Sudden Denouement Classics: Battle of Boredom – Henna Sjöblom

There was a war that day
indisputably
although, nobody talked about it
you would see them walking by a little faster
their funny hats tilting from side to side
Sometimes the sky would shatter above us
And bleed neon blue
the drains would flood
the cats drown in screeches
what good is having nine lives
if you don’t know how to stay afloat

People are all the same
Everyone would unfold their umbrellas
Hoping for the weather to clear
The shards of metal and from the air
they stay cramped in their corners
watching their toes rot away from the humidity

Under-dressed little girl
strutting about, singing
dead men can walk
madness her name
lost her little mind
in the deluge
the acid raindrops
digging trough her temples
like a poem
and when the streets eventually dried up
she would be found crying
in the sewer
bent over the smeared ink stains
the disfigured body
of a paper print lover


Henna Sjöblom,  the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at H.JD Writes

Poem in which I dye my hair ashen blonde- Henna Sjöblom

Poem in which

If we don’t speak again, I want you to know
I survived,
overrun, barren and sliced to the bone,
with a sudden urge to laugh

out loud,

accused of fetishizing, pretentiously advertising
oppressed minority groups and late night liquidizing 
talking too loud, being way too obvious
(she’s a meat hook,
a wretched Mary Sue, not one original thought in her mind)
What kind of disaster am I unless someone
takes notice? Here I am canned in an airtight tube,

your average misanthropist, complete with profanity filter and habituation warnings,

averting offensive comments and online shitstorms

judgement burns like hydrogen peroxide

What’s your passion darling, what’s your deepest and most unpronounceable 

truth? Let it all show,
make it the thrill of a lifetime,
parodize yourself to the point of exhaustion!
Don’t worry if you missed a streak
– just cut it off and glue it to your forehead

as protection.

Hey hypochlorite girl, you brilliant survivor. You are going to a brand new place,
but to transform,

you have to leave some things 

behind.

 


Henna Sjöblom,  the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at Murder Tramp Birthday

Husk – Howl Davies

I’ve got one hour until my parents are back from the theater.

I’m at my typically cluttered desk. Textbooks and notes bathed in the glow from a budget mass produced lamp, designed especially to fit the Swedish specifications of a stylish and productive student workspace.

There are only two things on my desk which are important right now. On the table is a photograph of me and my best friend, Hugh. It was taken a couple of years back. A school excursion, the typical outdoors experience that’s supposed to build character. It was a weekend of early mornings and shitty experiences, but we made the most of it. Hell, we made it fun.

To my left is a small plastic bag, containing a coarse white powder. Give it to a pharmacist or a chemist and they’ll identify it as ‘Desomorphine’. Show it to a kid my age, or a junkie down on their luck and they’ll tell you you’ve got a cheap shipment of Husk. It’s a drug that appealed to the latter for a few years. It was an alternative to heroin, but a tenth of the cost. There was a reason for this. You had your typical long term side effects; heart palpitations, stunted brain cell development, rabid gum disease, but that’s to be expected.

Husk had a much more obvious and worrying long term effect. Necrosis of the skin.

You can probably begin to imagine it, but I can tell you, it’s worse than that. It’s like a section of your body doesn’t get the memo that your heart is still beating and it just – gives up. It rots. The skin falls away and reveals the blighted muscle tissue and discolored bone that the drug has got to and ruined. Deploy. Discover. Destroy. The drug follows every teaching of our founding fathers. So, you’re left with these stinking, rotting masses of flesh hanging off your body.

It’s unpleasant;

                                    but I have no intention of getting to that point.

Another way the drug differs from typical opiates is the overdose. Take too much heroin for your little heart to handle and it’ll just give up on you. Boom. Time’s up. Husk won’t kill you however. It’ll just – change you. Reduce you to a blabbering fool for the rest of your life. Motor skills, language ability, sense of reasoning – out the window. You’ll be lucky if you can even pronounce your own name at the end of it. You’ll be reduced to the equivalent of an adult new born. A shell of your former self. Hence the name – Husk.

All this didn’t deter the most desperate people looking for a fix. It got big in the darker corners of Europe, and then made its way over to America. The authorities and the DEA didn’t pay it much attention until it started making its way into high schools. As soon as it threatened the suburban middle class, they mustered up a crusade to stop the blight, because someone just has to think of the children. Well, the privileged ones. I’m saying this as someone from that world. My father’s a doctor, my mother a lawyer. They own their own house. I am the very embodiment of my own cynicisms.

So why do I have the drug? Well, I’m not looking for a fix, and I’ve never had an interest in getting high. I tease the picture of me and Hugh in my fingers.

He overdosed on Husk six weeks ago.

When I found out, well there’s little that can prepare you for that. I knew him better than anyone, and I knew it wasn’t an accident. He was a smart guy. One of the smartest people I’d ever met. He had been accepted into his first three colleges of choice. He was going to be a doctor, and a good one at that.

He wasn’t the first to overdose at my school, and he wasn’t the last. These weren’t copycat actions, and these weren’t the actions of followers.

Daisy Thompson – she was published in several student literary collectives – she overdosed eight weeks ago, the night before receiving the school’s English prize.

Paul Erikkson – he could have got a sporting scholarship to any college of his choosing – he overdosed five weeks ago, nine days before he was set to go to an invite only football training camp.

Holly Davies – I sat behind her in my further mathematics class and she overdosed just six days ago. She wasn’t that special. She was just always nearby.

The brightest minds, the most charismatic and prosperous individuals were dropping like flies. This wasn’t suicide, but it was their escape. I didn’t want to believe it, but you can’t just ignore a correlation like that. They all had a lot ahead of them, but sometimes you got to think, is that what they really wanted? We’re barely learning to think for ourselves, and we’re already sizing up the mountain we are going to have to climb for the rest of our life.

I understand why they did it. I wouldn’t have bought the drug if I didn’t.

Being constantly told what you’re going to amount to, being reminded about your bright future, it’s merely a constant reminder that you have expectations to fulfil. It’s hard to be happy when you’re constantly measuring your next step, as well as the distance of the fall if you miss it.

Human nature is simple; we just want to be happy.

I mean real happiness. Not the fleeting kind we get day to day – going shopping, watching a film you like, watching people you’ve never met win at a sport you’ve never played – this isn’t that. These little anomalies of content will always be tarnished by the next little dilemma to come along.

I mean pure, unadulterated, unconditional happiness.

The kind I saw last week, in Hugh’s face.

He was sat in the cafeteria, spooning yoghurt out a bowl with one hand and throwing it onto the floor, his other hand playing with his genitals. People don’t die when they take husk – this was the equivalent of an adult new born.

Never in my ten years of knowing him had I ever seen him laugh so hard, or seen him as care free as he was that lunchtime, painting his strawberry flavored masterpiece with his dick in his hand.

He was painting his Sistine chapel. I doubt Michelangelo ever looked that happy.

He doesn’t even recognize me anymore, but that doesn’t change a thing for him.

Maybe the first was an accident. Allen Jones – he always had troubles with what he was going to do after high school. He didn’t have the grades to go where he wanted, and I guess he just wanted a release. When he came back to school – well it was strange to see. Always smiling, always content, always at peace. He used to have panic attacks like clockwork. Now he just sits around sticking the pages of books together with glue. Every single kid in that school, from the honor students to the kids who’d huff solvents in the toilets after school, every single one is the middle child of history. There’s no more American dream to strive for, and the concept of correcting the instabilities left by it is too far off.

We are just filler. We are the commercials for European sports-cars and male impotency medication that crawls through the early morning television schedule.

When you think of it like that, I’m not surprised all the kids did it, and I’m not surprised Hugh did it. He was setting out to spend half of his life in med school, and then the other half to follow would be there to pay it off. You don’t get a break in this world. The only time when you aren’t plagued by responsibility is as an infant, or when you finally cash in your twilight years, slowly dying but out of your mind on medication.

The years of med school cramming and bills was just one aspect for Hugh though. There are other reasons people take Husk. Not just to escape, but also to forget. Not just to forget, but to purge something from ever happening.

Take Marla Parker – sure she wasn’t the brightest kid at school, but then she had a gift more important in high school – she was hot, and her tits came in early. She was attractive, and this made her noticeable. Popular. This is what made her instance so tragic.

It’s always worse hearing a tragedy about someone who’s attractive.

Do you think people would have given a shit about Jesus if he was ugly?

Marla was on a lot of the guy’s radars at high school, and she knew it. She liked it. Like Icarus in a C cup, she got pregnant a month or so into this whole ‘Husk’ pandemic. Not many knew at first, just those involved. Marla was someone I would never go near. Hugh, on the other hand, was crazy about her. Things worked out for them at Diiasio’s birthday party. Hugh was beaming for two weeks afterwards.

Until Hugh found out that Marla was pregnant.

I don’t think that’s why Hugh took the husk though. I explained to him the slim chance that the kid was his. He seemed uneasy when I worked out how many people he was competing with for that ‘World’s #1 Dad’ mug. It did slim down the prospects though. As I said, Icarus in a C cup.

I don’t think it was Marla’s pregnancy that made Hugh decide to overdose.

I don’t think it was Marla telling him that her ‘super Catholic’ parents nearly kicked her out the house and forbid her from getting the abortion that made him do it.

I don’t think it was hearing about how they found Marla in her parents’ home, foaming at the mouth from a near lethal dose of Husk that made him do it.

I don’t think it was about them rushing her to the hospital. Her blood-soaked thighs that made him do it.

I don’t think it was the visits, seeing her a few weeks after that with the mentality of an infant and no recollection of the life she traded in, nor the child she lost.

I don’t think there’s any one reason why Hugh, why these kids, why we are doing this. It’s the weight of it all combined that breaks our back.

I’m not trying to say what these kids did, what I intend to do, is right. I don’t need to justify my actions.

It’s just easier –

                                    And things seldom come easily.

 I’m pinching the bag in between my forearm and thumb, and looking at the picture of Hugh. He’s never coming back, so I may as well join him.

The substance should be dissolved in water. I’d seen it a million times in films. I never thought I’d be at this point, but hell, life’s full of surprises like this.

I’m holding a lighter under a spoon with water and the husk. Too much for a first-time user. Enough to overdose on. What I didn’t understand from when I saw this in films is that when you’re doing it for real, it’s a much slower process. I flick on the television I have next to my desk. The news flashes on the screen and they’re showing a report on Husk. It’s strange to watch it whilst I’m dissolving a fix in one of my parent’s silver spoons. These anti-husk reports are on every couple of days.

But, this isn’t that.

It’s live footage, from an airport. I let go of the gas compression on the lighter and move closer.

The whole airport is in lockdown. Apparently, there’s a kid – he’s locked himself in one of the bathrooms, and he’s threatening to overdose.

His uncle is there outside the bathroom, distraught, begging the kid to come out. There are passengers, pilots, baggage staff, air hosts and hostess’, all watching. All waiting. Every single close-up shot of the crowd reveals a face heavy with empathy. The reporter is talking to a woman slumped on a chair, crying. I assume it’s the kid’s mother, but it isn’t. The woman chokes out that her daughter overdosed a couple of months ago, and then she creases in on herself, crying frantically.

There isn’t a single shot of the crowd where there isn’t someone as distraught as this.

There isn’t a single shot which doesn’t have someone who’s whole life was torn apart by this drug.

The reporter is rushing over to the airport bathroom. The kid came out. He didn’t do it. He’s crying. He’s shaking. His uncle rushes over and hugs him.

And everyone’s clapping for this kid. They’re smiling through tears.

How must this feel for those whose kids went through it?

I can’t even begin to imagine, and the logical step would be to think about my parents. For them to come home and I’ve –

I can’t even think about it.

I throw the spoon in the bin, the lighter, the bag, the syringe. Everything.

I pick up the picture of Hugh again. I look at his goofy smile.

After the overdose, he can’t use a mobile phone. I doubt he’ll ever wrap his head around it again.

I reach over to my phone and address a text to him. I tell him he’s an idiot, and then I tell him I miss him.


 

An uplifting story for Friday!

[Howl Davies is the spectral puppet master crawling in The Sounds inside.]

Teratophilia

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Drawing (c) Malicia Frost // Henna Sjöblom

 

I never wanted your understanding
All I need is a mouth
someone who roars louder than me
someone who grabs first and asks not
whether I’m enjoying it
to block out
my own desires
I have chosen to love the monster
I did not ask for it,
still
I think I’m quite comfortable in here

Being bitten is painful and familiar
I collect his teeth as trophies
like soldiers stacking bullets around their necks
like we used to compare our scars
in middle school
“I think he’s getting more violent,” you whispered
and shivered in terror and ecstasy
over the thought of getting torn apart
at the dinner table that night

Now,
my skin has become a topographic map of wars
that were never recorded in history
My anxious fingers wander up to his jawline
and starts deciphering
where the next impact will strike
so that I might pull my shirt up
make sure it hits the spot
to make me see stars, nebulae bruises
flashing before my eyelids
And it doesn’t matter that he is all teeth
and no bones
I always found it easier
to love the wound
rather than the person inflicting it

 

[Malicia Frost, or Henna, is a hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland. She enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. The drawing is from her sketchbook, a place she likes to illustrate her thoughts. More of her works can be found at her personal blog.]

let’s be strangers in new orleans – samantha lucero

next-day sore, fabled romance memories we’ll never have again hang themselves over the morgue of my shoulders. they sling there on the murderess hews of my collarbones like a noose. over the rubble of me like a shapeless dress, they cling. my sadness is a one-size fits all.

there’s a bad mystery of stitched up, prayer-words smothered & held hostage underneath the humid crucifix game of your nails. maybe we could be in love. your calloused hand, my beating throat. memories are ghosts that can physically embrace me; embrace us.

like  dirt-sweat in a ghost-tour day of that hot mouth street in New Orleans, where the grinning specter-folks wanna stay like pasted gaslight posts in booze-colored hurricane beads. where there’s oiled-up candles in the balmy night lining decatur & quivering tarot cards in a sweaty palm telling me i’m meant for greatness. hail the votives for a virgin or a saint-chief, & watch palpitations at every pop-up table. my black boots on powdered sugar all over the concrete long after sleep should’ve gently tapped, hold the the dust of cemetery reflections & the 24/7 menu of the cafe du monde.

meet me for smoke, insomnia, primordial love.

you don’t need the blonde smiling photograph of her burned onto the back of your eyelids when things go wrong for us.

i don’t need the memory of him sewn to my back like a corset scar, like an unhealed secret.

we can make our own memories now. let’s erase them.

let’s erase it all & grow old

in the sweet, warm arms of new orleans where desperate, spilling souls belong. 


[Samantha Lucero is an unseelie that has a nursery of shadows at sixredseeds.]

indie support saturdays – fundead publications is seeking poetry submissions about SALEM

(Please note: The written content/imagery of this post belongs to FunDead Publications.)

FunDead Publications is now accepting poetry submissions about Salem,MA, or poems SET IN Salem, MA.  Submissions for this collection close April 30th, 2017.  While we enjoy many forms of poetry, we are specifically looking for classic styles, especially poems that tell a story, history, lore, or folk tale revolving around our home city of Salem.  We welcome poems about witch culture in Salem, but we’d also love story poems about the spice trade, pirates, or literary history.  We’d also love poems about the cemeteries, or or other spooky locations in Salem.   Remember, we are a horror publisher, so the darker the better!  Think: The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ANY POEM by Edgar Allen Poe, Rain on a Grave by Thomas Hardy, A Reminiscence by Anne Brontë. While poetry does not have to rhyme, we do enjoy when it does, but it is not a requirement for this anthology.

Instructions: Send your submission by midnight on 4/30/17 to DearFunDead@gmail.com for consideration with “Salem Poetry Submission” as the subject line, but please read our guidelines below!

Content Requirements:  Poems must revolve around the subject of Salem, MA, be set IN Salem, MA, or discuss Salem, MA.  All forms of poetry, traditional or free verse will be considered for print, though we are partial to traditional styles.  We’d like to try to keep pieces below 2200 words each, so please keep this in mind as you write.  We will allow up to TWO submissions per person for this anthology. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept reprints at this time.

Required Information:  Please include your first and last name, phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address on your submission.  When sending us your poem, please include information about yourself and your writing/publishing history in the body of the e-mail, as well as any other relevant information.

Payment:  Accepted submissions will be awarded payment in the way of $5 upon printing. It may not be much, but we are a small and humble press just getting our start and it’s all we can offer at this time apart from our excellent social media promotion and beyond. If your submission is accepted, you will also receive a printed copy of the anthology!

Response Time: Please be aware that it may be six to eight weeks before you receive a response from FunDead Publications, and because we are so tiny, sometimes we get a little behind.  As the poetry anthologies do not have a set release date and a slower and lower submission level, you may not hear back until we have set the official release date (which will be announced by April at the latest).

Diversity Statement: We at FunDead Publications believe diversity is what makes fiction wonderful and unique and we welcome submissions from writers of every race, religion, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to see the original post.

Battle of Boredom – Malicia Frost

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source

 

There was a war that day
indisputably
although, nobody talked about it
you would see them walking by a little faster
their funny hats tilting from side to side
Sometimes the sky would shatter above us
And bleed neon blue
the drains would flood
the cats drown in screeches
what good is having nine lives
if you don’t know how to stay afloat

People are all the same
Everyone would unfold their umbrellas
Hoping for the weather to clear
The shards of metal and from the air
they stay cramped in their corners
watching their toes rot away from the humidity

Under-dressed little girl
strutting about, singing
dead men can walk
madness her name
lost her little mind
in the deluge
the acid raindrops
digging trough her temples
like a poem
and when the streets eventually dried up
she would be found crying
in the sewer
bent over the smeared ink stains
the disfigured body
of a paper print lover

 

[Malicia Frost, or Henna, which is her real name, is a hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland. She enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. More of her writing can be found at her personal blog.]

[Author would like to comment: Thank you all for being patient as I’m going trough a very stressful time in my life. I haven’t been half as active on SD as I would have wished, and I’ll try to make it all up to you. You guys are awesome and insanely talented.]