gothic bible

Harajuku Subculture Magazine KERA To Cease Print Publication After 19 Years

The monthly Japanese fashion magazine KERA - launched in 1998 with the concept of “the most real Harajuku Street Magazine” - will publish their final print issue on April 15, 2017. After that date, the magazine will shift to digital only. Also, publication of KERA!’s famous “Gothic & Lolita Bible” will be suspended on May 24th.

Starting on May 16th, 2017, “KERA” will begin publishing content through a “comprehensive website” that includes a digital magazine and social media. They will also continue to run the popular KERA SHOP ecommerce website and collaborate with other shops and fashion brands around Japan.

highway rest stop -  haunted places [1/5]

after hours on the highway all the turn offs start to look the same, the neon lights blurring into one long migraine. eventually you have to give in to sleep but where? one mile later you reach it, another one of many odd roadside hotels. the clerk gazes a little too intently at you as you fill in the guest book, her eyes hold some hunger that the old cigarette in her mouth is clearly not satisfying… after the cool wind and bright lights of the road the hallway is unsettlingly dark and humid, the static buzz of tv sets is loud in your ears and just as you are about to drift to sleep between the uncomfortable sheets the feeling that someone is watching you grows…

Bible Belt Gothic (pt. 1)
  • You pass by a Baptist church. You could have sworn that you had passed it six minutes ago, but still you see the letterboard clear as day. It’s the same steeple. It’s the same white building. You pass by a Baptist church, or was it a Methodist church this time?
  • You find a small piece of paper. It presents itself either as a map, possibly as a stock image background, or as threatening comic. The letters are tacky and reminiscent of outdated photo editing software. ‘’Where are you headed?’’ – it questions you. You try to throw it away. It still finds you. You’re a waitress and it’s placed with your tip, planted there by the devout evangelical family of six that just walked out and piled into their blueish-grey Chrysler Town & Country.
  • You walk inside Kroger at exactly 9:30 PM. Into your view comes a familiar face. It’s your mother’s Christian school teacher from fifth grade. She gives you an all too familiar smile, despite never having seen her before in your life, as she and your mother make small talk in the produce section. Into your view comes yet another familiar face. It’s the church deacon you saw only an hour previously during a church business meeting. He’s buying chicken. 
  • You’re in the backseat of the family car. You can hear the roaring approach of a truck. The truck is splattered with mud. There are two mounted flags, one Confederate flag and one state football team flag. You take a second look. It’s covered in bumper stickers. There’s a family of stick figures in the window. Lower, there is a large caricature of a rifle and bold text that reads ‘’pro-gun’’ – announcing the existence of the second amendment loud and proud to any passerby within a mile’s radius. Even lower, there is a sticker that reads  – ‘’Nancy Pelosi, your village is missing their idiot!’’ The stickers multiply each time you choose to take your eyes away. There are campaign stickers for each republican nominee from the past eight years. A new sticker emerges, now in clear view – ‘’Abortion stops a beating heart.’’ Another sticker comes into your peripheral vision – ‘’I just got a gun for my wife. Good trade!’’ The final sticker shows itself in a bright red, white and blue – ‘’God Bless America!’’
  • You find yourself inside the nearest Walmart. You pass by a large cut-out of Willie Robertson and an onslaught of cameo merchandise. You try to hide from his gaze by wandering into the apparel section. Your hand gently rests on a stack of neon colored tees. You pull them out while an uneasy feeling begins to rise inside your chest. There’s a illustration of a cross on the back, covered in bright polka dots and flowery patterns. The words, in an almost illegible font, haunt your subconscious with the voice of a woman in her mid-forties, a proud mother of three children and has just spent three hundred dollars at Belk – ‘’Too blessed to be stressed!’’ 
  • There is a Lifeway bookstore inside the local strip mall. It has an eerily quiet atmosphere. The only noise to be heard is the never-ending loop of Veggietales playing as white noise in the children’s section. 
3

they’re all daughters, born and breed in the town their great great great grandfathers moved to. each of them a little twisted, a little mad with the years of solitude. all they have is each other, all they know is the cold, lonesome wind that rattles the windowpanes at night. they gather in the early dawn, their long hair leeched of colour and draped over their lace white dresses. they twist their long slender fingers and their lips ghost over necks, cheeks and chests. hours later, their dresses stained with grass and blood, they sit in the church, hands clasped together over a bible