HEXES the sunday spectra 11/27/11

Original Image: Henrietta Hellberg by Lena Modigh for Stockholm Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011

She by The Devil’s Blood

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An Interview with Elizabeth LeBlanc, 1 of 12 known survivors of Maundbury NH

A popular interpretation of Elizabeth from the 1970s

Elizabeth LeBlanc was 13 yrs old in 1968: she befriended bugs, talked to the dead, and perhaps rose storms.

For years, Elizabeth LeBlanc slept in St. Mary’s Graveyard for the Indigent and was shunned by most residents. She was the 3rd daughter of Gerold (missing) and Karen LeBlanc. Siblings: Patricia (deceased) and Margaret (deceased). There was a very bad night in 1965: the father went missing and the eldest daughters met with tragic death. The mother, Karen, never left the apartment again. Elizabeth became a shadow moppet glimpsed in the corners of Maunbury. She enjoyed regular Maundbury events such as the 4th July fireworks display and the ritual sacrifice of The High Sabbath, where she was often found at the edge of the crowd, grinning under her wild hair, alone but happy. Most residents viewed Elizabeth as a loner. Elizabeth argued the bugs and the ghosts of her dead sisters made excellent company. It was rumored that Elizabeth could raise storms when angered. Such reports have never been substantiated.

Elizabeth in 1968

Everything changed in 1968. The town of Maundbury NH was effectively wiped from the Earth in a single night. Reports and theories of what transpired range from the exotic (satanic cults and otherworldly forces) to the ultra-paranoid (whispers of a top-secret and government-sanctioned obliteration of the town by use of a small tactical nuclear weapon). But by far the most popular theories centered on Elizabeth, her strange abilities, her tragic past. HEXES spoke briefly with the elusive figure in late November 2011.
Elizabeth in 2011
SD: Thank you for meeting with us, Ms LeBlanc.
EL: I didn’t kill my sisters. That’s the story they are selling now, I saw the book and the liars on the television, the filthy book that claims I killed my sisters but I didn’t, it isn’t true, the bugs told me first to pay attention and then they told me to run, to run run run, his bottle and his belt were on the counter and my sisters were giggling and the light in the bathroom was broken again. The bugs told me to run. I ran. I didn’t kill my sisters. The book is a lie.
SD: Are you referring to the recent book on Maundbury by [redacted]? There have been so many books on the subject. But you’ve never come forward.
EL: I still will not speak of 1968, I will not speak of the storms, and  I will not revisit the years I spent in the 1970s as a…  fool.
SD: Well, in 1974 Hunter S. Thompson called you the “rag doll folk heroine of the truly fucked and betrayed, a child with more honor than the whole rotten hive of the United States Government.” Steve Erickson has said that he wanted to dedicate a novel to you, but of course, he dedicates his novels to no one. You were a—
EL: A heroine. Hah. You poor man, you poor simon drax man. I was not a heroine. I was a myth. I was nothing. I was Bigfoot with tits, I was a chick from a UFO, I was a piece of ass with a zipcode from the twilight zone. I do not wish to speak of those days. I want to talk about my sisters. They were terrible to me, you know. My sisters. They were so mean! Quite terrible, actually. But I didn’t kill them. We got along much better after they died.
They were sorry for what they made me, the Child Pariah, but they had no choice, it wasn’t their fault.
The geologic forces of my pathetic parents had already cast me in the role of Pariah well before I was born. No one had any choice! The needs of the family dictated my role. My failures were transcribed before I was born!
I can not weep for that child anymore, the child I used to be, her rages and frustrations and heartbreak. Looking back, I am grateful for the ghosts of my sisters and the company of bugs. That was unexpected. That was unexpected. It saved and damned me. The bugs reawakened for me the possibility of God, briefly. I could be hiding now, somewhere, in the dark, but I chose to come here and speak with you. To tell you about being a sister, and being a Pariah.
The importance of the Pariah to the family unit is never talked about, but I will talk about it now, because you know, the importance of the Pariah can not be overstated. Huh huh huh. That was funny! I can be funny. Funny… Do you think I’m funny?
SD: …
EL: It’s all right. I can be. Funny. But you know what’s funny, my slack-jawed, smoke-stenched friend? How we get caught in the needy mechanics of the human heart. What passes for human, anyway. Huh. I knew fucking dogs with more honor than my father.
He made me a pariah, my father, before I was even born.
My birth messed everything up. Everything was more or less good for my father and my mother and my sisters, the poor angelic twins—until I was born, and then all was bad for the white trash clan Leblanc. All bad. All me. Need I say more?
SD: Yes, please.
SL: It would have broken a heart of stone, it would have driven even a saint insane, the venom they poured daily on the unwanted worm who had spoiled their precious affordable paradise, the little rented apartment with just enough room for the four of them, the still-young lovers! With their two heart-faced daughters! They had a fantasy, they had a dream, it all looked good on paper, they made a church of the rotten little apartment, it was their Eden of peeling paint and leaking pipes and broken windows… and then I was born and screwed everything up. And they let me know, every second of every day of my life.
 —  The HEXES Interview with Elizabeth LeBlanc  —
—  will continue in our next issue  —
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PARIAH
Pariah Synopsis A rousing success at its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, this deeply felt human drama is the feature debut of writer/director Dee Rees. Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced “ah-lee-kay”), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. A gifted student, Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the support of her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), she is especially eager to find a girlfriend. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity.

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ALREADY GONE

Fiction by Catherine Nichols

My sister’s cat was on the bathroom ledge yesterday when he must have lost his footing and fell. Seven stories. Splat. We didn’t know at first. We thought he had gone missing, so we did the usual. Plastered the building with notices. Knocked on neighbors’ doors. It was Delmar’s idea to look in the airshaft between our building and the next. There was Toby. Not much blood, surprisingly, just a thin stream of red trickling from his open mouth.

“Aren’t cats supposed to land on their feet?” my mother asked.

It’s my job to clear and set the table for dinner. Tonight Daisy’s settled there, her schoolbooks spread out over the pale Danish wood. She’s hunched over her notebook, doodling in the margins, her long, wavy hair cast out like a net.

“Move it,” I say.

“In a minute.”

“You never do homework this early.”

“It’s not homework.”

Read the complete story at Monkey Bicycle
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The Amnesiac’s Dream
ghoulnextdoor: A new 8tracks mix | The Amnesiac’s Dream Altered art by Alicia Caudle. Track List: Earthly Heaven, Rachel Grimes | First Fall of Snow, Jeff Scott Townsend | Poudre de Lumière, Julien Boulier | Grief Lessons, Evan Abeel | More than Echoes, Sophie Kazandjian | Possibility In Amnesia, Chris Schlarb | 271210, Antonymes | A Dance for You, Wait by Everything is | Unbraiding the Sun, Goldmund | Memories (Box of Memories), Yoshiyuki Usui
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Image credits: Elizabeth LeBlanc fantasy illustration: Natural Disasters by Lissy Elle | Elizabeth LeBlanc in 2011: Ebrahim Khadem Bayat,  Untitled (26), 1997 | Sisters from Already Gone: Getty
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