young girls wanted – fiona pt 1

An excerpt from YOUNG GIRLS WANTED. First appeared in The 2014 Papercut Press Annual.

FIONA:

I know this girl who developed early. She had breasts before everyone else. She towered above everyone else. She craved to be touched. Her classmates did not make life easy.

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why are you jumping?

An excerpt from CONCRETE FEVER

By the time winter hit, I had money from the inheritance and a bachelor pad on the Upper West Side. My father always said, Own, don’t rent. Here was the living proof. He was gone and I was enjoying his old digs. It was a rich man’s apartment in a rich man’s neighborhood and I did my best to lower the standards. Despite all efforts I could do no wrong. When I cursed out a neighbor it was my grief talking. When I came home drunk it was a cry for help. I smoked indoors. I spat on the mailboxes. I dropped bottles out the window. I waited for the fallout.

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a north florida town

An excerpt from CONCRETE FEVER

My mother was raised in a north Florida town without so much as a stop sign. When her parents said beaches what they really meant were swamps. Sunshine meant the gray humidity that descended ninety percent of the year. Fog infected your shirt sleeves and her first paintings were speckled with sweat. After school she worked a bait shop counter and bought herself a rotating electric fan. She produced two paintings a night and hung all of them together on her walls. Soon there wasn’t a square inch left. Her family teased the circus must have come to town. It did nothing to stop her. She woke in their modular home with only one thought in her head. Her experiments grew in scope. She stole pamphlets from the guidance counselor’s office showing cool slate sidewalks and yankee architecture, high rise neighborhoods with galleries at the corners.

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destined for the end of the line

An excerpt from CONCRETE FEVER

With no cabs around we headed for the subway, a good fifteen minute walk. The heat in the apartment made me sweat through the back of my shirt and the cold air gave me chills. By the time we hit the station I couldn’t stop shaking.

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