She was a ghost
Edwina the Unicorn
Photography & poetry by Christine Stoddard
Featuring Olivia Blackwell
Edwina the Unicorn--once a strange and lonely girl, now transformed into the purest and most docile of beasts.
Depressed in the dismal urban sprawl, with all its noise and smog, she built herself a rooftop sanctuary.
Why, she collected sparkleberries and talking ivy clusters, singing toadstools and balloons in all her favorite hues.
Indeed the daily sight of her 'wonder garden' brought both tears and hope to Edwina's deep, dark eyes.
No matter the weather, she would climb out her window every morning to wander her little glitter field and sigh.
In a day or a century, perhaps, Edwina will escape the dreary city and find a cottage in the greenest of forests.
And then, only then, surrounded by golden sassafras, chubby partridges, and magic pebbles, will she be a happy unicorn.
Prologue: Pump & Cham and Pai
By Spark-flow Studios
From director Christopher Wade:
A little about myself, you ask? Well, by day, I play a mild-mannered Creative Director who's working to build an imaginative animation studio here in Germantown MD, but by night...by night I AM...pretty much the same thing it seems, just with less sleep, haha! My name is Christopher Wade and I run Spark-Flow Studios! We still operate offsite actually, we haven't a central office-space we convene at. For now, everything is from our homes and we email source files to one another. How and why? Well, everything is currently funded off my own paycheck.
I've always been sort of a zany kind of guy; when I was a kid, after I watched an amazing cartoon of sorts (maybe "Little Nemo in Slumberland" or "Fievel Goes West"), I'd write my own animated plays and movies; after which I'd run outside, acting out ALL the roles whenever the weather permitted. Twenty years of hindsight says I was a bit weird but, man, I loved creating fictional worlds for myself! I guess it kind of carried over into something more socially accessible to be honest.
Written & photographed by Christine Stoddard
Featuring Da Va
“And for stealing my cabbage, I shall curse your child,” the crinkled witch told the crinkled farmer.
The farmer dropped the browning head. It rolled to the witch's feet, grazing her pointy shoes.
Clearing his throat, the farmer scrambled to pick up the cabbage. The witch sniffed. She wanted him to hand her the rotting vegetable. Only sacrifice would satisfy her.
Clutching the cabbage to his thin linen shirt, the farmer cleared his throat. Then he rubbed the back of his sweating neck. He knew how filthy he look and how much he reeked.
“My wife is starving.”
“But she works so hard. All day she works. I work, too, but there is never enough food. Our crops--”
“As I said...many starve. I cannot decide who to save and who to let perish,” the witch said, twitching her nose. Then she paused for a second before saying, “That fate is not for you to decide, either. How dare you think you can take advantage of my bounty.”
“I stole for love.”
“Never justify thievery.”
“You have so much! You're the only one whose crops prosper in these times. Please share! I'm not asking that you--”
“Don't ask at all,” the witch hissed. An olive-colored creature, akin to a furry slug, slithered out of her ear. Suddenly the room stank of kerosene.
The farmer tried to ignore the hairy thing. His eyes fell to the cabbage instead.
By Nick Chandler
Squeezes zest into eye
Doubles over sour
Satiates, full moon burn
Hollow citrus runs lips together
Never alone, always aside
Yawning spans of wire
Wait for school children stands
To be hawked in the summer sun
Too eager first-time home-owners
Whose children ride tricycles
Deep into hometown rivers
By Benjamin Nardolilli
He showed up to the salon,
Claiming that he had the solution to it all,
We thought he was like Newton,
Inspired by the apple’s fall.
He wore no wig, nor a silken shirt,
He wore a robe, hanging like a skirt.
I am the way, the only way,
With pompous pride, he said
Praise my father in heaven,
When I rise up from the dead.
We laughed and asked
If he had the slightest proof,
He turned a glass of water into wine,
And showed us Satan on the roof.
We said nothing and drank our tea,
We said it could be explained, scientifically:
The drink had changed, from
Striking the atoms in a fashion,
That made their ether vibrate,
This was the secret behind his passion.
The Tale of Ponyfish
By Bolashade Hanson
Illustration by Christine Stoddard.
One day a pony cast a wish
To turn into the maroon fish
“He swims throughout the red-green ocean.
How I would love that fluid motion.”
But the envious fish thought pony was a star,
admiring her strides from afar.
“She runs on land so close to the rainbow sky.
I want to run, too. Oh why can’t I?”
Nosy Pegasus heard their cries and took pity on them
And found a way to make amends.
To pony he sent a special balloon
Able to lift her towards the moon.
And over the sea pony hovered
Looking down from the basket she discovered,
Maroon fish rising out of the sea.
Pegasus gave him air bubbles- three!
Up fish ascended into the air
Surprised to find pony floating there.
Pegasus said to the two,
“I know how I’m going to help you.
I’ll use my magic and you’ll switch places
This should bring smiles to your faces.”
But Pegasus wasn’t the best at magic
Pony and maroon fish hoped this wouldn’t be tragic.
A Poem for Sarah Prescott
By Candice Marie Broughton
On black whites
Swimming in my head
Sometimes crossing the gaze of some lost flashlight
So cloak draped over head of many eyes
I move through the perpetual night
Hoping to find my way back home
But as searchlights drape city
Even through my cloak
I am blinded a million times over