Writer and illustrator from New York.
Personal Instagram: @kelso_peper
Art Instagram: @artby_kelso
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. They must have heard us, though. Screaming and killing each other in the name of our gods. For thousands of years, our collective cry must have reached them. They must have heard our song of death as we slowly killed our planet and each other. Or maybe it was Earth’s cry for help as we suffocated her.
Life is a series of multiple choice. James Macroy wished everything was as easy as picking A, B, or C; but according to his family’s high standards, he was severely failing at life. He leans against a pillar that reads Platform 7 with a lit cigarette clenched between his lips, contemplating his choices.
- Runner-Up in Campfire Ghost Story Challenge
HELLO, GOODBYERunner-Up in Campfire Ghost Story Challenge
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. This shouldn't cause such discomfort to young Ann, but she's all too familiar with the story of the property. She watches from her window, peering through her curtains in the slightest fashion, afraid that something might peer back. Even being blanketed by the cover of night, Ann still clutches the curtain tightly, her knuckles white with tension.
Wren didn’t expect this kind of evening, nor did she dress for it. When her mother had called this morning and asked to meet for dinner, she left out the fact that they would have company. A young man, roughly Wren's age. A coworker of her father’s with “Excellent promise and talent!” The more direct translation being: Hopefully wealthy one day. Even his name, Bradly, was pretentious. Her parents often worry that she won't be able to sustain herself as a full-time artist.
I’ve woken up in this other world where you no longer exist. A great injustice to me and everyone who has ever had the chance to know you. Your voice still rings loudly in my ears, but your bedside table is now vacant, as if it had never been touched by you. Your side of the bed, where there was once an indent in the shape of you, is now like new. They say I made you up, that you were never here. Only in my head, but I still smell you everywhere. And I mourn you, a ghost that never existed to die.
So unbelievably out of place. Dressed as if she were heading to some exclusive Hollywood party. As if somehow on her way there, her ride dropped her off at the wrong address. But so beautiful and inviting, she immediately made acutance's. However, I know this not to be the case. This is the third year in a row we’ve both attended this terrible excuse of a New Year’s celebration. We all just show up for our bonuses and to show the people we work with we own more than one kind of outfit.
It was difficult, the way Nathen realized he had once loved this girl. He had been too young before to honestly admit his feelings, even to himself. He wonders if he had realized his own feelings sooner, perhaps he could have saved her from this kind of existence. He watched as she threw everything remarkable about herself away. With every one of those parts that was extinguished, the more he realized how in love with her he had once been. He missed the smallest of details, that at one time, made her unbelievably perfect. The kind of perfection you marvel at and strive for.
A ripe couple, hungry for a home. Newly engaged and eager to start their lives together separate from their family's disappointment in them. A for sale by owner sign is posted to an oak tree out front. The young woman, inspired, imagines a tire swing there. From inside her large belly, 7 months along, the baby squirmed. As if to share in her excitement.
A Dream of You
I sit at the same red light where your life ended so abruptly. Your tire marks withstand the elements and I wonder if they'll be there forever, just to remind me. The light turns green but I don't budge. It is about the same time of night you were on your way to me, there is not another car in sight from any direction. So, I sit and watch as the light changes. Green, yellow, red. Green, yellow, red. Green, yellow, red. On the third red light I proceed, tracing your tire marks with my own. I watch as my speedometer passes 10, then 20, then 40, then 60. I’m not sure what I’m doing here, I can’t even recall why I left my apartment. I just couldn’t stop thinking about you tonight.
QUIETUS OF AN ORCHID
In silence he finds solace. Since she left, he likes to let himself believe that he prefers the quiet of the house. Her laughter had been silenced years before she’d went away. He loved her with his entire being. After a while, she wasn’t the woman he had married. She hardly resembled her. The sickness ate away at her beautiful soft features, carving her cheeks bones out like jagged ocean rock.