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What to Wear to Dinner

Her mother said to us, “I want you to dress formal. It’s Thanksgiving. No jeans.” M. and I exchanged looks. Formal? Up in her bedroom, M. dragged out old prom dresses. “If she wants formal, we’ll do formal.” The beautiful expressions on her parents’ faces! They made us go upstairs and change. Pity. I didn’t … Continue reading

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Stripping Outdoors

The sun was setting when, after dancing around the lawn and stripping off my clothes, I fell in the fire ant bed. I was two. Because of the angle of light, my mom said she couldn’t see what was wrong. She could only hear me screaming. She saw a shadow moving up my body and … Continue reading

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How to Scare People

The bank teller’s eyes widened and she stopped speaking in mid-sentence. “What is it?” I asked. I’d just come home from getting four wisdom teeth pulled and couldn’t feel my mouth. The teller was looking down at the counter, and so I looked down too. Blood was dripping onto the green-black marble. My stitches had … Continue reading

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Girls Before and After

“Cheer up,” S. said. “Dance with me.” About three months had passed since my mother had died. My cancer-riddled grandmother would be gone a month later. Perhaps I was prone to sudden silences and fits of restlessness. S. and I were in his room. We worked together in the dorm and we were friends. S. … Continue reading