• All I can think about right now is earthquakes. I thought about this earlier today. I talked about this with Bea. Didn’t I? Christ, I can’t remember anything.

    Yes, I talked about earthquakes. I remember that. I talked about the end of the world, and how I can’t stop thinking about it.

    Here is what I think about: earthquakes. Tsunamis (which…[Read more]

  • He hopped nimbly over the spikes poking up out of the earth at jagged, uneven angles. I was more uncertain, hesitating a few minutes before carefully stepping around the knife-like stones.

    He paused in his mad scramble to glare at me. “Feeling comfortable, twinkletoes?” he said, slightly out of breath. “In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t…[Read more]

  • The scientist picked at hernoodles. “Somehow,” she said, more to herself than to her colleague, “Chinese food isn’t as appetizing after you’ve spent three hours integrating worms into a new environment.

    Her colleague glanced over at the tub of Oligochaeta, writhing happily in their new environment. “We didn’t offer you a job here so you could…[Read more]

  • I wish I had wings. I wish they hadn’t been sawed off from my back when I was so little. But for the moment, I am happy that there is no chance I will not hit the ground. I need to hit the ground, need to know that I’m not going to feel anything any more. I don’t need to soar–I just need to feel that moment in the air for two seconds, that moment…[Read more]

  • I can see the wings breaking. I can see the cocoon cracking, its papery wisps falling in flakes to the ground. I want to throw up, or scream, because the moth isn’t coming out the way it’s supposed to. I know this, I know this. I did a project on moths in third grade, you think I don’t know how a moth’s supposed to emerge from the cocoon? It’s not…[Read more]

  • It felt like my entire being was coming apart. I couldn’t think, couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, could only breathe enough to stay alive. I took another ragged breath, wishing that my body wouldn’t force me to stay alive. I rested my face on the floor, enjoying the burn of the carpet on my tear-washed cheek. I deserved it.

  • His eyes were slate-gray, unreadable. They reminded me of the chalkboards I would write on when I was little, streaky from years of use. I struggled under his weight and tried to think of where they were now. In the attic? In the…
    His lips found my neck.
    “Did you ever write on those little chalkboards when you were little? Like, play school?”…[Read more]

  • His fist collides with my cheek. I tumble onto the floor, nausea bubbling in the pit of my stomach. Even from my place on the floor, I can smell the alcohol on his breath.

    “What the hell were you thinking, trying a stunt like that?” he bellows, his voice pitching up somewhere beyond disbelief.

    I wince, touching the bruise on my cheek. As far…[Read more]

  • He grinned at me. “Well, I think it looks cute.” When I raised my eyebrows, he smirked, turning away. Inwardly, I sighed. It did look cute. Everything looked cute on him, even if it was some pink polo that made him look like the obnoxious rich kid he was.

    “Hey, you going to play polo at your daddy’s country club?” I called before realizing he…[Read more]

  • My fingers tangle through the thread. I curse my fingers, wishing they weren’t so weak and shaky, wishing I could make the yellow thread weave through the red like everybody else could. Yet here I was, with a snarl of yarn that looked nothing like a blanket, wishing I could just get the yarn to look something like a blanket, wishing I was at least…[Read more]

  • I hardly dared to look at the stamp on my hand. When my eyes betrayed me and flashed down for a second, I felt my stomach fill with lead. My color-blindness didn’t prevent me from seeing that the stamp was most decidedly red. Not blue. Definitely not blue.

    I heard sobs from some other room, then a gunshot, then nothing. I bit my tongue and told…[Read more]

  • I wish that I had hair like her, hair like it’s an old apartment on fire, hair that tells stories. I sit behind her in Physics, and three seats to the right in Spanish. Hola. Tu pelo es rojo. Fuego. Her Spanish is better than mine. Her hair is also better than mine. I know strange things about her, like how her favorite color is silver and she got…[Read more]

  • He wanted to make a bargain with me. That was all he said. That was all he ever said. I didn’t know what he meant–I just knew that maybe talking to him would get me what I wanted. And what I wanted–well, I didn’t know at the time. I knew that I was confused, and a little angry sometimes, and not as smart as I was supposed to be. And I knew that…[Read more]

  • At the farthest corner of the sky, I could see a sliver of sunlight. I stood at the top of the moor and watched as the navy blue sky transformed into the palest shade of pink, then into a vibrant scarlet. The hues spread like water splashed onto a watercolor painting, and I thanked God that some celestial painter had chosen to make me a part of…[Read more]

  • His lips tasted like caramel. This would have been a good thing with anybody else, but with him, it just made me think of all the Halloween candy I hadn’t eaten. I still had three Milky Ways left, which I should definitely eat when I got home. I would rather be doing that now than kissing this boy who had obviously never kissed anybody else in his…[Read more]

  • They hand me their pastel Hallmark cards. They place the flowers on the table. They shuffle along in a never-ending line of black suits, except for the one brain-dead guy who wore light gray, and try not to look at the corpse. Dead people make them antsy.

    Grandma kisses me on the forehead, and I want to scream. Or maybe I want to cry. The…[Read more]

  • Momma breaks the bottle and sends a smell like dying cats through the room. I know what dying cats smell like, cause last year, Violet dragged a dead cat in. Probably it had been killed a half hour ago, cause its fur was still warm and she wouldn’t stop hugging it. I begged her to throw it away, or at least take it outside, but by that point Momma…[Read more]

  • I like to watch the one in the red shirt the best. I lean out of the window and stare at them, wondering why they never look up. If I was a farmer, I’d look up all the time. Don’t they get it? Don’t they get that they are under this beautiful blue sky, and they are all beautiful, and they should take a moment to accept how beautiful everything…[Read more]

  • The man next to me gripped the armrests so tightly, his knuckles turned a pale shade of yellow, particularly noticeable against his red, sweaty hands. I wouldn’t have minded an armrest, actually, but I felt that it wouldn’t be the best idea to ask him to move his hands.

  • The bicycle was scarlet with an ancient, rusting basket hanging from the black handlebars. The girl leaning against it had hair the color of butter knotted in a bun. She didn’t look quite angry, but she didn’t look like she was impressed with me, either. Nobody in this idiotic town was, not after the football game.