Exposure № 089: Increase ye, and be ye multiplied, and fill ye the earth

The conclusion of Naama Sarid-Maleta’s emotional series of photos dealing with the experience of going through fertility treatments and IVF. These images articulate without words the difficulty and emotional impact of this process.

My Lonely Needles, Like Tears I shed

Increase ye, and be ye multiplied, and fill ye the Earth

Increase ye, and be ye multiplied, and fill ye the Earth

* * * * *

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ is an architect. She began an intense career as a documentary and conceptual photographer in Madrid (2008) and has contributed to magazines and publications in Europe and Israel. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain and Israel. Her sustained challenge as an artist is the desire to “build dreams” in visual codes. She had developed a scheme of work based on the interaction of enforcement procedures and the organizations of architecture and a conceptual result more expressionistic and plastic in its nature. Her husband is also an architect and photographer from Cuba, and they work as a team with multidisciplinary projections.

Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Kalar the Apprentice, № 12

When Kalar entered the village he was met with joyous celebration. The Morgrund had taken many of their elderly and children over time, and they were glad to be rid of it.

He looked all over for Crowstone.

“Where is he?” he asked one of the villagers.

“Gone. He left word for you to travel North. There you will meet him at another village,” one of them said.

Kalar nodded. He was on his own until he could rejoin Crowstone further North.

“We will hold a feast in your honour!” they told him.

He moved on the next morning.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on Twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 11

The Morgrund was crouched amongst the marshes when he found it. He crept upon it with sword drawn. Swift and silent.

At the last moment the creature turned to attack. Kalar swung at it with one mighty blow of his Father’s blade. It cut the hideous abnormality straight through.

Separated head from body in a blood-curdling scream unlike anything Kalar had heard before.

“It is done!” he said, satisfied.

He plucked its head from the water and with a grim sense of pride carried it back to the village. His trophy.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on Twitter

Exposure № 088: Larry

Photographer Nils Blondon: The medium used is digital. The photos are captured at a focal length of 35mm with a Sony Alpha 330 D-SLR. I never leave my house without my camera, and often spend hours trolling through vacant homes and storefronts looking for a good shot. I look for grit and character in my subjects, and it often works as a system of barter – they ask me for smokes, or money, and in return, I ask for a photo. I’m on a first name basis with nearly all of those I shoot. I take the time to sit with them and ask questions. I always shake my hands and introduce myself after I take their picture.

* * * * *

Nils Blondon is a writer, photographer, student, and educator with a background in music, journalism, and social work.  His recent projects include the photo-documentation of Toronto’s disused buildings, along with its displaced, addicted, and homeless residents. He takes time to establish a rapport with those he shoots. All of his subjects participate willingly. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Kalar the Apprentice, № 10

They traveled for days to a village to the East. There they found the people plagued by a creature they called ‘the Morgrund.’

“Please help us,” the elders asked them.

Crowstone spoke to Kalar at the edge of the village. “You will find the Morgrund and kill it, Kalar. It is not a creature born of this world, so keep your wits.”

“Are you not coming, Crowstone?” Kalar asked.

Crowstone shook his head. “You must face this test alone.”

Kalar set out the next morning with only his sword for company.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on Twitter

Exposure № 087: The Art of Being a Woman

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ brings us this emotional series of photos that deal with the experience of going through fertility treatments and IVF. These images articulate without words the difficulty and emotional impact of this process.

My life is the silence of waiting

The future is a black space for many dreams

Two dreams I once had

The art of being a woman

The art of being a woman

* * * * *

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ is an architect. She began an intense career as a documentary and conceptual photographer in Madrid (2008) and has contributed to magazines and publications in Europe and Israel. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain and Israel. Her sustained challenge as an artist is the desire to “build dreams” in visual codes. She had developed a scheme of work based on the interaction of enforcement procedures and the organizations of architecture and a conceptual result more expressionistic and plastic in its nature. Her husband is also an architect and photographer from Cuba, and they work as a team with multidisciplinary projections.

Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Kalar the Apprentice, № 09

They sat by the fire, eating.

“You have done well in understanding the basics of windcraft, Kalar. I am very pleased,” Crowstone said. “And your skill with a blade is commendable.”

Kalar smiled. “I am an apprentice in your shadow.”

Crowstone laughed. He pointed a finger in Kalar’s direction. “And as such you will face three tests. One will test your strength and ability with a blade. The other will be in your knowledge of the windcraft. The third you shall encounter in your journey, and I cannot reveal it to you”.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Kalar the Apprentice, № 08

Crowstone trained him to use his Father’s sword.

“Thacnor is strong in the dark powers of the winds,” Crowstone said.

Kalar made swift patterns in the air with the heavy blade. His arms had become solid as iron, his back strong as oak. The blade was light in his hands and grew lighter each day.

“Thacnor. That’s his name?” Kalar asked. “I will cleave him in two with my Father’s blade!”

“Yes. But when you meet with him in combat, you will need to be an apprentice of both blade and wind. I will show you how,” Crowstone said.

* * * * *

Kalar The Apprentice – A Fantasy Adventure told in 20 installments of 100 words! Written by Tony Healey – author of The Stars My Redemption, available now in the Kindle Store. www.tonyhealey.com @FringeScientist on twitter

Small World: a Pennsylvania Gothic

.
hey followed me here.
  I saw whole squadrons of them cutting through clouds after my two-bit Chevy, straight out Route 78 from Jersey.

My parents retired to Lancaster County in the 90s.  For my birthday they gave me a 3-day, 3-night stay at a bed and breakfast not far from their house in Ephrata, so I could finish the novel that’s been slowly driving me insane for two years.  The weekend before Halloween, I took Friday and Monday off, kissed Julie, and set out on the three-hour drive to Pennsylvania Dutch country.

For several months, I now admit, I’ve felt growing pressure.  Finishing the drive Friday in late afternoon light, the sun falling like a dragon struck, I could feel hot blood rising.  Julie is due in March with our first.  After that, who knows?  We need more money, too.  I can’t tell what sort of father I’ll be.  Then there’s this novel, the one I’ve been writing since grad school.  I can’t seem to close on it.  But if I don’t before March—

*

The novel is about my stint in the army.  It’s what I know.  But nobody likes it.  My classmates panned the first four chapters.  I showed it to a close friend.  He asked, “What exactly did you do in there?”  “It’s in the book,” I said.  “I had a couple rifle platoons.  We’d get instruction in classrooms, then we’d go shoot for a while, then we’d tromp around the woods for a few weeks, and after that we’d go to some desert or swamp and train for a month.”  “There’s your problem,” he said.  “It’s a novel full of guns and maneuvers, but no fighting.”  “It was stressful.  I learned a lot.”  “But it was pre-Iraq.  You never faced death.  You only shot blanks. Pow pow pow!  Who cares?”

*

I pulled off 78 and snaked down Route 512.  The geese flew on overhead.  They come from Canada, but they take over space like Americans.  I’ve heard that geese flying at dusk are really the souls of the departed war dead haunting the land where they fell.  But I wouldn’t know anything about war or the dead.

Rupp’s Bed & Breakfast is a few miles west of Lititz. A bonechip moon followed me down the long driveway into a stubble-cut field.  The lane terminates between a red brick farmhouse, connected by flagstones to a smaller cabin.  The farmhouse was dark and silent, enshrouded in indigo. The cabin had a chimney and floral drapes in the windows folded like wings over artificial candles.

They had carpet-bombed everything with dung.  Close by two of them stood in a pumpkin patch raked clean.  They stared as I trod on their waste, carrying a six-pack of Guinness.  Their long black necks and beaks nearly swallowed by the encroaching shadows so that they resembled decapitated gray ducks frozen rigid where their heads had been lopped.

The entrance is in back.  There’s a small patio with a rocking chair.  Harvested corn stalks stretch as far as the horizon.

It was not until I circled around the first time that I saw, fifty yards off, a massive barn in disrepair that seemed older than the gnarled black tree beside it.  Its ruined phalanges curling and uncurling like those of Dickens’ third ghost.

*

A hospitable handwritten note greeted me with all the warmth one could expect from a piece of paper.  It told me that the owners had left two days before to bring their three grandchildren to Disney World.  The hostess expressed unflappable faith that everything I could need or want was there for me.  “Your parents tell us you’re a writer,” the note mocked.  “So fall to, and Godspeed.”

There’s a brick fireplace, a black iron kettle, a tidy kitchen, coffee maker, couch, lamp.  A nautilus of stairs leads to a second floor, little more than a dormer, with two puny windows, a king-size bed, and a washroom so tight you can steady yourself in the shower by putting hands on hips.

Everything I could need.  I set down my things and wrote well into the night, shooting words into the void.  Pow pow pow!

*

I was in an indoor carnival ride, floating down a canal.  At first I recognized nothing.  In front of me were a snowy-haired elderly couple with three small sunburned boys stuffed between them, roughhousing.  There was piped-in music, a sunny tune from long ago.  Bright colors were everywhere, and hundreds of mechanical dolls, twirling, kicking their legs, strumming fake guitars or blowing tiny horns.  I sat alone in back, looking around, forgetting something.  The old woman spoke inaudibly and the boys exploded in giggles.  Up ahead there was a round tunnel leading through to another color-strewn chamber.  As we drew near I saw a dark form hanging from the ceiling.  Like an oversized, misshapen bat.  Small World!  “It’s a small world after all…” When we passed below I looked up.  The thing blew open like an obscene lotus, huge dirty wings descending, a black beak and slickened red worm hurtling into my eyes—-

I bolted upright.  Shadows and shapes flickered.  Outside in the night thousands of them were screaming, crying over the rush of wind.

*

Even though I worked late I got up and went out for a run, shirtless, in the autumn air.  A writer needs stamina, and running supplies that.  It fires blood to the brain, too.

I’ve always been amazed at the way the land here dips and rolls like an earthen surf.  Over every rise are waves upon waves of crops, silos, the newest outbreak of McMansions.  But in the early morning as you negotiate the hills you get that sea-feeling Melville once described that I associate weirdly with fertility, of mind and soil.  You half expect a great swell of mud and molten rock, wafting you towards that terminal shore.

On the final stretch the sky was a black-blue that I imagine is aped only in some hidden region of the sea.  There was an absolutely brilliant crescent moon.  Passing before it was the largest cluster of chevrons in the sky I had ever seen.  The cacophony was deafening.

I returned to the cabin and flopped into the rocking chair.  The cool air dried me as the light began to expand.  In my head I was planning the day’s work. I had figured a way out.  A way that had fighting, a confrontation….

When I awoke sunlight flooded my vision.  One of them stood directly before me.  Its wings were spread and it was hissing.  Thrusting myself up, I tried to stand on the chair.  The goose charged.  We both fell backwards, my head slamming the brick.  It leapt right onto my chest and thrust its beak into my face repeatedly.  The skin opened on the bridge of my nose.  I hammered the bird’s swollen, damp gut with my fists.  Then it was gone, and I was lying next to the overturned chair, bleeding on the stones.

*

That afternoon I calmed myself only by drinking the last four Guinness bottles.  It helped drown out the taunting.  Tomorrow, I thought, it ends.  But first, the work.  I was writing furiously.  I’d solved the problem.  Two disgruntled soldiers had found their way into the arms room somehow, requisitioned the Hog and a few belts of 7.62, and started mowing down troopies from the woods in the middle of PT.  My young lieutenant spontaneously mounted a foot patrol to take them out.  You want real bullets?  Now you got ‘em.  Pow pow pow!

*

Out here it smells like something exhumed.  It’s Sunday morning.  I stink, too.  I never even put the shirt back on.  Last night, after dark, I went out to the abandoned barn with a flashlight and rummaged til I found what’s needed.  There were several, hanging from long nails.  I set them on the patio and went inside.  The novel was completed near midnight, I think.  I stuffed the notebook back in my bag, then laid down.

The geese wouldn’t allow the comfort of sleep.  But these things are settled only at first light.  After a while, I came back out and waited in the rocking chair.  Now, finally, gray streaks are fanning the horizon.

I see them: a huge convocation in the distance; a demon congress assembled among the shorn stalks; a spirit-dance; the souls of the dead who have targeted me, according to the logic of some pre-ordained judgment.

It’s time.  I stand up, then reach to grab what I have appropriated.  They toll one against the other.  I jump off the porch and start running, sprinting, across the decayed remains of corn.  The geese natter for a second.  Then, en masse, they lift off and fly low.  At me.

“You think I can’t face you!?” I scream. “How you like these wings!?” I extend my arms, a 30-inch sickle in each fist, and keep running.

* * * * *

Jude J. Lovell received an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in 2001 and his writing has appeared in Touchstone, Rock & Sling, America, St. Austin Review, Paste, The Other Journal andAmerican Chronicle.  He is also currently writing a book about Herman Melville. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Exposure № 086: A child covered with nostalgia and carnations

This week, Naama Sarid-Maleta’ bravely shares her experience with fertility treatments and the process of IVF, something which is very emotional and difficult to express, but which has inspired some of her most beautiful and challenging work.

A Child covered with nostalgia and carnations

Poems that never began, frozen tears and laughter

* * * * *

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ is an architect. She began an intense career as a documentary and conceptual photographer in Madrid (2008) and has contributed to magazines and publications in Europe and Israel. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain and Israel. Her sustained challenge as an artist is the desire to “build dreams” in visual codes. She had developed a scheme of work based on the interaction of enforcement procedures and the organizations of architecture and a conceptual result more expressionistic and plastic in its nature. Her husband is also an architect and photographer from Cuba, and they work as a team with multidisciplinary projections.

Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.