Capturing Campus: October


Fear is a strange thing–
turning your hair on end
it pokes your shoulder on your walk home
but there’s nothing there when you turn
to face the dark
and there’s nothing there
as you sit on your bed late at night
but you feel hot breath down your neck
and you live alone so you turn on the light
The electricity bill gets higher these days
and you might have to take a night shift
to cover the cost
the cost of living alone
but will you be alone forever
found after a neighbor calls the cops
over a smell that curdles the mind
curdling your mind
you try not to think about it
so you think back to home
Scared in dinosaur pajamas
of that thing in you closet
You don’t wear them anymore
but you keep the closet shut
the lights on
your eyes open
and it’s dizzying
with disco lights
shallow breathing
The older you get
the more there is to be scared of

Evolving Emotions: Fear- Photography

the horseman’s head

This is an assortment of pieces I created to celebrate the fall season. I hope you all have a tremendous (and equally horrifying) Halloween!












unintentional brooding (The sun was in my eyes. I swear I’m nice! >:)














diseased and deceased













hell on earth


Sagas Among the Arcana: The Plague Doctor, Part III

Part I, II

“My medicine works especially well on women.”

What a strange claim to make. The thought makes Robert hesitate. It feels like such a lie.

Yet, sacrificing caution, Robert believes it. 

He opens the door.

The Devil is drawn — domination . . . giving into the shadow

The crow-like creature examines his mother. Its beak hovers over her, looking ready to pierce through her sweating skin at any moment. Robert suddenly feels himself ready to tackle the thing out through the window. 

But then, he sees his mother’s nose twitch with the barest hint of life, and he fools himself into believing it is a result of some plague doctor magic.

The creature straightens to its full (albeit tiny) height. It turns its menacing beak toward Robert. For a few moments, it simply stares, and Robert wonders if it wants him to break in some way — down to his core and pull his stomach out. 

His grotesque fantasies, however, are halted when the doctor begins feeling for something beneath its robes. It pulls out a leather pouch lined with metal studs on the bottom. Robert blinks for a second making sure his eyes aren’t deceiving him. He would expect such an accessory from a teenage girl looking for something to keep her makeup in. It shocks him to see it being held by the strange doctor. Sure, the black fits the creature’s aesthetic, but the object in itself is so mundane.

Robert expresses his observation out of curiosity. “Where did you get that?”

The doctor pauses in the middle of taking out some simple-looking tweezers. “Where someone would normally get such a thing — a store.”

Robert refuses to let himself feel stupid. This pouch, for some reason, makes him suspicious of the doctor. 

He feels childish with the question he’s about to ask, but he pushes on as it feels necessary. 

“I wouldn’t have expected a plague doctor to have such a bag.”

“You didn’t expect a plague doctor in the first place. So how would you expect to expect anything from me at all?” It snaps at him.

The creature quirks its head to the side, like the bird it imitates. The action threatens Robert to silence. It steps toward him. He takes a step back.

It continues in a commanding murmur. “So what do you expect of me?”

The blank black eyes bore into him. He wants to walk back further — run, anywhere away from here. But he remains in his spot, locked by invisible chains. 

“I expect you to help my mother.”
“And that is what I will do.”

The Devil










To be continued . . .

Sagas Among the Arcana: The Plague Doctor, Part II

This post is a continuation of last week’s. You can read that here.

“You don’t look like a doctor.”

“Of course I am,” it stresses.

He imagines eyes rolling underneath that crow mask.

“I’m a plague doctor.”

The Two of Pentacles is Drawn — “economy of action, caution”

Robert eventually relents and leads the “plague doctor” in. 

What a curious name, he thinks. He tries to search deeper — recounting from old textbooks he may have read in school. Why is it familiar? Is that an actual profession? Not to mention that “plague” is such an archaic term — he knows that at least — no one has used it in centuries. Perhaps a “plague doctor” came from that time. But how would their skill be different from a regular doctor? 

Leading the doctor up to his mother’s room, Robert notices that the creature is somewhat shorter than him. It also has a heavy gait, which is likely the result of the too many robes that it wears. 

They pause before Robert opens the door.

“Is that what this all is? A plague?” he questions carefully. His voice is so low, he doubts that he’s even saying anything.

But it hears him. “What else would it be.”

It takes a step forward. A leathered glove reaches from underneath the robes, about to twist the door knob.

Robert quickly catches it in a tight grip. He expects it to turn into a taloned appendage. 

A minute passes. No one speaks.

The doctor’s hand shakes. 

“Let go.”


“I can help them — whoever is sick.”

Robert stares at the ground, refusing to look at the crow-like face. He feels pathetic — once again a boy taking scoldings from his mother.

“Have you helped anyone else?”

“No. You will be the first.”

He squeezes tighter, hoping it hurts.

“Then how can I know your medicine works?”

“It will work.”

“You could make her worse.”

“Is it your mother that is sick?”

“Yes,” he answers without thinking, then curses. Shit.

“My medicine works especially well on women.”

What a strange claim to make. The thought makes Robert hesitate. It feels like such a lie.

Yet, sacrificing caution, Robert believes it. 

He opens the door. 

Two of Pentacles










To be continued . . . 

Sagas Among the Arcana: The Plague Doctor

I recently indulged in a new deck— Murder of Crows by Corrado Roi! (The Vault of Midnight is going to absolutely drain my bank account in the next few years.)

While I usually prefer the vibrancy of my other two decks, this one is so gorgeous. It reminds me of my assignments for art class in high school where I clutched my graphite because color pencils are messy and ruin everything.

This deck is also perfect for the Halloween season! So I’m going to use it as my primary deck for the whole of October. 

Coincidentally, one of the stories I’m working on for a class right now is in line with the spooky theme, so expect future readings to be in a similar vein 😉

On with the story!

The Ace of Pentacles is drawn — “a prosperous beginning, careful planning.”

Amina looks past frosted glass into the dead city below. 9 pm is usually the time for young people to go out and dance while drinking various martinis. But now even they are too tired to go out — too sick

Disease pervades them all. Even those who are not in bed hover near it, prepared for the dreaded fainting spells they witnessed dear ones fall to. Not Amina, though. She has no loved ones to observe falling sick; she’s only heard gossip on the streets, back when there was less fear. 

But do not mistake her for being afraid. No, she’s simply following the trends. How they all react — and how she can take advantage of that.

.  .  .

Robert is not sick. But the rest of his family is, and he has no means to take care of them. He has a master’s in engineering, yet now wishes he’d followed his mother’s advice to go into medicine. 

He glances over at her. Her once beautiful and rosy face is now gaunt and sickly. If she were healthier she would reprimand him with an I told you so.

He yearns for it desperately. 

He walks downstairs to get some water when he hears shuffling from the outside. He pauses in his steps. Who would be out now?

He thinks he hears knocking.

He slows his breathing, feeling too heavy for the hardwood floor.

The doorbell rings.

His breath hitches. 

Stupid, he calls himself. They used to get visitors all the time before this crisis. What’s so daunting about someone visiting now?  

He leaves his cup, filled by the sink. Then goes to open the door. 

He curses. 

“I hear someone is sick here?” The creature is a bit shorter than him and it speaks in a low hum. Is it a costume?

It shuffles beneath its heavy black robe, looking so antiquated along with that beak-shaped mask. Where has he seen such a thing before?

“I asked if someone was sick here?” Robert forgot that he had to speak.

“Oh, um yes . . .” Is it even safe to answer?

“Good,” it concludes satisfied. 

Robert can’t help but feel offended by this. “Good?”

“Yes. I’m a doctor, so I can help?”


“You don’t look like a doctor.”

“Of course I am,” it stresses.

He imagines eyes rolling underneath that crow mask.

“I’m a plague doctor.”

.  .  .

To be continued . . . (next Thursday!)

The Ace of Coins (and yes, that is Virizion holding up the card)





Hidden Gems: The Twilight Zone

Unfortunately it’s already the last week of October, which means that this is the last post of the horror-themed Hidden Gems series. I can’t believe how fast it flew by, especially being busy with midterms and existential dread about the state of the world. I’ve really enjoyed sharing some of my favorite works of horror art, I just can’t believe how much I didn’t get to cover; there’s pretty much an endless amount of art that I could talk about when it comes to horror. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t see a spooky post now and again, especially if the inspiration strikes or I watch a particularly good movie. For my last post of spooky season, I found it fitting to talk about a work of art that is extremely close to my heart, a show that inspired my lifelong interest in the supernatural, science fiction, and horror: The Twilight Zone.

Depending on your generation, you might already be extremely familiar with the show; it was groundbreaking when it aired it 1959, and has inspired countless knock-offs and remakes due to its incredible popularity. However, I’ve noticed that has been brushed under the rug recently; I find less and less people who have ever seen it, let alone enjoy it. Unfortunately, the show’s age has been a large deterrent to modern viewers. It is filmed in black and white, as expected for the time, and not all of the acting has aged well. Although it is certainly an old show, I would argue that it has an unmatched amount of charm, and that the intellectual ideas presented in each episode are incredibly fascinating and still relevant today.

The original Twilight Zone of 1959 lasted for 5 seasons and spanned over 150 episodes, making it an incredible catalog of science fiction. Each episode is a self-contained short story and usually features some sort of social commentary or moral. The range of the show is incredibly broad: examples of topics include aliens, time travel, beauty, living inanimate objects, and other unexplainable phenomena. The one thing shared between all episodes is the haunting and iconic introduction by Rod Serling, the show’s creator. Each introduction is unique, but they all convey the same thing: anything can happen in the Twilight Zone, a place where not everything is as it seems, but a place where any of us could end up without knowing. It’s an incredibly powerful introduction, and one of my favorite examples of how art and media can create such strong emotions in the viewer, which in this case happen to be fear and uncertainty. The black and white filming of the show is also extremely conducive to the aesthetic being portrayed in each episode. One might expect it to be a barrier from realism, but I find it to be incredibly immersive, since so much attention is drawn to the characters and the story, not so much the visuals and special effects. More often than not, the immersion is actually broken when they attempt to use ambitious special effects; on the flip side, they use clever practical effects to achieve surprisingly convincing results. Episodes like Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? are a perfect example of this duality: some unfortunate prosthetics are especially jarring, while some of the practical effects are clever and so well done that it almost beats anything that could be accomplished today. In general, all of these aspects of the show make it extremely charming and memorable. Even if not every episode is perfect, they all come from a place of creativity and attention to detail is evident in every one.

With that being said, I can’t recommend the show enough; some seasons are currently on Netflix, and it’s the perfect show to watch during the month of October. Although the show has a notable reputation, it certainly doesn’t receive the amount of appreciation it deserves, especially considering how groundbreaking it was and how much it influences horror and science fiction writers today. If you do decide to watch it, these are some of my favorite episodes, and ones that I would recommend watching first: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Time Enough at Last, The Monsters are Due On Maple Street, Eye of the Beholder, and To Serve Man.