I have always loved reading. From a young age, I would spend countless hours buried underneath a blanket with some sort of novel in my hand. From fantasy to nonfiction, I fell in love with each one. One of the genres that I was not much of a fan of growing up was comic books. Though I loved drawing, comics seemed like a cop-out to me. Rather than allowing your imagination to run wild, I felt constricted by the artist's interpretations of the characters I knew and loved so much. But, as people grow, so does their understanding of the world, and it was in the smallest moment that I fell in love with comic books.
Streaks of grey across a page, zigzagging here and there like the winding pass of a cliffside road. A random assortment of lines, each perfectly imperfect, curve and weave in and out of each other. Step back, and the basic form of a face appears, rendered in the faint traces of graphite. It is the bare bones, like a skeleton, waiting to be fleshed out. An array of drawing pens lay out on my lap, their permanence looming over me like a rain cloud hangs over a forest desperate for water. With a gentle sigh, I select one, raise it to the paper, and begin.
Master of the Murder Castle
When the police began searching the business/apartment complex at Sixty-third and Wallace in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago in 1895, they were horrified by what they saw. There were confusing passageways, trap floors, walk-in vaults that sealed airtight, with hoses that allowed all the air to be removed. Sequestered away was a dissection room, still littered with the tools that had cut apart over a dozen people. And, buried deep in the basement was a high-powered incinerator, capable of burning at a temperature more than hot enough to burn a human body. Chicago Police—and indeed, the rest of the world—had never encountered anything like this. Unlike the mass murders of before, this was methodical, a process of killing that had become a matter of efficiency the likes of which greatly surpassed the actions of any other man. Hundreds of miles away, Herman Webster Mudgett, under the alias of H.H. Holmes, sat in his jail cell awaiting trial for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel. He had been accused of killing nine people, although later estimates have placed that number as high as one hundred, in roughly an eleven-year time span. As he penned his first memoir in an attempt to prove himself the innocent victim of happenstance, Holmes’ “Murder Castle” revealed a horror show that would earn Holmes the title of America’s first serial killer.
As a twenty-three year old who grew up loving dinosaurs and rolling around in the mud, quilting would perhaps be the farthest thing from your mind as an activity that I adore. Quilting was one of those things that I used to think only “old people” and “old timey people” did because they were bored out of their minds and trapped within the societal and gender roles assigned to them. Or, I used to think that it was too “girly” to do something like that, as it was mainly old women that I saw still doing it, and since I was a self-proclaimed tomboy, it didn’t fit my “style.” It certainly wasn’t something that I thought had any place among the iPhones and television screens of the twenty-first century. I didn’t show any particular affection for fabrics as a child (I was more of a pencil and paper sort of kid), nor was there any particular familial or generational connection to the practice. It was one of those impactful accidents, where something you figured you’d try once grows into a passion project that continues to this day.
A Humorous Homage to my First Summer Job
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s job? To the shortened nights, and the longer days? To the snide remarks of some rich man’s snob,
Like the silky gossamer wings of a dragonfly, as it soars through the air, unaware of the trials and tribulations of those below,
The Color Between Happiness and Desire
I am a scorching ember clinging to life in a sea of black, refusing to be stomped out, to be put out by the garish hand of those who wish to hold me down.
Looks that Kill
The moment Kyle laid eyes on her, he knew she was the one. Her lithe form was silhouetted against the starlit sky, and her auburn hair seemed to burn with the intensity of an ember. She was seated on a blanket spread across the grass in the quiet stillness of the park.