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Read Runner-Up Jodi Stone’s Short Story On The NUB App!

Vicious Lovers By Jodi Stone
I have brought the chickens. Two of them, siblings. The smaller one’s named Nancy because he’s a bit of a wuss, the other called Beak on account of his being the largest of the flock. They don’t race unless I prod them which is something I don’t like to do but I need the money. Who doesn’t. I was told to come at sunset and it’s just about that time judging by the rose-blue sky. Nancy and Beak sit still in their cage, the wire corner poking into my ribs as I walk toward the dark mouth of the sewer pipe. It’s lit inwards with fire or flashlights; I can’t see for sure out here under the bridge. I step inside where the water drips and pools, where voices come at me from the end. I wait, and listen, and consider turning back.
‘There they are.’ A slap on my back and a familiar voice: Ron. ‘The chickens!’ he says. ‘The headliners. Hey!’ and pokes two thumbs at his chest like Fonzie in his leather vest. Ron leans down making wet kissing sounds at the chickens now clucking. Beak struts in a tight circle kicking up seed behind him. Ron smacks my back again. ‘Right this way,’ he says. I commit and follow….

 

Read the rest on The NUB App, its free!

Read Runner-Up Sarah Segal’s Short Story on The NUB App!

It’s Nothing by Sarah Segal

I was taking the baby for a walk to the park when the rockets started falling from the sky. Perhaps the sounds should have alerted me to the troublesome situation developing on the border with Lebanon, but I’d become used to explosions and didn’t even raise an eyebrow. We lived near the firing range and the military practiced often. My baby and I lounged at the park, enjoying the shade of the trees. I pushed my baby on the swing. Afterwards, we walked down the quiet, dusty streets to our home, and I put my baby down for a nap. All to the soundtrack of explosions and machine gun fire.

I washed the dishes and made myself lemonade. The ringing phone brought nap time to an early end, and with the baby on my hip I listened to my father-in-law shouting down the line. Where have you been, I’ve been calling! Dont you hear the bombs, dont you know Hezbollah are firing on us? Another explosion, much louder this time, startled the baby. I hung up the phone to comfort her, and turned on the news. A scuffle on the border, soldiers from our side killed, all border communities ordered into the shelters.I sat back in my chair. I was so habituated to the sounds of war that I didn’t even notice one when it started! I called my husband at work.

“It’s nothing, I’ll be home later,” he said.  “I invited some friends over for a barbecue. Make a salad; I’ll pick up some chicken on my way home.”….

 

Read the rest on The NUB App, its free!

Deathmatch 2015: A Look Back at “Eraser”

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This week we’re going to take a look back at some of our previous Indie Writer’s Deathmatch finalists, winners and commenters. Today we take a look at Andrea Wrobel, a finalist in last year’s Deathmatch with her story, “Eraser.” Andrea also made some killer #deathmemes to drum up voter support (see above.) Be inspired by her efforts! ENTER DEATHMATCH 2015 NOW!

 

Eraser

Pause for a second. My name is Samantha Able and I am currently choking on the little pink bit of eraser that used to be attached to my HB number 2 pencil. I liked the way the little pink prince squeaked against the edges of my teeth. Like it was shining my canines up real nice. In the precise moment the little jerk came loose I was fantasizing about scrubbing the two so white that people would think I was a vamp at first glance, just because they’d stand out more than the others. I could hear the squeaking in my head and wondered if it was as loud to anybody else. No one seemed interested. I was almost invisible. But I guess I got a little too into it. Squeak, squeak, squeak. It’s good to have goals. Squeak, squeak, I did, trying to see if anyone would turn around. Is the lecture that boring? Maybe they’re all asleep. Squeak, squeak. Like a symphony of a dollar store quartet. That’s probably where Aunt Nancy got these HBs from. Are they even real? I checked. They’re real. Aunt Nancy only ever shops at Value Plus (damn those discounts) and No Dollar Taller (and damn this little pink prince now wedged in my throat so stubbornly I might actually die).

I might actually die.

Let me paint the rest of the picture for you.

Indie Events Round Up: December 15 – 21

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Gein Wong reads at the Plasticine Poetry Series this Sunday [image via flickr.com]

Tuesday, December 16

TORONTO

12th Annual Dead Poets Night at the Art Bar, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth, free

15 readers come together for the end of Art Bar’s year, which features readings exclusively from the catalog of deceased writers.

Wednesday, December 17

TORONTO

Fight Back: Sex Workers Respond to C36, 6:30pm, queen West Community Health Centre, 168 Bathurst St, free

On December 6, Harper’s Bill C-36 became law. This year, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, a coalition of sex workers and sex worker organizations come together to share information and support each other with a panel and gathering. /

Season’s Crafting, 8pm, Shoppe and Tailor, 428 Ossington Avenue, $20 (includes snacks, supplies)

Crafting, music, drinks, and food at a new shop and studio space. BYO booze.

Read Runner-Up Justin Hawthorne’s Short Story on The NUB App!

Polaroids For Her by Justin Hawthorne

She and I met at a football game. She happened to stand on the same bleacher row as me. Her smile caught my attention at first and then the rest of her figure. I somehow had the audacity to ask her for her number and started talking to her. She was very sweet but she didn’t seem quite like she was into me. I figured she was too good anyway. The second time I saw her out of school was at a hockey game and she needed a ride home. I offered and she cordially accepted. The ride to her house wasn’t awkward and she wasn’t either. I had a really shitty 1997 Subaru outback that looked like I was either a rapist or a murderer. It was amazing that she got in the car without hesitation and didn’t seem paranoid being in this terrifying vehicle.

She wasn’t flirtatious- she wasn’t annoying- she was just weird. She sat in the passenger seat and we talked a little. I knew she had a relationship with a friend of mine that had turned sour recently and she told me about that. It was bonding, really. It was less falling-in-love for her and more meeting someone new, I suppose. When we got to her house she kissed me on the cheek. As I pulled away, I realized that was probably the farthest we were ever going to go…..

 

Read the rest on The NUB App, its free!

Book Review: White Cube

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White Cube, Brecht Vandenbroucke, Drawn & Quarterly, 64 pgs, drawnandquarterly.com , $22.95 USA & Canada

Hey, Kids! Comics! Super-Smart Theory-Driven Society-Critiquing Comics!

White Cube throws “High” Culture & “Low” Culture into a blender and presses pulverize: Picasso, Tom of Finland, The Muppets, and many more get smashed together and mixed like paint. The resulting canvas is a grotesque hyperworld, hilarious and horrifying at the same time.

Navigating through this crazy jumblescape are two pink-faced wordless twins who grin or frown and thumbs up or thumbs down as they skewer pretentious art world bullshit with vicious Jonathan Swift-style satire.

No art world target is safe from the twins. They attack fashion: one of the twins is walking his pet leopard when he passes a woman wearing a leopard skin coat. The twin pulls out a knife and skins the woman’s dog to make his pet leopard a dogskin coat.

The twins also take on noise music, performance art, and the very idea of representation itself. In White Cube, blurred pixels are often preferable to the actual image; the reproduction preferable to The Thing Itself. In one strip, the twins sit side by side, one reading Black Hole by Charles Burns and the other reading Walter Benjamin, most noted for his 1936 essay “The Work of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction.”

Benjamin claimed that, “The presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.” Comics can have original art, but are inevitably reproduced: Benjamin’s concept of authenticity is shattered by the digital age. Is it true that Authenticity cannot be reproduced?

At the end of White Cube, one of the twins stands in a bookstore between opposing signs. One sign says Comix and the other sign says Art. The Twin gets angry and rejects the false dichotomy by plunging straight through the middle of the bookstore wall. If you like your comics smart, funny and violent, then plunge in after him. You’ll be glad you did. (A.G. Pasquella)