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Welcome to the first issue of Make Something, a six issue, year long experiment. My name is Allen Wiggs and this whole thing was my idea, which was simply to help facilitate the creation of new things and have the end result be something physical people can hold in their hands and enjoy. The whole thing was inspired by the Get Excited and Make Things internet meme as well as the growing groundswell of positive creative energy that seemed to develop in the latter half of 2009. And now, here we are. Make Something is a complete work of love, or at least infatuation, for everyone involved. Every contributor has allowed me access to their wonderful work so it can be printed, the editors volunteered their time and expertise to help ensure the grammar and spelling mistakes were limited, and I have priced this and every subsequent issue with no mark up. The only people who getting paid is MagCloud, so please, if you like any particular thing in this issue (although everything in this issue looks fantastic to me, well except maybe my piece) visit their websites, let them know what you think, and if you can afford it, buy some of their other works. Every step of this project I have always half expected to just be told it was completely silly and a waste of time or that some aspect of it wouldn’t work. But honestly I have met nothing but optimism and offers of help, so to end my rambling I want to thank a few people who really helped this magazine happen. I’d like to thank first my two editors, Daniel Milwee and Anthony Whitton who did great work in a very short period of time, Jamee Sasser, the first person I told about this project who then sent me the first draft of our cover a few days later, and also the person who edited my story, Cameron Callahan, who has not only been the most vocal supporter but also someone who’s own work helped inspire me to actually try such a project, James Puckett who let us use the font he created for the “something” on the cover, the folks over at Whitechapel who really helped on the project in various ways and many of whom contributed to this first issue, and everyone else who has contributed, commented, or just generally looked in the general direction of this project. Thanks everyone. Next issue if there’s an intro it won’t be so Oscar speechy, I promise. Enjoy the first issue! If you would like to contribute Something to an issue of Make Something please email me at MakeSomethingMag@gmail.com or check out the blog, MakeSomethingMag.blogspot.com
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Make Something by Jamee Sasser 1 Birth Name by Cameron Callahan 4
Mermaid by Jamee Sasser
Dreams Are Funny by Shawn Main
Hoovah by Keith Perkins
Cash Register Deconstruct by Samantha Ballard
Things I Learned in Japan by Josh Catlett
The Silent Ballad of Dr Teeth by Allen Wiggs
Audiophile/Ethereal Crosswalk by Robin LeBlanc
Cuddles by Charlene
Thank You by Samantha Ballard
D r e a m s Are Funny
b y S h a w n Main
Francis and Wendy were in the kitchen shrieking in laughter when Henry got home. “Good evening, ladies. What’s going on here?” the drying rack. Francis chopped vegetables. “Well, you know how you’ll dream something and then be able to look back at your day and pinpoint exactly what inspired it, but in your dream it was all distorted?” “Sure.”
Francis wiped tears from her face. “Hi, dear. How was work? How was the drive home?” Wendy squeezed her eyes tight and let loose a torrent of hysteric laughter. Francis giggled. Henry sat down at the table and untied his shoes. “So what’s the joke?”
“Well, remember on Sunday when Wendy had to get to the Stony Creek library for her genealogy project and I gave her those directions that were based on theold house?” “You mean when she got lost in the woods for two hours?” “I wasn’t lost! I knew right where I was. I was driving around in circles. I was searching for Angel Street.” “Which would have been easy to find if your mother knew where we lived. If she knew what year itwas.” “Don’t you start with me.” “Tell me about this dream already.” “Dreamsss,” Wendy emphasized. “Plural.”
“Nothing. Wendy just saw fit to insult her mother last night.” “It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me!” Wendy managed, gasping for breath. “It was the fish man!” oven. Francis giggled again and crossed to check the
“Dinner should be ready in about ten minutes. Tuna casserole. Someone could set the table for us ifonly she could find the silverware.” “It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me!”
“Will one of you tell me the story here?” Henry had never seen Wendy so unabashedly happy. The girl had a gloomy disposition and spent most of her time at home locked in her room playing dirges on the violin. Now her joy was infectious, washing over the room. He couldn’t help but smile. “Tell him. Tell your father about your dream.”
“No. You first. Tell about yours first.” Wendy took in a deep breath and held it like she was trying to contain hiccups. She gathered plates and silverwarefrom
“Well, last night I dreamed that there was a terrible storm outside the house. I’m in bed with you, listening to the thunder and the rain. There’s a bright flash of lightning and I notice one of the windows is wide open, so I start to get out of bed, but then there’s another flash of lightning and I realize there’s a man standing at the foot of the bed. He’s wearing this big, black raincoat and a fedora, and I think he had a gas mask covering his face. He looked like he’d be the villain in an old movie. Really spooky. He’s dripping water all over the floor and he’s just standing
there. And this is one of those dream moments where you just feel completely paralyzed, you know? Like you can’t breathe or move and you try to talk, but you can’t speak loud enough to make any sound. In the dream I was trying to wake you, trying to yell, ‘Henry! There’s an intruder!’ but the words just came out like whispers.” “This is what had you in stitches?” “Shush.” “It gets better,” said Wendy. Her smile was wide.
Wendy and Francis immediately fell into another torrent of laughter. Henry wasn’t quite sure what to think. He dished himself some casserole. “See?” said Francis. “Like he was the man with the rain jacket from my dream and he had gottenlost from my bad directions.” “Oh my,” Henry said, realizing the story had reached its punch line. “Did you wake up then?” “Oh no. I kept running. In the dream I thought, ‘Oh no! The monster is working with my mother.’ I ran and the creature lumbered after me. I came to this great big sign. It must have been a map, but I couldn’t read it. I could make out corridors and arrows, but I couldn’t figure out any of the labels. I mean, they sayyou can’t read in your dreams.” “Exactly!” Francis said. “Well, dig in.” She joined the others at the table. “Really? I can usually read in my dreams,” Henry said. “I think I’ve had whole dreams where I was just grading papers.” “But were you actually reading the papers or just grading them?” “I’m quite certain I was reading them.”
“So I can’t talk, but this spooky man shuffles toward me and leans over the bed and in a raspy voice says, ‘Wheeeeere’s Wendy?’ and I’m terrified what the man could want with her…” “And I’m just sleeping through this?”
“You’re out cold, but in the dream I came up with this plan. I figured I could make up complicated directions that would confuse him - that would lead him away. So I say something like, ‘Go up the third staircase on the left and open the fourth door on the right and walk out the window. Then turn around and climb down through the hole in the floor. That’s where you’ll find Wendy.’ It was all nonsense, but the spooky man disappeared and in the dream I felt such relief that Wendy would be safe.” “But!” said Wendy. She had finished setting their places. Francis finished with the salad. Francis opened the oven and carried the casserole to the table. “But!” Francis repeated. “When Wendy got home from school today I was telling her about my dream and how scary it was and she says, ‘That’s funny—because I had a dream last night where I was in a maze and I was being chased by something. At first I couldn’t see it, but I was just running in a blind panic. Sweat drips down my face. My breathing is heavy. I’m running and running. I’m just desperate to find the exit ‘cause I’m aware this thing is gaining ground behind me. It’s like I can feel its breath on my neck. Sometimes I turn a corner to see an immense shadow on the wall. So I’m doubling back. I’m looking over my shoulder and I crash right into it. I fall on the floor and when I look up, I’m staring into the face of this scaly fish monster. It’s upright with arms and legs, but its huge head is like a barracuda. So I’m terrified. I’m scrambling to my feet and I yell, ‘How the hell do I get out of here?’” Wendy paused in her story and looked at Francis and then Henry. “And the fish man says, ‘Well, don’t ask your mother for directions!’”
“No, because you can’t read in your dreams,” Francis said matter-of-factly. “It’s impossible.” She served herself salad. “I can never read in my dreams, dad. It’s always gibberish. It always looks like some ancient language with all these random curving lines like Sanskrit or Celtic runes.” “Exactly! I get that, too. They’ll just look like scratches or something.” “Yes, like last night. I’m standing in front of this map. I’m trying desperately to find an exit, but I can’t read anything. It felt like I should have been able to, but I just couldn’t quite grasp it.” “So what happened next in the dream?” Henry asked, his mouth full of tuna and pasta. Wendy opened her mouth, but Francis
interrupted. “I have a question about dreams. Do you find places in your dreams look anything like places do in real life?” “What do you mean?” Henry stopped eating. He noticed Francis was pushing the salad around on her plate, but hadn’t eaten anything yet. “Well, for instance, last night my dream was here in the house, but it really didn’t look anything like the house. I could tell it was supposed to be the house and be our bedroom, but if I think about it, nothing looked anything like our house. In fact, I don’t think it looked much like a house at all. The ceiling was so high I couldn’t see it and the walls didn’t actually meet to form corners. They all just kinda curved into each other, but in the dream it made sense.” “I know what you mean,” Wendy said with enthusiasm. Her plate was still empty. “I had a dream about a week ago. It seemed to be at school, but I couldn’t recognize anyone and the buildings all looked completely alien. The walls were gray like granite. There were no desks, no black boards. Nothing to make it look like a school, but I knew in the dream that’s what it was.” “That’s really funny. I think in most of my dreams places look more or less how they do in reality.” “Freak,” said Francis with a laugh.
up at a time. They’d ask all sorts of biographical questions. ‘Was this person your grandfather?’ ‘Where were you born?’ But the questions seemed to have correct answers and everyone kept failing.” “Oh, well, I really meant your dream with the fish man. What happened after you found the map?” “Oh! I paused to try to make sense of the map, but only for a second. The monster was behind me and I tried to lose it in the maze. I darted around corners, but after a moment I realized that it was no longer there.” “You got away then?”
“Well, in the dream it didn’t calm me down that it was gone. I was still anxious. So I backtracked to the sign and there it was. The fish monster was staring at the map intently. It turned to look at me and then it smiled. That’s when I woke up.” Everyone was silent. Wendy picked at her salad. “How’s the tuna?” Francis asked. “Good. Are you going to have some?”
“Ha. Ha,” said Henry emphatically. “At least I didn’t lead any fish monsters into Wendy’s dreams.” “I was trying to keep him out!”
Francis seemed distracted. She took a big drink of water and then said, “Dreams are funny. When I was your age, I remember having a lot of dreams where things chased me. Late-night horror movie monsters - werewolves, vampires, giant apes. Cheesy things like that, where if I thought back about the dream they just seemed silly, but in the moment it was always sofrightening.” you.” “Well, when you’re a kid these things affect
“I’m with mom. My dreams always have all this impossible architecture. Walls won’t connect to the floor and flat surfaces will seem to curve up and down. Escher can’t compare to my dreamscapes.” “Are you going to eat anything tonight?” asked Henry. “Are you feeling okay?” Wendy didn’t say anything. She dished herself salad, while eyeing the casserole. “I don’t really want tuna tonight. I’m not that hungry.” “So how did your dream end?” “Well, the teachers would call one student
Francis responded, but her voice was distant. ”Yes, but I think not knowing my father made me especially nervous as a child. Any time the subject of him came up - when a friend asked me what he did, or on Father’s Day, or even by saying the Lord’s Prayer in church - that night I’d have terrible dreams with these spooky things chasing me.” “So it was like he wasn’t there to protect you?”
“I suppose.” Francis stood and went to the sink. She refilled her glass with water. “It was like I could hear his voice calling me. The monster would burst through my bedroom window and chase me down to the river and
I’d hear my dad calling to me from somewhere out… somewhere and he’d be telling me it was all right and that he was there… but he wasn’t. Then my mother would wake me and tell me I’d been screaming.” “How long did that go on for?”
“They’re real, Henry, and he’s coming or he’s sending someone. We can’t stay here.” “What’s real, Francis?”
Francis finished her water and then shook her head as if coming out of a reverie. “A while.” “I’ve had dreams like that, Mom,” said Wendy. “Sort of like falling dreams. Just as I’m going to sleep, I hear this deep, disembodied voice. Then it’s like I plunge into water and I wake up. It’s not Dad’s voice, obviously, but it’s that same distant calling.” “I guess everyone has those dreams.”
She zipped up the duffel bag and approached the bed. “It’s not safe for us here.” “Why isn’t it safe for us?”
“No… you’ll be fine.” She stared at Henry like she was going to lean over and kiss him. “Goodbye, Henry.” Francis opened the door and left. Henry lay in bed, stunned, uncomprehending. He could hear footsteps out in the hall and footsteps down the stairs. From across the house, over the sounds of the storm, he could hear their low voices. “Mom, how long will we be gone?” “I don’t know, but we need to get very lost.”
“Well, you ladies don’t need to worry. Your old man’s here to protect you,” said Henry. Francis and Wendy sat in silence. “That was a joke.” “I’m going to go lie down for a little while, dear.” Francis stood and left the kitchen. Wendy cleared their plates. She dumped her salad down the garbage disposal in the sink. “Looks like rain tonight, dad.” * * *
Branches scraped at the window. Rain pounded at the gutters. Thunder boomed and reverberated through the house. But Henry was awakened suddenly by something moving in the bedroom. He took his glasses from the nightstand and tried to make out the hunched figure on the other side of the room. “Francis?” he whispered.
The front door opened and slammed. The car started and drove away. Henry continued to lie in bed, now wide awake. The storm outside roared, monstrous in its intensity. He thought of the dream he’d just woken from. In it, he walked by the ocean and peered into the water. Deep below the surface, he could see a face. Waves splashed and, through the turbulent water, the expression of the face seemed to run and twist. But Henry could tell that it smiled and that it watched him. Then the face opened its mouth wide and let out a deep laugh. The laugh echoed and crashed around him.
The figure straightened up. Henry turned on the bedside lamp. It was Francis. She stood by the dresser in a heavy black rain coat and frantically pulled out clothes, dropping them into a duffel bag. “I didn’t want to wake you. I was going to leave a note.” A.M. Henry was confused. He looked at the clock - 3 “What are you doing?”
O S A KA SKYLINE B U I LDING, BUILDING, CASTLE, BUIL D I N G . . . WA I T A M I N U T E , C A S T L E ? O S A KA CASTLE, OSAKA
Things I Learned In Japan:
An American’s Guide to the Interesting, Funny, and Just Plain Weird If you find yourself more than a little confused and think you may be going crazy, don’t worry, you’re just in Japan.
I sampled a lot of food while there and, no lie, the only thing that made me sick was the food from the “100 yen menu” at McDonald’s. The John Lennon Museum in Saitama City is the only place I visited that had mouthwash in the bathroom. Ironic, given the stereotype about British oral hygiene. After finishing the filming of The Wizard of Oz, Toto immigrated to Japan and started a wildly successful bathroom fixture corporation. A company called Boss Coffee paid Tommy Lee Jones a shitton of money to plaster his face all over their billboards and appear in at least ten different television commercials. Also, Charlize Theron really likes eating ice. In America, Chik-Fil-A has a slogan: “We didn’t invent the chicken. Just the chicken sandwich.” Japan’s slogan, on the other hand, is something like: “We didn’t invent the vagina. Just the vagina in a can.” I’m really scared of the soy sauce flavored Kit Kat I bought. The green tea Kit Kat was quite nice, though. In every hotel I stayed, there was a card that could be bought for 1000 yen that was obviously for renting porn. I thought this was kind of expensive, working out to a little over $10 US, but I soon realized that the card was good for 24 hours and COVERED TWO CHANNELS. No wonder the Japanese are in such a hurry; they’re all trying to get back home to rub another one out. Japanese television is as weird as you’ve been told. One show I watched was like Antiques Roadshow, except it was also a game show (everything is a game show in Japan) where the owner of the antique was made to guess how much the expert would say the item was worth. Yet another show - even stranger than the first - involved blindfolded strangers trying to identify various models of Dyson vacuum cleaners by sound alone.
There are a lot of fucking bicycles in Osaka. I heard a saying about driving in Mexico once: “The biggest car has the most right of way.” In Japan, it seems the nicest and most humble driver has the most. Cameras and camcorders are generally not allowed in arcades. I found out later that this is because the champs and record holders don’t want their competitors to take the footage back home and analyse their strategies. Japan is a strange place, sure, but it’s also filled with beautiful scenery, great food, and some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to go back.
IT’S A GUNDA M ! ! ! ! AHEM. I MEA N , I T ’S A GUNDAM STA T U E . KAMIIGUSA T R A I N STATION IN SHINJUKU, T O K Y O
N A R I TA T O U R I S T PAV I L I O N MANY PEOPLE TOLD ME NOT TO SPEND TIME IN N A R I TA , W H I C H I S W H E R E T H E A I R P O R T I S L O C AT E D, B U T S C E N E S L I K E T H I S M A D E M E G L A D I D I D. N A R I TA T O U R I S T PAV I L I O N , N A R I TA
The Silent Ballad of Dr Teeth
By Allen Wiggs James is yelling again, I can’t recall why. loud, fast, and expressing his anger. He tells me my puppy dog eyes won’t be enough this time. My eyes dart between the two moving figures. As Dr Teeth nears James I do the unthinkable, I very meekly say, “please be quiet”. James reaches back to slap me. Before his
He is being too loud. If I could build the courage, I would beg him to quiet down. I can’t, I can’t make the slightest of noises. If James continues being so loud, he will come. He is the reason I am so quiet. He demands my silence; or would, if he ever spoke. His name is Dr Teeth, and he has taken care
hand moves to hit me his whole body is spun around. Dr Teeth quickly, elegantly, quietly, moves his arm in an arc. The sound of blood gurgling from the wound echoes through the room. James falls onto the couch next to me, his throat cut cleanly. The blood spills onto my lap. I try to remain silent. Dr Teeth cleans off his switchblade, his smile reflecting in the shimmer of the metal. When things in my life get too loud and scary,
of me for as long as I can remember. Whenever bad things happened, he would step in. With a big smile, he just came along and fixed it all. My father, who yelled and beat me, the huge dog that lived next door who snarled and bit me, my abusive ex boyfriend... he took care of each one. James bellows something that makes me look
up. A forehead peeks around the door frame behind James; a giant grin slowly follows. The smile is full of yellow teeth, the grin distracts from the rest of his nightmarish face. My gasp rings through my ears, but James ignores me, still screaming in anger. I try to use my eyes to plead with him. Dr Teeth doesn’t like noise; the last thing I want is…. Behind James, Dr Teeth creeps forward. Every
Dr Teeth comes along to save me. The first time he to my rescue, my father was found hanging in the bedroom, his belt around his neck... the neighbor’s dog had his head crushed by a giant rock... my ex boyfriend was..... oh God, not again. I look up at Dr Teeth through tear soaked
eyes, his grin is gone and he’s shaking his head at me. His cold finger touches my lips; he wants me to be quiet. I can’t take it anymore. I’m tired of
movement made is silent, slow and exaggerated. James slams his fist into his hand. His punches are
controlling myself for him. My crying gets louder, I wail, all the years of silent obedience are released. I scream so loud the apartment shakes. Dr Teeth is taken aback, there seems to be a look of confusion on his face. I stop crying and look up at him. He cocks his head to the side taking an appraisal of me. His grin slowly creeps its way across his face. Shaking, I stand up. Dr Teeth is still watching
me, his ugly grin glowing at me. I open my mouth and scream. The apartment shakes. I fall back onto the couch. I let the tears pour out. I remain loud as possible, releasing my frustrations. Dr Teeth thrusts his arm out, there should
be sound as the switchblade opens. Dr Teeth never makes any noise. He puts a finger to his lips, his other hand swinging down. The sharp blade swoops towards me. He finally makes a noise.
“sss s s s s s s h h h h h h h h
h h h h h .....
Samantha Ballard is a visionary of the mundane, twisting the ordinary into darts that fly straight into the soul. Her weapon of choice is a camera, and you are her next target. To prepare yourself, please visit breaking-reality.com Cameron doodles comics about robots and paranoia with the talent and unabashed fury of a five year old. That is all, really. CameronCallahan.net MJ; The National Free Press’ Editorial Cartoonist. Spilling ink on drawing boards since 1979. Creator of the internationally syndicated feature FIDDLESTIX©, in publications since 1988. Thank you dedicated readers. Robin LeBlanc lives in Toronto where she does many things like photography, filming and editing videos and writing stories, comics and press releases. She is very tired right now. TheRobinLeBlanc.com Formerly a theatre director, an EMT, and an ex-pat living in Cairo, Shawn today resides in the American Northeast, teaches medical students, and writes tiny fictions, some of which can be found at ShawnMain.net Keith Perkins is an artist, lives in Maine in the US. This piece was inspired by his dog, who’s named Oliver, not Hoovah. And Hoovah is the way Mainers say Hoover. Check out more of his work at: KeithPerkins.net Charlene resides in Glasgow in Scotland. She can’t draw but tries anyway. You can get her on twitter as @Just_Charlene or email email@example.com Jamee Sasser is an artist from Southeastern North Carolina. She is 21 years old and a college student majoring in English. Find out more and keep up with Jamee at PurpleXStain.deviantart.com Allen Wiggs came up with this mad idea of a magazine, even with it causing headaches, he doesn’t regret a thing, yet. He’s also working on an upcoming web show premiering in May called Zombie Conversational. ZombieConversational. com
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