May 16th, 2009

Robin Goldberg met Virgil Keller the night that she graduated from Hodges University.

Robin was wearing a royal purple one-piece bathing suit. She’d ordered the swimwear from the official Omikron Epsilon Delta merch catalogue. Robin didn’t like how most swimsuits looked on her pale skin, but dark purples brought out the chestnut in her hair. The collegiate gear felt appropriate since her Brothers and Sisters were the ones that had brought her out to celebrate in the first place.

That evening was Robin’s first trip to Jardin, Arsene’s temple of song, dance, and sex. Every evening at Jardin was different. Arsene — the club’s owner and manager — was not a fan of predictable, rote hedonism. They wanted a crowd that worshipped at the font of excess and lust. The expected was the antitheses of their brand of ethereal pleasure. Jardin had been a Pittsburgh institution for forty years because walking through its velvet-plushed doors was a guarantee that your inhibitions would dissolve. A night at Jardin was a promise that the evening’s carnality would consume you. The club was a decades old reminder that desire could be obtained. You just had to open yourself up to embracing your appetites.

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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,  refused 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”