Friend Templates by Andrey Pissantchev

Picture this.

Friend A is from Poland. You met when he briefly studied in your university. He has blond hair, too long to be due to negligence, too short to be tied back. He is relaxed and has a kind of vulnerability to him that he is happy to expose. This makes him extremely easy to be around. You are always quick to let your guard down around him, and that has been the basis of your friendship.

REVIEW: The Fabulous Dead

Review by J.L. Corbett

Writer: Andriana Minou

Publisher: Kernpunkt Press

Release date: March 2020

Price: £11.21 (paperback)

Is death fabulous? We’re taught that it most certainly is not, that death is the sinister consequence of our own poor decisions, or our ill-advised habits, or pissing off the wrong person. Society teaches us that there is nothing in life which should be feared so much as death.

Resignation by James W. Wood

To Harry Furniss, working for a corporation felt like wearing a clown suit: a façade that made it easy to avoid taking anything seriously. After all, working for a global brand lubricates some people’s social lives better than a bottle of Scotch. Turn up at some hotel bar, and before long a slightly heavy nonentity in middle-manager casuals (polo shirt, belted chinos worn above the navel) will ask what business you’re in. After comparing your burdens, from regulation to office politics, you’ll stagger back to your room with a card in your pocket, plus an invitation to visit him and his wife next time you’re in Pensacola. Or Reykjavik. Or wherever.

The Scent of Smoke by Michelle Lawson

A heavy breath of smoke and things smoked wafts through the open doorway. It’s the scent of silver plumes spiraling from heavy stone roofs, the deep odor of smoked meats and the tang of clothing dried around the fireplace. It’s also the only sign of life in this shuttered village shadowed by the damply wooded Pyrenean foothills. Like other valleys, it’s seen a steady population decline from the end of the 19th century, although descendants of the original emigrants sometimes return to their ancestral homes during the summer months.

But the voices I hear aren’t always French. There’s a scattering of English incomers settled in this wilder western side of the Ariège département of France, following their dream of a new life across the Channel. The western Ariège, however, is a long way from sunny gourmet France, being a place of stubbornly rooted wildness. People talk about leaving England for the French way of life and an old-fashioned sense of community, then end up leaving their families to live amid the ghostly silence of abandoned and decaying houses. Some feel disquiet when they realise they share the landscape with a growing international community of pierced and dreadlocked incomers. What the French call the neo-ruraux, or marginaux, these seekers of an alternative way of life sometimes squat in empty barns, using adjacent battered vans as cupboards and wardrobes.

Cultural Appropriation by Thomas J. Misuraca  

Though the modern generation is more sensitive to cultural appropriation and its negative implications, one minority still finds themselves a major victim to this theft of customs and styles. Vampires.

Since the days of Bram Stoker’s classic fabrication of the undead, vampires have been portrayed only as mortals saw them, not as they truly are. Though they were unflatteringly represented, vampires were happy not to have the spotlight cast of their culture. Until the Goths came along with their blatant misappropriations.