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On Grief

In my backyard, there’s a patch of dirt that absolutely refuses to grow grass. I say “patch,” but truthfully, it’s probably sixty percent of the total backyard area. When it rains, the dirt patch becomes a mud patch. It’s treacherously slick when wet and takes days to dry out. I never paid it much attention […]

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For You, For Keeps

The writer sits in her designated writing spot. Well, her new designated writing spot. She’s had three in the last year, but a change of scenery is supposed to be a good thing for the mind. The backspace key is worn, rickety on its plastic arms, waiting to fall off at just the wrong time. […]

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Sunday Morning

As a child, you imagined that clouds were solid and that tomorrows would always come. On Sunday mornings, you’d watch planes drag lazily across the sky. You couldn’t understand how pilots could be so skilled. How do they dodge the clouds, mommy? Shut up and stop asking questions. You’d nod but you’d still wonder about […]

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Rosebush

There is nothing kind about pretending to love someone long after you’ve forgotten what their voice sounds like on sleepy, coffee-scented Sunday mornings. There is nothing authentic about excuses dripping in guilt. You know this. Yet somehow, you’ve decided the rosebush blooming next to your door, the one that caresses your doorstep with blood-red petals even […]

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Death or Dream

Afternoon. Sun. Grass. Baseball. Laughter. But wait. Look up. A plane. No wings. Plummeting. Move. CRASH. But wait. Look again. It’s his plane. His. His. His. Mine. No. I can’t. Change scene. Grocery store. Checkout line. Paper or plastic? Oranges thump across the conveyor belt. A child cries. Annoyance. But wait. Think again. See him. […]

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Symptoms of a Haunting: Part VI

The crackling from the fire died down as its fuel was slowly consumed. The stench of burning flesh singed my nostrils and I fought the urge to wretch. I couldn’t believe that Edna was gone. Suddenly, the incriminating nature of my position struck me. I was in Edna’s house, alone with her burnt corpse laying […]

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Death Rattle

Charles Winslow was an old man with stone lungs and a heart hell-bent on bringing him to a cemetery to rest. Charles Winslow’s heart stuttered like a child reading aloud to the class and stopped dead last Tuesday. His papery skin fluttered delicately with his last exhalation, expelling a lifetime of cobwebs and solitude. Dust settled […]

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Bodies in the Back Room

There are dozens of bodies in your back room. You try to keep the door closed, but sometimes their memories pry the barriers open and climb into your bed and your brain, just like they used to. I wonder where they came from, but simultaneously try not to imagine anything at all.  I wonder if […]

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Painted Faces on Parade

I am breathless with the effort of this masquerade. I drink in the moon and hide from the sun, pretending I never did need to breathe. Death-masked daydreams skitter before reddened eyelids, throwing a lavender fantasy into sharp relief. I can bury myself in a sex-scented reverie, but I’ll still be trying to burrow into […]

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Sleep Paralysis

A guttural voice muttered from the shadows that engulf me, reeking of danger and death. I am blind. The impenetrable blackness consumes the light around me. I suffocate. The words from the darkness are inaudible, yet somehow are more frightening and true for that. I need to wake up. I try to move a leaden arm […]

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