Skulls. The War on Football Sunday.

Man, I remember that. Mary would never do that to me. She’s too good of a catholic girl. That sucks. Sara is more down. I mean, sorry, a bit more open.

Story and images by: Icarus Blake -
Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

Hey Frank! Where are you? Can you hear me?

I don’t know, I have all this warm stuff in front of my eyes… I think it’s blood… and my ears hurt a lot.

Hold on, I can see you now, let me get close. Oh shit, I can’t really move my legs. Here, let me crawl.

It’s blood, and it’s very foggy around here. That was some blast, a rocket you think?

Let me wipe the blood off your eyes. Hold on. That’s some gash on your head. We need to stop the bleeding. Oh! Awful! Your hand is mash… Sorry, I mean, it’s a pretty bad wound.

I don’t really want to look. I’m having hard time breathing. Maybe I’m dying, I don’t know. I wish I could be home with Sara, watching the game while she bitches at me ‘cause of my feet on the table…

We’ll get home. They’ll come and get us. They know we’re missing by now. No worries. Aaaah! My feet… my feet are a mess, look at that!

Show me, hold on, stop wiping my face, it hurts. Now, your feet ARE a mess. Like something heavy fell on them, that is a bone sticking out of your pants. We’re NOT in good shape.

No. We are not. It’s beginning to hurt now. All down my legs. You think I’ll lose both my feet? Where do they amputate? Below the knee? Maybe not, they can fix anything these days. What were we talking about before the blast? The Giants?

Yea, the Giants having a bad season. Remember that Sunday night coming back from the game? Sara was in the back seat with me. I could see you were checking on us in the rearview mirror. She was touching me, I can tell you now. And we knew you were watching us.

Man, I remember that. Mary would never do that to me. She’s too good of a catholic girl. That sucks. Sara is more down… I mean, sorry, a bit more open. I can’t believe I’m laughing. We probably dying here and I’m laughing.

I know. Sara is great. You have your cellphone? See if it works. We should call them, tell them, call somebody for help. I’m hurting bad now. Look at my hand! Can you wrap it or something? Hey! Answer me.

Sorry, kind of dozing off here… Just a moment, keep me awake man. Here is the phone. Wait, no bars… no service. You know it doesn’t work down here in Mexico. Only Skype on Wi-Fi. Look at my screen man, that’s Mary with the kids. Nice shot right? It was last xmas at her parents’ house. They don’t like me. They think I’m a loser ‘cause I didn’t finish college and went to work. But, you know, I wanted a car, independence… take the girls out to nice restaurants.

I know the fucking story. Then you became an electrician… you opened your own business… back to law school… almost finished… got Mary pregnant…

Yea. I could’ve been a contender… I fucked up, man. I sure did. Imagine that: bright young lawyer, sharp suit… instead of this filthy uniform. I hate all this. Look at us. We’re losers. Dying losers.

Speak for yourself. I’m happy with the military, and so is Sara. She likes me in uniform. We had the best sex with me wearing the uniform. But, look now, it’s a mess: all bloodied up. I can hear the captain waling at us… Where are the others? They were right behind us, a floor down. Anybody there? Halloooo!

Stop it, man, PLEASE stop it. They’re probably all dead or hiding somewhere. There’s still bombing going on outside. Can’t you hear? It’s probably us kicking their butt back to Tijuana. What the fuck with the border wars anyway. Useless. Like the water wars, remember? That was rough. All them kids lost in the North. For nothing.

They’re all useless, man. Remember when my grandpa got blown away in Afghanistan? We were kids. I miss my grandpa. I enlisted because of him. ‘Cause of the war stories my grandma told me about him. And look at it now: they found oil and Kabul is like Dubai. High-rises and Ferraris everywhere. Useless. We die so they can do business later. I wish Sara was here. Kiss me with her fat, sexy lips. Oh man.

You know this shit, and yet this is the second war you fight. At least I skipped the water wars. They were useless, and those poor people up in the woods in Canada. We blew them to bits. Just to get to those lakes. Now we got water again. But it’s as expensive as before. Ten bucks to the gallon, can you believe that? All about business. I’m so thirsty, are you thirsty? Hey, you dead? Wake up!

My head hurts. I need to take a nap. Here is water, hold on, there. Sorry only got one hand. Can you reach? Good. I know I shouldn’t sleep, but I’m so tired. I fought in  the water wars cause we were thirsty all the time. My kids woke up crying for water in the middle of the night. I had to go and fight for the goddam water. I had to. Fuck Canada. They had too much of it. Let me rest.

Frank, Frank! You can’t sleep. You lost too much blood. Let me rip my shirt and see if I can stop the bleeding. I’ll do the same for my feet. Or whatever’s left of them. Mary always told me I had sexy legs. She liked my big calves. I wonder if she’d stay with me as an amputee.. Probably not. Maybe for pity in the beginning. You know that kid from high school, George? He still calls her… She probably would leave me for him. He’s got legs.

What the fuck are you talking about? And who the fuck is George? Stop this bleeding would you? I don’t remember no George. Some loser after Mary? Easy man! That hurts, a lot! Oh shit, look at that hand. I’m noxious now. Oh god! I’m gonna lose that hand. Sara is going to be sooo pissed. And the kids? How am I gonna play with the kids without a hand?

Be still, please. I’m trying to do something here. I can’t see well. Did you hear that noise? I think somebody’s coming up the ramp. Be quiet.

I can’t see nothing. Oh wait, there is somebody down there… is it one of us? There is more. Oh! Somebody’s coming. I can see them now. They got weapons. Is it us?

Be quiet, it looks like us. But I cannot see well. Wait! They’re talking. Oh shit! That ain’t English. Grab the gun, quiet.

Why? I can’t shoot, I’m missing a hand, remember? Let’s just surrender. Let’s give it up, man. I’m tired. You tell them. Tell them we got kids and we are wounded and unarmed. Tell them. We just want to go home and watch the game on Sunday.

Frank, we’re dead. Let me write something for Sara and Mary in the phone. Wait. Sara, Mary, we are dead if you read this. We spoke about you all the time before dying. And if you want you can make yourself another life with that kid, George. I don’t mind. I love you, and the kids. Frank, talk to me what shall I write?

Sara, Sara, listen. You know when you thought I had an affair with Gloria? It wasn’t true, Sara. It wasn’t. Why would I?  You are so beautiful, and much smarter than me. You’re perfect Sara. I lost a hand. If they bring my body home… please don’t look at it. I’m all jacked up. Sara?

They’re here. They saw us. I’ll put the phone in my mouth so they’ll see it. Frank? We’re dead, Frank.

Yes, we are.



Icarus Blake & Max Power: Editors in Chief
Lora Wiley: Managing Editor
Teo J. Babini: Senior Editor
Greta Pininfarina: Fashion Director
Miko Sala: Art Director
Tiffany Credle: Senior Publishing Editor
Daniel Cardona: Graphic Designer
Luigi Scarcella: Graphic Illustrator
Matt Heidkamp: Editorial Producer and eCommerce Manager
Nancy Cooper: Finance Supervisor
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Contributors to this issue:

Shay Neary/Are you a “Trick” or a “Treat”?!
Shay Neary is a trans-woman college grad living in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. She currently works at RedFarm in Greenwich Village. She is a newbie to NYC and has an obsession with street food and Starbucks.

Lily//Are you a “Trick” or a “Treat”?!
A poet at heart, a photographer; living in New York somewhat shyly.

Sherianne Butron/A Halloween Guide to Powdering Your Nose
Sherianne Butron was born in Philippines and was raised in Queens, New York. She began her artistic career at a young age, first by drawing architecture, then designing and creating intricate t-shirt designs and dresses, then to oil painting and then finally, experimenting with different art mediums. Sherianne began to oil paint portraits when she realized her passion wasn’t meant for canvas, but instead to enhance a person’s face. She went on to attend Make-up Designory in New York City, New York, where she was enrolled in the Master Make-up Artistry Program. Gravitating towards the fashion industry, Sherianne started her career testing with renowned photographers and keying and assisting makeup artists at fashion shows throughout New York City. With this experience, she has built a reputation for high detail and creativity, with an ability to enhance the natural beauty of a face to create highly clean and minimal looks to the more extreme and dramatic special effects.

Juliet Cook/Swarm One
Juliet Cook’s poetry has appeared within Arsenic Lobster, Barn Owl Review, Menacing Hedge, PEEP/SHOW, Ping Pong and many more print and online sources. She is the editor/publisher of Blood Pudding Press (print) and Thirteen Myna Birds (online). Juliet’s first full-length poetry book, ‘Horrific Confection’ was published by BlazeVOX.  She also has oodles of published poetry chapbooks, with a new collaborative poetry chapbook with Robert Cole forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press. You may find out more at

Robert Cole/Swarm One
Robert Cole is fiction editor for Similar Peaks and his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Skidrow Penthouse, Menacing Hedge, THIS Literary Magazine, Thirteen Myna Birds, Sein und Werden and elsewhere. His collaborative chapbook with Juliet Cook will be published next year by Hyacinth Girl Press. He currently lives and works in Norman, Oklahoma.

Brystan Strong/The Drive
Brystan Strong is a recent graduate of Southern Oregon University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a Minor degree in Shakespeare studies. She is currently attending San Jose State University to pursue her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science with an emphasis in Youth Librarianship. Aside from writing short fiction, Brystan is currently pursuing publication for her recently finished children’s book, and is currently working on a project that can best be described as a fantastical tragedy for young adults. You can keep up with her on her website at or contact her directly at

Eric Hill/Global Odyssey Series
Eric came to the realization that he wanted to spend some extensive time traveling after leaving North America the first time to go down to Peru with a few friends. Growing up he was raised as one of six children in a strict religious home. Growing up with a professor father they traveled extensively within the US, he always said from a young child that, some day, he would visit every country in the world. That first time while traveling abroad, he could see why he never felt comfortable following the religion he grew up with, he realized happiness and truth were not exclusive to the belief system he was raised in. These thoughts and ideas have led him to his current quest, to find that awesome exists in every country. Awesome in the form of happiness, adventure, laughter and the quest for something more.

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