Hey, I'm Mae.
My writing takes on many forms, and -just like me- it cannot be defined under a single label.
I am currently publishing a series of short stories for Vocal's SFS Challenges,
and watching them become a book!
Stay tuned & ENJOY!
The Raging Beast
I could feel the pain in her chest clearer than ever, and I knew that this pain ran deep. Still holding the picture frame in my hands, I looked down at the girl smiling back at me. Her hair was curly and bright, almost white, with a yellow Marigold flower stitched onto her overalls. She was a girl on a farm, with love spread across her face; but I watched her change as I felt the story they had told me warm my heart.
Bulls & Bullies
Two photos rested on the kitchen table –the small plastic Polaroid being held by the large metal frame below it. She had put the frame in my hands after sharing her theory with me, but its weight quickly tumbled from my grip. She caught it, before it could fall, and discarded it onto the table’s surface to hold my hands in hers. Her eyes, older than mine, held my gaze as he reached out a hand to place on my shoulder. In the past, the touch of any many could cause me to crumble and retreat, but I felt an unfamiliar form of safety from his touch. I took in a deep breath, and was finally able to sigh it back out with a steady chest.
The Polaroid Picture
The words had left her lips with ease, and they were carried across the room with the joy in her voice. Time itself seemed to slow as I watched those nine simple words reach my ears, and cause me to question everything I had ever known. This must be some kind of mistake, I thought; but the longer my eyes lingered on the photo in front of us, the less sure I became of anything. How the photo had made its way to me, I wasn't sure of, either; all I knew is that it appeared at the bottom of a brown, paper-covered box.
Paper & Twine
The box rested gently in my hands as my fingers brushed the smooth surface of its paper covering. The twine wrapped around it was rough, crossing on the bottom of the package and looped into a bow on top. There was only one word written on the brown, paper-covered box, filling the space in the top right corner between the strands of twine. I had seen that writing, so many times before, but the feeling it brought was so different than the very first time.
The Kitchen Table
At the kitchen table in an old farmhouse, we sat and talked for what felt like hours. The cake in front of us disappeared as we took in each other’s words; and when the last piece had been scooped off the plate, she collected the dishes and rose from her seat. An audible silence fell over the room, and I could hear each of her steps as she shuffled to the counter –just as well as I could feel everything that was left unsaid. She rested the plates in the kitchen sink, and then gripped the edge of the counter as she took in a deep breath. She sighed the air back out into the room, and I could feel the shaking in her chest.
Peace & Cake
My eyes had opened for only a moment, and it seemed that nothing had changed. The sun was piercing through the holes in the barn’s boards, but there was no warmth to welcome me into the day –I wasn’t even sure what day it was. Had I been sleeping for just a few hours, with the sun now rising after a long night? Or had the sun gone around and around in the sky, while I slept in the shelter of an old barn? I thought for a moment, but then a deep sigh brought pain back to my body, and I was all too aware of my broken arm and busted knee. I reached a hand out to the lantern in front of me and turned the dial to break the flame; and then my eyelids fell as quickly as my hand back down to the bed of hay.
The Old Barn
That old barn was my saving grace, and it wasn’t until much later that I learned just how true that was. I had been walking for hours when I first set eyes on it. The rain had stopped long ago, but I was still dripping wet; my body couldn’t separate the sensations of water falling from my hair, from the tears running down my face, and the blood pouring from my wounds. The closer I got to that old barn, the more it seemed to tower over me, and the slower my pace became. Far off in the distance, it seemed small; but once I was standing in its shadow, it was mountainous and grand.
Hello, my name is M(A)E(L)
Our names are a massive part of how we communicate with the world. In one sense, they’re just sounds we make to get each other’s attention –it would get pretty confusing if we all called each other, “Hey, you!” Yet, on the other hand, our names provide a sense of identity and belonging –they set us apart from everyone else. Even when we meet someone with the same first name as us, our middle and last names will differ, and even the reason that name was chosen for us.