Short Story: Errors of Grievance

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“I warned you!”

The old priestess pounded a weathered fist on the small dining table, her dingy blouse falling off of a dark, bony shoulder. “But you know more than Miss Beaulieu, eh?”
Across the small table, Momma dried a rivulet of shame from her cheek.
“I didn’t mean no harm,” her voice quivered. “I swear.”
From her cold, moonlight-washed perch atop the old bayou house, Adelaide shifted her attention to the agitated women below. Rolling her skinny frame onto her belly, she shivered under her thread-bear dress, setting her little doll beside her. He balanced on his round torso, head draped in a dry tangle of Spanish moss. Yellow lamplight sliced across his black button eyes and together they peered through a crack near the chimney overlooking the kitchen.
“I never took it out the house.” Momma insisted. “Someone done stole it.”
Miss Beaulieu planted a hand on her hip and took a long draw on a short cigar.
“Who done the spell? That jinx, Laronde?” Syllables of dark smoke puffed out of her mouth. Momma stroked her arm and looked away.
“Stupid girl.” Beaded bracelets criticized and chided on Miss Beaulieu’s thin wrist. “His bad voodoo gon’ come back to him and everyone he cast for.”
“You’ve cast for love before.” Momma’s eyes pleaded.
Miss Beaulieu jabbed a finger. “You know this ain’t the same.”
Adelaide’s heart ached. She didn’t like seeing Momma so upset, but she also didn’t like being only one in the house when Momma fell into one of her dark moods. So when her brothers escaped to the river to hunt gators, Adelaide took refuge on the rooftop. In a cigar box, tucked under a missing brick in the chimney top, was her trove of knick-knacks. Her new doll, dressed in cotton pants and a burlap overcoat, was her most valuable addition. It was bad to spoil surprises but Adelaide knew Momma had made this Christmas doll just for her.
“‘Sides,” Miss Beaulieu paced, “he got himself a faithful wife and a good job in Baton Rouge. You think all the Magick in the world gon’ make that man wanna leave that to take up wit’ you out here? Wit’ your five kids?”
Adelaide gave the little man a kiss to ease his troubled expression, the scent of cloves and musk wafting up from the crude stitching down his chest. She would replace him in his hiding spot under the floorboard tomorrow.
“Can you make him a gris-gris bag for protection?” Momma wiped her apron across her cheeks. “In case something happen to the doll?”
Adelaide froze.
“A good Christian like him won’t be caught dead with a necklace full of chicken’s feet and dove’s blood.”
Adelaide’s eyes fell upon the little man beside her. Dried grass protruded out of his stiff arms and legs. He suddenly appeared feeble and indisposed, like a paralyzed prisoner.
“Ain’t no spell on your lover can be reversed without that doll.” Miss Beaulieu dropped a large dollop of ash onto the floor. “Only the One Most High can help him if something happens to it.”
Nausea swallowed up Adelaide like the cold, wet mouth of a whale.
Miss Beaulieu leaned in. “Who you think done stole it?”
“Adelaide?”
Below, Adelaide’s brothers eased their rowboat up to the, rotting, crooked pier. The eldest, Francois, shielded his eyes from the bow lantern to see her better.
“Why you up there?”
Flushed from hiding, Adelaide leapt to her frozen bare feet, accidentally kicking her treasures down the slanted roof. The doll bounced over the ledge. Vertigo struck her numb. Her footing slipped and she tumbled down the sharp slats.
“Adelaide!” Francois’s voice broke as her footing slipped.
A screech leapt from her throat before she plunged into the river. Frigid water hit like glass on her stomach. It rushed up her nose, burning the brain lobes behind her eyes. Sound muted, heavy and low in her ears. Her mind jolted with panic. Adelaide’s eyes popped open but there was no light. Her heart pounded. Only the flash of a brass shoe buckle glittered as it somersaulted down into the watery shadows. She grasped but only caught emptiness. Lungs aching for air, she pulled her way up through the cold void and burst to the surface.
“Sweet Jesus!”
“Grab her!”
“The doll! The do—!” A wave of river water sloshed into Adelaide’s mouth.
“Adelaide, stop! Settle down!”
“No, no, no!” she cried. Strong hands gripped under her arms and slid her into the tiny boat. Violent coughs rattled her little bones. She gagged from a bellyful of the Mississippi and tried to writhe free a final time.
“I…I…didn’t know!” Adelaide sobbed. Warm arms wrapped around her and pinned her to the seat of the small wooden rowboat. “Momma, I didn’t know!”
“Adelaide?” Momma’s voice carried from the house.
“Settle yourself, girl.” Francois held her firm. “What are you carryin’ on about?”
Adelaide’s eyes darted beyond the bucking bow, searching for the voodoo, but it had sunk all the way to the bottom of the bayou.

By: Erica Ruhe

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Beauty: Spooky Spiders Manicure

I was at Shriekfest last weekend and since October always prove to be an incredibly busy month for me due to work and events, I knew that I needed to find both fast and cost-effective way to have awesome nails stat! So when I came upon these nail stickers in September I just KNEW that I needed to grab two. I’ve used this company before and my previous experience with these kinds of stickers at that time wasn’t so positive, but I decided to give it another go a second time.

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I LOVE how these stickers provide an easy no-dry time solution for some of us that have problems with sitting still for a full hour (cause no matter what the nail polish bottles claim, it still takes a FULL HOUR for any of them to truly dry and not get indentations).

Plus, how can you go wrong when your nails look this fabulous? Nail art like this could easily cost over $40 or $50 at a salon, not to mention the time required to sit there for it. I stuck these babies on in less than ten minutes and literally went on a date afterward! Yes, it’s THAT EASY AND QUICK! Plus, who doesn’t want amazing nails under $10?

So grab yourself a pair or two, and don’t worry if you mess up, the Halloween packs come with six extra stickers in case you do or need to replace one later on if it comes off. (So far it has been over a week and it hasn’t popped off, which was a major issue with the ones I had tried earlier this year, so maybe that pack was just faulty).

You check out more options on their website.

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6 Feminist Horror Movies

Horror movies aren’t always generous to women. Usually, women in horror movies are depicted as the victims, and if they aren’t such, they’re usually the final girls who survived (only barely) to a number of acts of violence. But there are some horror movies that turn the tables and have the women be in charge. These women aren’t weak. These women aren’t victims. These women are dangerous and make the men in the movies quake in their shoes.

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Dawn goes from cursed to strong in Teeth

Teeth (2007)

Dawn O’Keefe (Jess Weixler) looks like your typical teenager on the outside. She’s a spokesperson for a Christian abstinence group and is an all around good girl. But when one of the boy’s from her abstinence group tries to assault her, she soon finds out that she’s not like all the other girls. In fact, her vagina has teeth, the infamous “vagina dentata.” At first, Dawn sees her teethed vagina as a curse, but before the movie ends, she realizes that her curse is actually her strength and how no man will ever take advantage of her again.

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Sometimes being a teen girl can be a bloodbath as Ginger soon finds out.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

In Bailey Downs, a rash of dog killings have been occurring. Two teenage sisters, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) are obsessed with death and take macabre photos depicting various deaths. On the night of Ginger’s first period, she is attacked by seems to be a rapid oversized dog. The creature wounds and bites Ginger, and her sister rescues her. In the days that follow, Ginger’s wounds heal quickly. But the fast healing wounds isn’t the only change that takes place in her. Soon she undergoes both physical and mental transformations. Ginger begins to act aggressively, as hair grows from her wounds, heavily menstruates, and eventually grows a tail. This film juxtaposes the act of becoming a woman with becoming a werewolf.

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Jennifer shows her rapists that they messed with the wrong girl.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

Despite the movie being controversial for depicting a 30-minute gang rape, but the fact that the protagonist Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) decides to execute revenge towards her rapists is what makes this movie, not your usual horror film. Jennifer kills her rapists in the most savage ways, allowing any rape victim to feel somewhat vindicated in seeing a victim rise above her abuse and take charge.

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The Girl shows no mercy to abusive men. 

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)

A young girl (Sheila Vand) wearing a chador stalks the streets at night. She seduces men who were known to be abusive towards women and brutally kills them. This progressive Iranian movie directed by Ana Lily Amirpour gave the world a feminist vampire that was much needed in the horror genre.

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Eli isn’t your typical little girl. She can kick your ass or kill you. 

Let The Right One In (2008)

In this chilling snow infested film, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a young Scandinavian boy who is constantly bullied at school. But when he befriends Eli (Lina Leandersson) he begins to feel uplifted by this new friend. But Eli isn’t like all the other girls. She doesn’t suffer the cold (as she’s able to walk barefoot in the snow) and tells Oskar to stand up to his bullies and if he can’t do it, she will. Oskar soon finds out that Eli is actually quite strong because she’s a vampire. And when the bullies decide to attack Oskar once again, he soon finds out just how ruthless his friend and crush can really be.

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Asami looks disarming but she’s brutal to the men she encounters.

Audition (1999)

“Where are all the good girls?” Aoyama’s friend asks him. Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) is a widow who is planning on remarrying, but he doesn’t know how to meet young women. So Aoyama and his friend devise a plan where they decide to pretend that they’re auditioning young women for a movie when in reality it’s just a way for Aoyama to meet women in a safe environment. He is quickly enchanted by the delicate beauty of Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina). But Asami harbors a dark secret, a former abused child, she has grown up to take revenge on men by maiming and dismembering them through hideous forms of torture. This movie will make men think twice about lying to a woman.

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ScareLA – Summer Screams

pumpkinscareDo you love horror? Do you fall in that group of people that wished Halloween wasn’t just one night a year? If you answered YES to both these questions, then ScareLA is the perfect convention for you! It celebrates the horror genre, but also the spirit of Halloween with frightening haunts and mazes. I managed to snag Press Passes for this event, and took The Inkblotters to the appropriately darkened convention for some spooky fun!

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The event took place during the weekend of August 25-26. As soon as you entered you were immersed into the scary realm of darkness with a zombie pandemic haunt, which was the only interactive fright zone where we were told that if touched by the zombies, then we were considered “infected.” Luckily, I managed to survive the zombie apocalypse, but the same fate didn’t befall my boyfriend and friend who were both brought into a separate room to be “executed.”

 

 

The next haunt we checked out was an asylum dubbed Nightmare Clinic, which wasn’t too creepy unless you fear clowns and tiny spaces (I wouldn’t recommend the maze portion of the haunt for those that suffer from claustrophobia as all your red flags will be flashing wild). The last haunt we checked out was a medieval one called Descension Castle, that had a banshee on the loose. I appreciated the amount of detailed work that was put to create a castle in the middle of the convention floor.

 

 

Besides the haunts, ScareLA offered virtual reality, panels, live shows, photo ops, short film viewings, zombie ballet, and many other horrificly fun amusements. Out of the three short films I viewed, my favourite was Holy Fatman’s Please Love Me Forever, wherein a surreal Tim Burtonesque world, Lili 14-year-old albino lives with her strange scientist mother, Claudie, who is constantly replacing aging parts of her face with new younger parts. When Lili declares her love to her handsome neighbor, Lyesse, and he doesn’t reciprocate, Lili decides to take out his heart to understand why the boy doesn’t love her back. The movie was visually stunning and ended with such a bang that I totally recommend watching it!

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Dreadful Little Things

Another major component of ScareLA were all the vendors. There were shops for anything your macabre heart desired from custom-made corsets and hats, FX makeup, feral kitty adoptions, and rare international horror DVD’s and comics. My favourite shop hands down was Dreadful Little Things, where old dolls were repurposed for a new life. The dolls found in that shop were utterly creepy, making Annabelle look like Barbie in comparison.

 

 

Once you got tired of all the walking, you could relax in the lounge area where you could order drinks (I got a cocktail appropriately named Radioactive Embalming Fluid garnished with a gummy eyeball), and rent headphones for free to get in your zone.

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Here I am with George C. Romero

I had a chance to chat with George C. Romero who told me that Rise is going to be a prologue (not prequel as he corrected me) of the Night of Living Dead franchise, that he was hoping to work together with his father George A. Romero, but who sadly passed away. It should be out by November 2019. I also had a chance to interview Robert Mukes of the Rob Zombie House of 1,000 Corpses who was exceptionally nice. I asked him if filming horror movies is more difficult than normal movies, as Robert Englund has always mentioned the struggles horror movies bring to an actor in regards to the makeup and physicality of roles (running, jumping, etc.). However, Mukes stated that for him, he hasn’t noted the difference as he hasn’t had to do extensive makeup like Englund, and that usually his height (a whopping 6’10”!) has been enough to make him appear scary. He’s got a score of movies coming out soon, one of them being a zombie flick entitled Valentine DayZ. Linda Blair of The Exorcist fame was also at the con, but she didn’t seem that keen on wanting to chat, so I didn’t approach her.

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All in all, ScareLA is an immersive experience for those that live and breathe Horror, and I recommend checking it out if you have a chance, you won’t regret it!

For more info check out: SCARELA

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Photos by David Hanger

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My Bad Romance: My First Kiss

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It was a typical morning in my seventh-grade life. I’ve never been a fan of math, especially since that year I had begun Pre-Algebra. But the only thing that made that class bearable was the fact that the boy I had a huge crush on since sixth grade sat right in front of me in class. Since we were friends, I’d often find any excuse to talk to him. I’d ask him about movies. How the Chicago Bulls were doing that season (he was a huge fan and always wore a Chicago Bulls cap, strictly backward as per the ‘90s cap etiquette for cool kids).

Our history was somewhat complicated. As in the year before I had given him a Valentine’s Day card that I had made and written a poem that went along these lines:


Nobody knows of my feelings for you,
I keep them hidden, clear out of view.
But the tracks in the snow may give a clue,
But nobody knows of my love for you.


Now my grand romantic gesture would’ve been all fine and dandy if my best friend at the time hadn’t started dating my crush that week of Valentine’s. Our classes had boxes for Valentine’s cards, and I had placed mine in the box on a Monday, my best friend had gotten with the said boy on a Wednesday. Valentine’s fell on a Friday, so now you can see my dilemma. Drama-ensued for a while because of that, until things cleared up (hey, it’s not MY fault they got together after I had posted the card!).


But back to that day in Pre-Al.


It was Halloween, my favorite holiday. All I could think about was how I was going to go Trick-Or-Treating that night (something that truly defied my social group of “pretty popular girls” cause that was seen as “childish” cause ya know when you’re twelve and in a popular group, you need to act like you’re fifteen). This probably explains why I ended up leaving said group, which meant also leaving behind my best friend (and also the most popular girl in seventh grade) which was social status suicide on my part, but I was a rebel!


But I digress.


I was there getting settled in my seat, trying to pretend I knew what was going on (cause ya know, I refused to wear my glasses at the time, which meant that I couldn’t see a thing written on the board and I’m actually surprised I managed to earn B’s in math without ever seeing how the teacher worked out the problems).


Crush Boy sat down and I was doodling on my notebook when he turned around and flashed me his usual charming smile saying, “Happy Halloween!” And then and there just kissed me.


This is where time kind of stopped for me.


My heart was hammering so hard against my chest I was certain that I was going to have a coronary right then and there. My breath caught in my throat, and my cheeks flushed in the most horrendous way (being pale sucks).
“Woo-hoo!” One guy cheered, which pulled me out of the moment and was reminded that I was still in class.


In a math class that also had my best friend (and Crush Boy’s ex-girlfriend) sitting only a few rows over.  I looked over in her direction, and if I weren’t so near-sighted, I’m certain I could see her glaring.


Despite that kiss being simple (we were twelve and in class!), the feelings of euphoria that I experienced from it were something I chased for years, attempting so desperately to feel that lightheaded and blissful. And because this is me, no, Crush Boy and I didn’t have a short-term happy ending. We never dated. Despite him always showing a strange fascination with me, but always dating other girls instead. Later that year I moved, and on my last day of school, he kissed me again (this time after our English). He came up behind me and just planted his lips on me and then said, “Good luck at your new school.” I could barely murmur a reply back before he was already gone, rushing to his final class.


I never saw or heard from him after that day.


Maybe, some people are just meant to be memories.

By: Azzurra Nox

Makeup Tutorial: Zombie Prom

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With Halloween right around the corner, it was obvious that I was going to share a makeup tutorial. I recently went to a Zombie Prom this past weekend, so I ended up having to do a zombie makeup for the very first time. For being my first time, I think that I did a decent job (good enough to be somewhat creepy).

It actually was very easy to achieve so read below on how to get this terrifying look!

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Since I needed to look dead, I decided not to use any concealer under my eyes, and actually accentuated my dark circles even more so. But I first prepped my skin with Smashbox’s Photofinish Primer before applying Manic Panic’s Dreamtone foundation in Virgin (Whitest White) shade. I set the foundation using LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs High Definition Microfinish Pressed Powder.

Eyes & Lips

For my brows, I used my go-to Medusa’s Makeup Brow Wow Wow. For the lids, I applied Siren Song from Notoriously Morbid all over and applied Urban Decay’s Crave eyeshadow along the crease and along my lower lashes. I then accentuated my dark circles by blending Urban Decay’s Crave and Faint eyeshadows.

To glam things up (and since the event was an 80’s Prom theme) I applied one of Nicka K’s Shimmer Eyeliner in Cyan and then using lash glue applied Medusa’s Makeup Glitter in Mystique all over my lid. I finished up my eye-look with three generous coats of Lancome’s Definicil’s Mascara in Black.

The lips were simple, I applied Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipstick in I’m Nude to cancel out my real lip colour and make them appear more washed out. I then dabbed some Lime Crime Velvetines in Cement in the center to give a “decayed” look.

Zombie Makeup

For my major “gash” I glued some tissue paper on my cheek using lash glue and then dabbed some of the foundation I used prior to make the paper appear like my skin. I then mixed Urban Decay’s eyeshadows in Crave (a matte black hue) and Faint (a matte brown hue) I dabbed it on the wound. Finally to complete the look I used Blood FX Gel around and on the wound.

Then using only the two Urban Decay eyeshadows (Crave and Faint) I placed random wounds along my face and then using the FX Blood Gel I applied it on top of that and near and around my lips.

Using a liquid eyeliner I then created broken veins along my forehead and down my eyes.

Let me know what you think of this Zombie look and if you’ve created other Zombie looks yourself!

By: Azzurra Nox