Issue 1 May 1994

That's one story - Not fade away, 1 POstcard stuff, letter from Hell, and 3 poetry which is shitty, and I don;t want to submit thiose. I didn;t know how to send it to you without those, tho. I came up with my own zine thing, just for fun and called it Extinct.

The guts to do it, finally!!!


Extinct's prose fiction



Darkness. I hear a bottle break. The child stifles a gasp close by. The door to the bedroom opens a crack, and she looks into the semi-lit hallway. It looks huge, but it is familiar. I am the child. I see through her eyes.

Expletives are muttered in the distance, and heavy footsteps approach. The child backs away from the door as the footsteps get even closer, and she begins to whimper. Very softly at first, she begins a strange nursery rhyme.

"Now I leave myself asleep, I pray the Lord my body keep..."

The door is thrust open to reveal a large leather-clad man. Stark light from the hallway floods in. The child continues her prayer and is oblivious to him: "Please help me to hide from sight, let me escape into the night..."

The man takes a step towards her, frightening her into looking up at his silhouetted figure. Her prayer rises in intensity: "I pray that when I float up high, not fade away but safely ride..."

The man becomes angry. "Quit that."

The prayer reaches a frenzy, as if the child has become possessed. "If I should fade before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take..."

The man lunges towards her. "I SAID, QUIT THAT.."

Suddenly, I no longer see through her eyes. I pull out of her body to float above. I watch helplessly as her body goes limp and the man completes his lunge in a slow motion pace.

I float steadily and emotionlessly backward as he lifts her body and places it on the bed. I float right through the wall and down the hallway. Through the still open door, I see him unbuckle his belt. I jerk back and pick up speed.

I float past the family room, past the television showing some late-night movie on CityTV, past my mother lying asleep on the couch. I float through the ceiling, through the attic and the roof, and then out among the trees. I have finally found peace. I float higher and higher. Maybe I can reach the stars tonight!

A nagging sensation tugs at me. But I don't want to go back. Indignantly, I push still higher, until the house is nothing but a speck on the ground. The nagging increases, and I am almost unable to breathe. No, I don't want to go back. Desperate, I strain yet higher, until I feel the clouds around me. There is no air here. I start to fade.

Not fade away but safely ride. My own words haunt me. I can't go back. I struggle to suck in some air, and I lose control. I begin to plummet back toward the house, toward the pain, toward air. I resist with all my might, but the clouds are gone, and I can see it all now. It is first a speck but it grows larger and larger. I steel myself for the impact. I can't go...back.

"Ames, get up. Cops!"

It's Panther. The cops have picked today to check on our hideout. Too bad. It was nice sleeping in the warmth for a few days.

"Grab Nic's stuff. C'mon."

My sneakers are already on. I peek through the crack in the door. Near the front of the warehouse, Cave and Dominic are taking the heat. Another cop is coming closer, looking around. I throw stuff scattered on the floor into my bag. By the time I look up, Panther is already out the window. I didn't even hear him leave. I toss my bag through the window, step on the rusty radiator and clamber after Panther. Puffing and groaning, I manage to pull myself up to the level of the huge window. A pair of hands from the other side pull my through easily.

"I've gotta quit smoking," I breathed, "how'd you do that?"

Panther gives me a sign to shut up and leads me down the fire escape. We take off into the chilly October morning. It was nice sleeping in the warmth for a few days.

"Can you spare any change?"

At the sound of my voice, the old man raises his cane in a defensive posture. Nic laughs, provoking a coughing fit. He is practically doubled over, and his spiked mohawk still doesn't move. Wow. He regains control of his lungs and takes another drag of his cigarette.

"Not him, he's some war vet. Thinks we should all have buzz cuts and be at boot camp or something."

I look at his hair with mock sympathy.

"Would they let you keep it green?"

"Shhh. We better get panning if we wanna eat today. How much have you got?"

I count the change in my pockets. "Two-fifty."

"I've got four bucks. Great. We only have half hour left in the lunch hour rush, and we can get a pack of smokes and a milkshake. Can you spare any change? They should have the money. We're just crowding them. I'll go over the other side of the street. Hey, cheer up. Just remember..."

"I know, I know. Look cold, hungry and lonely."

Not hard to do.

"Amy? Is that you?"

I am cherishing my last smoke. I don't need this. I look up anyway. It is Mrs. Radomski, my grade eight English teacher.

"Just Ames." I say irritably.

"I almost didn't recognize you with your..." Say IT! "So, how are you?"

How the hell do you think I am?!



"Listen, if you need anything, someone to talk to,...here's my number." Before I can do anything, she has scribbled her number on a piece of paper. She leaves.

I take a drag and get nothing but filter. Damn. My last smoke.

It's getting dark. It wasn't this cold when I ran away this spring. Hard to believe. Six months, and the nights just keep getting colder.

"Hey Nic,"


"Let's hitch down to the States. Florida or something, then canoe to the Caribbean Isles."

"You kidding? Like they'd let us through the border."

Oh. "Have you tried?"

"Knew a couple of guys who did. One's in Juvie, and the other one,...never came back."

"So he made it?" I ask hopefully.

"Didn't say that. Just never came back." He gets up, giving me a turn at the warm restaurant ventilation shaft. "I'm gonna go look for Panther. He was supposed to find us a place to sleep tonight." His face glows red in the fading sunlight, and then takes off down the alley. The days are getting shorter now, and every night I spend outside, I feel a bit of my spirit leak out of me. There's not much left.

I recall when I was a kid, I used to float away. I wonder if I can do it now. I close my eyes.

Now I leave myself asleep, I pray the Lord my body keep...

The sounds of the night slowly diminish to nothing as a pervasive clam extends over my body.

Please help me to hide from sight, let me escape into the night...

With my eyes closed, I can still see my surroundings.

I pray that when I float up high, not fade away but safely ride...

I look down at my body, my face. It looks so peaceful, so content. I have not seen it that way for a long long time.

If I should fade before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take...

I explore the deepening darkness, intrigued by the numbness and lack of sensations. A familiar nagging tugs at me. I cannot breathe, but I no longer panic. I float through the night sky, riding the air. I don't feel cold anymore. No fear, no longing, nothing. I push further away, through the clouds.

Not fade away... Why not? What do I have to lose?

It becomes more difficult to form complete thoughts. I drift... further from the alley..

Movements disturb me. The chill envelopes me once more. But safely ride... I tremble violently as Panther rubs warmth back into my hands and arms. The feelings have returned, and their short absence make their renewal seem even stronger than before. Panther looks quizzically into my eyes, but the vacant disoriented stare I return keeps him silent.

He stands up and beckons me to follow him.

I am tired. Fifteen years old and exhausted to the marrow of my bones. I don't care about anything anymore, and that scares me more than any cop or drunk asshole with a knife.

I look at Nic, sleeping on his side to protect his mohawk. Not that it would move anyway. I don't know why he took me under his wing, or why he leaves the last smoke for me, or even why he gives me part of what he pans. Maybe someone helped him out when he first started out on the streets. He would never say it, but he would be better off without me.

Cave.. sometimes he's gone for weeks at a time, and every time he comes back with a new hairstyle. Last month, it was long and yellow; this week, the sides are shaved and the top is purple. If he gets a new shirt, he'll throw out the old one. I never find out where he gets the new ones.

If he came back and I wasn't here... I don't think he would even notice or care.

And Panther,...is Panther, and will always be. He is at the window, keeping watch. I don't think he ever sleeps. Fifty years from now, he will be still here on the streets, protecting the unfortunate, finding them places to sleep and eat, and he would not have aged one bit. Sometimes I think he transformed from a cat to a man.

I try to wake up. It is much colder than before. I try to sit up, but find myself paralyzed with chill. I close my eyes and send my awareness above me.

Now I leave myself asleep, I pray the Lord my body keep...

My body is in the room with Nic and Cave. It is more frail looking, skinny and pale than I remember it. It looks peaceful for a moment, but then is shaken by a coughing fit. Is that blood? Panther is no longer at the window. He must have gone prowling. Food for tomorrow perhaps.

I look away. It is more comfortable to look away from the person I have become. I float up out of the shack which has turned out to be our sleeping spot for the night. A quiet street, an abandoned house. While the neighbors sleep in heated houses and we... we are just here as intruders of the night.

There is movement at the end of the block. Panther? No, it's gang members. They stride toward our shack. Closer...closer...closer....

I must warn...

Please help me to hide from sight, let me escape into the night.

No,..I must warn them.

I float back into the shack. I see the mark we missed - the mark on the door frame which claims this as their territory.

"Nic, let's get out of here.."

Too late. I see my limp body move back and forth. Blood and glint of steel in the dimness of the room. I don't want to go back. Images lose focus and I pull further away from the scene.

In a fuzzy slow motion, I see bodies fall to the ground, and I float higher and higher.

If I should fade before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take...



Dear Friend,

It is said that into every life, some rain must fall. But it has been a storm ravaged land around where I live for as long as I can recall. And what else can I do, but pray everyday to some higher Being for strength and courage to face the ugliness which I can only see in this world, for some sort of shelter where the claws of dampness and the wind and hail would not find me.

I have tried to find comfort within the shell of a human being that I am. I found emptiness, starkness and an abyss so deep I dare not venture into for fear of losing my own sanity. Yet, at times of bleakness and desolation, I have sought refuge between the caverns of my soul and have gratefully allowed myself to sink into its merciful darkness and let it wrap around my entire being. It is those times that my soul burns with a fevered rage of pain and anguish, when all my shamefulness is exposed and I am reduced to the wretched being that I am.

I used to be able to play my flute hours on end, and lose myself in my passion for music, or go to a movie where I play the parts of those make believe characters and live in a world which makes so much more sense to me. Perhaps I've overdone the two activities I love so much. These days, they only drive me further into the realm of isolation and into this abyss of hell. I would refuse to return to what you would claim to be the 'real' world. There would be too many conflicts within conflicts, too many responsibilities I am incapable of coping, and that's when I dream of removing myself permanently from this so-called 'real' world.

Last night, I was haunted relentlessly by images of death and decay, by my remorse and uncertainty. All I wanted to do was to get rid of that pain. I can't even remember when it was the last time I got any sleep. And to finally come upon this decision, half drowned in a world of chaos and confusion. Nothing else matters. I just want to end this pain. That's all. Can you blame me? God, I'm too young to die, yet too old to live the life of a 21 year old! You know, you've been right all along, and it's taken me this long to understand that only those with courage will struggle to survive. Maybe I had courage once, but I've failed miserably. I have lost the sense of a fighter. Lost the essence of being alive. I have grown past the innocence of childhood, past the freedom of youth and have become an untimely adult.

Should I worry about what is to come when I leave this world? I've tried to imagine it. Sometimes, it crushes me with nightmares and instill within me the fear of that terrible deep unknown. Yet, at other times, I find a relief and a calm so tempting that it destroys my will to be alive.

I have refused your arguments and persuasions that life still possess that beauty, that wonder which compels us all to struggle on. I have conveyed to you my conviction that there is nothing else I could love, and no way out of this misery. Yet, over the past months, in some kind of desperation, I searched harder for the answers more than I ever did in my life. And still, I couldn't keep my balance on rationality. My mind only distorted whatever good I witnessed in my life, and I could only think of the elimination of my soul. Even through all the doubts, I could only listen to that voice crying in the darkness of my heart.

I bid you an affectionate farewell, as always.





Extinct's poetry column


Once a mighty oak by the river in the woods
when sparrows nestled in your limbs
and squirrels played in the shadowed patch
your leaves quivered in the light noon breeze
under the random clouds of heaven

Felled by the greed of man one day
yet brought to carve by loving hands
an image of his ancestors long past dead
chipped away your silent scream
and splashed by colours of green and red
to stand among a colony of man
an unfamiliar ground amidst the rest.



Walking shadows in the night
Untouchables of the heart
Flickers bright and changing shapes
moving images in the light

a velvet smoothness
a play of words and lies
Smiles unseen within,
embracing selfish hearts.

Caress the soul
the spiritless body
emptied passions and hollow bones
A ship away from shore
drowning in the midnight storm
swept away by bloody waves



There are songs, I know
that sing in the night
a melody of sorts,
an unknown chorus
of the night

There are flutes, I know
carved out of wood
which play softly
ever so gently
in the dead of the night

There are voices, I know
that play upon the lover's heart
a soothing touch to the
broken heart, a mending
to the soul
of the darkest night

There are songs played
on flutes,
the gentle rhythm
that stirs the voices

There are songs that are sung
in the night
that lull you to sleep
to its sweet melody.