Table of Contents
Editor's Notes
Submission Guidelines

Stories & Essays
A Wedding Toast For Daddy's Little Girl
By Miriam N. Kotzin
_ By Debbi Pless
_ By Rachel Miller
_ By Julie Jordan
Hearts Without Armor
_ By Angela P. Markham
Mental Constipation and Brain Vomit
_ By Winnie Khaw
My Best Subject
_ By Ashley Polker
_ By Samantha Rae
Requiem For An Author
_ By R. Holsen
Sometimes It Pours Only Dogs
_ By Saana Tykkä
The Black Tape
_ By Brad Jashinsky

A Slave To Time
_ By Clyde Windjammer
_ By Kaleen Love
Death By My Lover
_ By Jessica Tempestad
I Am A Pineapple
_ By Rachel Miller
Lament For the Lost Soldier
_ By Melissa Augeri
Laundry Arcade
_ By Ashley Polker
Left Silent To Dream of Wine
_ By Kaleen Love
_ By Henry Grieves
Ode To Microsoft Spell Cheque
_ By Arielle Demchuk
Reminiscent of Society As An Individual
_ By Henry Grieves
Ship's Cook
_ By Heather Inwood
The Phoenix
_ By Kaleen Love
The Raven and the Dove
_ By Melissa Augeri
Train Dreamer
_ By Heather Inwood 

Art & Photography
S. Camargo
_ Photography and Drawings
David C. Clarke
_ Photography
Wiltekirra Samaxionn
_ Photography
Anca Sandu
_ Paintings
Austin Tanney
_ Photography
Ray Tsang
_ Paintings
Mark Warren
_ Photography

The Black Tape
By Brad Jashinsky

The kids were screaming with joy when the police officers walked by, their smiles giving even the toughest of men the feeling of appreciation. You know the feeling where you get the chills: the brain overwhelmed with pride and searching to find the right public response to such emotion. These are the citizens that make the job worth it, but in only a few years these could be the same ones that make it unbearable. Just as we learned when we were kids while trying to keep the Rollie-Pollies alive in an airtight jar, some things are just impossible to hang on to. Even against these odds now they still looked at them as kids, but in such a place where the seasons were named for drugs few could hold onto this hope.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” president John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, has been studied and dissected over the years by millions of people; far fewer have echoed it’s meaning in life. As these courageous officers walk through a battlefield, uniformed and with a target on their back, the cold-hearted citizens make their discontent a public display. Burdened by names and a public image that rival those of the criminals they arrest everyday, they still protect and serve, keeping their heads up while at the same time wishing their vest protected them from those attacks. The dedication and loyalty to the people ahead of even their own personal safety and a chance at a normal life; yet, their loyalty and sacrifices go unnoticed most of the time. Seen as controllers instead of protectors, pests instead of pesticides, and annoying instead of brave; yet whom do you call when you need help?

You see the statement “I’d take a bullet for my friend” carelessly pasted in AIM away messages, MySpace profiles, and LiveJournals throughout the Internet with people truly believing themselves when they write it. Police officers prove this statement everyday, but to the extreme degree where even strangers are pushed behind them as shots are fired. Pounding hearts beat, gun shots numb the ears, and shells bounce off the floor with a timid sound that seems to be disconnected from the ruthless scene that’s unfolding, creating the bleakest of work environments.

The shots are fired, and the adrenaline rushes through the body. Sweat pours from all pores as fear battles with the heroism in a back and forth medieval sword fight. The hero presses on courageously, battling the forces of evil so you and I don’t have to. The tale of bravery is the all too common plot of many books, shows, and movies that have come before, but this is all too real. The reality of no guaranteed happy ending to be composed by writers in a cubicle creates this wide blue line that separates fiction from non-fiction. In only an instant the flame flashes, the sound explodes, carried by little air molecules, and in that one instant so much is gone. All of a sudden it’s over, all over.

As the tears run and the camera crew films, the scene is all too familiar of so many tragedies before. The TV anchor may be acting compassionate or may be truly feeling, but for all the stories covered she’s trying to decipher what is nearly impossible as she talks about the legacy of the fallen hero. The depressing music plays and the story tugs at your heart as the screen slowly fades to black and into commercial break.

Black represents the ultimate emotion, conveying the feelings of millions everyday. The world has come to symbolize the color with broken hearts and broken lives. As the police garner black tape over their badge it represents all of these: broken hearts, broken lives, and a broken world.


Dedicated to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Jerry Ortiz and all of the other brave law enforcement officers who have given their life to protect us.

A fund has been set up in Deputy Ortiz’s honor. To show your support and contribute, please contact:

Sheriff's Relief Fund # 285
c/o Sheriff's Relief Association
11515 S. Colima Road
Whittier, California 90604



BRAD JASHINSKY creates videogames such as "Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks" for Midway LA. He also runs videogame developer NewWorldVideoGames.com, and is getting ready to launch MusicResolution.com. Brad fell in love with programming after meeting a very special friend whose wonderful writing inspired him. He is also a police explorer.