I like to write. Obviously. Here’s a collection.
“Nine Days Ago”
The story of a call center employee hesitant to speak to the handsome stranger she keeps seeing around town.
“Hello,” he’d say. Proper. Not “hi” or “hey” or “what’s up.” He’d ask if I was waiting for someone or if he could join me. “I’m Brian,” he’d add. Or maybe Ryan. Ryder. Rick. Something with a “rye” sound.
I’d get nervous and touch my face or sweep all my hair to one side. “I’m Ashleigh. That’s ‘e-i-g-h’.” Because those uncommon letters made me more interesting, like I was full of quirks and surprises unlike any girl he’d ever met—more than what my boring, black coffee might’ve suggested.
Status: Currently out in the void…
Blog Posts: Writing a Story After a Long Break
The story of two siblings desperate to uncover the secrets in their dad’s locked room, in the hopes of building a relationship with him.
In the two-story colonial home where we were raised, there was one room we were never permitted to enter. The last room at the end of the hall was known as Dad’s room and a place we could not play in, which was the only information Mom ever told us. The door looked the same as all the others in our house, white paint and a glass knob, but impossible to ignore.
Available here: America’s Emerging Literary Writers: Southeast Region
Blog Posts: I’m an Emerging Writer Again! Pub Credit #2
“Not Quite a Dunbar Man”
The story of a less-than-popular sixth grader living in the shadow of his brother, the basketball star.
Sixth grade is the worst thing ever. Teachers know me as Tim Dunbar’s Little Brother. I should probably just write that on all my assignments. Tim wasn’t even a good student—still isn’t. They remember him because he’s popular and polite and an athlete. So what?
Gym class is the worst. I don’t have Tim’s build; I’m scrawny compared to the guys in my class. They call me “Chicken Legs.” I don’t have Tim’s swishy hair; I like to keep mine short, because I hate when it tickles my ears. I don’t have Tim’s “rainforest eyes”, as some girl called them; mine are brown. Like tree bark. Or dirt. I guess Tim is all right looking, if you’re into that jock thing and that boy-band hair thing. He’s tall too. Girls like tall guys. Mom says, one day, I’ll “sprout like a beanstalk.” I’m still waiting.
Status: A published excerpt! Still hoping to find it a home in its entirety.
Available here: Maryland’s Emerging Writers
Blog posts: I Have Writing News!
An excerpt from my short story, “What Lies Beneath,” which will most likely never see the light of day.
At every mention of Andrew, Clark’s brows morphed into one, like a cigar glued to his forehead. Although I hadn’t seen Andrew in my dreams much before this nap, I talked about him enough. Clark wasn’t jealous exactly. But he had a strong aversion to Andrew. It’s not healthy to live in the past, he’d say. If he’d known about Dylan, he’d probably propose. An anchor around my ring finger.
“A dream? Really. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? A month? Two?”
“Something like that.” Sixty-one days. I’d missed him.
“It isn’t healthy, Zoe.” He ran his fingers through his thinning hair and sighed again. “You’re my little mess.”
Instead of the smoke I expected to billow from Clark’s ears, animated hearts oozed out instead. Disgusting. The more I thought about it, Clark was a terrible influence. I’d thought he’d save me. From myself. From Dylan. I wasn’t sure which.
The opening of my flash fiction piece, “Lily and Todd.”
Eight years ago, I stopped being the perpetually single girl. The end of an era. It’s a shame my introduction to the dating world was a man named Todd.
I’m not sure why I ever agreed to go out with Todd. It wasn’t his charisma, movie star bone structure, or personality.
Because he had none of those.
I met Todd when I was twenty, an age when standards are low and hormones are high. A time when your biological clock doesn’t tick as loud and you don’t picture every guy you date squeezing your hand in the delivery room.
Except I didn’t have that mindset at twenty. I was focused on school, not guys. At least, that’s what I’d tell myself to bandage another lonely Friday night. When Todd first approached me, as I sat reading Austen under a tree, he asked to go out for a cup of coffee sometime. I said, “Sure” and figured I’d never see this guy, dressed all in brown like a UPS employee, again. I smiled at the thought of being chosen out of all the other under-tree-readers scattered about, and had such trouble focusing, I read the same page three times. I certainly didn’t think “sure” would turn into a three year relationship.
“Glass is not a Window”
You know that saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window”?
Well, if that’s true, I’m living underground. And if a window were to open, my dwelling would fill with dirt, and I’d die.
A door was closed in my life. A big door. One of those doors that take multiple people to close because it’s so heavy. Perhaps I helped it latch. I turned the deadbolt and slid the chain.
I’ve been searching for windows, anything that even resembles a window. Something clear that lets in sunlight. I’ve looked for five months and I have yet to find a single window, or window-like structure. What does this mean?
I’ve found glass, what could become a window if it had more pieces. I’ve discovered several shards of glass.
This glass is shiny, captivating. It draws you in with its appeal, its promise that it could be a window in the future. But glass is not a window. Glass is glass. Clear, smooth, beautiful, but not a window.
So, glass. Let me just say, don’t pretend to be a window if you aren’t one. Don’t make promises only windows can make. You offer nothing. You build hope and then slash it.
In the end, these shards of glass do nothing but cut me. And as I bleed, I laugh at how stupid I was to be fooled. Glass is not a window. And I am nothing but scarred.
What it was like teaching middle school:
Let’s say you have a puppy that you’re trying to potty train. House break? I don’t know; I’m a cat person.
Anyhow, your puppy pees on your couch. Your puppy knows not to do this. He’s been told over and over again. He has the audacity to look at you and smile while he pees. Meanwhile, you yell, you put him in time out. Now imagine this puppy peeing on your couch several times a day. Now add a second puppy who chews your favorite shoes. Add a third puppy taking a crap on some priceless family heirloom. Add five more puppies who bark constantly for no reason at all. Add seven more puppies clawing your arms and legs. Add twelve more puppies running around in circles. And you are trying to explain to these puppies why the sky is blue. Puppies don’t care why the sky is blue.
This is my life.