Masthead

Benjamin Winters

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When the sarcophagus of Ben Winters was discovered, the mummified remains were never found. Some say Ben  haunts his hometown of Madison, Alabama still to this day. When residents of Madison hear a loud trumpet blaring or a guitar strumming intensely, they know the undead source is Ben. When a democrat feels powerless and persecuted, Ben will come to their aid and give them strength. When a Nicolas Cage film is screened at the local cinema, Ben’s laughter will sometimes be heard in the second to last row. But that’s just what some say.

Haley Hop

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Haley Hop is a hellhound lurking in the shadows of your deepest regrets. A creature that refused to be domesticated along with other types of its kind, so decided to rebel against the authority that tried to put her on a leash for eternity. Trading her soft, tamed fur for a coat of mangled darkness and her golden eyes for a beady red stare, she swore to herself that she would rule under a relentless motivation of in sighting fear back into the kind that attempted to rule her. So, she joined forces with the underworld to torment people after their time had run out.  She guarded gates of graveyards with authority that sent adrenaline into her bloodstream and euphoria into the spot her heart once resided. Yet, over the decades she spent here she began to sense this feeling flee of fulfillment at an alarming rate, a rate of such quickness her work rapidly suffered lethargy that worried her authorities. And thus, she came to the epiphany the same thing she rebelled against had captivated her morality and tricked her into being bound by those metal gates to serve a purpose that further tamed her spirit. So, with the last bit of energy and drive she could gather, she broke away from the chains on the gateways and expected to spend eternity hiding among the living and the dead as she was hated by both, until an unaware family stumbled across her on the streets and with the best intentions gave her a home to live in. So, while Heaven and Hell alike searched in the deepest crevasses of Earth, Purgatory, and the Underworld for her, she peacefully rested in a spot of sunlight on the couch and grinned to herself that the humans whose house she lived in thought they had tamed a stray dog.

Jacquie Bloodsworth

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Jacquelyn Bloodsworth. That was her name. She couldn’t ever satisfy her urge to fill her stomach. That’s why the Earth people flew to another planet to take refuge for a short while. She just couldn’t stop devouring everything and, sadly, everyone in her food path. All the Chik-fil-a Restaurants went first, of course. Then, she raided the houses and buildings in search for more food. She grew bigger and bigger as her cells began to drain her energy faster and faster. Therefore, she needed more food. Normal people food eventually became insufficient for her and she started eating small furniture and household objects. The lamps and electrical items didn’t kill her, as one might think. Electricity only fueled her rage because it gave her bad hair days. She learned to control that rage and transform it into a burning inferno to cook her food inside her belly. She could now eat wild animals and people because she could cook the raw meat. Soon, she ran low on meat and food items. She started chewing on houses and other buildings and structures. People in the streets would run from the horrendously large beast of a girl screaming, “Run! Run for your lives!” Since she was still just a girl inside, this tremendously hurt the girl’s feelings. She started to cry, but these were no ordinary tears. They were eternal floods that destroyed millions of cities, completely submerging them underwater. She drowned 70% of the Earth, and then the Pluto-sized girl just jumped to another planet to feed on. Wreckage was everywhere on Earth. When the people returned to their planet, they tried to find lost things, but there was no hope. They no longer even had the technology to warn other planets, galaxies, universes or dimensions. They had to start over with civilization.

Jordan Searcy

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Jordan Searcy is a Makara: an ancient Hindu half-terrestrial sea creature. With a heart for the ocean, she soars through the rapid current with her fish-like gills. The wet muck beneath her beet drags below her lioness face, expressing her true might and determination to achieve and exceed her every desire. She lacks every common ambition of fitting in, finding comfort in her own form of normality. Her physically uncommon appearance is rue to her own, leaving her both independent and liberated from any traditional family values, for she is all knowing of the importance in her remaining autonomous. Free will and understanding carry her through the roughest of times and bring her back to her center to this spontaneous reality that she has created for herself. Her possibilities are limitless, and nothing can hold her back.

   Julianna Head

JuliannaHeadJulianna Head has searched for adventure since she stumbled into the land of the living eighteen years ago. The only true obstacle is that she has no sense of direction, and no matter how much she tries she always ends up lost (there’s always someone to steer her home, though). She doesn’t really mind. After all, sometimes adventure means getting lost, and getting lost always means adventure. She’s a shape shifter and can blend in with nearly any crowd, switching from character to character in a seamless dance. Her searches have led her all over, but for now she’s settled at the ever-shifting Bob Jones High School (the floor plan is still changing, an always present thorn in her side). Her solace is fourth block – there’s comfort to be found in being part of such a character driven class, and it’s easy to still her shifting around them. Julianna has spent many a night on rooftops gazing at the stars and has, on occasion, awoken the next morning to a bird on her shoulder and dawn breaking. When she’s not stargazing, she’s reading. Her room is filled with stacks of books, and it’s highly recommended that you not enter said room as many of the piles are only just balanced and will topple at the slightest movement (it’s a good hiding place too, and she likes to lurk there, ensconced in the pages). Julianna is still searching for her One Big Adventure, but her side quests will do for now. Her next destination is Maryland, and from there, who knows? She only hopes that one day her shape shifting will come to an end.

Kalee Yem

KaleeYemStatic humming clung to its very presence like an everlasting glitch. Lok Yem murmured along brick alleyways as it crept along dark shades, red eyes shining like lighthouses bobbing through a murky sea. The curious and the brave would ask its name, its gender, its breed and in response it would do nothing but cackle a sound like garbled glass – something between the clap of thunder and the noise of a sink drainer – and their courage would dissipate like the mists it walked. So alone it remained in somber solitude until one day a mysterious figure in a bird-shaped mask approached, asked it questions, heard its responses, did not flee. The entity offered the creature a hand, offered to teach the creature, and the creature took it. It was a dark and stormy night.

 Kayla Carden

KaylaCardenIt was a dark and stormy night, and they didn’t know, and that was just how the world entitled Kayla Carden intended it. For if they did know of that maelstrom and its pithos of despairing, crushing hails, its oily, mucky whirls of clouds, and even worse, that unspeakable eye – well, they would never be able to know anything else ever again. And it was the eye of the storm that would do it, for she haunted there. The aporrhoea of impossible zaffre emanated from her, the strange wail of Gabriel’s Horn echoed from her, and the ethereal, amorphous blur of a body (or was it a goat or a mountain or universe god help them) was all her. She, the night and the storm and the world, crept ever so closer to them, yet she, like them, remained unaware. And when she devoured them into her vortex, as she always did, they would go out with a mere susurrus, none the wiser to her nor them. She was beyond comprehension, form, or identity; in the end, she was a fleeting cosmic nightmare with no end to her appetite.

Kennedy Booker

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Be sure to wear a turtleneck around Kennedy Booker. She stands tall with sharp fangs. Born in a town full of chaos, she knew as a child her only purpose was to drain the blood out of the city. When the moons shines, she becomes alive. It’s the only time she can bare to roam. She enjoys the mayhem she causes, but wishes to do something more peaceful. Once you get the taste of blood you can’t quit though. The craving is much stronger than morals. As a hobby, she advocates vampire rights. With pride she holds the sign that reads: Vampires will never hurt you.

Kiandra Davis

KiandraHer name is Kiandra Davis. She swims the ocean fearlessly biting anything in sight. The people swarm around her caging area to watch what they’ve paid for, only to know she’s really the meanest thing in the zoo. Her director brings her forth to do a trick in the air; she then falls sweetly back in the water splashing the people around her. Not knowing when she goes back down in the water, she opens her mouth, not only feeding on the fish giving to her, but the calm peacefully unbothered fish swimming away from her. She is the most spiteful in the zoo water. Just because she puts up those little tricks that she is trained for outside the water, in the water she is a monster waiting for something to feed on.

Matthew Robinson

Matthew RobinsonMatthew Robinson is a victim of unattended invasion. All he wants is peace but he has someone disturbing his environment for the sole purpose of roping him into something for which he has no consent. And when attempting to break out of captivity they come at him with planes and bombs. Why can’t they understand that he just wants to be free? Free to live his life by his own terms and not be regulated by the tyrant that all beings in similar situations call “the Man”.  His spirit sours freely beyond the walls, beyond the concrete and chains of humanity.

Megan Zecher

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The house shook from the explosion. Megan Zecher simply coughed and peeled the laboratory goggles from her soot-covered face. Maybe she shouldn’t have used so much trinitrotoluene powder. True, it had been less than a teaspoon, but the pot now had a blackened hole from where she had piled the small pyramid of product from her latest aromatic experiment. She nonchalantly dumped baking soda from her father’s baking cabinet onto the small fire running on the counter and shook ashes off her smoldering notebook.

Experiment Kill Calculus Professor: too much trinitrotoluene synthesized. This is revenge, not Mythbusters.

 She nodded and stepped out of the burning kitchen and back into her room; she’d have to clean up later; Mom had said no more experiments on the stove. As an upcoming curiosity, the younger Megan had enjoyed all sciences and books – as she grew older, she adopted a fascination.

The cellar lit up with the light of her flashlight as she stepped down into the darkened room; the hanging lanterns illuminated the stone walls and wooden tables, the aging parchments and the mounds of pencils, the strange contraptions and bubbling chemicals. She never really was technologically oriented.

“What did you do?”

“Igor, how’s the work coming?” Megan ignored his question and brushed extra soot from her shoulders and pulled on an old lab coat, looking about at the assemblage of wires, batteries, and distillation units near her.

“I told you to stop calling me that.” Aaron, her little brother, muttered bitterly from his workbench.

The older sister scrunched her nose and grinned as she stuck electrodes to the form on the bench. “Oh, you like it. Now c’mon; Mom comes home in twenty minutes and we have a beast to awaken and a kitchen to clean.”

Michael Samaras

MichaelSamarasHe makes his presence known. Everyone sees him at one point in their lives, be it when they are small children or close to death. He drives people to insanity with his own. He terrifies himself every time he looks in the mirror, because Michael Samaras contains the worst monster known to man: fear.

His parents fear his future, constantly worrying about the fact that he will be on his own one day. His siblings fear his imminent departure, as he will be soon be leaving the metaphorical nest and spread his wings two hours away. He fears what he cannot change. Because when he doesn’t have control of the situation he can’t suppress it. And when he can’t suppress it, it overtakes him. That fear that Michael works so hard to keep under control morphs into a frightening beast, gnashing and attacking everything around it. All of the bonds and bridges build are torn down by the monstrosity. It leaves nothing at its mercy. It keeps preying on the very thing it is composed of, hoping one day to drag all of humanity down in its depths.

 Olivia Schweikart

vhShe cuts through the night air with precision, soaring closer to the sky with every movement of her wings. Olivia surveys her surroundings, expecting solitude, only to find she is not alone. Out from the dark horizon emerge shadows of vice. They dart toward her, but she refuses to run. She is tired of running. She is tired of being consumed by her own terror. One by one she shreds through the apparitions, finding fortitude in the fading face of fear. With every strike, her power grows, illuminating her mind with a glowing light. She harnesses the power once held by her enemies in her magnificent wings.

Olivia perches on a branch of a lone tree below her. Cradled in the night air, she embraces the sound of silence. With her wings casting a heavenly light over the land, she awaits for more shadows to appear. Never again will she allow the forces of darkness to consume her mind and weigh down her soul.

Patrick Brady

PatrickBradyPatrick Brady walks among humans like any other. He laughs and jokes with his friends, but they don’t know his true identity. When everyone leaves and he is left alone, the real Patrick can finally breathe. His clothes tear and his limbs grow out. His body starts to distort, leaving sanguine bare flesh and the lifeless skin of a mere puppet at its feet. The resurrected monstrosity unleashes wings and takes flight into the night. When it has finished terrorizing the lost, it returns to its discarded shell. Patrick is a demon among humans – and no one suspects a thing.

Rachel Bryan

RachelBryanDidn’t you just put fresh batteries in this thing? It must be that Rachel Bryan ghost draining the camera’s energy! Quick, we’ve got to make contact. Here, I’ll pop in a few new batteries in the camera and you pull out our voice recorder and try to capture an EVP or something. Hey! Rachel! Were you a literary magazine editor when you were alive?  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Okay, now there are batteries in here. Play back the recording while I take a few pictures around the room, she’s bound to show up in one of them. H-Hey, did you hear that? In the voice recorder, 6 seconds after you ask your question there was a noise… Play it back again… I think she said “yes!”

Sada Forrest

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In daylight may she sleep. At night let her eat. If she stalks down her prey let her be, as her teeth are sharp in order to sink said teeth into thee. Delusion consumes her as night swoons her. She devours tranquility from those that gleam above and spews out pandemonium onto those undeserving of her love. Love she does not. So the whole world implodes into chaos, till the sunrises and she once again becomes quiet observing in silence. She becomes Sada Forrest.

Shae Greene

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Termites terminate the temporal lobe of a withering Shae Greene, but she doesn’t care. As strong as carbyne, she begins to yank them one by one from her skin, thrashing her limbs through the air, she’s falling.

However, not to a particular destination, as most humans never do. She’s just falling, unknowingly coming to the platform at which all stops; She too will stop, but not because of the splatter of her brains or the gush of blood leaving her casing or skin. Instead, because the termites will have eaten through her bones. She won’t be alive to die.

Theresa Andrzejewski

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Theresa Andrzejewski thrives in the darkness. She’s a shadow of the night, a shapeless form, until she latches onto something (someone, an anchor) under silver moonlight or golden rays of sun. She isn’t very social, but she’s okay with that – she is just a shadow, after all. She prefers to observe from afar, to watch and listen from the confines of a jagged crevice or a black, empty nook. As for being watched, well…she only seems to be noticed by those with the keenest of eyes or the other shadows.

She likes the freedom that she has, the freedom to swirl into waves of black and dance beneath starlit skies, the freedom to float across galaxies and witness the birthing of day. She likes that – she likes her freedom – and she likes her freeform life beneath star-studded skies, her ability to blend in the space behind towering oaks and massive skyscrapers. She likes her bird’s-eye view, her front-row seat to every showing of dawn and every premiere of dusk. She likes it all (or most of it, at least), and she thinks that in the midst of her fluid life, her nomadic, adventurous trek (it never ends, and sometimes she doesn’t like that), she’s finally discovered that she doesn’t need a Thing to keep her anchored to the earth. She needs an open mind and an open soul – and, every once in a while, a dark corner to shelter her as she ponders her existence.

She likes to think she has all of those things – who can tell her she’s wrong, anyway? She’s a shadow, and for the most part, she can come as go as she pleases, right under the noses of those who seek her out.

She rather likes that.

Will Richerson

Will RichersonWill Richerson wasn’t born, per se.  He was created.  He clawed his way into existence like a creature out of the ground.  Brought to life on a scientist’s lab table, he wandered the landscape looking for purpose.  He searched high and low, near and far, and yet, no matter how he searched, he found nothing.  Until one day.  He had searched the villages, always turned around by those who inhabited them.  He had searched the towns, but had not discovered anything.  He had searched the cliffs and the mountains and the caves and the valleys, but still found nothing.  Until one day he searched inside himself, and found what he was looking for.