Cinderella Moment

Homecoming, Prom, Formal all bring up that quintessential moment as a girl, that Cinderella moment when everyone sees how beautiful you are. Years of watching perfect princesses and rags-to-riches high school movies have given young girls the impression that this is the goal of school dances. As a fantasy writer, I had longed for this unobtainable moment, and I had gotten pretty close at Prom. But why worry about Cinderella when most girls don’t feel comfortable in their own skin?

The Real Cinderella Moments:

  1. Getting ready with friends. It’s always better than the actual dance because you’re ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends/ex-friends aren’t there.
  2. Pictures. After that point, your curls can uncurl and the pins can fall out. All of the pressure to look perfect disappears.
  3. Dancing like no one is watching. Who cares if your hair is a mess and you’re dateless? You came to the dance to dance. Plus, it’s a good workout.

The Antiquated Letters

My dearest love,

Charm and grace do not replace your flaws. Physical pushing crosses clear lines, but push me with words and everything’s fine. Your fast forgiveness made me believe that I was the villain, that I couldn’t leave. I turned from my friends. True, I pulled away. And I’m not innocent, this I can say. Together we’re toxic; we bring out our worst. All trust, slim respect led us to burst.

So goodbye forever. Burn this when it’s read. We’ll never be friends. I’d rather be dead.

Sincerely,

Amelia Alford

Incapable

I can see my breath in the dark, green woods. Far behind me in my family’s cabin I can almost hear them counting down until midnight. I check my black checkered watch. Ten minutes til.

I pull my boyfriend’s hood up over my ratty brown hair.

Charcoal fills the air as I pass over a fallen, charred tree. My boyfriend didn’t burn it. No matter how many times I explain that to my family, they don’t hear me.

Just because Quin wears dark hoodies and skinny jeans doesn’t mean he’s a gothic bad boy. It’s just a defense mechanism. We all do it.

I “went to bed early”. Then I snuck out the window. My family thinks I’m pissy because they wouldn’t let Quin come to the cabin for New Years. I am pissy, but if we were a normal couple, then I’d just video chat him. With my shirt off of course. Not that I’d be showing much. I’m a stick.

Seven minutes and I’m not even close to the unmarked grave. It’s not completely unmarked. It has a headstone, but it’s unreadable. Two bodies share the grave now.

Once upon a time, Quin was normal. Or as normal as a math nerd could be. One day his alcoholic mother decided to make toast in the bathtub. Poor little Quin found her. His dad shipped him off to a mental institution. But Quin didn’t come back. My Quin came back. His dad assumed that Quin got worse. But he’s in a better place really.

Sarah’s story is similar. Me, Sarah, am doing pretty well. Other Sarah is with Other Quin.

Three minutes. I spot Quin through the trees. He has the oblong key in hand. Tonight we finish the transfer. Tonight we will belong to this world that has for so long rejected us.

His back is to me so I slip up behind him and cover his eyes with mine. “Amber,” he sighs. The name stings. I yank my hands back.

“Amber has been dead for centuries.” My best friend. His true love. The Other Amber killed her. A reminder that we aren’t invincible.

Quin’s face falls. “Your hands felt like hers.”

I know he sees her when he looks at me. He kisses her when he’s kissing me. We’re together because we are alone. Not because we are in love.

I put my hands over the key. “Once we destroy this, we will destroy her?”

Quin puts his hand on mine. “She killed Our Amber.”

The pain in his eyes breaks my heart. “But she will look like and feel like Our Amber. Can you kill her?”

“She has the hands of a killer.”

But we do too.

I hold up my watch. “Ten seconds.”

Quin lights a match. Nine seconds.

He didn’t even hesitate when he killed the Other Sarah. Eight seconds.

I put my arm around Quin. Seven seconds.

He dangles the key over the flame. Six seconds.

“Do you love me?”

Quin gives me a look. “What?”

Four seconds. “Do you love me?”

“Where is this coming from?”

Three seconds. Two. One.

The key catches fire curling and disintegrating into ash.

Quin’s eyes harden as he turns to me. “We aren’t capable of love.”

2016

New Year’s Resolution

Definition: something that no one actually follows through with

The Truth: each day is new. Each day is a beginning.

Weekly Advice

Do you know that tug when you are drawn to go talk to someone? Or those coincidences that line up nicely?

Those instances make you realize that everything happens for a reason and, by extension, whatever is supposed to happen will happen. So whatever you are worried about as the holidays roll around, let it melt away. Worrying about it will not change it. Do what you can and let fate do the rest.

The Eve

Frost drips from the roof tops

The quiet only snow commands

Cheery carols, clanging bells

It’s that time of year

 

The coco warms you

Family melts your heart

Fire crackles and holly candles soften the air

 

Reindeer hoofs prance on freshly laid snow

Santa’s boots up on the roof

The presents

Where did Santa go?

Weekly Advice

Always make copies of important papers. Whether it’s documents or contracts. Then keep those copies in a safe place. This seems simple and obvious, but that one important paper that you don’t think you need will come back and haunt you.

Diner Dump

Grease drips down his chin

Squirting from his cheese burger.

He dips the cheese-coated fries

Into his chocolatey milkshake.

The cheese mixes with the whipped cream

Forming a mustardy custardy glob.

 

His thighs stick to the leather booth

As he gets up to pay at the counter.

A waitress on roller skates stumbles past him

Must be her first day.

 

As the new girl reaches the cash register

Her blue, blue eyes framed by thick lashes

Make him squirm.

Maybe he shouldn’t have eaten that burger.

 

He hands over the money

Her fingers brush against his

She hands him the recite

And she winks.

Scrawled across the back in blue ink bleeds her number

As he heads for the door, he glances back

She waves

Her wedding band catching the light.