You Know What You Did

Why the fuck didn’t I drive?

Sabine was furious with themself. Their Jetta was sitting at home. It was their college graduation present from their mother and the only car they knew they’d be able to afford for a very long time. The car they only used when public transportation wasn’t an option.

Sabine and Melika were a couple blocks out from Terre, and Melika hadn’t said a word since they’d left the gallery. Melika was breathing again at least, and Sabine counted their blessings that they weren’t going to have to give Dr. Zhi an emergency late night call. Sabine wasn’t sure how “there” Melika was when they grabbed her hand and led her up the steps to the bus from Downtown to Lawrenceville.

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Twenty Minutes Later

Sabine had gone to the restroom after Tracy’s lecture.

They didn’t run away to cry. Sabine was almost 30. They could handle criticism although Sabine knew they couldn’t afford for Tracy and Severin to get bored with their work.

Sabine had gone to the bathroom because they didn’t want Tracy to know that her words had cut so deep.

Sabine had only painted Home in the first place because they had to get a piece placed in the Art Crawl. Sabine knew that Severin operated on far more patriotic nostalgia than they would ever let on. Home was guaranteed money, and Sabine had helped make a sale with Tracy’s help.

Sabine did resent the implication that they didn’t care about Home.

Sabine hadn’t been back to the home their painting captured since they were in high school. Home wasn’t a surrealist commentary on the bewildering, incomprehensible beauty of nature. Sabine hadn’t painted a landscape as literal as this since their art school days. Home was Fae.

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Homes and Self-Portraits

Sabine hated the glad-handing of big gallery shows.

They hadn’t sold a piece in over a month, and their rent was due in two weeks. Sabine was happy to have one of their works at Terre for the 2018 Pittsburgh Art Crawl. They had begged and pleaded with Severin for a spot. They were not, under any circumstances, asking their mother to help cover the rent… again. Sabine was a grown ass adult. They were a working artist. They could pay their bills.

Or, at least, that’s what Sabine told themself each day as they pushed aside the rational impulse to find a job with benefits and a salary.

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April 8th, 2010 – 12:05 AM


Vol. 1: Overture

By Dawn Saas and Nic Frankenberry

Powered by the Apocalypse and the work of D. Vincent Baker

as well as

Urban Shadows by Andrew Medeiros and Mark Diaz Truman

Microscope by Ben Robbins

Content Warning: Drug Use, Gender Dysphoria, Implied Sexual Violence, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depictions of Severe Depression and Anxiety

Sabine knows.

Melika Ghazi’s hand shuddered as she took the joint from Sabine.

Sabine couldn’t help but notice Melika’s shaky hands. Melika took a deep drag and coughed out a swirling pillow of white smoke.

The dissipating cloud was whisked away by a spring breeze that tore across the second floor balcony where Melika and Sabine leaned against the railing. Sabine Almeida’s cropped mop, a feathered hallucination of purples and pinks, ┬árefused to budge. Melika’s shoulder-length black hair flew across her face.

The hair isn’t fooling anybody either.

Continue reading “April 8th, 2010 – 12:05 AM”