September 3, 2022 · 5:02 pm
A short story of mine has been published in Issue 29 of SWAMP magazine! It’s about found family, complicated childhoods, and long drives. You can read it (and the other entries from this issue) for free here!
We’re more than halfway to the beach when Moon asks me, ‘What do you do in the sea?’
I’m focused on the view out the passenger seat window—on the fields that unroll towards the coast like a lush green carpet—so it takes me a moment to register the question. I turn to look at Moon, who’s diligently watching the road as they drive. ‘What do you do?’ I echo.
I keep my voice low. We turned off the music about fifteen minutes ago, when we realised both Evan and Cass had fallen asleep in the back seat. Now it’s just us and the gentle, hot hum of the highway.
I wonder, suddenly, if Moon has just thought of this question, or if they were waiting until we were alone to voice it. Something about that makes my chest bubble.
August 15, 2022 · 11:08 am
The online literary zine EnbyLife was generous enough to publish a short story of mine! This one’s about the strange rituals associated with doing girlhood “properly”, and how something an annoying teenager says to you in passing can stick in your head forever. You can check it out for free here!
In preparation for the tattoo, I shaved my legs for the first time in a year.
Technically, I didn’t have to. Only one leg was getting inked, after all. But it was weird to imagine one limb smooth and shiny while its sibling walked beside it, a mirror image save for twelve months’ worth of scruff. Maybe it could have been a statement. Performance art, even! Something something multiple expressions of the self can exist in the same body.
As I stood in the shower washing clumps of shin-fuzz out of a disposable razor, I mentally wrote half an artistic rationale for leaving my left leg hairy. But then I imagined the sensation of the scraggly calf brushing against the perfect smooth one—worse yet, against the tender healing skin of the new tattoo—made an involuntary ‘yurk’ sound out loud in my bathroom, and decided to just do ‘em both.
Afterwards, I ran my hands down my legs, plasticky smooth for the first time in months and months, and tried to figure out whether it felt good or not. Tangibly, texturally? For sure. Velveteen to the touch, still dewy with moisturiser.
Emotionally? Well. That got complicated. A rush of dopamine from patting my own satin-soft shins is inevitably followed, shot and chaser, by a memory: an echo of a giggle that vibrates around my brain.
Filed under Fiction
Tagged as short story