This isn’t just a child’s drawing of a made up animal, it’s the creature that was seen by Jacki Hartley of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, in 1969. Jacki was only 4 years old when she saw the creature for the first time but it stuck with her throughout her life. She claims “It had bat wings which it unfolded and stretched out before folding back up again, red eyes and a kind of monster monkey face with a parrot’s beak and was about 3 feet in height.”
She called it The Bat Winged Monkey Bird because of the weird combination of animals it looked like. She saw it again when she was 11 and can vividly remember the loud screeching sound that the creature made.
describe how each high school year by semester went for you
9th grade: We don’t call it a play date anymore, it is hanging out, hanging by our toes like wet lipped fruit bats, like jungle gym monkey kids. Young and swollen. Blood, immature blood, pink blood, fresh meat blood pepto bismol up the wazoo, and spit under my bed. Code names aren’t for spies, they’re for 14 year old girls with googley eyes, not that we needed them. Kevin and Grace, Ellie and Joshua, Paloma and Matt which is weird because I’m hot for him, and they kinda look like siblings. Pink shorts, black tights, Jimmy Eat World, pizza bagels and lucky charms under a fresh white linen morning like detergent sealed crust between my eyelids, you tore them open. I mean, not yet. But soon. I discover neon sex scenes, Sky Ferreira, and Skins and this is where the final hopscotch box stops; at the end of the subway platform. This is where I’m supposed to jump. Monkey balls fall on our heads as we walk home, and autumn leaves crunch like drum line snare beats. All godless girls with snakes and cherry lollipops and 9 millimeters pointed at our clits, Bend it Like Beckham under your itchy wool blankets, Alice’s mom thinks I’m cool, and I stay for dinner and crack some risky jokes like a fox among wolves. (I think he looks at me when I look away). Me and Hana FaceTime I take screenshots of her dancing with her cat. The girls who play soft ball in short shorts, the girls who call them sluts, the boys who watch. We dance through rainbows in the sprinklers on the way to the Homecoming dance and pretend we don’t care we don’t have dates. We’re floating in the cytoplasm, floating on the cotton candy overdose cause our parents drop us off at the bowling alley but we are too loyal to sneak out the back. We pool our money every Friday after school for the spring break road trip we’re going on when Hana gets a car, and one of us has lost our virginity, and none of us are scared of the dark.
Miss Budd yelled at me for not standing for the pledge of allegiance, and I was 4 years old again. My English teacher held me back, and held my hand, and gave me a safety pin for my missing button, and told me it would be. Okay.
10th grade: We were on the news that year. Cristo’s curls on KTLA, solemn, and not the boy cross eyed and high with his pants around his ankles. Suddenly we’re all standing up straight, suddenly we’re being told we can’t wear leggings because somebody posted a video of Penelope having sex with Max on Facebook. Suddenly we’re underground in the girls locker room (red varsity knee socks, Dina drowning the spider nests with Victoria’s Secret rose perfume, humid with shame and lesbian suspicion) holding our arms in front of our naked breasts, single file like ants for the syphilis test. The boys who drew penises in fire and salt on the soccer field grass, like druid frat boys, but not the boys who put gorilla glue in the classroom locks, and not the boys who wrote their hit list in the red pen on the back of Mr. Chan’s syllabus and ended up in court, who called in a bomb threat, just to get the test pushed back. We all took turns getting our ghosts exorcized in the principals office. It was pompeii and pandemonium, and nobody was safe, not even us girls sleeping wrapped in the dust of library encyclopedias. You moved away from me like I was illiciting the restless black dreams on your grandmas shitty air mattress. The sheets are clean enough, but this attic is haunted, you keep waking up in the middle of the night to your body sinking like a pirate ship caught by the Kraken, the floor gnawing at your bones again so you just. Got up. And slept somewhere else. My English teacher held me back, and told me I was a good writer but don’t be so angry, and I cried right there, and she gave me a kleenex from her Shakespeare tissue holder and I blew this stupid pain head first out of my nose. I never told you about that. Maybe if I had you would’ve felt bad for me and stayed a little longer. But you hung out with those buckwild kids under the spot by the willow tree, and it was easy. it was just snuffing out an annoyance. A mosquito licking the ruby of your earrings that you shooed away. Our birthstones were both rubies, you know, we were twin cancers with balmy skin and busted appendixes, the aliens took you once and the only explanation was a scar on your spine, and I reckon I should’ve known they’d come back for you.
(You are gonna tell your kids about these cherry cola years of golden suburbia, and midnight blue debauchery snapping teenage knees, and furrow your brow forgetting the name of the girl you spent the first two calling your best friend.) You cheered at football games. You got drunk with them at night, and you were bursting and missing teeth like a watermelon smile, you rubbed up against each other like cats they touched you in all the right places and you didn’t text me anymore. You went to sleepovers and posted photos on Instagram, I wasn’t invited, I thought this bullshit was supposed to stop happening in elementary school. All the things we thought would never happen, lockdown drills, fire drills, earthquake drills and we still weren’t prepared. It was. Pandemonium. It was. Chemical fires in Mr. Dow’s science class. And me and my plans were just. so fucking boring standing next to your cherry blossom hurricane. You didn’t wait for me after class anymore and I just. Looked so stupid trying to catch up. Blood, mature blood, cows blood in the manure for the roses to eat. Black blood, like storm sky, I dish out this milkshake I pick the scab and I lick the blood away. Thomas comes out and dubs himself the gay cliche, we walk home together on the yellow brick road, and we pray a tornado will land the school library on our corpses so we can die with those sparkly shoes on. Those ruby shoes on. The Fates gagged me with a pack of jolly ranchers. I got straight A’s while Rome was falling. Nobody has ever made me feel so small.
11th grade: New school. The kids talk different here. Depression in California is like getting a cold in mid-July. So ironic it’s almost insulting. I’m pretty sure it was raining all year, but don’t count on it, I lived sub-terrestrialy with my mothers tulip bulbs. Today’s Wednesday? I thought it was Friday? I thought yesterday was Sunday? Depression in California is like running after a rabbit in the woods. It doesn’t matter how sunny it is, you will suddenly look up and it’s night, and the trees are not your friends, even when they are as skinny and shaky as you. You will get stuck in the swamp, leave your shoes behind, and not even remember why you were out here in the first place.
Headache. Stomach ache. Lots of those, those are easy to fake. Menstrual cramps, vomiting, gut wrenching, kinda vomiting. A personal favorite. I got to get my hands dirty for that one, I got to reach for the gag reflex like a remote control and press fast forward and feel my arc capsizing, until the static buzzed and I was pale like southern gothic tragedy, I’m not bulimic I just don’t wanna go to school. Depression in California is like an abandoned zoo. Everything echoing animal shrieks. They set them free but the cages were empty long before that. I make some friends, nice ones who laugh at my jokes, and I feel like I should get a sticker for it, but I do more nervous shaking than laughing.
Depression in California is like a badly maintenanced carnival. We’ve gone around the ferris wheel 8 times now and nobody seems to notice. The cotton candy polluting my blood, running slow and globby while the kids below spin, the kids drop, the kids could die, but they just giggle hand in hand with smiling clowns who pump them full of teeth rotting sweets, the winking lights are blurry this far away, and it feels like eons before we’ll get back to the bottom. I’m out of tokens. I think I’m just gonna jump.
12th grade: Trump won. I think I might like girls. My dad jokes about his own death so I know what it means to be angry now, like femurs forged from the goddamn ring of Isildur. Is this what’s normal now? Fucking boys who are oil slick and easy living, and lose my socks in their dorm rooms? Meet them for diner food and xans on the weekend, and everything just temporary? Is that just what everybody wants now? My brother got a green card marriage, but I guess he loves her for real now. We watch the Walking Dead until the streetlights glaze over our eyes, he asks me if I have a boyfriend, no. If I’ve had any since I last saw him, no. If no is my favorite word, yes. Thing is I’ve never been anyone’s girl cause I’ve got a volcano where I should have a stomach. I know what it is to live on the red planet. But I ignore all that and go to concerts that bleed beer and swoon for boys who drink the blood. I guess we’re used to falling off of things so we do it on purpose now. It’s not over but I know how it’s gonna end. Cracked skull, and police lights. And to the break of dawn on Brandon’s roof, boxers stained with mayonnaise, and Deadpool is probably his favorite movie or some dumb white boy shit like that. I’m not gonna cry when I leave for college, I’m gonna cry at the car rental watching the sun bleed out on the trees. I’m gonna cry in the knothole of an oak tree, hiding from the freshman mixer party in the woods I knew I shouldn’t have come to once the social anxiety starts clawing up soaked in the gallon of strawberry Crush I downed to calm myself down. You know, in some other parallel universe, my parents never divorced and we dispute where the sugar pantry should be at inopportune times, and I don’t straight jacket myself with the echoplex sound of my mother screaming over my dead body just to not inhale the chlorox under the sink. I was so bloody, I just wanted to be clean.
I thought it was like the 80’s, the rusty exhaust pipe of Matt’s car turning the snow black while he’s wasting time daydreaming of my piston pumping sloppy hips, and rumored things that happen in the backseat, and kicking cans in no particular direction, and first love sticky and first love stabbed into your kidney and you never really recover. I thought it was sixteen candles, and say anything, but it’s getting bloodshot squirrelly smoking hash in the disabled bathroom stall. It’s a personality disorder grown up from the ground like a mushroom that is poison to the touch, and thrown away birthday presents, and valentines day balloons stuck in the trees. It’s dropping the last slice of college acceptance celebration cake on the floor for your dogs breakfast, and cartoon rain puddles for eyes talking about how scary it is to drive on the freeway. Karina and Maddie rough housing like pit bulls in fifth period cause we don’t do shit in that class and pretending that we are not all gonna be strangers in 6 weeks before we. Before we. Please don’t make me say it out loud.
My English teacher held me back, and told me to make up the quiz I missed, and that was the only time I will ever be happy that some strangers just stay that way. And Daddy, I will miss you when you leave me, and Daddy I will meet you in the next life you just gotta wait for me ok?
I am not the kind of girl people have crushes on. I am the kind of girl who can survive 18 stealing food from parties, couch surfing, living like a lightning bolt. There one minute, and gone the next.
In Gr 8, we had an anonymous questions day for sex ed. Every kid would get paper and put it in a box. Pretty much wat I wrote down on the post it note was 'do any other animals have periods?' I mean, at the time I thought it was a good question but when the teacher pulled it from the box she scoffed and said. 'What a stupid question! Of course no other animal does.' I just thought of this now and I Googled it. Apparently elephant shrews, some types of bat and monkeys do so... now I know.
Summary: Ethan surprises you with a date going to an arcade and you guys make a deal. Whoever gets the most tickets takes all.
Warnings: None. Awful summary though.
A/N: I always wanted to go on a date to the arcade, and with Ethan, it would be so fun. The arcade is like Dave and Busters I just didn’t state it. I hope you guys like this!
It’s been four months since I started dating Ethan, it’s been amazing so far. We were always close friends, but eventually, we caught feelings and things went from there.
Right now I was getting dressed to go on a date with him. He said he had a surprise for me but to dress casually. Which I did black jeans, a tank top with a red and black flannel I borrowed from Ethan, and my Vans. Maybe it was a picnic date? Or a trip to the movies. Whatever it is I’m sure I will love it.
He always does something extra it’s just in his personality. I looked in the mirror one last time fixing a strand of hair that was out of place. Soon. I heard knocking on my door, must be Ethan. I grabbed my phone and bag, then went running towards the door, trying not to trip. I was clumsy good at falling over nothing but Ethan was there to make sure I was okay then laugh at me after.
I opened the door and there stood Ethan, I took his appearance in still amazed by how beautiful he looks. He was dressed in a gray jumper, black jeans with rips that he made himself, and Vans that were matching mine. Something so simple, but he makes it look good.
“Take a picture it will last longer,” he smirked glazing over me.
“Shut up E,” I giggled giving him a hug. I inhaled his cologne in the embrace, something I do to remember the small things about him. “Where are we going?”
He looked down at me still holding me in his arms. “It’s a surprise.”
I frowned knowing him it’s probably something extra that he didn’t need to do, I was never one for surprises and he knows this. It doesn’t stop him from doing it anyways.
“Frowning like that will give you wrinkles babe,” he joked.
I rolled my eyes but smiled nevertheless. “Let’s go before you get memory loss,” I said grabbing his hand leading him his towards his car. He opened the door for me, I got in putting on my seat belt. He ran over to the driver’s side and got in.
He put on his seat belt then turned on the car, ‘Slow Hands’ came on the radio. I hum the tune as he backed out of the parking spot. I started singing the lyrics to the song.
Soon Ethan joined me in singing the song. It was always fun jamming out with him, sometimes he gets way into it and I have to remind him to focus back on the road. We have been driving for about 20 minutes I only know because I check my phone.
“Are we there yet?” I whined turning to look at him. I was also enjoying his beauty, the sharp jawline and fluffy hair that was my weakness.
“Almost,” he answered his lips lifting up into a smile.
He turned the wheel and we pulled up in a parking lot. I look at the building and saw that we were at an arcade. I start smiling like a kid going to a toy store. I was talking about going to an arcade a few weeks ago and he actually surprised me with this.
“Ethan,” I whispered still taking it all in. It was something simple I didn’t need an expensive restaurant date or anything too crazy. It was the little things that mattered to me.
He found a parking space and turned off the car, “Are you surprised? Is this okay?” He asked looking worried that I didn’t like it.
“This is perfect E, we could just cuddle on the couch as a date and I would be perfectly happy,” I said then went to kiss his cheek.
He laughed and then we got out the car walking hand to hand to the entrance. When we got in it was a line at the front desk, it was crowded but what do you inspect on a Saturday evening. The walls and carpet were some crazy patterns, the bright light lit up the place, some pop song I didn’t know blasted through the area.
I heard the different games going off and the people talking and laughing. It was filled with high energy as it should be and I couldn’t wait to play the games. Ethan paid for our passes and we got our cards with the money on it. “Where to first?” Ethan asked.
I looked around and saw the basketball game called Super Shot. I was decent at basketball and Ethan was to, so it should be easy tickets. Start with the easy stuff and work our way up.
I pointed over to it. “Let’s start with basketball.”
He nodded and we walked over to it, we slide our cards in the slots.
“I bet I’ll get more tickets than you,” I challenged.
“Okay, let’s make a deal whoever gets the most tickets with all the games we play the winner gets to pick out the prize with all the tickets both parties won.” He said grabbing a ball.
“Deal,” I replied also picking up the orange ball.
“And a kiss,” he declared turning to glance at me.
“I laughed. “Fine with me, now let’s play.”
We pressed the start button and the buzzer sound went off, the countdown started. I threw the ball and it made it in the hoop, I threw the second ball and it missed, bouncing off the rim of the basket. I groaned but continued to throw ball after ball my score going up.
I heard the tickets come out of the machine I hope I have more than Ethan. The time ran out and I saw I scored more and I pumped my fist in the air.
“Looks like I am in the lead,” I said grabbing my tickets. Ethan bend down and got his.
“It’s not over yet Y/N,” he responded looking for another game to play. I love it when he gets competitive.
The evening turned into night and we played many games. Spin the wheel, Pac-Man, skeeball, air hockey, speed of light, and the dancing game. We ate at the bar we weren’t old enough to order alcohol but we didn’t need it anyway. After we ate, we played a few more games that didn’t involve tickets. Like a game called Dark Escape 4D, it had monsters in it and you had to shoot them to survive. It came with 3D glasses and you could feel the creature’s breath on you.
Honestly, my favorite game here with Ethan not so much. Soon it was time to count the tickets we been collecting so went over to the counter for the worker to count them in this container.
“Who do you think going to win?” Ethan asked.
“Um…I think me,” I answered putting my finger under my chin acting like I was thinking hard about it.
“If you say so,” he replied turning back to the worker.
The employee turned towards me with my paper with how many tickets I won. “You have 1167,” she said. Then she turned to Ethan holding out his paper. “And you have 1065,”
I smiled feeling accomplished that I got that many tickets. “Looks like I won,” I beamed.
“Yeah, you did let’s go pick out your prize,” he said grabbing my hand leading me to the prize area,
It was so much to pick from of course some of the stuff was too much, I don’t know how they think people could get that many tickets. I looked around to see what caught my eye, I really wasn’t going to use Ethan’s tickets. He deserved to get what he wants even with the deal.
“What do you want Ethan?” I questioned.
“You mean what you want you won the deal fair and square.”
“What about we get something we both like then? I’m not taking no for an answer.”
“Is that what you really want?” He asked making sure.
I nodded happily, glad he was agreeing with me. After some time of looking around saying why so many points for that thing or no I don’t want that. We agreed on this big Batman plushie, it looked like a cute monkey. We also got some candy since we had a few points left over.
We got our things going back out to head to the car. Today was a long day but it was worth it spending time with Ethan. When we got to the car Ethan stopped me from putting the Bat monkey in the car that was twice my size.
“You forgot a part of the deal Y/N,” he addressed.
“Ah, I did,” I replied pretending like I didn’t know what he wanted.
“I want the lips,” he demanded pouting.
“Oh, you do,” I teased. Before he could respond I stood on my tip toes since he was a few inches taller than me. I closed my eyes and kissed him, his lips were soft and tasted like the virgin strawberry daiquiri he had. His hands ran through my thick curly hair, I was going to do a quick peck on the lips to tease him but he was going in with a passionate kiss.
I melted into his kiss my heart fluttered, it amazes me even after this time he still makes me feel this way. I nibbled on his bottom lip then pulled away catching my breath. I realized we just made out in public but I didn’t care.
“The best boyfriend ever,” I said giving him a hug with Batman at the side of us.
“The best girlfriend ever,” he said kissing the top of my head.
“I had a wonderful day thank you so much, Ethan,” I responded.
“You’re welcome now let’s go to your house to cuddle,” he said letting go of me. I smiled glad to have a guy like him in my life.
I actually have a Bat Monkey that I won, it takes up half of the room in my bed. But I’m happy I got it. Anyways, Ethan is amazing! He would be the best boyfriend.
Whenever I’m about to put on a band shirt, I try to make sure I know at least 3 of their albums, 10 of their not so famous songs and the name of every band member just incase someone challenges my knowledge of them.
I wanted to share a little more about the full American Express project that got released a few weeks ago! When I got the assignment, I decided I wanted to link the three images together in some way; using the natural cue of the cards’ colors I opted to pan up through a jungle canopy, with hints of mystery and adventure fit in amongst all the lush imagery.
Green starts at the jungle floor; as an explorer walks through the foliage another peeks in the reflection. Moving up into the Gold, a jaguar lounges in the trees while batting at the monkey below. And in the Platinum, we pan up into the canopy where an adventurer reaches a mountain peak with herons soaring overhead.
This was a fun challenge; initially I hoped to have a subtle blend of colors between each card but it was requested to keep each image unique in color, so it was interesting to find ways to keep the transitions feel continuous but still distinct.