lekvarlover (joined over 11 years ago)
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Neophyte writer. Insomniac. Lover of semicolons. Favorite countries are Russia, Finland, and Canada.

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Stories


Tina is at 6 AM mass every day, no fail. Masses in the Catholic church only change once a week and they revert back every year. In the five years since she's gone daily to mass, she's heard this particular mass 33 times already. Blessed is she among women.

The sanctuary at St. Agnes' smells like a basement. There is mold, dust, incense, old women with wool stockings and perfume. The pew closest to the door on the right-hand side is where Tina always sits. There isn't even a kneeler on it and Tina genuflects with her knees on the...

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"Okay now, keep steady on the horse." John heard these words and almost groaned with pain. Oh, wait, that was because his horse was trying to run away and bucked up into his crotch. He'd learned to ride one damn day ago and was still hungover from last night's king cup of peach-mango margarita.

"Calm down," she said, "you look stressed." No crap, John thought. He looked at the crowd of people across the water, just standing on dry land, in their bare feet and loose white clothing, chatting and smiling. A few of them were even holding their own...

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"Which way to Omaha?"

Paint flakes blew in the wind. It smelled like gas. Anna's hair was matted; she could feel it knot further. She had nothing; the pockets of her pants were empty except for lint and paint flakes. And one quarter.

The men here knew nothing except that a woman, however unattractive and hagard, was standing in front of them. Who cared where Omaha was, anyways?

"You want some money, sweetie?" One of them whistled. "Ain't no one givin' you money in Omaha."

She rolls her eyes and walks away. Dust settles in the space above her clavicle....

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"I can do this," Jimmy thought as he ran across the field. It was early Sunday morning; the light was pale and there was still dew on the grass. At 5 A.M., Mom had woken up in a cold sweat groaning and swiping at imaginary demons in her bedroom.

"Go get Aunt Jane," Dad had said. Jimmy had never seen his hands shake or heard his voice crack.

After the first mile, a stitch built in Jimmy's side. He was breathing heavy. Another mile ahead was Aunt Jane's tiny cabin. She lived alone and had a garden of herbs. When...

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After the snow melts and the grass starts to grow back, she takes her car and drives out to the country. If she keeps going, she'll find a soybean field left empty and filled with wild prarie grass. She parks the car, gets out and stands in the middle of the field.

She can see for miles and miles. The whole world is sky and grass. She can smell manure when the wind blows.

She lies down in the grass to sleep. The earth is warm and soft. She is sinking into it like a seed. Ever since her family...

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I am plastic.

Three years ago, I went to Hawaii (a big rock in the middle of the ocean) with a rock on my finger. I came back with sunburn, razor burn, and a too-tight gold band that cut my finger right below the big rock.

Two years ago, my birthday present was breast implants. I guess they look okay. After I healed, we had sex and he said, "Huh, they don't feel so great. Look nice, though."

I'm here, I guess. I don't know if I ever was. I've been wearing lipstick since eleven and stuffing my bra since...

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Lily was far too young for this. She wore a billowy petticoat and a large hat as she chased after Mother. Ever since Mother decided that Frank (Francois) the adventurer was her new love, she darted across Africa and the Middle East like an excitable dog chasing a rawhide.

Lily was sweating under the Egyptian sun in all her layers. She envied the Bedouin girls and their head-covering scarves. Less itchy than this hat, she thought. Late at night, when Mother and Frank kicked her out of the tent, she'd squat on the sand and look at far-off Bedouin tents...

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My mother toils under the assumption that she is beautifully imperfect but the world should be perfect. She reacts to news like a small child. Living in the moment with the belief that what is going on now will be what goes on forever. I am her child and I am the same.

We slump together from depression to remission, my mother and I. We stay on the couch for days at a time drinking wine, eating Oreos, and watching reality television. Then Mom gets an alimony check or I finally land a job interview and the fever breaks. We...

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