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Hot Tin Roof: Seventeen

My parents don’t want me to walk the dog after dark; I tell them I’ll be back in an hour. Slide rules rule; crushes nearly crush me. I discover the body electric—how to handle high voltage. Kissing in a cave: our lips disappear but I can still feel them. Lifting the needle on the Hi-Fi to hear Side One, Track 3 of the Bookends album: “I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.” I can’t swallow the first day of schoo […]

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Becoming a Ghost: Losing touch

Becoming a Ghost

Through the dimming haze of an autumn sun I see smoke pillar above idle students awaiting busses. The fortunate ones remain engrossed by iPhones and Droids, each distanced from nearby strangers despite physical proximity. I pass through unobserved and untouched, ephemeral as a shadow on a cloudy day, and enter the cavernous building. Immediate smells […]

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Becoming a ghost: Losing worlds

Becoming a Ghost

As she speaks, I shiver and sense a shift as the objects around me expose themselves, becoming reduced to a skeletal framework with a mere capacity to hold worlds. A moment earlier, my world had been filled with concrete certainties: tangible and thick like the gold dome of the Old Capital shining proudly in the […]

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Hot Tin Roof: Johnny and Martha

Hot Tin Roof

When it was time for calving John Jr and Hank would always be at the ready 24/7. Sometimes it would be young Johnny sent by Jr to fetch Hank. And sometimes Martha would ride a pony over to Jr’s place even in the middle of the night. When it was time for calving, mother nature set the schedule. And calving was serious business because it meant a new animal to add to their small herds. […]

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Hot Tin Roof: What happened to Violet Kubicek

I worked night shift at the donut shop in Court Hill a couple of summers ago. It’s pretty hard to get used to, and I was getting better at going to sleep at noon so I could be at work by ten, but it was way too hot, so I didn’t sleep for more than, like, four hours for a couple of days. […]

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N.S.F.W: How to write a sex scene

NSFW

From the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, sex in literature—and the ways it can go terribly, terribly wrong—is being talked about a lot these days. But sex in fiction is hardly a new trend. Some writers, especially writers just starting out, tend to balk […]

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