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Creative Nonfiction

Family Soup

I never used to be a whiskey woman. I was simple. The sort of girl who wrote vague, sparse poetry that served as a mechanism of purging, rather than of truth. A girl who drank screwdrivers at thirteen and thought herself devilish in the act. A girl who was determined to become a writer, but knew she was too young and sinless to have anything to say.

The Four Rivers Fountain

Through twisting alleys garnished with thick, green ivy. The air thick with the smell of fresh bread, pasta, cappuccino, and gelato. Cobblestones jut from the ground, wobble from centuries of heavy foot traffic. Suddenly the path opens, sprawling into a wide piazza. A rising wave of voices swirls from the masses turning, spinning, walking, sitting, laughing, singing, and watching, all filling an elongated oval.

Phoenix Rising

It was an easy decision to make, right? Just take four white pills and all the problems of the past few weeks would melt away. No more sleepless nights, no more stress and anxiety, it would all disappear. I put them into my mouth, shoving them in to dissolve against my cheeks. “Did you take some Vicodin too?” I nodded, my mind drifting, waiting for the pain.

If Worse Comes to Worst

I knew it was risky. But then again, when you’re 22 years old and a female, everything is risky at night. I was doing it because the day before, I had seen a magnet at Barnes & Noble. It said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” And this scared the shit out of me. If worse came to worst, I would blame Eleanor Roosevelt.

Chances Are...

There’s no place like Vegas. The combination of neon glow and shapeless music lulls you into a trance-like state all the way to the bar. By the time you realize just how much the free drinks have impaired your fine motor skills and decision-making capabilities, you’ll be too far gone to earn back the money you’ve just lost. And since you can’t decipher 2 AM from 2 PM (for the lack of clocks and windows), there’s really no reason to leave.

The Stop

I am a writer, or at least I like to pretend I am. I wear sweater vests and scarves, thick-framed glasses and even shirts with clever little sayings like Plot—It Builds Character. At one time, words flowed from my fingertips and through the nib of my pen, conceptualized contractions consisting of concentric scrawl, intersecting lines parallel to each other and to the page and to the ideals they represent, or at least seemed to.

The Life Within One Raspberry

In the gray light coming through the barbed wire, she saw the hazy, oily smoke lazing up into the sagging sky. She could see the lines, the endless curve, of razor sharp, dingy figures wafting up dust with the drag of their calloused toes. She could see the vacant, pinched look on the dirty faces of those beside her. Yet suddenly, she heard a forgotten but once familiar sound approach her.

The Night I Was Swallowed By the Sea

I floated slowly to consciousness with the sound of lapping waves. For a minute or two I lay there half awake, debating whether or not to roll over, when in a sudden flash of understanding I sat bolt upright in terror. As I had feared, the querulous beam of my friend’s headlamp illuminated the surf, white and foaming, crashing and roiling not six inches from my feet—and definitely inside the tarp we called home.

Nausea to Death

There is a standard medical form that must be signed before entering surgery. The form warns patients of the effects of anesthesia and possible outcomes of surgery. October 3, 2008, was the first time I signed the “nausea to death” form, and I would have to sign it four times after that. My second day as a sophomore in college I received news I would have to withdraw from school, move out of my apartment, and move home because of a  tumor…