Mutilation- Horror Flash Fiction

Content Warnings: graphic descriptions of cannibalism

Her face is the prettiest when rusted with blood. 

She’s wearing a clear raincoat, the cadaver within like meat bleeding out of a plastic bag, folds of fat and lumps of muscle seared with wounds cut against the grain. Her teeth peek behind her crusted lips craned in a smile, her breath the smell of pennies as I put my fingers on her chest and monitor her pulse. Her heartbeat is slow, stagnant, staccato. A red sonatina orchestrates around her as I lap her up, notes of silver on my black tongue. 

I am an ugly man. My hair is an oil spill, my eyes are shadows without brows and my high cheekbones are riddled with acne. My image is a descendant of a Chippewa chieftain, but my skin is pale and rather sickly. The shirt I am wearing is of a metal band since I was unable to find Mozart in the thrift shop, and my jeans have the texture of bandaids ripped off the skin. The fabrics loosely clothe my rotten skeleton underneath, stripped bare of any muscle. I say this all objectively; my bathroom mirror cannot lie. 

Before I depart my city-suburban home, I slide into my mother’s heeled boots and clomp out of the building. I am 207 centimeters with them, a behemoth to be revered as I march down the Tittabawassee and as the homeless saltines snap their necks to watch. If they can admire me, they can also cower before me. But when? 

I dream of the day when the sun ripens into strawberries over the humble buildings and melts the mud-drifted snow, and when I can write stories about Saginaw instead of detailing the abandoned buildings and businesses, and when an ugly beast crawls into this empty husk and devours the bodies of all people inside. When blood rains from the sky and the citizens enter a dancing plague to entertain him. And of course, the beast shall be me. 

Someday. 

I go to the local Walmart and trudge my cart through the parking lot, wheels trilling upon the patches of brown ice on the pavement. The people are vacant souls, any shred of personality being frostbitten by the blistering cold, yet are oddly proportioned just like me. It is off putting. To remember that the wrinkled middle aged Bump-It wearing blonde barbies aren’t satire, that the men who are insanely obese bean bags aren’t Hollywood actors in fatsuits, and the children wailing aren’t in a fire, although I would very much like them to be. 

The pretty people are even weirder; I am convinced they come here to look at us like zoo animals. I know that the white girls with tattoos on their lower backs and their waffle fried boyfriends slung around their waists aren’t here for groceries. They are here for Youtube videos and plan to film us like Animal Planet, taking turns riding in the carts and licking ice cream from their compartments and putting them back. 

Those are the people I would like to eat the most. Their meat is moist and tender, young and soft like baby goats and when spiced and well done they are the most satisfactory. Especially when watching television. They provide a healthy change to the programming: the star football player absent from an integral game or the prom queen going missing at midnight. Anything to get this drab Midwestern town to show any signs of color. 

However, I shall hold off for today. 

There is a meal awaiting me at the rear end of the store, next to a dumpster filled with the remains of what people don’t want to buy. Marked down Ben and Jerry’s, holy pantyhose, paperback classics and a dead body. 

I will name this one Sheila in my mind, but will never say it aloud. The moment the sound comes from my lips, the taste leaves my tongue. It would be such a waste. Her parts look delicious. 

~

There is blood on my chin. The police have arrested me and the news is filming me like a movie star on the red carpet. They survey every detail: my pale skin, the band Death Grips on my t-shirt, my skeletal figure and construct a bildungsroman of my wretched character- the perfect outcast to villain story. I smile with red crusted teeth and make sure they get a good look.

They ignore the girl behind me, don’t even bother to say her real name and keep crying Shattered Sheila- a marketable catchphrase for the media. The moment the killer comes on screen, they don’t care about the victim. 

They only see the ribbons of blood pooling, the lacework of guts on the concrete, the object of their fear. They only see their mutilation. 

Cameras flash and snap like the jaws of Dobermans, silhouettes of reporters behind them as the cops cuff me and show me off like I’m their prey.  Ironic.

I take a bite of Officer McKinley, his name and taste on my tongue, teeth digging into his buff upper arm. Red cascades down his skin and flattens his grey body hairs as he lets out a howl under the full moon. He faints and aches in pain, the wound revealing the ivory shimmer of bone. The reporters back away: click, click, click, snap, snap, snap- eating up seconds of the scene before the other policemen can restrain me and stuff me into their childish metal contraption. I wave bye bye and imagine how fearsome I shall soon be.

The dancing plague shall begin on TV screens, all of them watching me. Watching me as I feast. I know…

My face is the handsomest when rusted with blood. 

Honey Cataracts- Poetry

honey cataracts 

syrup glazed morning

my sweetened perception 

it stings

ouch. 

converses in daisy fields

copper tinged sun

ambrosia on our tongues

as we both 

never revealed 

what was of us 

the crumbles of our hopes 

hum with the carnage of insects

the foundation underneath

rumbles our honeycomb prison 

barefoot in daisy fields 

boys on the run 

icarus, fly to the sun 

as we both 

burn

what was left of us

honey cataracts 

sunshine in my glasses 

your sweetened deception 

it stings

ouch. 

McDonald’s Soda- Horror Flash Fiction

You slump down my throat as my taste buds pop with your frigid snakeskin. Shangri La.

Well, not exactly that. You’re an ice-tuned McDonald’s soda, diluted ichor of the gods on this hot as hell day. My solace as the deviled sun blazes onto the field and stilts the freckled dry wheat-grass. My solace as I drive along this lonely road, to escape the fires before me. 

“Ah-”, I pant like a dog, “the weatherman wasn’t kidding when he said 115 degrees, huh?”  

I’m in a navy pickup, one out of country songs, and today the radio twangs a sour melody. The seats are muggy leather and the steering wheel is a lava stone, my clammy hands upon it. My sweat beads upon my brow and gashes my underarms. Heat sears through the window and threatens to set fire to the carcasses of fast food amassed at the bottom of the car, to send me hurdling into an abyss of crop circles, but to my dismay, it doesn’t happen. 

I continue to drive away, hot coals in my throat, as my eyes dart to the empty street behind me. No one is there. Not yet. 

I take another sip. 

Your delicate plastic orifice is bristled against my thinning mustache. You’ll make it grow again, right? Thick and bushy as it once was? 

I drink you more and continue down the long wandering pathway, you occupied in my left hand in a warm bear hug. My fingers oscillate upon your cardboard skin as my wide cuticles divot your golden arches. I sigh in delight. 

You are cold. Ice Christ cold. You take me away from the barrel bodies in the trunk, from the raw flesh-acetone scent and their bones that click together, tick tock tick tock. Time ceases when I am with you. When I take another sip. 

I swear I’m not crazy. But you know that. I am just a common man, overweight with fried foods and existential thoughts. I swear it. 

“Would you like another kiss?” I look behind us again, to make sure no blue clad men are looking in. None. 

“I love you.” I confess, “There is a fire in me; the heat of the sun.” 

I gulp you down. The liquid stops. You let out a dehydrated croak. 

Of course, I crush you under my boot, Just like the rest of them. 

Ice cracks. Blood seeps out. 

South of the Border, West of the Sun- Book Review

South of the Border, West of the Sun is a short novel by Haruki Murakami.

Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father’s record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.

~

This book put me under a spell. I read it in a day, with the constant sound of the engine speeding me through the pages as a car drove me to a far off location. Haruki Murakami is known for the dream-like quality in his works, much like the endless stretch of the road that expanded in front of me, something I failed to see in the surrealist narrative of Kafka on the Shore and instead saw in this much more realistic novel.

Honestly, reading this book was such a smooth experience. The language was simple, the story was too, and the characters were so real. I didn’t even notice that I liked them, since they were so natural, like everyday people I would see on the street and how the things that would be revealed about them came in such a seamless way.

First of all, Hajime is a only child, a trait I share. I think this trait defines him well, as he dwells on how people may think he is entitled and he does end up being selfish throughout his life by cheating on women he is in relationships with. He first does this with a lover he had in high school, Izumi with her own cousin, then circles back around to cheating with Yukiko (his wife) with his childhood best friend. He laments that this inner selfishness can’t be changed.

I know. How the hell do I like a dolt who cheats on women?

Well, in my defense, the book spends numerous chapters building up on the nuances of this character, of how, with his restaurant business he has the ability of the seeking out the most passionate people in their jobs. Or how he still keeps on swimming laps after high school every morning because he is dedicated to his health. Or how he cares for his family over business, only keeping two bars as to not forget about them. So, I don’t only like a dolt who cheats on women; I like Hajime.

Shimamoto’s character development is opposite to Hajime’s and instead of building up her life story too, the author shrouds her life with smoke, so the only glimmer we can see is the lit end of her cigarette. We barely know anything about her- only how she displays herself in conversation. She keeps herself secret.

And intends to set that secret aflame.

So, Hajime seeks to illuminate the rest of her, to find the light at the end of the tunnel, to dive back into the past when they both shared their childhood, South of the Border and West of the Sun. The metaphors of the title are perfect; haunting even, South of the Border being from a song by Nat King Cole they both listened to when they were younger and the West of the Sun referring to a disease that Siberian farmers get with the repetitive seasons- when they get tired of life. It is the equation of Hajime’s mid-life crisis, in how he tries to run back to the times before and makes ripples through the life he has now.

The other characters serve as examples to Hajime, as signs of where he can stay or go. Yukiko is practical- someone who is a signal of stability and of the present day. Izumi is a broken girl who cannot move on from her heartbreak, who warns Hajime just by her wretched appearance in a taxi not to pursue Shimamoto once she’s gone.

I don’t like how Izumi’s cousin was written though; she seemed to be there just to push the plot forward. She is just a woman who has a lot of sex with Hajime during his years at college and is a minor character.

One gripe I do have with Haruki Murakami’s writing in general is that he does this weird thing where like in maybe two pages into a female character getting introduced he writes about their breasts. It makes me question his respect for women and his reasons for characterizing women this way. Why would he write them around the male character like that?

Despite his reasons, I received the women as being important people influencing Hajime, independent in their own lives, lost in their own circles of the past and future. It is just Hajime’s fatal flaw- his selfishness- that ropes them all together and his need for the past that makes him remember them again.

“The sad truth is that certain types of things can’t go backward. Once they start going forward, no matter what you do, they can’t go back the way they were. If even one little thing goes awry, then that’s how it will stay forever.”

Even if that message isn’t very uplifting, Hajime still has hope for the future of himself and his daughters, visualizing rain on the deep blue sea at the end. This book is whirlpool of different realities throughout time and how they culminate in one’s mind, how when they become overwhelming it is best to focus on the present time and day, and just keep swimming.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Carmilla- Book Review

A classic (and sapphic!) Victorian vampire novella, which influenced Bram Stoker’s later treatment of the vampire mythos in Dracula. It was written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. 

~

So… I was first influenced to pick up this book because of a Kpop music video. This one to be exact: 

There was a stan twitter theory that the music video was based on Carmilla’s storyline. So, after my gay ass heard it was the first lesbian vampire novel- I just had to read it. I had it on my Goodreads “to read” list for MONTHS and I finally got to it this week. 

I devoured this book. It was a fun time, with a lot of spooky and romantic moments. But, it was also infuriating and puzzling- both due to the age and the drawn out ending. (I’ll touch on that later.)

What really surprised me was how overt the relationship was. I thought it would be the standard queerbait- a glance here, a hug there, maybe holding hands, but I was so wrong. There was not a pinch of homophobia in this book! (I am exaggerating; the links between sickness/evil and lesbianism are there, but I felt it wasn’t written with that purpose.) The way Carmilla just exists in our main character’s mind is so riveting- as someone who is both so lovely and so strange and all around so mysterious. Laura describes her feelings as, “a paradox” of “adoration and also abhorrence”. Peak tsundere? 

Carmilla is so flirty too and not exactly subtle about it. “Her hot lips traveled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, ‘You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one forever.'” Like if that is not a declaration of undying love, I don’t know what is. Through these flirtations, Carmilla also alludes to her being a vampire, which filled me with a rising dread. I felt conflicted, much like Laura in her paradox. 

At one point in the story, the two girls watch a funeral progress. Laura sees it as an honor to the girl who died and is worried a plague is coming. While Carmilla loathes it, with all the religious imagery and hymns. She lashes out, “What a fuss! Why, you must die- everyone must die- and all are happier when they do.” I laughed for six consecutive minutes. Carmilla is such an entertaining character- probably my favorite vampire. 

I did find the other characters (Laura included) a bit dense, but not to a fault. 

If anything, it only built up the terror aspect of the story as I waited for characters to inevitably die as the details of Carmilla’s backstory and Laura’s sickly condition emerged. 

Except that didn’t happen.

Carmilla’s story was revealed at such a slow pace. It was unearthed by a general who was at loss by his “ward’s” recent death. His recollection was really excessive and repetitive from things that were hinted at before and kind of made the story drag. 

I hoped it would climax into something meaningful when Carmilla eventually came to the village ruins with Madame Fontaine later, but it didn’t. She took an old man by the wrist as he was about to attack her and ran off. The general confirmed her as a vampire too. 

There was no final closure between the girls, not even a glance. The next time Laura saw her was in a coffin, steak through her heart. It was so tragic and I was devastated they couldn’t be together. I mean, it was written like that since the beginning, but I still had some hope! Maybe Carmilla could drink animal blood? 

Even though I was heartbroken, I wished that the story focused more on Laura’s emotions when she found out about Carmilla’s nature. I felt like those feelings were rushed (unlike the flirty gay ones). 

But, what we do get is a stunning last paragraph, one that reminded me of why I loved the story in the first place. The growing romance, the growing fear, and their shared dreams. 

This will definitely be one of those books I’ll come back to when I need a gothic gay moment.

 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Gideon the Ninth | Book Review

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.


It took me two months to read this book, but through no fault of its own. It just so happened I had just started Gideon the Ninth when exam season hit me. I read this in starts and stops, usually only reading a paragraph or a page a day, until I finished the last third in a few days after exams. It was not a good reading experience because of exams—I kept forgetting what had happened earlier in the chapter—but I had a lot of fun nonetheless.

This book is a wild ride. The writing is beautiful, but really dense and hard to read. It was thorny and hard to decipher, but still gorgeous. It did get easier as I continued the book, but I don’t know if I got used to it or if truly got easier.

The characters are magnificent, but there are over twenty and it was hard to keep track of them at first. I did learn them eventually, with much flipping to the guide at the beginning. The non-POV main characters are amazing (Harrow is my favorite) and the rest are mysterious and intriguing and unique. Despite having so many characters, they were all fleshed out and unique.

The plot meanders and we barely know anything about the world, which was frustrating, but you could tell that the reader only gets a taste of what’s really happening. We see only the surface of the plot for most of the book, but the pieces all move before coming together in a beautiful painting at the end. Similarly, the reader knows precious little about the world, but it is not underdeveloped; you can tell that there is so much she isn’t telling us. I want to know more about the other worlds and the history. I hope we get some answers in the next book.

The ending was perfect, devastating, and inevitable.

It was a really interesting choice to use Gideon as the main character (also the perfect choice). She’s not a key player in the plot, more of an observer. She doesn’t know what’s going on or anything about the world (which is why the plot meandered and the worldbuilding appears thin). It was breathtaking at the end when everything came together into a coherent plot and we saw the puzzle pieces of the book come together. But if it was a puzzle, we didn’t know we were even supposed to solve a puzzle when we started, so it was frustrating to read in the process, but beautiful when you finish.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I’ve Been Reading

Long time no see, readers. School has been [INSERT TORNADO MADE OF PAPER]. But AP exams are over! (They went mostly well, if I pretend the English exam never existed.) And that means blog-time.

While I haven’t been writing much for the past many months… I haven’t been reading that much either. I’m reading Gideon the Ninth right now, which is an absolutely epic book that should’ve taken me a week to read, but I’ve been plugging away at it for a month and twenty days because of exams *groans*. I’ve read more in the past day-and-a-half than the three weeks before that.

There is a bright side to not reading much though (look at me, being an optimist). It’s super easy to review all of the books I’ve read this year in one post! (I mean review in its loosest sense. It’s been a while since I’ve read these so I can’t do in-depth reviews.)


The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang

This is a super fun book. I love that it’s based on Chinese history and it’s really well written. I love Kitay and Rin’s friendship.

Five stars for both. I’m so excited for book 3.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

I read this one for school, and I appreciate the writing and the satire and all that, but I didn’t really like it. I felt more sympathy for the antagonist than the protagonist, so I couldn’t really get behind the protagonist. I thought it was weird that John Proctor the thirty-year-old slept with Abby the sixteen-year-old and then she was blamed for seducing him.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

It was okay. Too much romance for my taste. I didn’t care that much.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

This is currently my favorite book. I reread it two months ago and now I want to read it again. The plot is mindbending and the writing is beautiful, but I love this book for its characters. I love Dodger. I want to read it again. 💚

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There are actually six stars for this book.


Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This series is written like a fairytale and I adore the writing style. It’s the definition of “whimsy”. 💜

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

This is the prequel to Every Heart a Doorway, although you could read it by itself. The writing style makes me swoon. This one’s even better than Every Heart a Doorway. I love the way it explores family relationships.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Okay, so I’ve read seven books these past five months, and three of them are by Seanan McGuire. In conclusion, read Seanan McGuire.

Diversity and Representation in Books and Publishing – Why is it Necessary? — Sophia Ismaa

“Diverse books aren’t just for the diverse. They are for all of us. Books are more powerful than just a bunch of words. They can help build bridges of cultural understanding, promote tolerance, normalize identities unlike our own, and allow people to develop appreciation for the cultures of others.” –Diversity in Publishing: The Good, The […]

Diversity and Representation in Books and Publishing – Why is it Necessary? — Sophia Ismaa

1.61803398 -Short Poem

~Hi everyone! I’m back with a short poem. It is about the conflict between a scientist and a fantasy creature getting tested on. The bold text is the scientist’s and the normal text is the creature’s.

 

Abstract: 

Homo nympha, otherwise known as nymphs, have been undergoing “outrages” for years in news reports while serving their time as unpaid workers. To combat this dilemma, Moderatus Institute has created a mechanism to subdue the emotions of these creatures by creating perfect ratio of chemicals in the brain, including but not limited to dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Once put into practice, this machine will be able to dictate the emotions of the nymphs daily to provide maximum productivity while using its electronic sensors to monitor the levels. 

Currently, the lab is testing how much of each chemical will prove sufficient in subduing the nymphs. This will be the “golden ratio”, so to speak, of nymph worker productivity and wellness… 

 

I…

 

drown in the rueful sky

–down

in the murky dark sea, I fly

 

“suffocate–

too much air,”

my fragile and selective senses

put their gentle hands on my lips

 

“Pttth!”

I spit.

 

Observations: Nymph #314

As all the other test subjects so far, this nymph seems to be complying with the machine. Her face shows all her emotions when experienced and she shows no sign of bre–

She spits against the small looking glass showing us through the metal chamber. The creature appears to be crying silently… 

 

My hands are stained with color

Vibrant and fleeting

As I fall, float, and fluctuate on the surface of the pond

Bitter tears drip down my petals

Racing to the center, competing

 

Trikiti, trikiti, trikiti ta!

That’s how the other nymphs sung it

The clever drip-drop of

E

M

O

T

I

O

N

S

silently tries to light a fire

but I’m drowning

 

Drowning in electricity, surrounded by the flitterings of a spark

Zzzt     zzt zzzt—

My body is cold, confined in the metallic dark

Zzzt zzzt    zzt—

I twitch at every sound, ready to break

out

 

S

L

A

S

H

!

 

The violent, the vigorous, the valiant, the fear

All come in a rush

Gushes in the fountain of me

 

It breaks the machine. Oh god. 

 

Then becomes hidden in the gray

The clouds and fog merge

The water and grass dissipate

And the sun is nowhere to be found

 

After the incident, s̶h̶e̶ it is restrained back in. She does not seem to see the scientist who strapped her to the machine and her emotion is dull unlike before, except for pink-hued tears. 

 

I know it didn’t work.

 

Zzzt—

 

Back to mechanical buzzing

No more emotional blushing

I must retreat back to the pattern.

 

1.61803398

 

~I hope you all enjoyed it! I got this idea suddenly after struggling with a few other ideas like a small firework of inspiration. It was so much fun to write. 

 

 

 

A Collection of Cultures: an Interview with TheWebWeavers // Guest Post

Sophia Ismaa

copy of copy of copy of a collection of cultures meet tiara guest post

We aren’t voiceless, pass the mic.

I don’t know how other POC bloggers feel, but I’ve always felt that there is a shortage of stories and perspectives from people of colour… our stories are many and unique. So, towards the end of last year, I decided that I would begin sharing the stories of many talented, wonderful, diverse bloggers.

Today, we have TheWebWeavers who is one of my favourite bloggers and, by far, the funniest blogger – WordPress’s own Queen of Wit. I’ve always considered reading her blog posts as a sort of treat to myself, the kind you need after a long, hard and tiring day. You know when you got home and you just want to watch some comedy shows and rest? Consider TheWebWeavers the blogging equivalent. She has no idea who Chandler is, but her sense of humour could not be any more like Chandler Bing’s. One…

View original post 1,125 more words

Writing in the Middle of the Night

The middle of the night is the perfect time to write. I lay buried under blankets, staring into the deep darkness, my eyes dry and unblinking, and I travel worlds in my mind. I can let go of my earthly obligations to be a functioning human bean and transcend the boundaries between this world and the one I’ve created. It’s when plots solidify and worlds unfold.

This intense thinking, of course, comes with detrimental effects to my sleep and therefore harms my daily functioning. I slog through the day on far less sleep than I should have since I stayed up late into the night daydreaming (also known as teleporting).

Despite doing much of my writing in the middle of the night, I think I’d prefer to be a daytime writer, but alas, my mind seems to be otherwise occupied during the day. I simply can’t stare off into the distance melodramatically for hours.

Aside from sleepiness, writing at night comes with many other drawbacks. As most of the writing happens in my head, I forget much of it the next day. Not only do I forget it, I forget about its existence, as well, so I don’t even attempt to retrieve the idea from the depths of my brain.

When I think of a lovely idea, I get up and write it on a sticky note, which I stick to my night table. This way, writing at night works like a filter — or my own laziness is the filter — because I can only be bothered to write down the good ideas and the bad ones are discarded and quickly forgotten. But it’s sad that the mediocre ideas, the ones that just need a little love and attention before they become adequate, are tossed too. (It should be noted that what I think are good ideas with my sleep-addled brain usually don’t seem so great in the morning.)

The sticky notes are becoming a problem. I usually leave them on the nightstand and transcribe them to my computer on the weekends. But sometimes, when I’m lazy, they just stick to my nightstand and collect dust. And the sticky notes quickly build up until they’re covering every inch of my nightstand, usually three or four sticky notes deep. At this point of the sticky note apocalypse, I move on to sticking them onto my bed frame. And the process repeats itself. It hasn’t gotten that bad yet, but I imagine if this trend were to continue, the walls near my bed would be next and then the sticky notes will slowly encroach on every part of my room, spreading like a fungus, until my room becomes a sticky note paradise. But don’t worry — I’m not the stereotypical potential serial killer yet.

Too Many Amazing Books

I’ve been reading so many wonderful books lately. They’re all new favorites and I want to read them again already.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 5/5

standing on the fringes of life…
offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see
what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being A WALLFLOWER

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that the perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Summary from Goodreads

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this. The characters are amazing and I love the book. And Stephen Chbosky is writing a new book!

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian 5/5

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

Summary from Goodreads

This book is so lovely! The characters and their relationships are my favorite part of this book. I love Judy and Art’s friendship, especially.

Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson 5/5

Critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants—described as having “hints of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five” (School Library Journal)—opens up about what led to an attempted suicide in his teens, and his path back from the experience.

“I wasn’t depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay.”

Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn’t see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren’t for him.

A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn’t keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality.

Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.

Summary from Goodreads

It’s incredible.


Random note: Those reviews were so short…. I just love these books too much to have coherent thoughts.

Quality vs. Quantity

I was thinking the other day, as I occasionally do, about the phrase “quality over quantity.” This saying is useful when describing friends or hours spent studying or blog posts, but it is not always true. Sometimes quantity can be more important than quality.

For example, let’s consider Fred. Fred wants to start a sock business. He has scoured the globe for the perfect sheep with the softest, most unscratchy wool. He’s searched oceans and galaxies, talked to wise wizards and wise librarians, searched under rocks and inside the bellies of various beasts. After many years of humiliating fruitless searching and exhaustion, Fred finally did it. He found the perfect sheep.

He spent months in isolation, knitting away as the clock’s hands spun until he had created the most perfect, wonderful sock. It was the softest, the most breathable, the comfiest sock in existence. The quality was brilliant.

However, Fred only had enough wool to create one sock. Only a sad half of a complete pair. There simply weren’t enough socks to start a business. As there was only one magic sock in existence, Fred could sell it at an outrageously high price if he so wished, but he did not so wish. Through the years spent devoted to the creation of this sock, Fred had grown quite attached to it and he couldn’t bear to sell the love of his life to be worn on some random geezer’s stinky foot.

And so Fred had wonderful quality, but his lack of quantity led to a failed sock business.

Fred did, however, have a business-minded younger sister, Bethy. Bethy and Fred were always competing as children for their parents’ love. So while Fred spent years failing to find a sheep, Bethy took the opportunity to be better than her brother. She was going to start a successful sock business that would make her brother look even more incompetent in comparison.

Bethy’s socks didn’t have nearly as much care put into them as Fred’s sock did. Bethy business plan was to sell her socks at an absurdly low, low price so people would compulsively purchase them. In order to make them at such a low price, Bethy had to be clever. Instead of using wool, she used dandelion fluff. People paid her to weed their lawns and then she used those same dandelions to make her socks, which the same people later purchased. She also hired highly trained mice instead of people to make her socks because mice accepted cheese as payment.

Bethy’s socks weren’t of the highest quality. Her customers often complained of the socks being too fragile to wear and smelling oddly like rodent. But her customers’ contentment didn’t particularly concern her as long as they continued to purchase her socks.

And so Bethy had poor quality, but she did have quantity and a successful sock business, unlike Fred.

Now the question is, was there a point to this whole rambling story? No, not particularly. But it was fun to write.

Cleaning Out My Spam Box

If you suddenly found yourself in possession of a genie’s lamp and you had three wishes, what would you wish for? Would you wish for the chance to reply to all those spam comments you get? Me neither.


The Liebster Award

music containing substantive, educational
messages to maximise their child. I suspect how the
clue to this particular thinking lay behind the tattoo right across
his forehead which simply read: “Mind the Gap”. Your other legitimate source on your NY Giants tickets could be the many licensed New
York ticket brokers, who walk out the way to arrange your tickets for you.

Maximizing a child sounds like a scary process. It’s like you’re viewing your child as a robot that needs to reach maximum efficiency. Also, the forehead is an interesting location for a tattoo. What does Mind the Gap mean? What gap?


On Surviving a Social Gathering

I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already   Cheers!

Thanks! Cheers to you, too.


On My Sense of Smell

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

Now I’m curious. What was the super long comment? Did it ever exist in the first place?


On Harry Potter Book Tag

By following the following tips and asking
the contractors some quick questions you’ll be in the better position to select
a qualified cardpet installer. The installation service mightt be more expensive than doing it
yourself but worth every penny all in the long
run. Less Maikntenance – The madket comes with a wide variety of carpets that
are stain-resistant.

Unfortunately, I’m not in the market for new cardpet at the moment. Just had mine replaced a year ago. It’s very lovely. Plush and gray and cardpet-like. I’m happy with it. Maybe you’d find more interest in your cardpet installation service if you knew how to spell the name of your own business?


On The Forgotten Blog Ideas

Eҳcellent bеat ! I would like to apprentice whilе you amend your web site, how could i ѕubscrіbe fⲟr a blog sitе?
The account aided me a accеptable ԁeal. I had bee a little bit
acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

You think I could write songs from my blog posts? They’d all have excellent beats for sure. I’m flattered that’d you want to be my apprentice, but I’m unfortunately not accepting apprentices at the moment as I’m not amending my web site. To subscribe for a blog site, you click the subscribe button, I believe. I’m glad my account aided you acceptably, but I was hoping for spectacularly, so I’m a bit disappointed. You think I could make a radio show from my blog posts?

Where did you go?

Greetings, peoples of the blogosphere!

It’s been a rather long while, hasn’t it? But don’t worry about me; I haven’t spontaneously combusted or anything, in case you were wondering. Instead, I’ve been slowly drowning in an expansive ocean of homework, from which I couldn’t reach my laptop in order to ensure you that I was, in fact, alive. I did, however, possess an abundance of paper and various writing utensils, so I attempted to write you a letter notifying you that I remained in existence, as I’d hate to worry you. But you know the unreliability of leaving notes in bottles. *Shrugs*.

But while you need not worry about the state of my aliveness, I’m afraid you must fear for my humanity, as recently I’ve felt as though I’m simply a homework robot.

With the semester ending, school has gotten very intense, and unfortunately, when you never seem to have enough time, it’s the things you enjoy doing that must be cut out. I’m afraid that school will not be getting any mellower with midterms approaching, so expect sporadic, unpredictable, and unanticipatable blogging. (Apologies for using three adjectives in a row that mean the same thing. It usually annoys me, but I couldn’t help but highlight the delightful contradiction of expecting the unexpected. It makes me simply giddy.)

I’m planning to post once a week for a while. Probably until mid-January. Most likely on Mondays.

So, that’s it for this mishmash of a post summarizing the last 27 days without you peeps (A Summary of a Summary: homework.).

In conclusion, abrupt goodbyes.

Mirror, Mirror || A Very Short Story

  1. Mirror, Mirror: What if your mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?

Jenny stood in front of the mirror, adjusting her makeup, when her reflection screamed. Jenny, of course, screamed in return. And cursed a bit as well.

“You look atrocious!” the mirror exclaimed.

Jenny, bewildered, couldn’t form a reply.

“Well, come on, don’t just stand there like a pebble or a lilypad or some other immovable object. Don’t tell me you’re incompetent as well as ugly!”

“What are you?” Jenny breathed, concerned that she might be going crazy.

“This is unbelievable. You really can’t recognize me?”

“Well, you look just like me…” Jenny replied.

“You’re very good at stating the obvious,” her reflection replied.

Jenny rolled her eyes. “You haven’t answered my question.”

“You still can’t guess? I’m your self-esteem.”

The Nightmare of Dentistry

I went to the dentist today. I despise the dentist.

But I have no cavities! Aren’t you so EXCITED that I have no cavities?! *Jazz hands*

I dislike the dentist so much because of the way they put their fingers in your mouth. Yes, they wear gloves, but still.

It’s also really wet. Yes, that drool sliding down your chin is yours, but it’s still spit. And it belongs in your mouth. And what about that suspicious clear liquid on the dentist’s glove? Is it water, or is it SPIT? My spit, but STILL!

Even more than doctorism, dentistry is one job I could never do. Day in and day out, you’re just sticking your hands in people’s mouths. So applause to all the dentists of the world for risking their sanity in order to keep people’s mouths cavity, pain, and dirt-free. *Claps*

ALSO. If there are any dentist out there reading this, please educate me on the rules of dentist-appointment etiquette. What the heck are you supposed to do with your tongue?!

  • Put it at the bottom of your mouth?
  • The roof of your mouth?
  • Follow the fingers/tools? This is what I tend to do. I try not to, but it’s not a conscious thing. Sometimes I remember not to, sometimes I don’t. But if I were the dentist and the patient were doing this…
    • Arachnid the Dentist (screams): AHHH! THE TONGUE IS ATTACKING ME!!! (Runs out of the office, leaving the patient strapped to the chair with multiple sharp objects in their mouth.)
  • Curl it up at the back of your mouth?
  • Lick the dentist’s tools?

When I’m at the dentist, I feel like a puppet. A very stressed puppet. Because here I am at the dentist’s mercy (I mean, if they wanted to, they could stab your mouth with those pointy tools) with sweat dripping down my back and the bright lights glaring at my eyes, masked dentists leaning above me with sharp tools at their disposal, thinking about all the other mouths these tools have touched (It’s the same principle as using a fork a restaurant), while the dentists are conversing with each other like normal human beings, occasionally asking you to tilt your head or open your mouth wider.

Why Diversity is Important in Media

I am an Indian human (technically Bangladeshi—but is that nationality? (Is it even my nationality since I was born in Canada? What IS a nationality? (I think my nationality is either Canadian or American and my ethnicity is Bangladeshi, but that is probably incorrect)). What even is the actual term for my race [I just did some minor Googling and I couldn’t find anything. There are multiple races from Bangladesh] I always just went with Indian (Bangladesh is on the Indian subcontinent) or generic brown).

So I have the average black hair, black eyes, and brown skin combo. But when I was a kid, I thought I was blond with blue eyes.

Seriously.

This wasn’t a color identification issue. If you gave me paint swatches, I could tell you black, brown, yellow, smaragdine, blue, etc.

This was because I had no idea what being blond with blue eyes actually meant. (Or what an Indian person was.) I thought it was a unanimous characteristic for hair and eyes. All hair is stringy, and all hair is blond. All eyeballs are round, and all eyeballs are blue. I watched a LOT of Barbie movies (and Dora the Explorer) and Barbie is blond with blue eyes. Therefore, all humans are blond with blue eyes (or they’re talking animals [thanks Dora]).

Person trying to teach me colors: What color are your hair and eyes?

Mini Arachnid: Blond and blue. (Note that Mini Arachnid has a giant mass of tangled black hair and giant, unblinking black eyes.)

I remember in kindergarten we had to fill out a questionnaire with our eye colors. I don’t quite remember what purpose this served. The options were brown, blue, and green. I chose blue.

When my parents corrected me…

Mini Arachnid (jaw drops): WHAAAAT?

So I asked them what their eye colors are, and they said black. This ensued in another round of dramatic gasping because black wasn’t on the list of options. But their drivers’ licenses listed their eye colors as black. So clearly someone was lying.

So, in conclusion, diversity is important because it prevents confusion among young children.

 

Arachnid Writes a Story

NARRATOR: Arachnid’s fingers dance over the keyboards as he weaves a story. Her fingers struggle to keep up as she records the symphony in her head.

ARACHNID slams her face into the keyboard after staring at a blank document for an embarrassing amount of time.

A lightbulb flashes into existence above her head as an idea comes to her. She furiously types.

She pummels the backspace bar, beating it bloody, then slams her face into the keyboard again. Random letters appear on the screen.

ARACHNID: Ugh! Why is this so hard?

LAPTOP: I’m sure it’s harder for me than it is for you. What with the beating my keys bloody and all that! (Glares)

ARACHNID: If only I chose to like something I was actually good at. Imagine how convenient it would be!

LAPTOP: And if you like something you were actually good at, you wouldn’t beat my keys bloody anymore! (Glares harder)

ARACHNID: Come on, Laptop, you’ve been with me through it all. Essays, stories, disgusting attempts at poetry… You must have some ideas!

LAPTOP (softening a bit): Well, you could try writing short, random pieces before you get back to the hard one. Just write whatever. Flex those writing muscles! Preferably without beating my keys bloody. Practice makes better, as a wise first-grade teacher once said.

ARACHNID: Whatever? As in anything I can think of? Like a scene where you give me writing advice?

LAPTOP: If you must. (Sighs)

ARACHNID: Aww. I love you, too.

Vicious || Book Review

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


Vicious by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

  • It was a page-turner. I couldn’t stop reading, and my homework definitely suffered.
  • It wasn’t in chronological order, but it wasn’t hard to keep track of what was going on.
  • I fell in love with the characters.
    • It was interesting to read a story where everyone is morally gray. There’s no clear hero, and there’s no clear villain.
    • So who should you root for?
    • What if someone’s doing the right thing for the wrong reasons? Or the wrong thing for the right reasons?
    • I loved getting into the heads of the villains. And finding them relatable. Usually, you’re supposed to despise the villain. You’re supposed to gasp and go “How could they do something so atrocious?” But what if you know how and why? Do things change?
  • The writing style is beautiful, the characters are believable.
  • I was constantly asking questions and I was fully sucked into the world of Vicious.
  • Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Go read it. Right now. You’ll thank me later.

Read 9/23/2018 to 9/26/2018


Read More: Review of This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab


Also, I think this song pairs nicely with Vicious.