Tag Archives: The Kindred Collective

Paper Wings

I like to piece things together.  There’s something about being able to see the edges of things that I find so appealing; the little corners that you can peel back to reveal the fleshy mechanics, the ooze and the turn and the steam. They flutter at me suggestively, little triangular points of dried Papier Mache, old newspaper print and the eye of swim suit supermodel from 1982. Sometimes that’s what I feel like the world is made of, on a day when it’s not looking so solid and so infinite. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who’s made of paper. I take my scissors and cut the curve of a girl’s leg. It is smooth porcelain white but in the yellow light of my only light bulb the taut skin looks dusted gold. The curve makes a perfect arc, high and natural. I can see her eyes, two orbs flattened, glossy. They are listless, they are looking to the right. Her lips are painted the colour of ripe plum fruit. She’s beautiful. But there’s something not quite right about it all. What is it? What is it?!

It’s that head. It’s all wrong.
The camera’s lost the life. I curse under my breath, and sever the head from her gold dusted shoulders.

I go in search of another, a face that still has a sip of life left, a spark in those eyes. It takes me almost an hour to find her, hiding away in the depths of high fashion. She has the skin of a white tiger draped over her black silk body. There is fire about her, and it smoulders, smothered slightly by the gloss of the page.

There. Not even any scar tissue to worry about, no Frankenstein lines. Perfect.

Almost. It’s still not quite done yet. There’s still something missing, and it’s just a speck I can feel it. Something caught under my fingernail, in my eye, between my teeth. What is it? What is it?!

 Wings. A flare of red feathers against white lace, opening. That’s what she needs. That’s what every girl needs, something to carry her up and out and above.

Sometimes I think about doing this for real, sewing wings onto girls backs and turning them into angels. The girl that sits on the reception desk, she looks like she could handle it. And she’s got those perfect shoulder blades, so evenly spaced and tucked just under the surface of her skin.  Such vibrant bones, perhaps she got the buds beneath, little feather sprouts waiting to take form, to take flight. Maybe she’s got magic, too.
No. She’s not like the rest of us. But every time I see her she’s reading one of those colourful Japanese books, the ones filled with fae. She isn’t one of us, that’s for sure. But she wants to be. I bet you she would say yes, if I asked her. I bet you she would thank me, even if I didn’t ask her first.

I have to stick the wings onto the paper with pink sewing pins. I’ve used up all of my tape.  

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Looking Back

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by | February 18, 2013 · 1:40 am

Spheres

I seem to have become one of those people who is always looking back. I like to sift through memories as if they were a collection of things that I had had the time to card catalogue. Some of them are water stained, with most of the important details blurred into ink hieroglyphs that I can no longer read, but those colours! The colours of the memory still fill me up until I can almost taste the potency of longing; sometimes it tastes like beer and liquid honey, other times it tastes like milk and sugar. Some of them have crass words scrawled across them in black ball point pen, in a moment of quick, teenage anger. Some of them are shrouded in smoke, or blackened at the edges. Some of them never really happened at all, but I let them feel their way in around the edges of duller moments.

If it were up to me, time would not move so linear beneath my feet; I just wouldn’t allow it. It would surround me as a collection of spheres, dripping with all the richness my indulgence in nostalgia could afford, and I could move in and out of them as freely and easily as I wished.  Each one would have its own distinct colour palette and wavelength of light, and as all the components of that sliver of time begin to leap into waking life, the cerulean blue would change to dusk violet, and the violet into a soft green the colour of mermaid hair. I would be overcome by a feeling of being poured into something, a wide round space the size of a small planet, Pluto perhaps. I would be left to enjoy that feeling, the feeling of being a weightless, boneless mass, for a moment or two.
And then it would all just tumble out, from the sphere as it breaks apart above my head like split fruit, and I would let it wash over me, and I would live it again. And again. And again.

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Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!

because let’s face it, this movie is amazing

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by | February 18, 2013 · 1:02 am

Jennifer’s Week 5: Wild

Imma, Queen of the Insects

The water was thick with earth, and alive. It moved with unseen creatures. Small ones with legs that scattered, or ones with out legs that slithered. It never mattered to the girl that she wasn’t one of them, that she moved on two feet and was covered in skin, she let her body sink into the muddy pond anyway, and pretended. 

She practiced moving like an insect, contorting her limbs into angles and moving fast. Her skin grew soft from the minerals and her muscles strong from all the crawling and burrowing in dirt. Soon she secretly referred to herself as Queen of the Insects. 

“Imma!” Her mother called. And Imma emerged covered in the stuff of the ground, nails caked with dirt, hair wet and tangled, handfuls of earth worms for her to play with in her mother’s garden. 

One day Imma’s mom called her home early, the sun still high, and Imma was confused. Her mom grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Look at you, you’re filthy! Your aunt is here to see you,” and rushed her to the tub where she was scrubbed red. Imma’s hair was combed and braided, skin oiled. A dress pulled on and ribbons tied.

Cabbage and potatoes and onions were spooned into wooden bowls and the three– Imma, mother, and aunt– ate the meal in silence. Imma wondered what her dead father’s sister was doing at the small house in the woods, eating food Imma and her mom pulled from the ground, food the woman wrinkled her nose at.  The rings on her aunt’s fingers were the same hue as the mead made of dark berries they drank at every meal, but worth far more as as she pointed out. “One of my fingers is worth more than this whole forest,” said Imma’s aunt.

That was the last time Imma saw her mother. A three-story house sat on a street with no trees. A pillow embroidered with Imma’s full name waited for her in her new home.

 
Imma, Queen of the Insects, grew into Imma, Home-coming Queen. She covered herself in make-up and jewelry and naked boys. 

“Come on, Imma! Pound it!” The girls sat around a table topped with plastic bottles of cheap tequila and vodka, paper cups, and countless cigarette ends stubbed into ashtrays. Music rose and fell with their pulse and laughter. Imma took a bottle and tipped it into her open mouth, bent her neck back and spilled the rest of it down her throat. It burned her sick and sweet in the stomach, and lay a hazy blanket over eyes, face. Some of the liquor spilled down her legs and she felt someone lick it off, it tickled and she laughed. Everyone else laughed. She said she was hot, her voice echoed in her head. Hot, hot, hot.  Hands touched her. Sweat, sweat, sweat. She let the hands take her shirt off, and fell back laughing.  

Sun fought its way through the closed blinds and Imma groaned and rolled over into a pile of clothes. Shit, she thought. It was past noon, her aunt would be waiting for her at the salon. Grabbing a black halter top and stepping over sleeping bodies, she found a bathroom. Imma looked in the mirror, her hair a mess of black curls. Like her mom, that much she remembered. She splashed water on her face and pulled the halter over her head and forced it  over her breasts. The maxi skirt she wore touched to the floor and hid her sticky legs, and that much she was grateful for. Her aunt would be mad enough. 

Imma burst into the salon where her aunt sat waiting at the front desk flipping through magazines. “You’re a mess,” she said, “They’re waiting.” 

Imma felt something crawl inside her, she wanted to wretch. The men waited on tables for Imma’s hands. “The hands of an angel!” They said. Or, “She knows how to heal a body, that Imma.”  She felt the familiar contortion of bone, lost herself in the mud of memory, and let her body hint at the creature hidden inside. 

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Alyssa’s Week 5: Wild Child

Wild Child

My first piece for the Kindred Collective!

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by | February 4, 2013 · 12:00 pm