“children dawdling to school” by Julia in Hanoi

Saturday February 3, 2018
10:20pm
5 minutes
Prazeres
K.V Skene

It’s over the hill and past the old abandoned ice cream truck.
The little ones don’t seem to
be afraid when they go by it
but I don’t like the feeling it
gives me. I don’t like what it
represents but then again I’m
old enough to remember what
happened. They skip and play
and sometimes pretend to steer
the wheel. They make believe
that they are just like the ice
cream man on a regular Wednesday in June.
The police say there might have been more than twenty bodies.
They say
they didn’t consider
digging so far back until
they had a reason to. When
you think of what all of us kids
knew back then, it makes you
wonder what their priorities were,
and what order.

“What a liberty!” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore


Saturday December 27, 2014
1:14pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


We climb in the bath and it’s like he’s never seen my breasts before. He starts pinching my nipples and I hate it but I let him do it anyway. The bubbles are foamy around my calves and I lower down, trying to suck in my stomach. He stays standing, watching me. I try to arrange the bubbles to cover up the places I wish weren’t so round. He smiles. I glare. Steam rises from the tub and he says, “Want me to wash your hair?” I say, “No thanks, I don’t want to get bubble bath – ” He pushes my head under the water and for a split second I feel like he might be trying to murder me. What a way to go. Drowned in a tub with a man named James.

“What a liberty!” by Julia on the train to London


Saturday December 27, 2014
12:22pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


I’m stuck on a train with a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He’s reading right now, don’t worry. But he just spent the last half hour explaining the plot of his book that he’s trying to get published. He doesn’t have an agent. His protagonist just so happens to be a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He lives alone. So does his protagonist. He’s a lumberjack. Has access to an axe. Knows how to wield one. So does his protagonist. Captures a traveling circus that’s moving through town. Don’t know how to prove that both of them do it. But his protagonist does. Told me he’d watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. Didn’t trust him. Didn’t go. He doesn’t know yet that I don’t trust him. Too big of a smile trying to reassure me he absolutely will never kill me. I think surprise murderers have to practice that smile. Over and over and over again.

“wrongfully convicted of murder” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday August 6, 2014
11:39pm
5 minutes
Blog TO

I think you’ve made a mistake. Surely you could take a minute and think about what you’re doing here? What your “conclusions” will mean for someone. Someone other than you. Buddy wouldn’t have done something like that. I know him, he just wouldn’t have. He wasn’t mean to animals while we were growing up. He’s a bit…special…I know that, but he’s not a murderer.
He was framed. I’m telling you right now that has to be it. Buddy is a good person. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t…be able to. I’m not saying he wouldn’t be capable of killing someone, no, I mean if I’m being honest I think we all are capable aren’t we? I mean he wouldn’t be able to leave someone just lying in the street, bleeding to death. He has compassion, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. It’s not like he’s on the hunt for something twisted like that to give him pleasure. He gets pleasure out of collecting flat rocks that sparkle in the sun. Please. I’m begging you, don’t just throw someone’s life away on a hunch. Innocent until proven guilty. You have to at least give him that. All I’m asking is you consider the possibility outside your “irrefutable evidence”. Isn’t that your job’s sole purpose in the first place?

“Ha parlato troppo” by Sasha at the International Plaza Hotel


Friday July 11, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
overheard on Corydon

You call me and you’re breathless
You’re sobbing
You’re hiccuping.
I say,
“Breath Betsy, breath…”
And you try to listen
But it’s hard.
You tell me that they’ve been killed
the little girls you nanny
five and nine
brown hair in braids you tied.
I say,
“Breath Betsy…”
And you try.
“They haven’t found who did it…”
You repeat
as if it might help.
“Come over,” I say,
And you silently decline.
You’d been there five hours earlier
And then their mother had come home
had forgotten something at the grocery store
“Zucchini,” you say.
She’d gone out to get it
Leaving the girls alone.
She’d done it before.
When she got back
the house was quiet.

“Health & Beauty Aids” by Sasha on the Queen streetcar


Monday April 21, 2014
11:46pm
5 minutes
A sign in Parkdale

You ever seen one of those cadavers all dressed up like they be ready for prom or something? So, like, that’s what she looked like. All made up, all plastic. She didn’t look like herself, nope. Mostly around the mouth. Above the lower quarter of her face, she looked like herself but not above it… Above it she looked like a different… woman. It’s strange to call her a… woman because I think of “woman” as, older than twenty and she was… twenty. God damn, it’s sad, isn’t it? God damn. She was a real “Belle”, you know. She lived up to her name. You know what I mean? She was a pretty thing, right. She was a natural beauty though… None of that schlop that them other gals like to put on their face. Belle and her Old Man came to town when she was about eight… or nine… And she came to pick up her Old Man’s order every Friday. They’d do up a big Sunday Roast, you know? Every week. Her Old Man would… Aw, man, I feel so bad for him, you know? Can’t imagine he’ll stay here when every damn thing reminds him of her? Can’t imagine. She invited me to come to one of those dinners and I did… I went… Lived in the tiniest little cottage. The smallest little spot you ever did see, right? Almost bumped by head walking through the door… Like the place was built for midgets or something.

“Spilled secrets” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:39pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.

“Sharks spotted” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 17, 2014
12:28am
5 minutes
the news feed at Ossington Station

They were in a tank, but still. I was like, DO NOT LET THEM SEE ME. I thought they were going to smell my fear. From the tank, like, I know. That’s how big my fear was! I wasn’t prepared for those faces. Like, angry, scary, sneaky, creepy faces. Those smiles? What are you smiling about, you know? Like, am I your next big meal or something? Will you be using me to make an example out of people who get too close? I had a heart attack. My heart was legitimately attacked! Like, with the pain and the blurriness? I couldn’t see a thing. I could hear the JAWS theme song in my head, though. That’s something that actually happened. I was told before I went to the aquarium that they look scary, but they’re not. That’s just their face. That’s just the way they look. Which I guess is fair, right? Not all humans who look like pedophiles actually are. Okay, bad example. Not all humans who look like they’re about to murder you painfully actually do…Wait. Is this the right type of comparison? Point is, I saw these sharks, and I was petrified. And they didn’t kill me, and they didn’t give a shit about me, really, but I think, goddammit, I still think they could sense me there. As an outsider. As someone not to be trusted because if I were ever alone with them, I would try to do some weird psychoanalysis shit on them. See what they really wanted…

“You don’t have to look at me like that.” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday January 23, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
3:22pm
5 minutes
http://smittenkitchen.com/

There is a man named Eliot and he had weird fingers but those are not the things I mind about him mostly just his laugh that bothers me I think I wish he had a different one more because the one he has makes me feel less funny it’s so big that’s the problem his laugh makes everything seem like irony or sarcasm and I’m not prepared for that and everything else that comes out of his mouth always claiming that’s funny as if his big laugh wasn’t enough so maybe now that I think of it the laughing combined with his talking is what I dislike most if I had to choose and if I had to be specific what’s the haunting echo you wonder not quite relevant to the man with weird fingers but I’ll tell you it’s his twin he had a twin I’m telling you he killed it at birth because he wanted to be the first one out and the twin wanted the same thing I know it’s true because that’s how his fingers got weird they got that way from sticking themselves so deep into another person’s flesh and bones they get twisted up and there’s no fixing it and now that I think of it is in fact relevant

“they forgot they had committed a crime” By Julia at Rustic Owl Cafe


Monday, November 18, 2013 at Rustic Owl Cafe
2:34pm
5 minutes
Urban Myth the board game

She was so loud I could have killed her. I don’t throw that word around lightly, I mean, I’m a good person, I swear. But she awakened something in me that no one ever has. And maybe it’s because I watched an episode of Dr. Phil last night where a woman was threatening to kill a six year old “demon child” and she seemed totally justified in her struggle. This woman, though. Her voice was penetrating my head phones–just talking in such a slow and shrill way it made me feel like I was at the dentist. I don’t think I’m actually capable of murder. No, not really. But the idea was a fun one. It made me feel alive again, and honest, which, full disclosure, my usual meds don’t let me feel. I’m not saying that because I’m being treated for things that I should be allowed to have these thoughts…I told you, I’m a good person. But when you don’t even smile when a baby waves at you, you welcome any kind of stimulus that luckily makes its way to your heart. Killing isn’t exactly the fuzzy-wuzzies, or the nurturing instincts that kick in when we’re talking about children. But the dream of it, the fantasy? God I gotta tell you, it gets me going even better than sex.

“nearly killed him.” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday November 14, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
9:50pm
5 minutes
creative writing MFA handbook
Tom Kealey


And it was on purpose and it would have been amazing if that bitch Gloria didn’t back out of her garage right at the moment I was going to send him to limbo to give my mother in law a message for me. Probably something like, Not so tough without your lungs are ya? I don’t know, I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. I should have just done it in his sleep like I’d planned in the first place, but SOMEBODY had INSOMNIA that night because of the heart burn because of the hot peppers. And it almost kills ME because they were my peppers and had I known he was such a little wuss, I wouldn’t have given him any, or slipped so many into his pasta. Whatever. This isn’t all on me. I could have gotten away with it too. It would have gone down in the books as an unsolved mystery because I spent four godforsaken years studying theatre in university, and as a result I know how to cry with an “emotional trigger” and would have been able to pull that “trigger” EVERY GODDAMN DAY until I could honestly say I was dry. And no one would have questioned me even a little bit. Because I’m fucking good at what I do!

“Serve.” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, September 23, 2013
12:11am
5 minutes
www.foodnetwork.com

Ya know Ian? Ya know Ian who lives over der by dem pines? Ian killed his wife. I’ll tell ya the story but you have to promise that ya won’t tell no-one. I don’t wanna be that kinda gossip, ya know?

So. Story goes, Ian is a shady kinda character. He has a grow-op in that basement. We’re not talking a few plants, we’re talking a whole operation, a big ‘ol operation, with the lights and the special liquids and whatever. He had this girlfriend, Caroline, and she was around for longer than any of the other ladies. Ya know those meth head ladies? With the real bad teeth and the scratchy faces? Lotsa those ladies. Story goes that Caroline had finally had enough, she was tired of his wily ways, she was trying to get clean. She left Ian and started goin’ with some hotshot guy in Kingston, some guy who was the president of AA and in a biker gang or something. Story goes, Ian tracked down Caroline, who was cleaning out a camper on this new hotshot’s property. He shot her. Right in the head.