**A VISUAL EXPERIMENTALIST.**

The Sanity Decline.

Posted in literature, photography by Yousef Alshaikh on 14/05/2010

The Sanity Decline is a photography/poetry experiment I was working on back in October 2009. The photography technique used to create this series relies on firing two handheld strobes numerous times throughout the duration of a long exposure to create multiple overlayed impressions of the models directly in-camera; high contrast exposure is maintained through the use of two ND -2 stop filters. Minimim photoshoping was involved too. This project is also meant to go on to become a stop-motion video, but is currently on hold. Thanks to Naif Al-Mohaya, Khaled Hashem, Inmar Al-Rifae,  and Ala’a Malkawi for modeling and helping out.

Oh you, who immortalize the immoral,
and by fibers of dust are enthralled.
Oh you, who live staged renditions,
and by counterfeit believes are reined.
.
I speak to you here of a human condition,
and of its uncanny thirst for ruin.
I speak too of myself, now engulfed in smog,
and I speak of the cascading path downwards.
.
My tools as always do fail me, and so do my emotions;
yet I shall with divine intervention, if need be,
explain to you the emotions of this man,
now bereaved of all sanity.
.
I have walked amongst you, for want of shelter,
and for fruitless need of acceptance.
I, the mortar that would not bind;
And you, the brick wall that would not sustain.
.
I have beseeched of you, and I have begged;
I have stood at your door, unclothed of all pride,
and thusly I have witnessed you for what you truly are:
The Devil. Nothing more than a man, garbed.
.
You do not so much as mock thought, yet your crime is worse still;
you disregard it all together, and unheedingly flock.
You, who are “sane”, and in your collective misjudgment, poor;
You, of plastic emotions, and malleable resolves.
.
My ways as always do displease you, oh friends of sanity,
and my experimental tendencies daunt you even more so.
And I, beholding you suddenly for what you truly are,
have now decided to leave you and your ilk behind.
.
A decision drawn by design, in heavens ever so grand,
to tread down spiraling paths and unfolding chasms,
and to attain with much earnest and resolve
the abysmal condition of sanity decline.
.
And such I stand before you, from all reason removed;
detached from man, its states, and its thoughts.
Once, I stood coveted, and loved.
Now, shunned, murderous, and calm.
.
And as I slip deeper and deeper into this smog,
that *is* myself, and as such is closer to me than flesh to bone,
your laughs and cries in my mind do reiterate;
a reprise that parts shadows on my judgment no more.
.
Thus I have sold you for naught but a grain of sand;
such to me is your worth, and such, your grandeur.
Thus I will disapprove of your flocking no more,
for such is expected of the ocean’s sand.
.
I shall henceforth regard you as you have regarded intellect before me,
and I shall, in my new psyche, dismiss you as much.
And you, in return, shall remember me as the leaf in autumn;
a speck of hope, that was ever bound to fall.
Behind the scenes:

Naif Al-Mohaya figuring out what he should be doing.

Khaled Hashem and I playing around trying to figure out the right exposure settings.

Me walking behind Mohammad Masri with a strobe in each hand.

Processed By Hierarchy.

Posted in literature, mixed-media by Yousef Alshaikh on 07/05/2010

Processed in machinery of elegant beauty,
a cadaver shines with the glimmer of your oils divine.
The rice in grains finer still than eyelashes wet,
is reduced to be consumed by navel-gazing eyes.
.
The dish shimmers in shadows and in fog is borne,
moving steadily towards the furnace, expressionless.
Great are the pieces, and greater still: the whip;
a symphonic treaty of toils served and internal tetherings.
.
The lovers meander, dodging the neurotic faceless fork,
with hierarchies of sickening powers observing them from afar;
burying seductive hatchets in traditions held.
Resin drips from the eyes, and camphor from the grooves.
.
The mind is thin and planar; the heart flutters right and left.
The meadows are dead! Long live the meadows!
.
Thank you for the flowers and the prison bars.
You have been my favorite neurosis, and I shall be
.
Yours,
Yousef

A piece inspired by my old diptych [The Infernal Bollocking of Mankind.]

A Day In My Life.

Posted in literature by Yousef Alshaikh on 19/02/2010

I woke up today half an hour late for bed and immediately launched myself, toes first, into a bowl of fresh fish. Thusly I started my day with a fresh perspective and a fresher set of eyelashes. Upon seeing the twisted reflection of my watch in my eye’s inner wall, I was reminded of the severe need to exchange my cow-based cat with a newer model; one that didn’t go “BRAAAAW!!” at two o’clock in the morning.

At precisely half to twelve, I was moved by a piece of music. At precisely one, I was moved by a big and rather ugly forklift. After my encounter with the forklift and its driver – who had a slight resemblance to Brad Pit, yet was neither handsome nor human – I decided to take a bath, this was rendered utterly impossible due to a rather large zebra that seemed to be currently occupied with the sole responsibility of looking all zebra-like while sitting in my bath in a very un-zebra-like manner. After two long hours of hot debates concerning the nature of zebras, whether zebras should sit in bathtubs, the monthly zebra pheromone cycle, and whether Bush was a good president or not I promptly pulled an anti-zebra-matic out of thin air (has anyone ever seen “thick” air btw) anyways,,, where was I oh yes – I pulled out the anti-zebra-matic with much “promptulance” and in a very chilaxed manner shot the unzebra-like zebra in-between the eyes, thus rendering it, and indeed the rest of my toilet, severely dead.

Several hours later, my toilet was “reverted to a previous state” thanks to the very helpful people at Microsoft and The-People-With-No-Purpose-in-Life Foundation.

Dear reader, I sincerely sympathies with your total lack of understanding, I truly do, and shall henceforth try to speak in a clear manner. Okay, now that that’s behind us I can go on to explain to you, my now fully understanding reader, my seven hour ordeal with the microscopic cereal box.

This part of my day should be very easy to explain, indeed it started with the most simple and normal of events; at precisely 132pm, in between being harassed by a forklift and a toilet-dwelling zebra, I heard a normal and totally expected knock from within my fridge. Opening the fridge’s door I was met by a totally normal, and indeed nonchalant looking, microscopic cereal box that talked, the only thing that was not normal about this box was the fact that it was a sugar-free microscopic cereal box that talked. This oversight on my part resulted in the aforementioned seven hour ordeal of genetically introducing sugar at a sub-atomic level throughout five different interbred generations of cereal to achieve the desired level of sugar to non-sugar mass, at which point it was just around supper time and I really wasn’t in the mood for genetically engineered cereal that looked, smelled, and tasted like Kellogs Frosties, and yet for reasons beyond my simplistic understanding spoke in a slightly Scottish accent.

After this disappointing experiment I was visited by death and we danced merrily around the only IKEA couch in the house,,, actually the only couch in the house,,, actually the only piece of furniture in the house, aside from the bathtub, which was too large to dance around and was covered in bits of zebra. I bid farewell to death at around nine o’clock and left the house to fetch some groceries. On the way back home I stopped and bought a brand new used car, several midgets, and a fancy art nouveau table-cloth for a table I did not own.

Back at home, I fed the midgets to my cow-based cat, placed the table-cloth on top of an imaginary table I had placed in the corner the day before, and slept in the car.

Goodnight sweet world.

Yousef

More info here:

http://theqine.deviantart.com/art/Experiment-In-Nonsenseulance-135086615

© 2009 Yousef Alshaikh :: TheQine.

The Subgarfunkular Reprise.

Posted in literature by Yousef Alshaikh on 18/02/2010

This project is an attempt at writing the wackiest and most non-sense-ulant short novel ever, and will be written collaboratively, approx. 200 words at a time.

We’ve also worked on some illustrations and you can check those out at:

<http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=123829&id=513738097>

List of Collaborators Thus Far:

> Omar Bahbri
> Soraya Darwish
> Terki Shalhouub
> Chicken Legs
> Omar Zahrani
> Rafal Valo
> Rola Yousef
> Saud Alowaidah
> and myself, Yousef Alshaikh

Chapter 1: Bliss.

She looked me in the eyes, and then she looked me in the nose, and said “you’ve really gone and finished the sky you know?!”. I smirked at her bemusingly, touched her lightly on the nose, and started running hysterically down the street. A few second later, as I was running, totally oblivious of all life – and of Left Wing Giraffe Politics specifically – I slipped on an imaginary slice of Subgarfunkular bliss, and thus all time and matter ceased to exist, and so did Salvadora.

[1: Yousef Alshaikh]

As I continued to swim through the corn flakes, I stopped as I ran out of milk. The store was cold like a can of melted salt drops, no one was there to touch my nose, I was alone with the milk chicken. She offered me some more milk for me to swim in, I refused, as the corn flakes had lost their crunch already.

[2: Omar Bahbri]

Seven times the length of day and night, I swam. I swam, and swam, and swam till I could swim no more… As I floated there in an ocean of rotten cheese, a humming bird appeared out of nowhere. The humming bird landed on my wet head and stooped over to get a better look at my face. I have to say I was quite offending by this overly intrusive behavior, but was nonetheless quite happy for the company. Salma, as I would later learn the bird’s name was, stooped even lower and whispered into my ear:

[3: Yousef Alshaikh]

“Don’t give up, for when you see land, you will find an endless supply of milk.” My eyebrows met my hairline as I imagined what it would be like to have an endless supply of milk. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?” I asked the bird. “Salma never lies…Salma knows it all… Salma must go now. Salma has to tell a boy that he’s the chosen one.” Before I got the chance to ask any more questions, Salma flew away, and disappeared in mid air. The thought of an endless supply of milk became my fuel to get me through this ocean of rotten cheese. I swam and swam and swam, visualizing a river of milk. “Perhaps by the time the milk pours into the ocean, it becomes cheese…” I mused.

[4: Soraya Darwish]

Several hours and a few heart attacks later, I crashed into what seemed at the time to be a shore of some sort. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that it *wasn’t* a shore, I’m just saying that at the time I wasn’t sure that it *was* a shore. After all how many shores have you seen that are pink, rubber-like, and crawling with non-y2k-compliant gadgets?! I pushed and shoved through a bunch of dancing iPods, and was about to ram through a pack of rabid post-apocalyptic shavers when suddenly I was engulfed by a large cloud on legs. I stood in utter shock as the cloud engulfed me completely and started to speak with the deepest of voices:

[5: Yousef Alshaikh]

“My deer child you reek of goat cheese and Cuban cigars, you must have visited my dear friend Zomorrod the milk chicken, how is she doing? Well, I suppose… Are you lost my dear child? Would you like directions to the Lego brick road? You take a right from the left street, and then go ahead down under, there’s a sign there you can’t miss it, unless you pass it, which you won’t unless you undress it… but keep it’s shirt.. the shirt is for the birds…”

[6: Omar Bahbri]

As the cloud tipped his hat goodbye – regardless of how I found out it was a *he* -, he walked away continuing his duty of raining on dancing iPods .. So I walked, on all four, following the instructions of the Porcupine Elf. I headed to the Lego brick road which was strangely an un-strange shade of yellow. I walked and walked till it seemed that this road has no end, I passed a lion, a tin man, a scare crow, and a homeless girl suffering from Alzheimer’s who kept obsessing about lions, tigers, and bears in a lifeless forest filled with living things (e.g. dancing iPods). But the strange part was when I found The Heavenly Fountain of Hell.

[7: Terki Shalhoub]

The Heavenly Fountain of Hell was pouring MILK! And not just one kind; there was plain milk, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, caramel milk.. Dancing around the fountain were four feet tall Oreo cookies on legs. It looked like they were performing some kind of religious ritual. I came out from behind the tiers, thinking “They’re just Oreo cookies; what’s the worst that can happen?”. I regretted this decision as the cookies stopped abruptly and they all pointed in my direction. “It’s the chosen one!” squeaked one of them. They all started running towards me, and I didn’t know what to do. “Maybe it’s the other way around” I thought, “They want to dip ME in milk, suck my internal organs, and then eat me!”.

[8: Soraya Darwish]

I paused for a moment to collect myself, farted twice to my left, and immediately launched myself, with much panache, into The Heavenly Fountain of Hell. Several confusing and rather contradictory things happened at this point: My hands detached themselves from their sockets and started merrily jumping on my head to the tune of the James Bond theme song, my hair grew teeth and tried furiously to bite at my jumping hands, my tongue rapped itself around my head in an attempt to stop this madness, and I suddenly started to weep uncontrollably!!…I awoke a few moments later to the screams of Salvadora, and to Salma’s screeching at my temple. I was, somehow, back to reality again!!

[9: Yousef Alshaikh]


Chapter 2: The Reunion.

I got up off the cold pavement and was ushered by Salvadora to a seat outside an adjacent café. I sat there with Salvadora in front of me, and Salma sitting on my shoulder looking at some invisible speck of dust on the table. Someone order me a cup of coffee, and as I was drinking this bedspread-tasting coffee when some of it got stuck in my teeth! I pulled and pulled, but ended up blowing up half the pillow-like teeth in my mouth, and was about to start crying when Salma suddenly interrupted me saying “Bas ya walad, FOCUS, there’s this very special boy we need to find, he’s our only hope at saving our world from being invaded by the Subgarfunkular Dimension!! This kid has the head of a Monkey and the body of a Hippopotamus and somehow sounds like Rachel Ray, and WE need to find him NOW!!”.

[10: Chicken Legs, via email]

I sensed deep down in the pits of my shoes the urgency at hand, but somehow was starting to fall for Salvadora and honestly couldn’t give a damn at the moment. I looked at Salvadora top to bottom and smiled a smile as wide as the ocean, and just as smelly. I removed Salma from my shoulders, put her in the sugar jar in front of me, secured it tightly, and sat on it. Salvadora was starting to feel uneasy. “What’s going on?“ she said with a half-grin on her face. “I know this sounds crazy, but I think I’m starting to [fall] for you Salvadora!”

[11: Yousef Alshaikh]

“You look like jell-o” I hissed into her ears. And as she looked with disgust and anguish, she felt special and [loved], for I was the only one that could make her feel this way. Now if only I would smell like a microwaved plastic spoon she thought, she would truly find her rock-paper-scissors partner. For she was the shrimp and I was her cocktail. She knew deep in her kidneys that I was the stone that would pass to her bowls. “You are the one!” she shouted. And as I looked with Joy and its cousin Meabe, I finally understood it…I felt it….I craved it….I farted spinning around, getting dizzy and felt strange and disoriented …..”It’s happening again!” I though, and as I kept spinning, I traveled through space and time to a world so strange, so bizarre; a codex would be an understatement. There were people walking around with ducks as suit cases, and cars that could move with monkey-sweat-powered-engines, and the most bizarre of all was that I could see out in the distance Yousef in a polo shirt!! Oh, the agony of this new world. I decided to call it “La’ba”!!

[12: Omar Bahabri]

As I was wandering in this bizarre world, I suddenly found myself driving an old lady in a yellow cab on Abu-7adreya Road, and rapidly running out of monkey sweat. Suddenly, the radio turned itself on and [Yanni] was playing. I screamed “NOOooOOOOOooOOo!”, and immediately blacked out for an uncertain amount of time. I woke up in a dark place in the middle of the sea and had no problems breathing. I saw those creatures, they had no names, and no toes, just faces on sticks, and every one of them was looking at me as if they were really expecting me, and the smallest one out of them (as it turned out he was the boss) said “HE IS THE ONE!! Get him!!!”

[13: Omar Zahrani]

“Noooo! Please, there has to be some kind of misunderstanding!” I screamed. Nothing came out but bubbles. The creatures started laughing.. It sounded like honking actually. Suddenly, their leader, who was wearing a crown of human finger bones, grew a hand and snapped his fingers. They all started honking hysterically, and I smiled *politely*. Well what did you expect?? I want to get out of here alive, with no fingers missing! As I slowly turned around to swim away, a serpent like tongue emerged from the cave underneath us, and it reached for my foot. I started swimming up hysterically, but the tongue just kept getting longer, and it locked its grip onto my ankle…

[14: Soraya Darwish]

As i tried to get away from the long long tongue, one of those crazy creatures shouted “THE CHOSEN IS IN DANGER!!” and threw himself, stick first, at the tongue and sacrificed himself for my safety :'(. I continued swimming hysterically towards the shore and when I finally got there, and just as I lifted my head up and out of the water to take a deep breath I choked!! I couldn’t *breathe*, and I started “BALBE6ING” like a gold fish on the edge of a fish tank!!

[15: Omar Zahrani]

Suddenly, Salma the hummingbird appeared out of nowhere. “Swim, God damn it! You can do it!” she screeched, poking me repeatedly on the head. Gasping for air, I swam to shore and started crawling as soon as my feet touched the ground. Before I got the chance to examine my surroundings, I passed out under the burning hot suns. They were 3 to be exact, and the number increased as I lost consciousness. Besides from the burning heat, I could still feel Salma poking at me. It felt like it was only seconds later when I suddenly felt like someone threw a bowling ball at my stomach. I didn’t pay too much attention to the pain because I could breathe again! I opened my eyes and…

[16: Soraya Darwish]

…slowly but surely, became aware that I was about to *die*!! … Dear reader, I think now would be an excellent time for me to pause for a bit and explain a few fundamental things. Firstly, my dear reader, I would like to assure you that every single event narrated thus far, however unlikely, has indeed happened. Secondly, I am forced to skip the events that transpire next, due to the sever and overly-barbaric nature of these events. I shall however, ease your mind with the following random pieces of knowledge: 1) I am still alive, obviously. 2) Many innocent tuna sandwiches have died in the crossfire. 3) All but one face where slapped … Moving on; a few hours later I woke up hanging upside down at the top of a bottomless elevator shaft!

[17: Yousef Alshaikh]

At the bottom was a dim light. I stared at it for 3 minutes and 18 seconds, only to realize that it wasn’t a light bulb. It was a giant glowing mushroom. It started floating upwards, making its way towards me, and when it got close enough for me to smell its darkness, it started singing “Annie, are you ok? You ok? You ok, Annie?” (Note: Smooth Criminal [cover]- Alien Ant Farm)while I was trying to cut the rope I was hanging from. I started to freak out, not knowing what to do with a mouthful of cheese. 61 seconds later, its phone rang.

[18: Rafal Valo]

<cut to widescreen shot with camera rolled 90 degrees so that the elevator shaft is horizontal>. Suddenly it dawned on me, “this just might work!” I thought. I stretched my feet left and right against the shaft’s walls bracing myself for impact. A second before impact I spat cheese in the mushrooms face and thrust myself through its melting face and into its bowels, there I picked up the red phone and was immediately transferred as a bunch of random zeros and ones to the bottom of the elevator shaft. I looked up and could see the poor giant mushroom now impaled in the prongs at the top of the shaft. I brushed off a few pieces of mushroom intestines, looked to my left, and saw a baby sized door!

[19: Yousef Alshaikh]


Chapter 3: The Underground Planet.

I paused for a second..Thinking of all the things that have been going on so far.. & how I missed my mother’s ‘freshly’ baked salmon wings.. Only to be distracted by the screeching sound of a crying ‘baby’! The door had been crying.. & now expanding!.. It slowly grew in size & screech.. Yet somehow it’s screeching reminded me of a very slim Pavarotti singing ‘Mamma Mia’… I opened the door for it is now twice the size of a half grown gorilla.. It screeched patiently as I entered through I stood in awe of the all the rich & vast nothingness that surrounded me.. As I walked in a runway fashion towards what I had made out to be a terrifyingly attractive looking Oscilloscope.. Standing there on his 5 graphs. The sinusoidal graph pointed me to another door that looked rather tired from all the screeching.. I approached it with an effervescent smile that had the smell of a Pthalic green permanganate, with slight colour discharge. I opened the door and…

[20: Rola Yousef]

as I was walking through the door I noticed that I was cat walking through them and I slapped myself..I started crying remembering how the door used to slap in my face when I was applying for jobs when I was back on Kostof, the planet where I’m originally from. I tried to calm my face down but I couldn’t so I continued cat walking till it felt ridicules then started running towards the smell of my mom’s freshly baked salmon legs (btw salmon have no wings), to find myself in this huge unplugged fridge but somehow on that planet the inner light was on!!..

[21: Omar Zahrani]

It was awfully humid for a fridge, my clothes clung to my skin like anvils on the side of a wall at nighttime. As I was wandering around I remembered that its been almost 12 years, 7 months, 18 days, 20 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds, 39..40..41..42… since I last had my tetanus shot, I hastily looked around trying to find any piece of sharp scrap metal to carve my turkey with, but alas, there was no metal insight… but what I found was twenty thousand miles better! An old aging grapefruit wrapped in a pashmina scarf smoking what looked like a grey couch. It looked me up and down with its one good eye and mumbled “A taxpayer who finds a mistake on a previously filed individual income tax return can file corrections with Form 1040X”

[22: Saud Alowaidah]

I’ll never forget that day when it told me “A taxpayer who finds a mistake on a previously filed individual income tax return can file corrections with Form 1040X”, for it was the day this whole world made sense to me .. inhumanity made perfect sense, the walking trees, the flying brownies, the dancing water, and the dolphins with $#@&*! on their heads. That day, I was happy, moist, and slightly constipated. As I stayed with him studying the ways of the Geisha life, and lemon meringue pie, I have noticed a leprechaun’s fart smell .. I knew that because it was short, red-haired, and smoking a pipe .. I then started following that fart and ignoring Master Grapefruit’s speech about republicans. The fart lead me to a tunnel of Nutella – which is fun to say and think about – where I found little elephants with shoes licking the walls, I can’t blame them for it was all Nutella, in fact, I have joined them quite a lot!

[23: Terki Shalhoub]

I rubbed Nutella off of my forehead with a used foot that was lying against the wall, proceeded cautiously down the tunnel, and stopped dead in my tracks when I came across a glowing book on the ground. It said “The Trinidad of Hope (A Discourse in Leftist Brain Functionality)” on the cover. I picked it up, shook off a few persistent baby Nutella demons, and flipped through to a random page:

“Summer summer, oh masses of blubber,

Charming donkeys stand still, life sure is a bummer!

You dance and you laugh, you graze and you fart,

You have a few baths, and somewhere along you lose your heart!

God has always blessed you, with the grace of talking sheep,

Seven sets of faces, and a voice oh so deep!

Run or hide, take along cow or chicken,

Shave your head if you please, thou *shalt* be bitten!”

I threw the book to the ground in horror and started running manically deeper into the tunnel…

[24: Yousef Alshaikh]

When I saw light at the end of the tunnel, I broke into a sprint. I thought I would be seeing nothing but a pink sky and a shining blue sun. Instead, I couldn’t even see the sky and I was surrounded by fog and green puffs of smoke.. My eyes started to water and I blinked repeatedly to try and find a way out of here. I stretched my arms in front of me and just walked. Seconds later, I tripped. The green clouds I was about to land on grew feet and ran out of my way. The good part is that I could finally make out something. It was an 8 foot rat with a giant pumpkin for a body and a trunk instead of a nose, and it was smoking a giant pipe that looked like a saxophone. The rat had 1 big white ear and another black one, and was wearing square sunglasses. He looked high, therefore harmless. “Howdie! You can call me Jazz!” he said, resting his pipe on a giant mushroom with polka dots, and extending his trunk to shake *hands*…

[25: Soraya A.Darwish]

After we shook hand and trunk for 1 minute, 9 seconds, and a fart, we started “relaxing”.

Jazz: Hey, it’s good to see you, how have ya been?

I: not bad, not bad at all .. how about you?

jazz: great .. so, do I know you or something?

I: umm, no.

jazz: oh, good .. so what’s your views on republican

laws about theme park rides?

I: … … … I have never thought about that.

jazz: liberals?

I: …

Jazz: I’m just saying, if they allowed hippos to

operate the marry-go-strait, it would be a pretty

spectacular ride!

I: …

Jazz: …

I: aaaaaaaanyways, do u have any idea about this place?

Jazz: wooooooooooooooooow!! u dunno where u are?!!

I: umm, yeah!

Jazz: concentrate with me cause I’m only saying this once,

YOU..ARE..ON..MY..BEANBAG! …wow,

that was hard to say.

I: ummmmmmm, i meant this whole place..

Jazz: oh, I dunno .. all i know is that stuff grow here!!

GOOD STUFF!

I: but why am I here?

jazz: because you are him..

I: him?

That was when he got up and pointed behind me..

[26: Terki Shalhoub]

I turned around to see what Jazz was pointing at. At first, I saw nothing. As I blinked continuously and inhaled more smoke, I could finally see something: Santa Clause doing the Moonwalk! “Duuuude, that’s tight!” I yelled, clapping. As the smoke became more dense, I wondered if what I was seeing was real, and whether Jazz was seeing the same thing. “Tight? You think a crippled man on a wheelchair wearing an oxygen mask, and with an axe stuck to his skull is amusing?” said Jazz with disgust.

At this moment, I knew we were both hallucinating. Not because what we were seeing defied logic, but simply because it wasn’t the same thing. A part of me wanted to stay, but another part wanted to find my way back to sanity. “Jazz, unless you’re gonna let me have a piece from your pumpkin, I’m outa here.” I said, hardly able to walk straight. “There aint nothin there for you, mate,” said Jazz, picking up his pipe. “But if you insist, just keep walkin til you find the Green Slime lake.” he started. “That’s right, slime lake. You think i always had a trunk and pumpkin?!” he added as I gasped. I had two choices: either stay with Jazz and get high til i die, or risk swimming in the lake.

[27: Soraya A.Darwish]

I know most of you are saying I should risk swimming in the lake just to get the story going .. but @uck that sh!t! I’m getting high till I die!! anyways, after smoking a shitload of shitload and inhaling all sorts of grey, green, white, and purple smoke .. naturally i started tripping! I actually started seeing the words Jazz was saying escaping his mouth inside a bubble typed in bold Arial, the round buble would then turn into a cube, then a pyramid, then Mickey mouse ears, then a diamond, then it pops and makes the sound of the word! I didn’t get most of Jazz’s words for santa has moonwalked between us and burst some bubbles just for fun! but I remember him talking about chocolate .. man, I would kill for some resses cups right now .. and some cool-aid .. purple .. aaaaanywaaaaaays! sorry for drifting off there .. as I was tripping harder and harder, i started imagining the BIG BOY mascot dribbling a huge sugar donut! IT WAS PREPOSTEROUS!! BIG BOY USUALLY HAS A BURGER! NOW ITS A DONUT!! NOW HE’S THROWING THE DONUT!! so as i am running away from the imaginary rolling huge donut, like in that Crash Bandicoot game, i saw a lake of chocolate/poo .. i couldn’t tell, cz i haven’t tasted it yet .. but i thought either way, its a good place to hide! so i jumped, just like Crash does, arms and legs wide open, and *SLAP* goes my face on the lake’s surface .. then i started going down calm. the donut looked right and left but i was nowhere in sight, it got disappointed .. and so did i, for the taste wasn’t chocolate nor poo .. it was mere green slime!

[28: Terki Shalhoub]

The green slime tasted like After 8 mint chocolate, which made drowning absolutely enjoyable. I’ve never felt so…so…minty! As I sank to the bottom, I took off my nose and put it in my pocket for safe keeping. It tried to fight its way out, but I wasn’t gonna let my survival instinct get in the way of pleasure. Mouthful after mouthful, I noticed the lake getting less and less deep, and my stomach growing in size as rapidly as magic beans grow. There was only 6.5 feet of green slime left, so I resurfaced. I could not believe my eyes at first; I thought the lack of oxygen was making me hallucinate so I put my nose back on. It was that Kentucky Fried Chicken guy and the McDonalds clown rowing a boat. They stopped rowing when they became 3 feet away from me. “Eating green slime is a federal crime,” said the old man, loading a shotgun. “You liberals think you can get away with everythin!” he added, now pointing the gun at me. I now had to decide whether to swim under the boat and try to sneak away (and possibly get shot), or pray that the clown will save my life.

[29: Soraya A.Darwish]

as i gazed into McDonald’s eyes in a gay way [which happened to rhyme] telling him telepathically “I will taste your lollipop if u knock the gun off the old man’s hand and hand me a cheese burger without cheese” .. but all I heard from the silly old clown was “smoke him, Colonel”. I was about to shit my pants .. but as I was crowning, i heard his beard say “HE’S NOT COLONEL SANDERS!!” .. I was shocked!! so was he, for the beard has betrayed him, but we’ll come back to that later, cause that didn’t stop him from shooting.. and that was it.. I heard a bang.. I shut my eyes.. And I didn’t feel a thing after.. Things got really really quiet .. I opened my eyes and all I saw was blank .. Pure white across the horizon .. “hello hello” but no one answers..

[30: Terki Shalhoub]


Chapter 4: A New Hope.

The white horizon grew wider and wider through my vision and the feeling of being a lone and lost overwhelmed my thoughts .. I was breathing normally; the freshness of the air surprised me .. it gave me hope of a good aftermath .. The thought of being dead couldn’t escape me, was I really dead? Or did I just pass out? Am I just dreaming? Can someone please pinch me!!! Seconds passed by while my wondering roamed around my head, I wanted explanation I wanted something to touch … as soon as I thought about this thought (something to touch) a flower popped out from nowhere!!! So I got closer to it and I touched it!! But I couldn’t smell it… even the rusty old smell of plants didn’t fly lightly across my nose… and then suddenly, the sky started raining, wait a second! That is not water… I smell perfume… my favorite one actually… i smelled my hands that touched the drops… it was raining perfume!!! Then I thought what if I add this perfume to the flower….

[ 31: Mai Sami Julaidan]

As much as I was enjoying the sound of silence, the perfume, and the scentless flower, a part of me warned me not to indulge too much into it for some reason. You can say it was my Subgarfunkular instinct. However, I had no idea how to get out… Suddenly, the flower began to grow in size. I was too dumbfounded to run away; I just stood there, staring at it as it grew to be the size of Jazz the rat. “Interesting…” I said out loud. Amazingly, it looked like the flower just smiled at me! Either that or I was still high from smoking that pipe with Jazz. The flower leant towards me, opened its mouth real wide, and swallowed me whole before I even got the chance to react. Fortunately, I did not end up in disgusting gastric fluids. It felt like a roller coaster ride that just kept increasing in speed. Was I even still inside the flower?

[32: Soraya A.Darwish]

لم تعد الرائحة تهمني ولا لون الزهرة، بعد ان رمتني اتدحرج على طريق ألمس لايكاد آن ينتهي …

أردت ان اتوقف لكن لم أعرف كيف.. فاستمريت منزلقة على الطريق حتى اوقفني شيء غريب

مدة اصابعه الطويلة بانسياب و امسك بأطراف شعري ليثبتني من الانزلاق

ثم أخذ بتقصير أصابعه الممدودة.. كل شبرا قصره قربني اليه اكثر

حتى انتهيت امام جسده تماما هذا الكائن العجيب

ثم سألني….سؤالا ….

[33: Mai Sami Julaidan]

“cant u stay outa trouble?!” yelled the honking stick creature..I was too terrified 2 realize any word it had said for he looked awfully scary ! And his eyes kept coming closer and closer 2 my face. My Subgarfunkular instant then made me stick my two fingers in its eyes ,it started screaming and it let me go ,I continued sliding while I was still hearing the slowly fading screams, “will this horrifying nightmare ever end?!” I thought 2 myself when I suddenly noticed that this thing that I was sliding on had an end, I closed my eyes and hugged my head tight scared 2 lose it, I landed on something hairy, and when I opened my eyes ….

[34: Jazz Mn]

it was a pillow .. With hair on it ..

Why would it have hair? I thought it might be one of those strange creatures that I keep bumping into .. But it felt so cozy! And strangely the hairy feeling was soft on my skin, it made me relaxed! Hazy! Tipsy!

So I gave up to my tiredness and slept … but right before I closed my eyes to drift away in my dreams .. I said softly ..

[ 35: Mai Sami Julaidan]

“who’s your daddy who’s your daddy who’s your daddy”.. [Several hours later] .. .. ..”hehe, tickles..” .. .. “Stop it, your tickling me!” .. “I’m in my bed, what possibly can tickle me?!” I open my eyes and jumped off the bed vertically frightened! I looked at my pillow and the hairs were moving .. They were gathering towards the middle! As I waited for them to form something [still vertically above the bed] I whispered “what the..” strangely they said “just a second, please!” at that point my eyeballs popped out of their sockets and a cartoony sound effect was played! “Oh, come on! You’ve seen stranger sh~t!” they said. “..True” I thought to myself as I put my eyeballs back to place.. So I come down and wait some more until them finally.. “Colonel Sanders’ Beard?!” “I told you before .. It’s not him! That was just a phony!!” the beard said .. “Well .. UR IN MY FREAKIN PILLOW!! DO YOU KNOW HOW RUDE THAT IS?!” I screamed!! “Listen you pillow freak, something’s f*#ked up..”

[36: Terki Shalhoub]

“bo9 ba2a, a7sanlak t5alleek cool keda, 3ashan Kentaky beydawaro 3aleik,” said the pillow. For some reason, the conversation was now in Arabic. Maybe there’s a mike on me or something, and the Colonel doesn’t understand Arabic. “Ana eish 3arrafni 2in akl el 5alee6 el a59’ar gareema? 7aga ti2rif wallahi,” I said, frustrated. “w kaman mal Kentaky bel mawdoo3 ya3ni? Kanit bo7ayrit elli 5allifoohom wala 7aga?”

[37: Soraya A.Darwish]

bo7ayrat eelli 5allifohoom .. hmm .. boya7ayra! lake! … Lake! Bo7ayra … is there any similarity other than the meaning? should there be any similarity to start with …I love lakes, they are so filled with water! even though they are Seas wanna bees .. Hey stay that way! don’t be as deep as the sea be as shallow as you can .. the deeper you get, the more your sanity will leave you .. i humbled up my humble long white dress .. and walked around searching for a lake! There must be one around … I Forgot how beautiful water looks like .. the transparency .. the twinkling reflections of the light … THERE! found it … after that mountain, under that sky .. turn right from that tree and stop right under that moon it well be there! i kneeled for a sip of water… and i saw something i forgot for so long My Reflection … Listen! i can here it talking … What is it saying ??

[ 38: Mai Sami Julaidan]

As I squinted my eyes in concentration, a tentacle suddenly grabbed me from the waist. Panicking, I tried to resist it, but it was much stronger than me; it dragged me into the transparent lake. “This day just keeps getting better and better,” I said. Of course nothing came out but bubbles and muffled noise. Then tentacle continued to drag me … deeper and deeper down the lake. I couldn’t even see what creature that tentacle belonged to because of all the bubbles. I just prayed it would turn out to be a friendly one… The creature slowed down, so I figured we reached our destination. I was giving up on life as I was running out of oxygen. I could have sworn that I’ve seen “The Light.”

I then realized that there was actually a bright light and it wasn’t a hallucination. I could suddenly breathe; we were no longer underwater. I finally got to see the creature that dragged me all the way down here: It was nothing but a tentacle rolled around a metal cylinder with legs. However, it was being controlled by something else… It was absolutely unbelievable… It was a fat baby that had a giant ugly female head on its tummy.

[39: Soraya A.Darwish]

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<experiment on hold>