INTRODUCTION THE SECOND:
Invitation to a Beheading
This publication, without lofty threat of false advertising, will change your life forever.
– BUY THIS MAGAZINE! –
Compelled by a vivid dream I had one night about a quality literary/culture magazine full of totally amazing shit, I promptly quit my day job as a librarian and set out on a mission to make it a reality.
When attempting to assemble the Imperial Youth Review, I knew I could never accomplish it alone—you see, I can barely dress myself without help from some sort of geriatric nursing aide.
– GO ON THEN, BUY IT! –
In an effort to find my spiritual collaborator, I engaged in dialogue with all kinds of people. Some enlightening, some less so.
But I needed guidance.
– IT CURES CANCER! –
First, I ambled with a tribe of contemporary nomads based in the highlands, leading the pastures herd and living out of a communal caravan. Following a couple of day’s integration, I was convinced to participate in an ancient tradition of bloodletting—apparently everyone does it these days.
I had been promised all would become clear as crystal quartz after the ceremony—the eagerness to uncover my illusive dream-brother meant I was more willing than usual to try new things.
– CURES BALDNESS TOO –
This ultimately ended with me shedding almost a litre of my own viscera, passing out in a field then waking up the next morning with no pants on and a wallet stripped of all its contents.
– MAKES YOU SERIOUSLY IRRESISTIBLE TO WOMEN, SERIOUSLY! –
Not to be deterred, I sought residency in a Tibetan monastery where I recited numerous Buddhist incantations, pledged my soul to religious asceticism and found an inner solitude I had not tasted since my childhood.
However, I did NOT find my fucking collaborator.
I searched everywhere for a sign—from Moscow to Cambodia, Sarajevo to Timbuktu. I eventually returned to Scotland—forlorn, wandering the desolate streets of a capital city as vast, lonely and complex as circles in Dante’s Hell.
– MAKES SENSE OF LIFE’S VAGUENESS –
I had already knotted the noose tightly around my neck and mounted the stack of bucket chairs, fully accepting my punishment for a mission failed, when suddenly I saw a silhouette in the doorway.
– ELIMINATES PERSONAL UNCERTAINTY –
Garrett Cook—just standing there with a ginormous set of garden shears in his hands.
He cut me down, slapped me in the face twice with the back of his hairy hand and told me he’d been sent to help. He told me he’d had the same dream I had and that meditating deeply brought him here.
“I’m from the city of Roses and extinct volcanos on its outskirts. Now pick yourself up and put on a clean pair of underwear. We’ve got a revolution to start motherfucker.”
I had no idea an American would be sent?
– SEND US ALL YOUR MONEY –
So there you go. This is actually how it happened—the noble story of Imperial Youth Review. Our message is equally noble. Tell your friends.
– IF YOU DON’T BUY THIS, TERRORISTS WILL MURDER YOU –
Chris Kelso is a writer, illustrator, editor and journalist from Scotland. His first short story collection Schadenfreude is to be released by Dog Horn Publishing, while two of his other books have already been sold to publishers. Chris’s work can be found in various anthologies and literary/arts magazines. chris-kelso.com