The Hunter by Sebnem E. Sanders

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Many thanks to the Editor in Chief, Paul D. Brazill, for publishing my story, The Hunter at Punk noir Magazine.

Season’s Greetings and wishes for much health and prosperity in the New Year! 🙂

Punk Noir Magazine

The Hunter

Blanche stood before the cheval mirror and adjusted her fur hat. Tucking wayward curls inside the headpiece, she buttoned her fitted long coat, and picked up her gloves.

Fat snowflakes dancing like butterflies greeted her as she stepped into the street lined with terraced houses. She pulled up her collar, and glided over the soft mounds on the pavement. Warm lights pouring from windows and lamp posts illuminated the blanket of snow which muffled the sounds of traffic and footsteps. A postcard scene, as though time had stopped. Turning left at the bottom of the road, Blanche continued towards the High Street.

Loaded with bags, Christmas shoppers headed in all directions. Passengers stepped onto or off red, double-decker buses along the main street decorated with colourful lights. Children fascinated by displays, stuck their faces on the windows of the Toy Shop as their parents pulled them away while…

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Happy Birthday, Ripples on the Pond! Recap, December 8th, 2020.

Happy Birthday, Ripples on the Pond! Recap, December 8th, 2020.

sebnemsanders

Another year has passed and I still haven’t published my longer fiction… Sorry, I have been distracted for more than a year watching movies, series, human stories I love. Maybe I should attempt to write reviews on these, not as a critic, but as a spectator. Never mind, maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but I know it’s time to concentrate on my longer fiction and stop procrastinating …

Anyway, I’m updating the below post from a year ago, with a few new photos, some reviews, and links to the stories which appeared on online literary magazines, before and after Ripples on the Pond was published.

The below stories were first published at Sick Lit Magazine. Many thanks to the Editor in Chief, Kelly Fitzharris @kellycoody.

My Paper Memories / The Train

King of Hearts

Zero plus One

First published at Twisted Sister Literary Magazine

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Georgia

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Georgia

Yes, I got Georgia on my Mind because it’s significant and the song plays in the background as the US election results painfully unfold. So slow, so unnerving, but we must bear, and the winner will be announced before the next century.

This is where we have arrived now, the most powerful nation on planet Earth cannot decide who is the winner, while the grapevine grows and spreads words of conspiracy… Stealing, winning, losing, suing, etc.

Amid a worldwide pandemic, human or otherwise caused, we are at a standstill, waiting, waiting as to how our fates will unfold.

Hegel says, “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.” White, black, and grey. We are familiar with the whites and blacks, but who is in the grey area? Who will win? The blacks, whites or the greys? Everyone knows the blacks and the whites. No one knows the greys, made up of all they agree from the synthesis of the whites and blacks. A little bow to the left and some to the right, while making their own synthesis. Will this work? Probably not, because people would rather think in black and white, than try to understand the shades.

Sorry America, sorry the World. We need to learn more, but it will take ages…Meanwhile, Back on the Chain Gang ….

Hunter’s Moon by Sebnem E Sanders

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I’m honoured to have my story, Hunter’s Moon, at Punk Noir Magazine.
Many thanks to Author, Paul D Brazill, for publishing my story. 😍

Punk Noir Magazine

Hunter’s Moon

A freelance journalist and photographer, Ali had been on the road for six hours. Although he had intended to reach his destination in Izmir that night, he almost dozed off as the head and taillights from the motorway traffic danced before his eyes. Sipping coffee from the thermos no longer kept him alert. He decided to stop for rest and took the next exit marked, Altınkum 50 Km, a seaside resort on the Aegean, famous for its golden sand beach.

The idea of driving another fifty kilometres sounded challenging. In hope of finding some kind of accommodation on the way, Ali followed the country lane that snaked between vast olive groves on either side. His thoughts drifted to the past, long before the motorway to Izmir had been built. The old road meandered through quaint villages and lively small towns, then. Coffee houses full of men sipping…

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Loss

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Loss

Loss is like something torn out of one’s soul. Something strong grabs hold of it and takes it away. Never to be replaced in this life.

I’ve lived through loss. Of parents, lovers, and relatives, but this is the first time I’ve faced the loss of a very good friend, the only male one. We had been friends for life, he was a month or so younger than me. Our grandmothers were friends, our mothers, and us.

I keep thinking of England, when he came to my wedding party in Warwick. He and his wife were the only Turks there, besides another friend Mehmet, and his English wife. Azmi and his wife gave me a silver tray as a wedding gift. That tray has been sitting on my coffee table for a while, waiting to be put away. You know how one forgets things, after a recent event.  I wonder if that was a sign. It is still there and now I cannot put it back in the dresser. Another gift he gave me, sits among the small silver knicknacks. A milk pitcher with a ladle. I love it and polish it, thinking of him.

After our school days, we were apart. He got married and moved to England, while I got married and began to work. We had no contact during the time I lived in the Far East. When I returned to London, we were both separated from our spouses. It was a difficult time for both of us. We stuck together, supporting each other and shared things. Going out at night, to shows, dinner with friends, and countryside rides.

During my miserable days in London, he was the only beacon of light that kept me going. I hope I was the same for him, for his losses.

He used to take me to a night club called The Escapade in South Kensington, very close to the Bibenium. That was the only venue open until the early hours of the morning, after the Pubs closed. South American owners, Argentinian steak, music, and dancing, and Londoners from all walks of life. Then, he’d drive his classic Lancia along Park Lane, breaks and tyres screecing, taking me back to my flat. He was a gentleman, generous, courteous, intelligent, and kind. Despite his excellent education and high qualifications, I don’t think he found the dream job of his life. But he tried, through thick and thin, he tried, to his last day, always…

Then we’d have Fish&Chips at Notting Hill, watch the Talking Heads movie at the ICA, go to Sunday lunch with his friends, or mine at my flat.  

I returned to Istanbul after two years, he followed a couple of years later. Being an engineer, he had turned his skills to IT. He became a programmer, an international one. He worked in Beirut, in the UK, and wherever his services were required.

Then life happened. Companies closed, he had the big C. He never ever gave up, until the last moment.

Wherever you are, my friend, may you rest in peace. I have thousands of memories to cherish, once I can deal with your loss.

Dedicated to Azmi Tenikalp, 1950-2020, Istanbul.

Dark and Light

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Dark and Light

The morning was dark as night

the evening bright, as the moon,

stars, and constellations

illuminated my path

There is light among the darkness

and shadows of darkness in light

The magic is to find the beam of hope

whether it’s daytime or night.

©S.E.Sanders 2020

The X Factor by Sebnem Sanders

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Many thanks to Author Paul D. Brazil for publishing my story, The X Factor, at Punk Noir Magazine. This story first appeared in Ripples on the Pond.

Punk Noir Magazine

The X Factor

Notting Hill, London

Scarlett gazed at Frank, lying next to her in bed. His tousled hair covered part of his face, eyelids framed by dark curly lashes fluttered in sleep. She stroked his hair. He opened his eyes and looked into hers.

“Good morning,” he said, yawned and stretched, and kissed her on the mouth.

Scarlet sighed and held his hand. “Why do you always disappear?”

“Because I’m a spy.”

“Liar, if you were, you wouldn’t tell me.”

“True, but it could be possible — the X-Factor.”

“There’s something spooky about you. I can’t put my finger on it, but you go away for a long time, never call, then you surface and ask me out.”

“I told you. My job requires me to travel.”

“Why don’t you call when you’re away?”

“What’s the point? I won’t be able to see you.”

“Is that what this is…

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The End and The Beginning

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Richard Ehrlich Photography Homage to Rothko

 

Richard Ehrlich photography, from “Homage to Rothko, Malibu Series” 2012
(In collaboration with R. Mac Holbert, a series of montages composed from original Malibu sky images as an Homage to Mark Rothko)

 

I wrote this story a while ago. I submitted it without success. I think this is the right time to share it. Dismal, but true. We don’t change, do we?

 

 

The End and The Beginning

 

They said the Day of Judgement had come and the end of the world was near. Then the skies turned granite, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis devastated towns and villages for days until all the unwanted were washed away from the surface of the planet.

Waking on strange beach, I looked around and saw that everything had changed. Not a building in sight, nor any remnants of “civilization”. A vast emptiness as far as the eye could see, bordered by tree covered hills. Even the sun didn’t look familiar, an alien shade of red, casting a rosy light upon the land.

Following the sound of water gushing from an unseen source, I dragged my feet towards it until I came upon a rivulet fed by a spring. Scattered around its banks, people talked to each other while perusing me with suspicion as I approached. I bowed my head, then cupped my hands and drank water to quench my thirst.

Resting on the grass to observe the survivors, I noticed everything was different. Snow White was no longer white, but black. Rapunzel had close-cropped hair. Alice had lost her wonderland. Soldiers and pirates exchanged clothes and identities, as Sleeping Beauty walked around, eyes wide open. Lords had become peasants as peasants flaunted their elegant outfits.

“Who are you?” a young girl asked.

“No one special. I’m me.”

“How come you haven’t changed?”

“No idea. Are we on a different planet? Is this Earth or elsewhere?”

“We don’t know, yet. Nobody does. We’re gathering to decide on a plan.”

I joined the discussion about our survival and voted to move up the hills to take shelter rather than staying on the beach in case of a Tsunami. Perhaps we could find food up there and a safe haven to settle.

Scouts explored the mountains and returned with the news of a valley beyond the hills. Hunting for food with sharpened sticks, on our way, we reached the meadow at dusk. Gathered around fires lit with flint,  the head count of 500 remaining humans discussed the strategy of our survival on this strange planet.

“Back to the stone age,” one said.

“At least we have the knowledge. We can make tools, wheels, and shelters. Start farming, agriculture. Keep livestock, form a community.”

Knowledge without tools was a sad consolation, but we could always try as humans had done in the past and advanced.

Survival being our mutual cause, we worked in harmony as a leader emerged in the colony. He formed a council of advisors, and much to my surprise, included me they called Unchanged. It seemed like a privilege, but I wasn’t sure. Perhaps it meant unchangeable, inflexible, rigid. Was I so, though I tried very hard to adapt to the difficult conditions of our existence?

“A transformation,” they said. “A test for humanity to do better this time, understanding the past to build the future. At least we speak the same language and can communicate. We’re civilized without being civilized.”

I wasn’t sure about that either because I heard a wise woman and a wise man speak.

“You know what will happen at the end of this, don’t you?” she said.

He chuckled. “Politics, greed, wars, division, and devastation. The rich and the poor.”

“Progress and destruction.”

“Can’t we prevent this, having the knowledge?”

“Not unless we can stop time, but you know we can’t change human nature.”

 

I wept with the knowledge that someday this world would end, too, despite the efforts of survival and co-operation here. Perhaps, that’s why I hadn’t changed. I represented all of them, in my perpetual state of being.

 

Thank you for reading.  🙂

The Song of Spring by Sebnem E. Sanders

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My Story, The Song of Spring is at Punk Noir Magazine. Many thanks to the Editor-in-Chief and author, Paul D. Brazill. 🙂

Punk Noir Magazine

The Song of Spring

Belma

Belma watched over the crowd gathering in the courtyard of the mosque. On the altar, stood a coffin. Draped over its raised head, a muslin scarf with a crocheted edge, and a small wreath of white and purple freesias placed upon it. Her favourite flowers. The men were lined up before the altar and the women, their heads covered, assembled on both sides. Belma scanned their faces. They all had tears in their eyes. She recognized most of them. Friends, relatives, colleagues. Someone must have died, a woman. She saw her mother, her best mate, and her cousins. Her eyes searched the congregation. Where’s Aila? She jabbed a finger at her mother’s shoulder and whispered in her ear.

The sweet aroma of the freesias reminded her of the Song of Spring she used to sing to Aila when she was a little girl, and how…

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Quote

Cercis Siliquastrum, my first story at Spelk Fiction from 3 years ago

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It must be Judas tree time in Istanbul. As it’s the 1st of May, I remember the picnics we used to have on this day, the happy memories of childhood, surrounded by purple blossoms.

Here’s a link to my first story at Spelk Fiction, from 3 years ago: Cercis Siliquastrum (Judas Tree/Erguvan Agaci)

https://spelkfiction.com/2017/04/21/cercis-siliquastrum/

 

 

via Cercis Siliquastrum

 

Erguvan zamanı6jpg