Ginearosa Carbone


When Jensie decided to go to college as a STEM major, her parents were overjoyed. 

                    “Maybe she’ll become a doctor,” her mother would titter. 

                    “Now now, an engineer is a much more safe bet,” her father would soothe, patting her mother’s hand gingerly. 

                    Jensie would look at the ground and flush. These were not her goals or aspirations, but she would attempt to make every effort to satiate her parents. Most children think this way, even when they are at the budding cusp of adulthood. 

                    And Jensie had tried to be a premed student, oh she had. She trudged through the prerequisites, going through all five stages of grief, but just couldn’t make the grades. What’s worse, it didn’t bring her joy. And although she strived to achieve her parents’ admiration, she threw in the towel after only one semester. 

                    Jensie transitioned to microbiology. It was her median between quitting and staying in the game. She may have quit pre-med, but maintained a scientific major just in case she came to her senses, per her family. In the meantime, she was cut off financially (a tough but fair decision, they told her lovingly).

                    Jensie may have never fully come to her senses. In fact, she felt like she was losing her mind trying to juggle her classes as well, her research position in the graduate student lab, and her new part time job at the student library. 

                    That’s when she found The Book. 

                    The Book may have always been in the library, but it made itself known to those it thought would make good use of its passages. 

                    Why had no one else noticed? Maybe it was a tune people years ago could hear better. Maybe it was too high pitched for people of the 21st century to make out, like the frequency of a dog whistle. Maybe all of the cell phone and Wifi communications blocked its natural tenor. Either way, The Book hummed and one or two hair cells tickled deep within Jensie’s ear because she turned on her heel and walked towards it. 

                    “Hello?” she called. But no one answered. She wasn’t sure she had heard anything specific, but people take solace in the sounds of familiar voices. That’s why people turn on comfort TV shows late at night, to drive away the fear and loneliness.

                    Jensie turned the corner to find nothing. She scanned the walls, the floors, even the ceiling for anything, maybe a walkie-talkie left on a static channel, but she found nothing. Jensie began to go back towards the main entrance when a loud


startled her.

                    She spun around to find a ragged thing of a book lying flat on the tiles in the middle of the shelves. It had fallen, though it sounded more like lept, off of the shelf landing with a slap.

                    Jensie walked over to the book and slowly picked it up. Its edges resembled the texture of a dog treat pig’s ear and snagged on the dry skin of her fingers. She opened the book to find pages of chicken scratch, deeply etched into the paper. The writing was almost illegible, but after some squinting and angular manipulation, the words began to come to light. Anybody who wants to understand something badly enough will find a way to reveal the meaning. And Jensie was getting desperate.

                    The rest is history as they say. 

                    Months later, Jensie’s parents reaccepted her and acknowledged her educational switch into microbiology as vitally important. Most parents would say the same after their child was featured in Scientific American. 

                    The growing problem of trash disposal was quite an issue, especially in America. Landfills overflowing, marine debris floating atop the shores like rancid lily pads – very messy stuff. When Jensie proposed a solution to this, people laughed. But the results spoke for themselves. A couple of demos later, the town was devoid of trash, the local dump reduced to measly scraps so sparse that generations of opossums had to find new lodging. Word spread and legal tender was amassed.  


Jensie finished an afternoon lunch with her mother and father. Her treat, of course. She quietly excused herself from the table, leftovers in hand, leaving her parents starry eyed. Her TED talk would begin shortly and she will be asked to perform. Again. They always need a demonstration, and that was fine. 

                    Behind the restaurant, Jensie tapped the asphalt three times, gently with the back of her knuckles. The ground trembled ever so slightly. Not enough to make neighbors croon their heads out their windows in fear, but enough to rouse a nearby cat from its perch. Subtle, in all the ways large changes in the world are. A ripping sound cut through the air like one piece of fabric forced into two. And suddenly a hole in the Earth cracked open and dilated. She threw the bag of trash into the hole and smelled the sulfurous after-stench waft through the air. The hole opened a little more every time. Maybe one centimeter. Maybe more. No one had noticed thus far, well, except Jensie. But just like greenhouse gasses, it was a problem to be dealt with later. The hole began to quiver and slowly close against its better judgment. It wanted to stay open, but it never did (maybe once, but no one knows about that time). She didn’t need The Book anymore, but kept it close under lock and key where only she could find it. She’d need it again someday, she was sure. But not then. In that moment she had things to do.


Ginearosa Carbone is a horror writer with her first debut horror novel Cut Me Open Make Me Whole published in 2022 with Black Bed Sheet Books. She enjoys the macabre and lives in southern California where she spends her days reading Stephen King and spends her nights fending off Nightmare on Elm Street like night terrors. Additionally, she is a doctor of internal medicine.