All Your Broken Pieces
Summer way outside the city brought with it the promise of peaches and late nights spent in the fields. Laughter fluttered along with the whistle of corn stalks brushing against each other. The kids in town always brought with them packs of beer—the older folks overlooked the fake IDs because they too had once been young—before finally settling underneath a blanket of stars. Somewhere between childhood and adolescence, they had forgotten the wonder of pointing out the constellations that couldn't be mistaken as the lights from airplanes.
It Wasn't Supposed to End Like This
Did you think love was like a cake lovingly baked through time and error? Did you think measuring out each cup of flour and dusting your face with it would make him stay? Did you think that last birthday cake would secure his affections in a way nothing else could?
I Don't Belong
Do you remember when Ma took us to the barn off of Shady Creek Lane? I played with the calico kittens, their eyes barely open, while you climbed bales of hay. The insides were falling apart, like an old man whose bones were nearly poking through his skin, but Ma didn’t seem to care as she smoked cigarette after cigarette with Dan, the owner.
The Taste of Her Cherry Chapstick
Just wanna try you on I'm curious for you —Katy Perry, "I Kissed a Girl" The first time I meet her, I nearly barrel into her as I squint at my phone to read my class schedule and figure out what room English 101 is in.
"You're a Writer!" They Proclaim
I remember the first time I was hit by the writing bug. When I was in the sixth grade, an essay I wrote about my grandpa made it through as a winner of a state competition. Just being chosen made me feel like there was something special about me that had suddenly appeared overnight.
Too Many Musings of the Apocalypse
It's been a long three weeks! As someone who devoured dystopian novels circa 2010-2012, Vocal's Doomsday Diary challenges—in partnership with Unbound—seemed right up my alley. I managed to scour my ideas and write 20 short stories of varying apocalyptic scenarios. (And, yes, I had to call back a few for edits because I forget to include the heart-shaped locket, the key detail required for all entries.)
30 Things I Learned at 30
We're going to pretend this is going to be funny. (It probably won't.) Here are just some of the things I learned in the months since I turned the big 3-0.
A Matter of Affinity
"You will be wonderful," Amara's parents and teachers would coo. Every test and application told her she was in the top percentile of even the top one percent. Every award whispered with the promise that she was going to make a great life for herself, all born out of the success she was so likely to gain.