turned Zombie coming at me for the feed.
Who’s forced to search for human substance
How cruel and tragic that my one love is now staring right at me
In my travels day by day.
Through the eyes of something undead that seems lost inside a dream
O how cruel to lack the brainless jargon Of my own zombie friends
I cannot help but still feel love for this creature that I see Is still the love that I was sworn to by my heart, and mind, and being.
Free from feeling guilt in being
So here it is I stand here thinking if I had the strength to free
The only option that remains.
My love and Darling from this curse consuming her and even me.
page 16 • bohemia • october 2011
Wild moon translucent in the stillness of night
“My love what a nightmare we have fought to escape past the
Shines down on the burden of darkness.
swarm of the dead rising up from their graves, and despite this
As the stillness of the silence shivers into a thought of decay
we made it and for now we are safe but I will keep an eye out
A body that has grown cold with time comes to find movement.
for the fear is too great”
Harsh breath rising as life is given to the flesh,
“But my sweetness I hate to address this instead of the joy you
And a memory of some prior feeling becomes present to the restless corpse.
have found through the will of success, yes for now we have made it but still sadness has pressed tragedy now upon us
Tatters of spoiled meat crawl forth from sacred Earth,
for the truth I confess, is that I have been bitten by the dead
Crawling up towards the surface to find the moonlight
who can breathe, and the tremors I feel now bring sickness
welcoming Out of the darkness walks death suddenly.
Primitive Moon Soft pulsating beat of a devoured heart Sends a shrill sinister chill throughout the cries of the village. The dead have been rising since the moon became full And the night has brought death all around us.
to me. It is devastation which consumes us as I try to believe that my Darling I’m dying leaving you suddenly, all alone in this nightmare fighting death without me. I am sorry to say this to you now my love, but I can’t help but feel now that terror has come.” “Hush my love, do not say this, I need you with me. Without you in my life I will wilt willingly. It’s your love and our passions
As we scatter in panic and the cannibals feed
that have brought us this far, and our love last forever, see it’s
We find fire can ward off the terror, the fiend.
cast in the stars. Just be silent be still, calm your thoughts and
And past scattered death seeking our own will to survive
believe that I love you my darling despite all reasoning. I must
I am bound by the virtue of my Aztec insight. And I hear the words of my father who bring strength to my hand, Fighting though past the hunger, I escape to the sands.
now face the truth that this battle is doomed, to be tragically wasteful for you’ll be a zombie so soon.” As she falls into a fever and I sit by and watch
I seek refuge in my boat and set of the sea
I am more certain than ever that my darling is gone.
To escape the disaster of death rising around me.
And the creature that stirs just beneath her beauty Will soon come to be doom, unless I do something. I get rope and I bind her to the base of a tree And I sit down just waiting for the Zombie to breathe, As I sit by I’m shaking and from what I can see Is that she is now growling and looking right through me. So I whisper her name but no word no response, As she sits there not human, no longer my love. I pull strength from inside me and I feel anger in my chest. As a flash of resistance comes to fall over me I feel empty without you but I must set you free. Oh what curse I am sworn to having you ripped form me As I pull down on the trigger killing you, killing me.
Photos by Jessica Randazzo
page 17 • bohemia • october 2011
Survival by Kelly Digh
If anyone had ever told me that come my thirtyfifth birthday, I’d be cooking beans in a beat-up copper pot over a campfire, I’d have called them crazy. I’m not a camper; I hate the great outdoors; my idea of roughing it is checking into the local Motel 6 instead of say, Courtyard by Marriott or some other five-star deal. If anyone had ever told me that come my thirtyfifth birthday, I’d be sleeping in a house with no windows, a boarded up door, and no electricity, I’d have called them not just crazy, but insane. I like my creature comforts; central air, television, radio, internet. I guess I like life more. It started about five, six years ago. Nobody paid any attention to what was going on in the world; every country in the Middle East had some kind of experimentation program going, and of course nobody was listening when the splinter groups, and human rights groups, started calling it a very bad idea. And that’s when the Spill happened. At first, everybody thought it was just Chernobyl all over again. Then it started to spread, and it spread ungodly fast. At first it took days, but when it got into the cities, the heavy population, it only took hours. Maybe minutes, but nobody knows for certain. All that we did hear, we got filtered through Al-Jazeera, CNN, and a hundred other news networks. No one outside the area knew what was going on, until one jumped out.
page 18 • bohemia • october 2011
On a boat, on a plane, on a helicopter, could’ve been a freaking magic carpet for all that we know. All we know is it jumped. Out of the Arabian deserts, into Europe and Asia. Spread in both directions, moved like burning wildfire through the densely packed population in China, hopped the islands to Japan, the Philippines. It moved a little slower through Europe, but once it hit Spain, there was really no stopping it. It leaked out of Spain, hit Germany, spread through every-damn-where. By the time it jumped the ocean, rumors were flying and underground mills were trying to smuggle people who hadn’t been affected. Useless; it affected nearly 98% of the world’s population in the end. Nobody would use the z-word; that was the realm of midnight movies and bad horror matinees. But that’s what they were. Reanimates, the Unliving, the Undead, and Franks (short for Frankenstein) were the epithets of choice. But they were zombies. People who died came back to life, and started attacking the alive people. The alive people died in their mutilated state, and still came back to life. And by mutilated, I mean eaten. Nobody’s gonna be reading this, why bother cutting the crap now? Zombies. Like the books and movies said, like the splinter groups tried to warn us, zombies. The world was overrun. Pretty soon there weren’t enough people left to run the TV stations, so they fell first. It didn’t matter; the only thing
Photos by Jessica Randazzo
newsworthy was the body count, the spread, and the fact that there was no hope and no cure. No cure. That’s not exactly true. There is a cure; bullet to the brain. It stops the ones that are sick and it stops you from getting sick. It also stops you from rising again, because your brain’s destroyed if you aim right. That’s a course of action I don’t particularly care for; I’ve never been one to think about taking the easy way out, but damn. There are times, especially late at night, when I can hear them feeding that it’s really appealing. But there’s no cure that doesn’t involve death, and no hope. The only thing that gives anyone a reason not to swallow a gun barrel is daylight. Whatever you want to call them, these zombies don’t like daylight. They’ll come out if they hear someone ring a dinner bell, but usually, they stay in the dark. Gives a little truth to the old saying, the freaks come out at night. It’s no kind of life, I admit. But I’m one of the lucky ones. The electricity went out during the second year and hasn’t come back on since, but generators still work. There’s a gas station at the end of my road; the pumps don’t work, but a siphon hose dropped into the main intake valve and run with an air compressor works well enough to pump out what’s in the tanks. So every few days, me and my bike and my little red wagon full of gas cans trundle down to the gas station, fill up with gas, and feed the generator.
There’s no TV to watch, there’s no more active internet but wi-fi still works, and my computer still works. I can play games, I keep this diary, and occasionally I can listen to music, just when I get tired of hearing myself talk.
makes you a little crazy; outside of the occasional movie or song, I don’t hear people talk anymore. It’s very strange, hearing your own voice after a long time of silence. It’s grating, and it’s unfamiliar.
I’ve got a dog that stays in the house with me, a German Shepherd by the name of Bunky. I’m not sure who was stupid enough to name the dog Bunky, but that’s what the tag on his collar says. He likes me well enough; I feed him, and he stays close. During the day he patrols outside and at night, he sleeps in the bedroom with me, lying across my doorway.
The zombies don’t talk. They scream, they groan, sometimes they croak or act like they’re trying to speak but their brains can’t spit out the language. That’s what’ll really drive you crazy. The hissing, the thuds and scrapes of useless limbs and half-eaten extremities dragging along and trying to support the lumbering carcasses that used to be people.
The house is mine, the one I’ve always lived in. I don’t have windows any more, which is all fine with me, because there’s nothing to look at. Grass, trees, leaves changing to show the seasons and time passing. I have a watch, but I have no idea if it’s accurate anymore. Daylight Savings Time doesn’t exist anymore, and so I mostly use it to count the hours, to see when the sun comes up and when the sun sets.
I shot a lot of people. My preacher, my aunt, my other neighbor. The lady who used to teach me in Sunday School, the jerk down the block with the motorcycle, the lady who took in all the stray cats. A lot more faces that I went to school with and who never left home; more faces that I didn’t know and didn’t want to know. My aim sucked at first, but I didn’t want to waste bullets on tin cans. Being thrown in deep crap with nothing but a double-barrel shotgun and a box of shells is the best training you can ask for.
Where there was once glass, there’s brick. The brick and the mortar came from a house that was being built near me, and the construction crews abandoned long ago. The mortar is actually a bag of concrete from an abandoned Home Depot in town. Everything’s abandoned, now, and the few of us that are left, we go in and take what we want, or what we need. Some of them are hoarding what they always wanted in life, and couldn’t have. I saw one man pushing out a buggy of power tools and drills; good luck using those, buddy, but I’m sure they looked good on his garage pegboard. The doors are closed off; the side door that was never used anyway I boarded up completely; 84 Lumber was quite obliging when I made off with a stack of plyboard and two-by-fours for reinforcement. The front door is my only way in and out now; I board it up at night the old fashioned way. Instead of nails, I use two-by-fours and brackets so I’ve got two across the door like the old castles had. I got that idea from Lord of the Rings. Katey bar the door, indeed. Bunky and I are the only ones left, now. We’ve checked. The housing developments around us are empty; there are plenty of zombies around, but nobody left alive. None of the houses on our street are boarded up; I found plenty of guns in my neighbor’s basement. Never knew he collected them, but man, am I glad he did. Don’t know where he is now; I hope that I don’t have to blow him away. Killing a man with his own gun is cold. Being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Bunky’s good company, but he’s not like another human being. It
page 19 • bohemia • october 2011
It was nothing like the movies. Diseased and rotting corpses shambling in waves towards you, each one dropping and being trampled underfoot by the others. Recoil knocks you on your ass, and you’re scrambling like a crab to get back to your feet before they get to you, and eventually you learn to brace the stock against your shoulder to pad the recoil. Eventually you learn to keep the shells in your pocket so you can break it open and slam in two new ones and rack the slide back. It wasn’t anything like the video games. No crosshairs appeared on the target’s heads, you couldn’t hold the trigger down and strafe the front
row. It’s easier in the dark; you wouldn’t imagine it, but even if you miss what you’re aiming for, it’ll stumble, it’ll drop. The moon’s bright enough most nights that you can drop the zombie before it gets to you. Torches replace the yard lights, and I keep myself well-stocked. I’ve got dozens of cans of lighter fluid; no need to use precious gasoline for that. Candles inside glass hurricane lamps keep the inside of the house lit at night; during the day, the front door provides a lot of light. I stockpile books too; every book I’ve ever wanted to read. Some I’ve found in other people’s houses, some in the library across from the church. That’s about as far as I dare to go nowadays; I used to go into town, but I don’t any longer. I don’t want to cut it as close as I used to; I used to only just make it back before sunset. I don’t want to live like this anymore. Tonight I’m leaving the door open. That damn dog. Not even mine and it’s got delusions of grandeur; every time I tried to crack open the door it got in the way, throwing itself against the door and keeping it shut. Didn’t even stop when I tried to kick it; didn’t even stop when the zombies came up and tried to grab his tail. He finally learned about dawn, and yanked his ass away from the door. Lost the tip of his tail, but he’ll be okay. I washed it off, put a little ointment on it, wrapped it in some clean bandages. I didn’t get a scratch despite the fact I tried like hell to die. Maybe that means I’m supposed to live, even if I don’t want to. Guess that means me and Bunky got a new mission come daylight. Maybe the other survivors need that damn dog, too. The End
Ten Obscure Facts About Married With Sea Monsters
Carrie Burt (Keys, Accordion, Vocals), Kat Dixon ( Lead
Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin), Alden Tarver (Drums), Ryan Hull
Married With Sea Monsters is a Waco, TX based band. The music they play is varied, but mostly they say their genre is shanty/zombie/indie rock. 1. We discovered the Raptordactyl. 2. Every Sunday before practice we cook breakfast. It usually consists of more bacon than your body has room for, tasty cakes and frozen pickles. 3. We call our band house “Monster Manor.” 4. Our band mascot is a beautiful gray kitty named Sir Winston Churchill. 5. Ryan’s blood is actually partially composed of caffeine. 6. Carrie has a man in China. 7. Alden hates any cleaning product that doesn’t smell like dirt or leaves. 8. Kat has the handwriting of a 4-year-old serial killer. 9. We are all really good at ukulele. 10. Ryan and Alden started the band. They knew each other growing up. The band actually started out with a different singer and bassist. Carrie and Kat are the upgrades. page 20 • bohemia • october 2011
Photos by Jessica Randazzo
Ten Obscure Facts About Jessica Randazzo
a’s talented photographers.
Jessica Randazzo is Bohemia’s Art & Photography Director and one of Bohemi
1) I have an impeccable memory. I wouldn’t say that it’s photographic, but I tend to remember things that no one else does... including, but not limited to, obscure embarrassing memories. I am so attuned to detail, I notice a slight change in any setting I have been in.
8) I love road trips and travelling. As a photographer, I am always desperate to see new places to capture new things. I want to go to Brazil and Italy. I want to see Africa. I just want to go. I am a free spirit.
2) I own several different kinds of cameras. They all work except for a couple. Only two are digital.
9) I have never owned a car newer than 1992. In fact, most of my friends remember my car as being that big green Mercedes.
3) I chose the name “Honey Bee Photography” because my husband calls me “Honey Bee.” It just seemed to fit.
10) I have this weird thing about armpits. They are gross and I don’t like them... which contributes to my weird thing about hugging. I don’t like that either.
4) My parents named me after the Allman Brothers song “Jessica” My middle name is “Suzanne” because it’s the closest to my mom’s name (Susan) without actually being the same thing. 5) I am a movie fanatic. I don’t watch very much TV, but there is constantly a movie in my DVD player. 6) I went through this 80’s punk/new wave phase in high school. It’s probably the only thing about high school I loved. My favorite shirt was red and had gold horses running on the front... that and my satin racer jacket. Man, was I cool. 7) When I was a teen, I always told everyone I was leaving Waco as soon as I got the money and turned 18. I never left, and now, I’m glad I didn’t. This is home. I don’t think I could ever leave now. page 21 • bohemia • october 2011
Welcome to My Frightmare : A Texas Convention That’s Not for the Faint of Heart by Amanda Rebholz The elevator doors ding open, and a pair of gray, decaying hands plunge out of the shadows, a snarl reverberating through the claustrophobic space. Blood froths from between bared teeth as the hideous figure staggers out of the lift, his gait unsteady and tormented. The crowd should be running and screaming for their lives, but instead they merely roll their eyes and offer a few goodnatured scoffs as they slide past the zombie and into the hotel’s single working elevator. Disappointed with his reception, the zombie sighs, shrugs, and staggers off into the lobby in search of easier prey, a wheeling suitcase dragged behind him. For one weekend every spring, north Texas becomes home to thousands of horror fanatics that come from all over the world; attendees hail from as far away as Europe or Australia, but many are natives to the Lone Star State. The event is called Texas Frightmare Weekend, and what began as a dream for creators Loyd and Sue Cryer has grown over the past few years into one of the biggest, most impressive horror conventions in the United States. Celebrity guests have included Robert Englund, John Carpenter, Clive Barker, Alice Cooper, Malcolm McDowell, Doug Bradley and literally hundreds of others, but the celebrities aren’t the main reason that most people flock to this event. Horror conventions are a dime a dozen, with almost every state hosting at least one a year; no, Texas Frightmare Weekend is different because to many people, it’s a family reunion. My first year in attendance was overwhelming to say the least. I had no idea what to expect from a hotel full of horror fans, and I’ve been the outcast, alone in my addiction for these gory films, for my entire life. To suddenly be surrounded by like-minded people was a bit daunting, and I could only hope that they wouldn’t shun me for being fresh blood. Turns out that I had nothing to worry about. I was immediately embraced as the ‘little sister’ to a large group of the regulars and by the end of the weekend, I had the impression that these friends were here to stay. Some of the people I met were in the industry one way or another; everyone wanted to give something back to the genre which had pracpage 22 • bohemia • october 2011
tically shaped our childhood, so it seemed like everywhere you looked someone was aspiring to be a filmmaker or an effects artist or an actor. The difference was that in the horror world, the Rocky Horror quote “Don’t dream it, be it” had never held more true. You only had to have a bit of willpower and an ability to make a connection and you could fulfill your fantasy, whether that was writing a witty bit of dialogue, screaming your head off as a masked madman chased you through the woods, or meeting the actor who gave you nightmares as a child. Texas Frightmare Weekend has become so much more to me than just a convention where I go spend obscene amounts of money. Sure, it has celebrities, and no one’s going to argue that it isn’t cool to have a drink at the bar with Freddy Krueger himself or literally bump into Malcolm McDowell when you go to get your morning coffee. And of course there are vendors, tables as far as the eye can see touting wares ranging from homemade t-shirts, taxidermed insects mounted in ornate glass frames, fake body parts made of latex and silicone, handpainted dolls, rare and out-of-print DVDs and posters, carved shot glasses, jewelry made entirely of liquid latex, and so much more I can’t possibly list it all. There are screenings of horror movies that haven’t come out yet, Q&A panels where you get up close and personal with some of the most famous talent in the business, and more free swag than you can shake a stick at. But beyond all of that, there are room parties, there are people willing to hold your spot in line when you have to take a brief break, and there are folks offering to help you carry that fifty-pound bust of Jason Voorhees you just bought. There’s a sense of kinship here, and people of all walks of life are welcomed with the same zest and unconditional love as everyone else; one of my best friends, ‘Boogeyman’, is a
beer-drinking football fanatic with a southern accent who is never seen without a backwards baseball cap, and he can often be found sitting poolside in a pack of tattooed girls in skull-print dresses, guys with neon blue hair, middle-aged housewives who’ve left the kids with their grandparents for the weekend, and charismatic directors who are here to promote their own contributions to the horror field. There really are no fans in the world like horror fans; they are a unique breed of people from all income brackets, backgrounds and ethnicities, yet they come together with a fierce loyalty and love that is rarely seen in the outside world. This is their chance to shine, to let their freak flags fly. This year was my fifth attending Texas Frightmare Weekend, and I was given the distinct honor of getting to actually work the event as an emcee. I stood on a stage in front of my peers and fellow fans, cheering right along with them as celebrities I admired took the microphone. I hosted a midnight screening of “Sharktopus” and got to interview the cast and crew of “Laid to Rest 2”, something I never could’ve forseen when I was a nerdy teenager watching “Dawn of the Dead” while my friends went out partying. If home is where the heart is, then my heart is in a jar of formaldehyde in north Texas, waiting for the next year to roll around so that I can see the rest of my beloved, dysfunctional horror family again. Go to www.texasfrightmareweekend. com for more information, or find them on Facebook.
Photo by Amanda Rebholz
Photo by Jessica Randazzo
Born and raised here, fellow Bohemia writer Amanda Rebholz is anything but your average Wacoan. She has grand dreams of a wedding in which she’s dressed as Elvira, collects horror film props, is making a movie, and has been employed at a local bookshop /comic book store for nearly ten years. She began writing at the age of three, and by age six was penning stories ripe with chills and thrills. At fourteen she was writing for the Waco Tribune-Herald and was then picked up by The New York Times wire--which enabled her to see her name and articles in all sorts of newspapers around the world. But her accomplishments didn’t end there.
horror film “Possum Walk” and fulfilled duties as a Mistress of Scaremonies at Texas Frightmare Weekend 2011.
work with helping out with booking extra tour dates and finding them places to stay or play.
Amanda currently employs her writing skills at Waco’s premier art and literary magazine, Bohemia. She adores writing reviews, editorials, and short stories and has been quoted as saying that she’s not “shy at all about sharing my opinions. It’s cost me a few friends, but I believe that you owe someone your honesty.” Even though writing is her great passion, she’s also managed to dive head-first into many other endeavors, including live theatre, voice acting, modeling and photography.
After moving away and spending time in college studying journalism and English, Amanda managed to put together a series of short stories, eventually adding published author to her intriguing resume. She’s a freelance columnist and has written for several publications and websites including Morbid Curiosity, Sinical Magazine, Fangirltastic. com and American Horrors. She has covered festivals nationwide and been a featured guest writer on many blogs, as well as performed as a voice actor in the independent
Amanda recalls the moment that thrust her into the world of bands and musicians. When she was fifteen, an opportunity to interview Orgy, a band she considered a big deal at the time, presented itself. This match lit the passionate fire that would burn furiously beneath her and cause her to follow approximately 30 different bands as a photographer and street-team leader. She loved every moment of it, to the point where she tattooed a star on herself for each band that she not only photographed but was able to
Amanda’s favorites include Bullets and Octane and The Knives, two bands out of LA that are still near and dear to her heart. “The first two band-related tattoos I ever got were for them. I was nineteen and saw The Knives, fell in love, and my friend Tank tattooed their logo-- a knife with a heart dotting its handle-- on my chest. A few months later I saw Bullets and Octane, loved them instantly, and got a gun and two bullets put on the other side. I always liked the saying, ‘I’ll save the last two bullets for us,’ which is why there are two. I didn’t even know back then that the bands were friends, but it turns out the members all knew each other as teenagers and played together frequently-- even doing a tour together at one point-- so it was a huge group of people I came to know and love.”
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For some time, Amanda enjoyed the camaraderie and the lifestyle of the live music scene. “The bands were always mythical to me. Musicians have a stigma around them, this charisma that non-musicians are always
Photos by Jessica Randazzo
drawn to. They seem so mysterious and cool and exotic. Then you get to know them and realize that the vast majority of them are all misfits who are addicted to Taco Bell, have awful taste in movies, and go weeks without washing their clothes.” Eventually, it began to lose its luster and appeal. She became disheartened when many of her friends were being taken advantage of by the industry they loved so much, and she pulled back from her street teaming duties in 2009. Although she is returning to Los Angeles to photograph Bullets and Octane and The Knives for their reunion gig and to spend time with old friends, Amanda has now decided to focus her attention on something that has always made her feel right at home. Horror. Horror for Amanda has been a long established passion. With a cult-like fascination for Halloween and anything horror-related in her household, it’s no wonder why. But she isn’t in it for merely the gore and guts like most fans. She is in it for the good, the bad, the ugly, gorgeous, grotesque, and-most importantly-- her gramps. It had always been a dream of hers to make a movie page 24 • bohemia • october 2011
for her grandfather, something that would make him proud. Her grandfather Paul was the person who introduced her to the blood-splattered, psychologically manipulating, spinetingling, heart-stopping, and at times laugh-inducing world of horror when she was very young. She grew up staying up past her bedtime to watch ‘Tales from the Crypt’ with him, and even today his favorite films are the all-day marathons of scares that run on the Syfy and Chiller channels. She recalls her grandfather running around the house, holiday or not, wearing Halloween masks. “Halloween is a big deal in my family and he was a HUGE horror buff,” Amanda says. “And I’ve had so much going on that I’ve been putting off this movie for quite a while. Then my mom got sick and we knew my grandfather had been sick, but one morning he woke up and said, ‘Call 911.’ He was in ICU for a while and after that I knew-I knew!--that I had to finish this movie. I wanted him to see it before he passed away.”
For Amanda, this was one of life’s little reminders that we don’t have all the time in the world, and she wanted to show her grandfather something that she’d made that he would enjoy as much as his beloved classic horror films. So she pushed through everything to finish writing the script for the movie. She stood by her mother, who was and is still battling aggressive breast cancer, as her grandfather returned from his stay at the hospital, and even through the flooding of her home. She juggled writing for Bohemia and working
at Golden’s Book Exchange full-time while taking marketing classes at MCC. But despite it all, she finally finished polishing the script. She recalled how it had first begun: during several sessions with Burton Bailey and best friend Brandy Eastman, an original 2-page short story involving a vampire eventually evolved into something much different. “Brandy is my muse: she’s so inspirational to me, and she is a wonderful, creative woman; we have great chemistry and bounce ideas off each other constantly. Burton is so driven and passionate about what he’s doing, and [director of photography Anthony Brownrigg] is just this infectiously charismatic person who is so talented that he makes you want to strive for greatness.” Amanda has called on all these friends’ skillsets while working on her film. “My script for ‘Closure’ was such a different animal when it started, but our cast is so overwhelmingly talented and this crew is so focused and awesome that it evolved the whole time we were working on it. Every day it would shift a little. When a film belongs to one person only, it’s just a film. But when a group are on such a wavelength that everybody feels like they’re a part of its creation, it’s like the film has a whole lot of parents, and you know what they say: it takes a village to raise a child. A film’s no different, and my village really helped mold it into something wonderful.” When asked how involved she would be in actually making the movie, she laughingly stated she would mostly just be financing the project. “I’m fortunate enough to have made several wonderful connections through all of the things that I’ve done and now I have a really great, really talented bunch of people helping me with this project. We have a fantastic director and producers who will 100% percent be bringing this vision to life. I just wrote the story, most of the real credit goes to them.” Horrorphile Entertainment will be “both the brains and brawn” behind her film. They are a Texas film production company based in Dallas. Horrorphile has been around for only a few years but, despite being relatively new blood in the horror entertainment industry, Amanda says they are armed with an arsenal of incredibly talented people-- Burton Bailey, Matthew Ash, and Brandy Eastman, to name a few affiliated with the company. “They’re gonna be helping me get my bearings in the industry and showing me how to be a part of this world,” Amanda stated. page 25 • bohemia • october 2011
“And our cast is phenomenal... up-and-coming young talent that will blow everyone away with their performances. I teared up watching some of the raw footage, it’s that strong. In a movie on this budget, the actors have a lot of weight to pull, and these people completely knocked it out of the ballpark every time I turned around. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this crew.” Although unwilling to say anything too detailed about the film’s plot, Amanda did provide a few scintillating tidbits of info: it’s a character-driven piece, it was shot in Waco and Dallas over the past few weekends, and it will be a short film; its exact length is yet to be determined, as is the date of release. Despite her claim to have no other involvement in the movie besides a behindthe-scenes producer, she was the essential writer and so the inevitable question arose: would Amanda be making an on-screen appearance? She grinned and said that if you look close enough, you’ll see her in the background of one scene; she couldn’t resist pulling her own nod to film legend Alfred Hitchcock. But for the most part, she stayed on the sidelines with enough confidence and trust in the Horrorphile crew to bring her words to life. There are many facets that make up this Horror Queen of Waco. She’s a chameleon of professions and can switch from photographer to model with no hesitation. She can tag along and out-party even the rowdiest of rockers, and yet all the while continue to pursue her dreams and help take care of her family. She doesn’t let anything get her down, whether it’s floods, her mother’s cancer, her grandfather’s illness, or an exploding computer. She’s quaint, and under all of the wigs, make-up, hair dye and tattoos, Amanda has a heart of gold. She hopes to become a onewoman franchise and establish her name in the horror industry because she loves it and the friends she’s gained along the way. She would love nothing more than to spend all of her time pursuing the art of horror and be able to use the marketing skills she’s gaining in college to give back to the families and companies that have given her so much already. “That’s why I love the horror industry. It’s like one big family. Everyone helps everyone with whatever they can. There’s very little money in it, so you’re doing it out of love, so any day that you wake up and can’t wait to go make something awesome with your friends is a damned good day in my eyes.”
Photos From Cotton Bales, Goatmen, and Witches: Legends from the Heart of Texas.
A review by Jim McKeown Cotton Bales, Goatmen, and Witches: Legends from the Heart of Texas was written by Bradley T. Turner and published by TSTC Printing out of Waco, Texas. In 2009, TSTC published Turner’s Lust, Violence, and Religion. Bradley T. Turner is a McLennan Community College, Mary-Hardin Baylor, and Baylor University graduate with degrees in environmental science, American history, and political science. He currently teaches at MCC. Turner, a Waco native, often wondered about life in historic Waco, but numerous computer searches found virtually nothing published – aside from a scattering of newspapers articles as the stories of McLennan County’s colorful past surfaced from time to time. Turner wrote five of the ten essays in Lust during graduate school. He collaborated on another, and the remaining four were authored by local writers. Chapters include looks at William C. Brann and his newspaper, The Iconoclast, a brief history of Camp MacArthur in the years before and during
page 26 • bohemia • october 2011
World War I, and the devastating tornado of 1953. Controversial episodes deal with the sex trade and some horrific events involving race relations in the days before the civil rights movement.
with her. He was immediately smitten by a shutter bug. His major was graphic design, and he ended up adding photography for a double major, graduating in 1980.
TSTC press now has the task of putting the finishing touches on Turner’s next book: Cotton Bales, Goatmen, and Witches: Legends from the Heart of Texas, due for publication this coming November.
When he assembled a portfolio, he realized the photography portion had much more strength than the graphic design. He began concentrating his job search in that field. An uncle, who lived in New York and worked in the publishing industry, advised him to come to the Big Apple, where he landed a job at a mid-town Manhattan studio photographing stills for catalogues.
Seventy-one local myths and legends have brief descriptions and photographs of the locales involved in the stories. This book arose from a Halloween gathering of some McLennan Community College faculty at a local restaurant. They began sharing ghost stories set in and around Waco. Melody Flowers and Vince Clark, history instructors, contributed some wild legends, and again, Brad wanted more information. Searches turned up nothing but some scattered references in old newspapers. Turner began assembling a list of these legends and pieced together the locations. Mark Long then brought in local photographer, Mark Burdine, to begin photographing the sites. Burdine also works at TSTC as photo coordinator of TSTC Press. Burdine has a bachelor of fine arts degree from The University of Texas. During his sophomore year, a casual conversation with a friend, who needed a photography class, led him to sign up
A job at Channel 10 brought him to Waco, where he began as a videographer. He kept his hands in still photography with some freelance work. Burdine says, “When Brad first asked me about this project, I wasn’t sure. I had never done a book length series of photos before.” However, when he learned the subject matter would involve his real passion in photography – landscape and architecture – he quickly signed on to the project. Mark Burdine describes his work as tending toward the abstract, as is evident in some of the photos from the book reproduced here. “I enjoyed this project immensely,” he says. “If another project like this comes up, I can see myself repeating this experience.” He especially enjoys working in black and white. “That goes way back to my days as a film photographer. When some
colleagues starting talking about the then new digital formats, I was skeptical.” He didn’t make the jump until the technology was perfected, and he knew he could continue working in black and white. “Digital is a lot less suspenseful than film, but I want to do large prints, and that is much easier with a modern digital camera.” He can’t exactly pinpoint the last time he developed a picture he took in a darkroom.
on Cooper’s own Waco contemporaries,” writes Brad Turner. According to the legend, Cooper still haunts the upper floors of the old house. With its gables, dark recesses, and balconies captured by Burdine’s photo, it certainly seems the setting for a haunting.
Some of the scenes Turner and Burdine included in this book involve well-known Waco landmarks. For example, locations in Cameron Park, the Baylor and MCC campuses, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Hippodrome. Even China Spring has the “Misanthrope,” which haunts a tombstone in Patrick Cemetery.
The most fantastic and bizarre legend, however, involves “the Goatman.” Turner writes, “According to legend, scientists successfully bred a new species of super animal, which came to be known as Goatman.” The experiment backfired and the creature became unmanageable. Instead of putting it down, they drove it down the highway and left it for dead somewhere near West. However, the creature survived, and now roams Central Texas looking for easy prey.
One of the more interesting locations is an elegant house on Austin Avenue, now the home of The Cooper Foundation. Madison Cooper lived there while writing “the now famous and highly romanticized Sironia, Texas, a 1700-plus page, two volume series drenched in scandal and based
With the current popularity of zombie and vampire stories, Turner thinks Waco’s version of these legends will find a wide audience. Waco is fortunate to have a local press, TSTC Printing, particularly one willing to document the colorful history of Waco and the surrounding area.
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page 27 • bohemia • october 2011
Wwharewolff: a tale of Gothic Love, Magick, Deathh and Horrore by Gary Lasseter
Photos by Jessica Randazzo
On summer nights like these, those who still lived, lived with a joy of passion richer than blood, more intense than the diluted passions of modern folk.
Ccandi Stoarrm was nude, as she often was on warm nights. The breeze was cool enough however, to keep her standing tense and erect, facing the nearby sea, lips parted and dark eyes half-closed; tasting the wind with exhilaration. What joy it was to be alive! To be uneaten, unbitten!
Her mind shied away from these grotesqueries, and focused instead on perfectly balancing her long raven-black hair against the gently surging light wind, so that it floated weightlessly, streaming behind her. Sin embargo, she cut her eyes to the waning moon; its slightly gibbous form was reflected in her wide, haunting, haunted eyes. Satisfied, she relaxed. And in that moment Ccandi knew she was being watched. Without fear, she turned to face the spy. With an indescribable ecstasy Ccandi realized she was in the presence of a man who was no man, but a god. That he was no local man she knew, for his hair was cut short page 28 • bohemia • october 2011
and he wore a strange headgear, like a war helmet. And his beard was very short, like a boy’s; but she could plainly see that he was no boy. Afterwards, she knew he was a Roman.
“Banshee!” he hissed through clenched teeth, his rugged features contorted in a mask of violent terror. He turned and strode away, his back to the sea and the village and to Ccandi. She ran lightly to his side like some lithe animal. She wanted to comfort him in his fear. “There is no such thing as a Banshee. It is the mothers and sisters of the eaten and the bitten.” “Wytch!” he hissed, turning and trotting away, his shoulders hunched, knees bent; he moved in stealth and haste, away into the shadows, leaving her stunned, in pain and on her knees.
“No,” she whispered, to no one, to herself, to the sharp rocks cutting her naked flesh. ––– The moon set. Time passed. ––– There was a greyness in the sky, and birds began to speak. She decided. It was the twenty-sixth day since the night the soldier had spent with the beautiful wild girl. Although the sun was past noon it was very warm. Marching in a group, singing under their breath with the grunts and whistles and wheezes, the cadence of foot soldiers on the move. “Full moon tonight, lads,” said the captain. “The local natives say this is a region of Wwharewolves, nobody knows how many. They only attack when the full, full moon is in the sky,” he intoned in an eerie tone, half-serious. “It is not a joke,” said a sturdy old Celt. “Walk alone in these woods tonight if you think it is.” He broke the silence that followed this ominous remark. “If you are bitten and live, you
become one of them. Running mad on full moon nights with a thirst like fire for human blood,” he croaked in a hoarse minatory voice. “Starving with hunger for... human flesh!” he ended with a gasp. A rude razzing noise was heard from the ranks. “Laugh, idiot, and die– or become a foul beast from hell!” cried the old Celt as he marched. He observed with perverse satisfaction that most of the men were alarmed rather than amused by his words. “The women are almost always devoured,” he added with sadistic relish, “but sometimes, a woman who has been spurned or treated harshly will follow the Wwharewolff that has fed– to be killed or bitten. If she lives, she becomes a wolf-woman, not just on the full moon, but always, until she dies.” The soldier stepped aside of the wise Celt. “I have lain with a Wytch,” he said in a voice choked with regret and superstitious terror. “And she has Be-Wytched thee?” cackled the old man gleefully. “When did this happen?” the captain called out in an angry voice. “The second night after the last full moon.” “Demerit,” barked the captain in disgust. “All contact with natives must be reported promptly. You know the orders.”
the troop, what would you have done?” “I would have killed you both on the spot,” muttered the officer fiercely. That night, the troop of Romans took shelter in an abandoned goat-pen, with a bonfire before the gate. Twice the watchmen spied dark forms of men passing in the moonlight; and when the scuttling creatures looked towards the fire, their eyes glowed green. Animal eyes. Some howling was heard. Clouds obscured the moon as dawn neared, and the soldier slipped from the enclosure. He was a deserter now. He backtracked.
He knew he was Bewytched. His body burned with a fire that he thought only Ccandi’s cool touch could ever soothe. Her scent filled his nose and was inescapable, an unbearable sweetness. When, from exhaustion, he dozed briefly, his dreams were of her, and waking brought bitter tears to his eyes. Always her voice was in his ear, cooing, whispering words of love in an unknown tongue. That she was a Wytch and had cast a spell of power on him he never doubted for one second, and he sought her now, not to kill or be released, but to surrender.
“Captain!” called the Celt. “If he is under the spell, he might as well turn back. Else he will die.”
Two days later, at dusk, he found her. He spotted her in the shadows, standing with her back to him; his heart pounded. He would always be her slave now. He approached. Ccandi seemed to be wearing a suit of fur. She turned.
“I am Bewytched,” acknowledged the soldier with bitterness.
And the wolf-woman devoured his face. The Roman would soldier no more.
“If I had allowed her to follow me back to
555c.org page 29 • bohemia • october 2011
Interview With An Entity by Lisa Hathaway McLennan County Paranormal Investigations (MCPI) was founded by Mike and Cindy Jacobus in 2008. They say their mission is “to help others understand the activity they are experiencing through normal explanations if at all possible.” The team has conducted over 73 residential and commercial investigations in the past 3 years. Some of the locations include the Waco Civic Theatre, Dr. Pepper Museum, Waco Hippodrome, Jasper’s Bar B-Q, and Museum of Horrors in Elm Mott, TX. The following story is Bohemia writer Lisa Hathaway’s first-hand experience while accompanying the MCPI team onsite. “Let me start this story by telling you that I entered this investigation as a ‘skeptic’ but very intrigued. I typically explain away creepy encounters through deductive reasoning. For example, if I hear a noise, I know it is probably the ventilation system or the house settling. However, after my experience on the investigation, I must retract my disbelief, simply because I was there and I know what I heard. The instructions given to me over the phone were to meet Mike and Cindy in Bellmead, TX, Saturday evening, 8:30 pm at an undisclosed location near the residential home to be investigated. I was introduced to the team for the first time in person that evening. Mike and Cindy were the lead investigators. Investigator Dano Grooms and cameraman Ed Smith joined us. The family living in this home had been experiencing footsteps, a ‘shadow man,’ and citing poltergeist activity. Before beginning the investigation I joined hands with the team as Cindy lead a protection prayer. This is done before every investigation. We entered through the back doors, which lead to the dining room/kitchen area. I immediately noticed an old creased photo of Jesus hanging above the doors as if to protect the house. The walls of every room were a peaceful white color and the living room housed everything that one would expect, nothing out of the normal, except for the empty dog pillow resting by the front door. page 30 • bohemia • october 2011
(The beloved family dog passed away after being hit by a car on the road.) As we walked back through the kitchen area and into the very small hallway that separated the children’s bedroom from the dining room area, I noticed a larger picture of Jesus on the wall. This is actually the area where the footsteps that had been heard always stopped, so I was told. I wondered if the picture of Jesus might be why they stopped. I walked into the children’s room and noticed a few posters lining the wall-- Robert Pattinson, portraying a vampire from the Twilight saga. There was also a shelf on the wall, housing what appeared to be various types of skulls made from porcelain or ceramic. Next, the team began setting up equipment. Four stationary static cameras were strategically arranged—two in the kitchen, one in the living room, and one in the hallway facing the children’s bedroom. The feed from the static cameras were routed into a monitor that was set up at the command center, located in another bedroom, where no paranormal activity had been reported. We made one more walk through, to check the camera in the living room. We noticed that the curtain to the door was moving. Dano turned the ceiling fan off and the curtain movement continued but not as erratic. He checked the door for a draft, but there wasn’t one. At this point the central air was not blowing. We couldn’t find a logical explanation as to why the curtain was still moving. We shut off all the lights and cleared the house to allow the dust particles to settle. Next step, Cindy and I would go into the house alone and take Deep IR photos to see if we could catch any glimpse of manifestations or entities. After waiting nearly 15 minutes, Cindy and I entered the quiet house. I have to admit I was nervous and had a bit of adrenaline flowing through my veins, but I wasn’t terrified. The house was completely dark except for the small light generated by Cindy’s flashlight. We walked into the living room where Cindy took Deep IR photos. At this point, the curtain movement ceased. We began walking back through the kitchen and heard tapping noises. I wasn’t sure what
Top: Mike setting up cameras. Next: Cindy setting up command center. Next: A ghost touch box was set up but never received a “hit” from it. Bottom: Mike demonstrating how the K2 meter is used. It measures the electromagnetic field. In theory, an entity can be read on the meter. Certain appliances can also register on the meter as Mike shows here.
it was and only knew we could hear it when we stepped into the kitchen area. Cindy continued taking photos. We walked to the hallway area leading to the children’s bedroom. That’s where I felt a very cool area on my legs below my knees. Cindy felt a sensation on her arm at the same time. She said it felt like bugs crawling and shined the flashlight on her arm. She asked me to look for something crawling on her arm; there wasn’t anything there. This area is where the family had heard the footsteps. Then, we heard more tapping coming from what seemed to be the kitchen again. We exited the house to let the dust settle. Next, Mike and Dano would enter the house alone to take another set of Deep IR photos. The separation of male and female is done because sometimes spirits or entities will react differently to a male or female, according to the investigation team. During this point it was reported to me that Dano and Mike heard a “Pssst...” sound coming from the kitchen area. At this point, we had possible paranormal activity in the living room and the kitchen/ dining room area. Below are the results of the Mike and Dano’s Deep IR photos from the kitchen area. 1st Interview. Location: living room. Participants: Cindy, the mother, her 13 yearold daughter, our cameraman—Ed, and myself. The room was dark and quiet. Cindy instructed me to take the temperature reading with the temp gun. We sat down on the living room furniture and began a quiet, peaceful interview with the entity. We asked it a series of random ‘yes or no’ questions. Cindy instructed it to answer by turning a flashlight on or off. There was no response using the flashlight. Then Cindy instructed it to answer the questions by making the K2 meter light up. We did receive several responses using the K2. We found out that the entity was a 12 year old and its favorite color was blue. I asked it to hug me but I felt nothing. There was no response at all, nothing. I asked Cindy if I was allowed to ask it a question pertaining to religion. Before she could finish her answer, we received a strong hit off the K2 meter. I then asked it, ‘Do you believe in God?’ I received no answer, no response. Cindy asked the entity if it wanted the teenage girl in the room to leave. We did receive a response from this question. The teenager says she felt pressure on her arm, as if it page 31 • bohemia • october 2011
were being held down. Was the entity communicating to us that the girl should stay?
Cindy said, ‘Make a noise if you are in the kitchen, make a big loud one.’
This concluded our living room interview.
‘No,’ was the response from the kitchen. It sounded like a child’s voice. It was higher in tone, but I couldn’t distinguish if it was male or female. It sounded so clear, but I thought, ‘How can this be?’ I was speechless and just turned to Cindy to look at her. Cindy immediately asked the others in the command center is anyone had made a noise. The response was no. We out later that the children of the household were asleep in the command center, so it could not have possibly been one of them who made the noise.
2nd Interview. Location: kitchen. Participants: Mike, Dano, and the cameraman, Ed. In the command center room, Cindy, the children, and I watched the monitor that housed the feedback from all four static cameras, while the men interviewed the entity in the kitchen. They did get responses from the flashlight twice. Mike asked it, ‘What’s it feel like on the other side?’ Immediately after that question was asked, Dano began to feel sick and was nearly in tears. They had to end the interview and go outside. 3rd Interview. Location: children’s bedroom. Participants: Cindy, Dano as a cameraman, and myself. This time I decided to ‘sweeten the pot’ for the entity. I positioned my pen and paper on the floor to offer another means of communication. I also set a cinnamon fireball on top of the tablet as a friendly jester.
We ended the evening with a binding prayer, gathering in a small circle holding hands.” Interested in learning more about McLennan County Paranormal Investigations? Please visit their web site at www.txmcpi.com. If you are experiencing possible paranormal activity Mike will be standing by to answer your call at 254-749-5839.
Cindy and I asked the entity several different questions and received absolutely no response, not even a tiny spike on the K2 meter as before. Earlier, the thought had entered our mind that we could be with more than one spirit or entity (possibly the family’s deceased pet Chihuahua). So, as a long shot, I began barking like a dog, whistling and various things, to call it over to me. Still, there was no reply. Then, we asked the spirit if someone killed it. We heard a grumbling noise coming from the hallway near Dano. Cindy and I thought it was Dano’s stomach. He said it wasn’t him this time and chuckled. Cindy told me to ask the question again. We didn’t get a response the second time. It was getting very late and I had a feeling that there just wasn’t anything in this room. I raised my voice and asked, ‘Are you even in this room? Are you still in the kitchen?’ We didn’t hear a reply.
1st right corner of the Look at the bottom cond Se triangular shape. photo for the white re or fla ns shows nothing. Le photo taken later u decide. manifestation? Yo
Trypanophobia by Whitney Van Laningham
He smiles at me– laughs really– with his faded, yellowing teeth the exact color of the tile mold found behind a public toilet. His name is Hank, but his buttery complexion and lumpy t-shirt suggest that he could have once been a “Meredith” or a “Suzanne.” One gnarled, oil-stained finger points toward a tilt-a-whirl near the auto shop where Hank has towed my broken-down car. I shake my head no, explaining wordlessly with my widening eyes and shaking hands what my voice cannot. I have the most awful, splitting migraine that threatens to tear my skull in two. It is akin to a circus strong man shoving an ice pick repeatedly into the corner of my eyebrow.
Hank twists my arm and drags my fragile, nauseated body to the tilted, raised surface. I lie still, grateful for the chance to close my eyes and attempt to allow the stabbing and ripping in my head to subside, but it is sharply brought back into focus with a horrible metal clinking sound. My captor emerges from behind the control booth, holding two stained cloth straps with metal hooks at both ends. I try to scream, but only a low, inaudible moan escapes my lips. Hank attaches each of the metal clips to the rails on either side of me. With a terrible scraping sound, he stands back, reveling in the monomaniacal control of his most recent prey. He turns his back to me, and for a moment, I almost call out for him to stop, to come back, to stay beside me. I am frightened, but I am more frightened of what he will return with if he leaves. A loud clicking noise occurs somewhere near my left ear, and the surface of the sun in the form of carnival lights is in my face, shrinking and widening my pupils to absorb every color, to take in every ray, and to torment my aching consciousness. The machine has begun to move. I feel far more nauseated and purely petrified than I ever have in my entire life. In a single motion, Hank lands a few inches away from my left arm, his boots resounding against the metal. There is something in his right hand. He grins and hides it behind his grime-stained t-shirt. With his left hand, he makes a fist around the crook of my elbow, feeling for a vein with his blackened fingernail. Every part of my body is on fire with pain and nerves. I contort my muscles page 32 • bohemia • october 2011
away from his overbearing body, silently praying that I may snap the ropes that bind me before I sever bone from bone. Calmly, and with nurse-like steadiness, Hank lowers the needle to my pulsing vein. I writhe to get away from his stinking flesh, his venomous stare. I cry and shake, and I can no longer breathe evenly, but he ignores my struggles. The needle pierces my skin, its tiny ribbed tip digging into me like a miniature bayonet. I look up at my keeper, terrified, but he only smiles that strange, laughing, yellowing smile. It is the last image I see before I am gone.
pears to have small clusters of dried oatmeal around the stitching. “How are you feeling?” she asks, and moves to loosen the beige restraints that are still binding my body to a metal-framed bed. I
I wake up with a start, a shrill beeping resounding somewhere near my left ear. “Hi,” says a scrub-clad nurse with a breakfast tray. I can barely make out her name tag without my glasses on, the small black lettering spelling out “Meredith,” on her breast pocket. Her skin stinks of bleach water, and the hemline of her dress ap-
blink once, twice. Noticing the eleven halfeaten cups of red Jello, I conclude that I must be in the hospital.
FoneDead (Dan Cole and Billy Ronbinson), is an alt-indie rock duo from Waco, TX. Photos by Lindsey Parker at her home in China Spring.
By Carmen Merritt Little shop o’insensibilities infuriates the sensibilities in time! Make haste with thyselfthis great imminent fate of mine! I wake each day and I’m not finesick to my stomachforsake me! I’m full of Shake.and.Bakea fake hunger filler a waste of a killer. I’ve feasted on hate from the bellies of bastard beasts. I’m irate with heated debate, and I can’t wait to masticate myself with hot, smoking plates of slop; splattered, tattered, chopped bitspieces of meat, you’d rather not eat. Asphyxiate this banter of mine with decreased rantings. I’m chanting six course chatter lines while decanting a bottle of my favorite red wine. Intoxicate these ravings of mine! Sober me up with basted swine! Bombast decrees increase in haste when your dying; lying dead in your place, fed on scraps of prime [pig] rib. Fast blood running like paste in distaste, drips down the bib under my face.
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Plath-itudes Fib the truth and
choke vomit back in place. Hack up unwise lies. We’re all choking on disgrace. I find I’m wasting time not workingbasting in the bitter.batter pasting, roasting in the pitter.patter of life. (I’m tasting my own medicine alright.) Time is lurking, and I’m loathing; layed out on this plate, ready for prodding and poking. I’m provoking this rotted waste. Stick a knife in this knotted ex-wife;
(we’re all one and the same)
Urged to splurge, I’m sedate. Binge and purge this plate. Regurgitate this meal and wait. Tabletop timers will end. Fabled rhymers will spin tales twisted in the bales of pork.chops and augmented ales; store bought drink sought to drown the thoughts of chewed up details. Pop the cork of this wicked wine, but stop this nonsense of mine!
peel back the tattered rinds of her life.
Stick a fork inside me.
Scores of scattered rows resign
to reveal those mere matters
most smeared on her shattered mind.
Penance has now been rectified.
Rife with cheers, I’m toasting fearsjerking back fat rolling tears; retracting back the years spent coasting throughacting my part, paying my rent, staying distant. Slowly baking, I’m shakingpent up rage caking my brain. It’s not too late to eat me alive. I’m insane and intent, I am spent; at last swallowed by saturated fat (insane) and I’m drinking the lies that hide in the slain dinner that I host for the sinners.
tahway (writer), aff Illustrator) Lisa Ha Renny Quintero (St en Merrit (writer) rm m (writer) and Ca Whitney Van Laninha elle Argubright in een costumes for No pose in their Hallow downtown Waco.
Kelly Digh Michael Bracken
A native of the 254, and hails from beautiful Lake Whitney, Texas. She returned from Georgia back in September after six years of Art Schoolin’ and Life Livin’. She paints, writes, and rides bikes. She’s lived on the road, in the forest, and in paradise. She can kill chickens. She welds, eats cow brains, speaks German, and knows way more about Southeastern Vernacular Masonry Tactics than anyone should know. She is pleased to find Waco surging with a Creative Culture that is poised to blow everybody’s mind page 34 • bohemia • october 2011
Even though he is the author of several books–including the young adult romance Just in Time for Love and the hardboiled private eye novel All White Girls–Michael Bracken is better known as the author of almost 900 short stories published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Fantastic, Flesh & Blood: Guilty as Sin, Hot Blood: Strange Bedfellows, Midnight, New Texas, Specters in Coal Dust, True Story, and many other anthologies and magazines. Additionally, Bracken has edited five crime fiction anthologies, including the three-volume Fedora series. Learn more at www.CrimeFictionWriter.com and CrimeFictionWriter.blogspot.com.
A 35 year old writer from North Carolina. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, scary movies, making soap, and scrap-booking. She lives with her mother and two cats, and is currently preparing to survive the zombie apocalypse. This is her first publishing experience, but hopefully not the last.
Holds degrees in philosophy and medieval history– neither of which seems to be very employable. He lives in Waco, has an unnatural hatred for pigeons, and washes dishes for a living.
A photojournalist and musician. She loves to write poetry and sing. She collects guitars, owns her own home in Waco, and has two dogs, Katie and Cupid.
He has a B.A. in journalism from Louisiana Tech University. He works in sports communications but would rather write about other things most of the time. Among other things, Jack has four collections of published poetry: The Well (1999), Paragon Paradox (2001, 2006), The Scribbler (2003), Metamorphosis (2006). He also is the front man for the Waco band Beat to a Pulp. Jack lives in Round Rock, Texas, with a comfortable recliner, an old oaken desk, persistent random thoughts, and some strange guy named Larry.
(aka Nell Gwynne Drood, Gw Lasseter, Bubba Waco) nonsense poet, psychobillysurrealist-multi-media slacker-artist was born in mid-twentieth century Waco,Texas; yet he has never let that stigma discourage him. “Artists of super-extraordinary talent, such as Steve Martin, Jules Bledsoe and myself, choose Waco to be born in so that we can show off more easily.” Lasseter has appeared at numerous local venues as well as some notable performances in Austin and Dallas/ Fort Worth. He portrayed Romeo’s father onstage at MCC, Ophelia’s father at the Waco Civic Theatre and Dr. Timothy Leary’s ‘cousin’ on PBS Waco.
A musician and prolific writer, was born in Guadalajara Jalisco and is proud of her Aztec roots. She is currently studying psychology at MCC and plans to pursue degrees in music and writing as well. She thanks her father for sharing with her his passion for words and for finding the ability to convey the human experience through self expression and the arts. She lives with her mother, Iris, her boyfriend, Kevin, their four cats and dog. Her influences include Salvador Dali, H.R. Geiger, Edgar Allen Poe, Betty Page, and George Carlin.
Has an MA in Literature from Baylor University and an MFA in creative writing from National University. He teaches literature, creative writing, and composition at McLennan Community College. He lives in Waco with his wife, two cats, and their faithful Lab, Marcy. page 35 • bohemia • october 2011
Lives in Waco, TX with her two young sons and one dog. She is currently a full time college student seeking a B.A. in Communication Studies from Texas Tech, and is also a self employed energy consultant with Texas Energy Aggregation. When life isn’t so hectic she enjoys a great many things, including hiking, disc golf, poetry, music, sci-fi, and hanging out with her kids, dog, and many great friends.
Was raised in China Spring and holds a B.A. in Public Relations (minor in Photography) from Texas State. She has lived in Tennessee, pitched against the Japanese Olympic softball team, and written oodles of journals that no one has ever read. She enjoys teaching her son life lessons via baseball and dancing in the kitchen. Lindsey teaches at Bosqueville ISD. Her photography tends to show depth and she especially looks for layers. “I try to capture those moments that go unnoticed; it’s like a game I have with life--and if I capture it, I win.”
Edgar Allan Poe
Is unaware that we printed his poem.
Lauren “Renny” Quintero
A local Wacoan, born and raised. She has never been too far away from Waco, nor has she once left the United States. Renny paints far too much in her free time and enjoys teasing her dog, Rubee, and chinchilla, Jude. She also enjoys fiddling with Photoshop and dabbing in photography. She loves the Beatles and watches way too many cartoons. She often claims that random passers-by are her boyfriends/ husbands.
Bradley T. Turner
A Christian and seventh-generation Wacoan with degrees in environmental studies, history, and po-
litical science from McLennan Community College, the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, and Baylor University. He works as an instructor in Environmental Science, World Geography, and American History at McLennan Community College. He is the editor of Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco, and has authored Cotton Bales, Goatmen, and Witches: Legends from the Heart of Texas. He lives in Hewitt, Texas, with his wife, Andrea, and expects their first child in November.
Formerly from the slums of Brownsville, Texas, and now currently resides in Waco. She enjoys writing about anything and everything. She has kept journals since the age of eight, which she always tosses into the trash once they are filled. Pieces of her life story now crowd various landfills. She is an avid fan of import cars, and has three adorable children who have inherited her passion for reading. Esmeralda hopes to set a good example for them by continually pursuing her dream of becoming a homicide detective, all the while managing fitness, school, and family time.
Whitney Van Laningham
As native to Los Angeles, California, the adjustment to Waco and Texas life in general has been quite an adventure. She is a Communication Specialist major with a minor in Creative Writing at Baylor University. She loves puppies, rock n’ roll, yoga, the 1920’s, and anything covered in teriyaki sauce.
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