Author has written 1 story for Miracle.
Salutations! So I don't know how many people read these things, but I decided to put some of my favorite quotes up.
I didn't write this or anything, but I read it on NPR's website. They have this thing called Three Minute Fiction where people send in short stories. I really liked this one so I decided to post it.
Sugar Packets by Tara Wright
(February 27, 2010)
You are everywhere I look these days. Everyone looks just like you. I'm at the coffee shop you went to just before you died. You used to write your name and phone number on sugar packets in coffee shops in those last few months. I don’t know why, you said. I can’t help it. Every day for weeks after you vanished, I went to coffee shops, a different one every day, looking for those packets and trying to gather them up. There are none left here anymore. I've sat at every table, I've found every one. I keep them in my pocket; I remember them like my keys. You had terrible handwriting, but on these packets it’s as precise as typewriting. I’m going now, you wrote on one of them. I try not to wear the paper with my fingers. The sugar will spill out if I'm not careful.
I am not surprised to see you walking by the window. You look a bit different, but not very. The last time I saw you, you were wearing that long black coat, the one you got from Monticello’s before it went out of business. It was flapping around you like dark wings and I thought how much you looked like a cheerful version of the reaper himself. You were still on your meds then, hadn’t yet been kicked out of your apartment, hadn’t taken mom’s car and crashed it in your first unsuccessful attempt. It would be months before you bought the gun.
And yet here you are. Passing by in the cold, a bag slung over your shoulder. It's not yours, I think suddenly; you're stealing luggage again. I just take it straight from the carousel, you told me once. Nobody minds, you said. Nobody loses. I imagine you are going somewhere close by, where you will open the stranger's bag and spread out their things to decide what's good. Perhaps it is an elaborate hoax, your death. You are in fact still here in this very town. Still scamming and conning and stealing your way through the day. I shift forward on my stool until my breath laces the window pane. What if I got out of my chair right now and chased you down? Would it be you? Would it matter? I reach in my pocket and press a sugar packet between my thumb and forefinger. I can feel the granules through the paper, the grit of them. You're almost out of view now and I stare at that bag against your back. Let it be filled with jewels and money and watches, I think. Let it be filled with the favorites of your youth: pinwheel peppermints, pocketknives and Matchbox cars. Let it be filled with everything you've ever wanted.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson:
"Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag."
"I wonder how long it would take for anyone to notice if I just stopped talking."
"I am getting better at smiling when people expect it."
"This is where you can find your soul if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you've never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind."
"If I ever form a clan, we'll be the anti-cheerleaders and walk under the bleacher forming mild acts of mayhem."
"I know my head isn't screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. My closest is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them."
"My parents didn't raise me to be religious. The closest we come to worship is the Trinity of Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. I think the Merryweather cheerleaders confuse me because I missed out on Sunday School. It has to be a miracle. There is no other explanation. How else could they sleep with the football team on Saturday night and be reincarnated as virginal goddesses on Monday?"
"My face becomes a Picasso sketch, my body slicing into pieces."
"To keep up appearances, I stomp my room and slam the door."
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
"Do I want to die from the inside out or the outside in?"
"I knew how much it hurt to be the daughter of people who can't see you, not even if you are standing in front of them stomping your feet."
"They all say I'm stable. I failed eating, failed drinking, failed not cutting myself into shreds. Failed friendship. Failed sisterhood and daughterhood. Failed mirrors and scales and phone calls. Good thing I'm stable. "
"Here stands a girl clutching a knife. There is grease on the stove, blood in the air, and angry words piled in the corners. We are trained not to see it, not to see any of it. . . . Someone just ripped off my eyelids."
"I lift my arm out of the water. It's a log. Put it back under and it blows up even bigger. People see the log and call it a twig. They yell at me because I can't see what they see. Nobody can explain to me why my eyes work different than theirs. Nobody can make it stop. "
"We tilt our heads back and open wide. The snow drifts into our zombie mouths crawling with grease and curses and tobacco flakes and cavities and boyfriend/girlfriend juice, the stain of lies. For one moment we are not failed tests and broken condoms and cheating on essays; we are crayons and lunch boxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds. For one breath everything feels better.
"Be careful what you wish for. There's always a catch."
"This girl shivers and crawls under the covers with all her clothes on and falls into an overdue library book, a faerie story with rats and marrow and burning curses. The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close."
"I wish I had cancer. I will burn in hell for that, but it's true. "
"None of [the books are] worth reading. There are no fairy tales, no faerie tails, no sword-swinging princesses or lightning-throwing gods."
"Emma is a mattress who got thrown off the truck when her parents split up. It's not like you can blame a mattress when people don't tie it down tight enough. "
"I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through. I am that girl."
"If I had lady-spider legs, I would weave a sky where the stars lined up. Matresses would be tied down tight to their trucks, bodies would never crash through windshields. The moon would rise above the wine-dark sea and give babies only to maidens and musicians who had prayed long and hard. Lost girls wouldn't need compasses or maps. They would find gingerbread paths to lead them out of the forest and home again. They would never sleep in silver boxes with white velvet sheets, not until they were wrinkled-paper grandmas and ready for the trip. "
"No, I am never setting foot in this house again it scares me and makes me sad and I wish you could be a mom whose eyes worked but I don't think you can. "