August 15, 2017

Mom only has two pictures of me, both clippings from The Gazette. In the first, she’s holding me at arm’s length so you can see the afterbirth dripping from my wings. The second is a close-up of the wings themselves: dark and segmented like a wasp’s.

I spent all of high...

August 14, 2017

His mother’s tears had become the soundtrack of his sleep, and when it had become too much to bear and knowing that he was too young to offer any real comfort, he had begun to climb out onto the rooftop.

He would lay back on the cool clay, allowing the breeze to take hi...

August 13, 2017

  

As long as she could remember, Gabi had wanted wings, certain it would change everything.

When she told her French-Canadian grandmother, Mamé snorted. “Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait. Youth is wasted on the young.”

Mamé didn’t understand. She was a lean...

August 12, 2017

The air clung to her skin, leaving it smelling faintly of the languid notes of cherry tobacco and sweat. It permeated the air and added to the scents that were so famously native to New Orleans. Margo loved the buildings along Decatur. They looked as if they were alive...

August 11, 2017

It was seventy-five yards to the air raid shelter, and it took less than a minute if you left at first howl. Stop for a few seconds if you had to and you could hear the first explosion in the distance.

Mom needed to stop that night because the pain was terrible and doub...

August 10, 2017

His hand trembles as it rests lightly against my smoothness, fingers tensed. I’ve always wondered if he would ever choose me. And my answer is yes—here we are. This is my destiny. This is my purpose.

You see, for what feels like years now I’ve spent my minutes just jost...

August 9, 2017

Johnny’s dead.

Got himself shot and killed by a Yankee.

In May of 1861, me and Johnny had joined the infantry. As we marched out of our Virginian hometown, pretty girls rushed toward us and handed over iced cakes and wilted wildflowers. Johnny bragged to each girl how he...

August 8, 2017

You wake with the rest of them. You bathe, dress, and eat breakfast. After, it’s off to the fields. You’re on sowing duty this week, which you don’t mind. Digging in the dirt has always been one of the few calming practices here for you. You like getting your hands dir...

August 7, 2017

If you don’t count mock-up planes at the flight attendant training center, I’d only been on an airplane four times before today.

Bing. Bong.

I looked up from the porthole window that made the earth below tiny and surreal.

I stared at the phone. I felt stupid and new, unab...

August 6, 2017

Shaylin had been sleepwalking since she was four years old. Her parents had thought it cute until she’d fallen in the bathroom when she was six and they’d woken to her bloodcurdling screams. They didn’t think the emergency-room doctor had quite believed them when they’...

August 5, 2017

An airman visited Jean Stober’s sixth-grade class during Indian summer. He was thin, red-headed, and wore a blue uniform with medals. He blushed when Sister introduced him as “Eli LaDuke, one of the truly blessed,” promising students that they’d hear about a fabulous e...

August 4, 2017

At some dance party, I made friends with a girl from Magadan. By the end of the night, we were already kissing on the lips. We said goodbye and exchanged numbers. She called me and invited me out to another party. There we were kissing again, on the lips. It was intens...

August 3, 2017

At 85 miles an hour, your car trembles but doesn't shake. You think that if you go any faster, the old tires won’t be able to handle it. You imagine the friction, the burn of the asphalt skinning rubber off the wheels. The tires haven’t been changed since you were 16 y...

August 2, 2017

My childhood memories start to feel more like dreams than remembrances as the years pass, but the last day at the lake house remains crystal clear. My parents were melancholy about selling the house, but I never cared for the place. There was not much for a young girl...

August 1, 2017

It’s been ten years since he sipped a drink, but the memory of whisky caressing his tongue remained. Strange how he’d never considered himself an alcoholic until he quit drinking. Even the sherry trifle and brandy pudding, both which his mother slaved over for Christma...

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