house-at-the-end-of-street

Florence Welch’s Stockwell home perfectly channels the psychedelic, crazy-old-lady vibe of Granny Takes a Trip, the legendary boutique at the unfashionable end of King’s Road that closed its doors in 1974. Nothing about the pretty,  unassuming entrance of the Georgian terraced house — ten minutes from her childhood home in Camberwell, and the street where her mother still lives — prepares you for the enchanting chaos within.

The first floor is filled with coats of every texture and hue, ball dresses (including the sparkling green Givenchy ‘dinosaur’ creation she wore to the 2013 Grammys), kimonos, feathery and furry stoles, walls devoted to shoes with huge platforms, and racks of beaded, embroidered handbags. In her bedroom on the top floor there are more kimonos and shawls, and lacy bras and knickers are strewn on every available surface. She confesses that she has only just discovered the joys of sexy lingerie.

The topsy-turvy angled walls and sloping floors give the sensation of being on the deck of a tilting ship, and the corridors are lined with art piled up on the floor. There are cabinets of curios, including a small bird’s nest, as well as empty birdcages, classical pictures from her art historian mother Evelyn’s family jostling against erotica and a framed poster of Pina Bausch. The kitchen, dominated by a large wooden table, has an old  stand-up lamp at one end, with a shade made of tightly packed tawny and cream bird feathers, a collection of vinyl albums at the other.

Doors lead out into a garden, with a tree hut and a tumble of flowers. It’s overlooked by an abandoned gas works, which is what made Florence want to rent the place (she hasn’t yet found the perfect house to buy). Her study has a desk that resembles an outsider artist’s installation, barely emerging from layer upon layer of drawings, photographs and postcards from all eras meticulously, almost fetishistically, arranged; and a parlour in which a pair of low-slung slipper chairs sit by the fireplace, upholstered by an interior designer friend of her father, Nick, with a startling stripe of mismatched fabric down their centre.

Rams DE’s William Hayes, Chris Long experience homelessness to raise awareness -

The St. Louis Rams have racked up 145 sacks since 2012, which is the second-highest total in the NFL over that time span. For each of those sacks, the entire defensive line has donated $1,000 towards the “Sack Homelessness” initiative that the group created in partnership with the St. Patrick Center, one of Missouri’s largest providers of housing, employment and health opportunities for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Defensive end William Hayes’ first season with the Rams coincided with the start of the program and since then he’s taken responsibility in helping those impacted by homelessness.

“A lot of times, I’ve seen people not see the good in others,” Hayes told the team’s official website. “They just see somebody on the side of the street and the first thing they want to do is consider them a bum or a bad person. You have to judge people by their heart and not by what you see.”

Touched by the cause, Hayes set out to complete a year of service to benefit the homeless. Dating back to the 2014 offseason, Hayes participated in at least one service activity per month with the St. Patrick Center and grew a deep connection to the homeless community and those that advocate on their behalf. Along the way, he recruited his teammates and Rams fans to compete in a paintball tournament which raised $10,000-worth of back-to-school supplies for families supported by St. Patrick Center. Then in honor of Thanksgiving, he treated homeless veterans to lunch.

Hayes also wanted to learn about the truths surrounding the issue of homelessness. So one day during a team bus ride he posed a very serious question to his teammate and best friend, Chris Long.

“Do you think we could handle living out on the streets?”

“I’m never shocked about the stuff that he gets me to do,” Long said. “It’s definitely something that went from an organic conversation, an idea that William had, to now all of a sudden we’re gearing up to go out and do it. I never really had any doubt that if William was going to do it, then I was going to do it, too.”

That one innocent thought gradually took root as Hayes’ question blossomed into a realistic suggestion and into the perfect way to understand his campaign around homelessness.

So Hayes and Long took to the streets of their team’s city to experience homelessness two months ago.

According to ESPN senior writer Elizabeth Merrill, both Hayes and Long took to the streets of St. Louis on March 22. Hayes wore floodwater pants while Long had “penciled-in wrinkles around his eyes,” according to Merrill.

Both NFL players wore makeup, hats and scruffy clothing so fans won’t recognize them. Merrill said ESPN cameras and a plain-clothes police officer followed Hayes and Long as they went around St. Louis.

Hayes initially refused to be followed around with a camera, saying people might think he is just a fake. But, Nicole Woodie – the Rams community outreach manager – and the St. Patrick Center – a non-profit organization which helps homeless people in the St. Louis area – were able to convince him this could be a very effective way of raising awareness of homelessness.

The two men hit the streets in 30-degree weather and only $8 between them. Neither one was recognized while they panhandled for money outside the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams home stadium.

According to Merrill’s report, at one point Hayes and Long warmed up at a nearby fire in a barrel. But that didn’t last long after a homeless, middle-aged man named Marty chased them off, saying they were intruding on his territory.

They stumbled upon an empty box truck, where they slept for the night. They still felt cold, with Hayes telling Merrill he hardly slept:

“I wasn’t scared, but it was more so the idea of not knowing the next move. I’m trying to close my eyes. We have a security guard with us, but he was like, ‘If somebody really wanted to come in here to lift this thing up to shoot all of us and rob us, they could easily do it.’

Basically, I’m trying to sleep, but I’m trying to figure out what’s going to be my next move in the morning. When you get up, it’s like, gosh, we’ve got nowhere to go.”

They woke up at past five to a rainy St. Louis morning. Merrill says “the experiment lasted about 24 hours.” Hayes and Long boarded a van and scoured the areas they were at the day before.

They spotted Marty at the exact same spot where he chased them off a day earlier. Marty used to run his own construction business, but his life spiraled downward — he and his wife divorced, he was charged with several DWIs and ended up in a warehouse with a homeless woman named Nancy, per ESPN.

Hayes and Long were so touched by Marty’s story they decided to put him and Nancy in an extended-stay hotel for two months. The two Rams players provided them with disposable cell phones, groceries and bus passes, per Merrill.

Although Marty landed a job in the construction industry and Nancy benefited from outreach support, Hayes told Merrill he’s still worried about them:

“I can’t change the world. They could relapse,” he said. “With Marty, I see he wants to make a difference. I feel like he was getting tired of the lifestyle he was living.”

Merrill says the experience changed the lives of the two Rams defensive linemen. Hayes told ESPN he resented the way people looked at him in a judgmental way as he took to the streets.

On the other hand, Long “used to look the other way when he saw a homeless person,” says Merrill. Even back then, he would write checks for the St. Patrick Center, but has never been involved in a way quite like this.

A day after his experience on the streets, he checked back at the center and promised he would return.

He told Merrill the plight of the homeless is still an issue many which fail to fully comprehend:

“We don’t understand. We weren’t hoping to understand. We were just hoping to gain a little perspective and put kind of a feeling with the cause that we had been [donating to] from a distance the last couple of years.”

Once Long returned the comforts of home at his apartment, he was warm but not quite comfortable. And he hopes that’s a feeling that he never loses.

Heinz Otto Fausten, a German soldier who fought in World War II, saw things no one should ever have to see. After that, the high school teacher just concentrated on the future. But then his son started asking questions to find out whether he was a murderer.

Ottoooo..! That scream, that horrible scream, the scream that has echoed and reverberated in his head for the last 71 years. That scream, shrill and terrible, that only he can hear now, as he sits at his dining table in a small house at the end of a quiet, dead-end street, in a quiet living room with a vase of tulips and a gingerbread heart on the shelf, with the words “Opa is Fantastic” written on it with icing.Ottoooo..!The scream transports Heinz Otto Fausten back 71 years to a trench in Kalikino, Russia, 2,240 kilometers (1,400 miles) away. The journey takes him a fraction of a second. Suddenly he is 21 again, and caught in a ruthless, violent world where life is about nothing but survival.He is crouched on the ground next to his friend Ekkehardt. They are cowering in the trench, the entire company, one man next to the other. The trench is their only protection. Suddenly the company commander in front shouts to the soldiers behind him: “Fausten group to the front.” Fausten doesn’t move, sensing that whoever heeds the command is a dead man. “Don’t say anything, Ekkehardt,” he tells his friend, but Ekkehardt calls out: “We’re coming."There are eight men in the group, and their objective is to capture the village. They crawl past dead bodies and the wounded, the ones who have already tried and failed. The Russians are throwing everything they have into the attack: machine guns, antitank guns, hand grenades. Three men, Schreck, Degenhard and Mörscher, are killed immediately. A fourth man, Tritschler tumbles toward Fausten, his left hand dangling from his arm by the tendons. Tritschler rips off the nearly severed hand with his other hand.Ekkehardt has been hit and is lying on the ground next to him. Fausten tries to get to his friend but runs into a counterattack, fires until his clip is empty and is forced to retreat. There are Russians and Germans everywhere, and everyone is running and shooting and trying to stay alive. Most of them fail, but Fausten runs and survives, carrying a wounded man on his back. Then he hears his friend Ekkehardt screaming: "Ottoooo..!” Again and again. Begging. Hoping. Despairing. Until suddenly the screaming stops. It happened in Kalikino, in October 1941.The Force of MemoryIt’s 2013, and Fausten lives in the town of Sinzig, on the Rhine River. His voice trembles and his eyes are moist with tears. On this evening, the sheer force of memory has penetrated the wall he had erected around the past. Whenever Fausten used to talk about the war, like many of those who were part of it, it was with a strange sense of detachment. But even though he is now 92, he remembers what happened with photographic precision, as if the best way to describe the essence of the war is in the form of a military report. Or perhaps this levelheaded approach is the best way for men like Fausten to cope with the horrors of the war and how it affected the people who were in it.Fausten reported how he, as a Panzergrenadier or mechanised infantryman, had attacked the Red Army in his armored personnel carrier, that the enemy’s resistance had been “broken,” that they had “raked” the enemy with machine-gun fire, that one of his comrades had fallen and the other one had escaped. The report also described what happened and who shot at whom, complete with ranks, names, places and the number of dead. It was a report written with the cold eyes of his generation, which saw things that would have been better unseen.But this wasn’t the kind of front-line report his son Peter wanted to hear from him. Not as a child, and certainly not as an adolescent, in the post-1968 era, when Germans were asking questions about blame and responsibility. And not now either, at 60, on that evening last week. Peter Fausten had always been interested in why, and not how, it all happened. He wanted to know why his father had participated, and whether he had lost more during those years in Russia than his right leg: whether he had lost his conscience as well.It was a long road before Fausten, a teacher, was able to talk about it with his father, who always taught him that the Germans’ war was the biggest crime of all time.Praise for FilmHe  also saw the three-part miniseries “Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter” (“Our Mothers, Our Fathers”) on Germany’s ZDF television network. Fausten, who became an art teacher and principal of the Sinzig high school after the war, says he would give the film a B grade. “It’s true, it was really like that at the front,” he says. There were a few minor errors, he adds. For instance, nurses didn’t smoke cigarettes, as portrayed in the film, at least not in the field hospitals where he was treated.He thinks it’s important that the film has triggered something, prompting viewers to ask questions, once again, of a generation in which many said nothing after the war about their experiences because they hoped to silence the demons of their past. The questions are being now asked by the children of the wartime generation, and by the grandchildren. This is their last chance to ask these questions, before the last survivors are dead.Fausten intended to watch the film. He had to force himself to do it. He only watched because ZDF had interviewed him for a documentary, but one that was never aired. But he didn’t need the film’s images to remember. Fausten has his own, more jarring images in his head, images ZDF would never have shown, images that, to be complete, require the crashing and the exploding, the stench and the taste, the shock and the pain of war.Heinz Otto Fausten comes from a family of university graduates. His father was an electrical engineer who owned his own business. It couldn’t hurt to join the Nazi Party. It was good for business, says the son, who was a flag-bearer for the Jungvolk, a subdivision of the Hitler Youth, but who wasn’t a fanatical Nazi. His family was too Catholic for that, says Fausten.After graduating from high school in 1939, he served in the Reich Labor Service. He doesn’t remember being enthusiastic when the war began that fall. He remained at the university for a few more months, studying German and geography, and then he volunteered for the army, knowing that he would be drafted soon, anyway. As a volunteer, he was allowed to choose his branch of the military. He wanted to be in a tank division. And so he ended up on the Russian border, in an infantry fighting vehicle, on June 21, 1941, prepared for the attack and for a war of aggression, one that would devastate both the country before them and their own souls.
Today, I fucked up... by laughing at a little girl

As I was driving down my street about to turn right and pull into my driveway, I got distracted by a young girl of about 11 riding her bicycle on the opposite sidewalk right across from my house. What made me catch my eye was her wheel turning left and right as she struggled to keep her balance. Her front wheel ended up hitting a telephone pole and she sumersaulted off her bike right onto the sidewalk Being the immature young adult that I am, I begin to laugh hysterically; only for a very short period of time… Since I got distracted by the little girl falling and I wasn’t looking straight, I didn’t turn sharp enough and drove right into my neighbours oak tree and fucked up my whole car. Her bicycle is in better condition than my car

Karma is a bitch, do not laugh at little girls falling.

2

Billy Waters - Soldier, Actor and Musician

As well as highly acclaimed professional musicians like Joseph Emidy and George Bridgetower, there were Black street buskers who entertained London’s public. Billy Waters, a fiddler, was one such character and a common sight outside the Adelphi Theatre, in the Strand, in the 1780s. Identifiable by his wooden leg and military-style outfit, he was famously caricatured by the cartoonist George Cruickshank. 

Billy Waters may have ended up on the streets of London as one of the Black poor who had fought in the American War of Independence. From workhouse records, it seems that Billy became ill and spent his final days at St Giles’s Workhouse where he was elected ‘the king of beggars’. A verse from his will reads:

                   Thus poor Black Billy’s made his Will,
                   His Property was small good lack,
                   For till the day death did him kill
                   His house he carried on his back.
                   The Adelphi now may say alas!
                   And to his memory raise a stone:
                   Their gold will be exchanged for brass,
                   Since poor Black Billy’s dead and gone.

[image source]

Obituary transcript after the cut

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lit mag roundup

these are some lit mags that are accepting poetry and fiction submissions:

  1. Shabby Doll House
  2. For Every Year
  3. have u seen my whale
  4. Dark Fucking Wizard
  5. Powder Keg Magazine
  6. Queen Mob’s Teahouse
  7. Big Lucks
  8. Jellyfish Magazine
  9. Two Serious Ladies
  10. Banango Street
  11. in the end pretty much everything is mostly water
  12. Octopus Magazine
  13. 90s Meg Ryan
  14. Lazy Fascist Review
  15. Hobart
  16. La Petite Zine
  17. Scum
  18. PANK
  19. New Wave Vomit
  20. Four Way Review
  21. Underwater New York
  22. The Atlas Review
  23. Nightblock
  24. The Fanzine
  25. Potluck Magazine
  26. DIAGRAM
  27. Birdfeast
  28. Dum Dum Zine
  29. Triple Canopy
  30. Voicemail Poems
  31. 3:AM Magazine
  32. Adult Magazine
  33. Necessary Fiction
  34. wigleaf
  35. Poor Claudia
  36. KneeJerk Magazine
  37. The Volta
  38. monkeybicycle
  39. Black Heart Magazine
  40. Spork Press
  41. Boaat Press
  42. Five Quarterly
  43. The Nervous Breakdown
  44. smoking glue gun
  45. Unreality House
  46. glitterMOB
  47. The Collapsar
  48. Noo Journal
  49. Storychord
  50. Specter Magazine
  51. tNY Press
  52. Dogzplot
  53. The Boiler
  54. H.O.W. Journal
  55. New Orleans Review
  56. Phantom Books
  57. Prick of the Spindle
  58. The Sensation Feelings Journal
  59. Blunderbuss Magazine
  60. Bat City Review
  61. Fugue
  62. RHINO
  63. The Destroyer
  64. E O A G H
  65. The Lifted Brow
  66. Carve Magazine
  67. fail better
  68. Little Fiction
  69. Bodega
  70. MUZZLE
  71. The Scrambler
  72. La Vague
  73. apt
  74. Paper Darts
  75. FWRICTION
  76. Guernica
  77. FERROFLUID
  78. The Mall
  79. carte blanche
  80. zoomoozophone
  81. Lumen
  82. i can’t stop thinking about diet coke
  83. The Quietus
  84. Western Beefs of North America
Creepypasta #481: The Box

Wednesday, 5:28pm. I remember I looked at my watch just one second before the dogs started to scream. Not barks, but screams – agonizing, crazy, terribly human screams. Neither my wife nor Klara could calm down our beagle, which had urinated in the corner while making that sound, its jaw was opened and eyes were in despair.

5:43pm. All dogs for miles continue to scream and now the entire neighborhood was on backyards, kennels, dog houses. Some of them are concerned, others are holding spray bottles, and others are holding big sticks. Klara says that the screams started with the German shepherd that lives in the house at the end of the street and suddenly all the dogs went nuts.

8:34pm. Screams are being stifled now and it’s a little bit quieter. I heard that some neighbors, insane by confusion, slaughtered their own dogs. One of them was the golden Labrador that Klara loved. She cried herself to sleep.

10:59pm. It’s completely silent: no sounds of any dogs, or crickets, or talk. I go to the backyard to smoke a cigarette.

11:02pm. I heard my name being called and was surprised to see the old man who lives in the hut beyond the woods. My neighbors are afraid of him or maybe are just a little disgusted by him because he is the exception that ruins the rich aura of our condo. Last summer I offered him some beers when my wife was away. He stops by my yard and warns me that his ham radio told him that something was coming. I ask what. He is quiet for a second and says that now all he can hear on his ham radio is static, but if the dogs were screaming it’s because something have already crossed the border. Then he just turns and walks away and I notice he has a shotgun on his hands, even though he knew this is a weapon free neighborhood. I go inside and turn the alarm on.

11:23pm. My watch is the last thing I see before closing my eyes.

Thursday, 4:58am. It’s still very dark but the dogs have started to scream again. Not all of them, and later I found out that some of them were able to break their chains and jump fences. The beagle howls in Klara’s bedroom and I hear her soft whisper and the rush-rush of her blankets. I am both a little pissed and touched, sweet Klara is trying to comfort the dog because she doesn’t want it sleeping in the basement. I cover my head with a pillow and before falling asleep I swear I hear cars rolling gently on the desert streets.

6:44am. My wife is downstairs making breakfast. I have a meeting with laboratory manager and I suspect I’ll not be able to concentrate.

6:59am. A long, deep scream comes two houses beyond mine. I go down, face covered in shaving cream, and run to the door. I stumble on a box that was left in my doormat. All my neighbors have a similar box on their doormats.

7:02am. Klara’s eyes are red. She and my wife now join me and observe the neighbors who are looking at their boxes in confusion. Apparently, none of the boxes have stamps or address tag. Some of them take their boxes inside; some just go back and ignore it. My wife protests, but I take our box in.

7:15am. We are discussing at the table. The scrambled eggs burn and a horrible smell contaminate the kitchen. Our beagle looks at us, panicked. We decide to open the box.

7:19am. There is a little silver chest inside the box, as well as a letter signed by the President. It says that we should not panic or leave the house and explains that inside the silver chest is our last resistance weapon, but begs us to use it as a last resort. There are also instructions which tell us to take the empty chest and fill it with documents, certificates, photos – everything that can prove who we are – and bury it at our backyard. The letter ends with an appeal: God bless us.

7:28am. Inside the chest I find three pills. Years working in pharmaceutical industry bring on the horror of recognizing cyanide pills.

7:29am. My wife turns on the TV. All channels broadcast the same thing; the image of our flag and the same appeal: God bless us. We turn on the radio app on Klara’s iPod to find that every radio station is now broadcasting static and our cell phones nor internet are working.

7:32am. I hear car breaks on the street. Everybody runs outside again, most of us still on pajamas. A black car, no license plate, stops so close of my house I can see the legs of a smashed bug on the windshield. A huge man wearing a nice suit pulls someone out of the car. It’s the old man. He has a backpack on his hands, bruise marks on his face and a cut on his lips. The old man screams sentences from the Constitution, the exact part which guarantees citizens the right to come and go. The huge man shouts to everybody to go back to their houses and lock the doors, Klara and my wife obey and run back to the kitchen. I stay and see the huge man pull a gun out and shoot the old man once. A pool of blood forms under the old man’s head and the huge man whisper something like God bless us before going back to the car and leave.

7:38am. The street is silent. Curious, I can’t even hear the birds. I check my watch and at this moment I hear a moan. There, far away from us, I can see a group of people coming. Maybe these are neighbors, who were frightened by the shot. But they walk in a funny way, slowly and wobbly, like they are all drunk or crazy. They make gestures with their abnormal hands and their mouths are wide open. Now I realize how their clothes look so dirty and I don’t remember any of those faces at all. In the kitchen the beagle screams, so does my wife, my daughter, all the dogs in the neighborhood, and I understand. It has started.

Credits to: ItsAllAboutZombies