Skeletons and Flower Crowns

Story from a fellow MFA at the University of Kansas!

Gingerbread House Lit Mag

Dearest Thuy,

They found a skeleton this morning.

I don’t really want to talk about it. Then again, I don’t really want to talk about him either. But I’m going to anyway.

He doesn’t look anything like you. His hair reminds me of yellow feathers, wispy and vulnerable to wind. Your hair is black, sticking up like the ends of a broom, never lying flat no matter how much I run my fingers through it. His eyes are green, like the emeralds your father used to trade. Yours are black, shiny like fresh ashes. Black hair, black eyes, and somehow I still see more color in you.

Do you remember when you were ten and your father used to visit the castle with jewels? And you snuck off to the gardens? I was scared that you— a boy from a faraway land— had been sent to scold me for avoiding…

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Water will get stagnant if you leave it outside to set.

Mosquitoes deposit their eggs
to play houseguest in mildewed
buckets full of lukewarm rainwater.
Fuck those bloodsuckers.
You tip the bucket.
When the slimy sacs of larvae
slide onto the sun-torched concrete,
you crush them into the cracks
with your calloused heels,
your crackled grin.
Call the bloodsucker by name.

First published with The Quaker

Pet Sematary

Stephen King, you rascal. You never cease to fascinate me.

Surprisingly, Pet Sematary did not force me to leave the lights on at night, as per usual with Stephen King. Instead, I found myself fascinated by the language and relationships he formed within the novel.

The book starts out with an intro that give a list of people who have biographies, then a list of people who don’t. The list of people who don’t garner bios include people like the man who buried Hitler. At the end of the list, King says, “Death is a mystery, Continue reading

Fiction Spotlight: Becky Hagenston

Hagenston_Becky_M3B1627Becky Hagenston’s third short story collection,Scavengers: Stories (University of Alaska Press) Scavengers was published mid-March, 2016. The collection won the Permafrost 2015 Book Prize in fiction, with Memorious favorite Benjamin Percy serving as final judge. Hagenston is no stranger to prestigious prizes. The associate professor of English at Mississippi State University has two previous prize-winning collections, A Gram of Mars (Sarabande Books; winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize) and Strange Weather (Press 53; winner of the Spokane Prize), and has twice taken the O. Henry Prize. Her work has also received nods from Best American Short Stories, Best American Mysteries, and the Pushcart anthologies.

Memorious is thrilled to be publishing Hagenston’s “The Celebrity,” a story that does a million things in 1,000 words, in the upcoming Memorious 26. We’re also thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to Becky Hagenston about Scavengers, a collection so…

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How to Crash a Car While Not Driving


  1. Scream. [1]
  2. Start a collection of model airplanes that your brother will rip into piles of wings, broken propellers, and non-descriptive metal bits you’ll still find in your bedroom carpet three years later.
  3. Feed your pet goldfish three tater-tots with ketchup and Dijon mustard.
    • Listen to the sound something smaller than your thumb makes when it splashes in toilet water.
    • Listen to your father teach you about the circle of life.[2]
  4. Enter a spelling contest in fifth grade and forget how to spell coriander.[3]
  5. Carry around a cell phone, which doesn’t have a battery, for a total of three years.
    • Don’t forget to pretend to text your friends who have cell phones with batteries.
  6. Dye your hair one shade darker brown instead of blue[4] in junior high because you’re scared of looking like “one of those trashy girls”[5] with the colored hair.
  7. Find every gift your mother buys you to be repulsive, including the things you asked for.[6]
  8. Ask the lanky guy in your French class to teach you to play “Happy Birthday” on a guitar.
    • Ignore his hand when he brushes it across your breast.
  9. Google: “Does it hurt?”
    • [Delete Internet Search History?] [Yes]
  10. Ask for a car at fifteen and throw an absolute bitch fit when your father says you can’t handle the responsibility.
    • Listen to Avril Lavigne, Green Day, Simple Plan, The Ramones, (insert self-destructive and punkass artist/band name here), etc.
  11. Tell a boy you have bigger plans than he can imagine and prove it by rambling words that taste like science.[7]
  12. Apply to out-of-state universities under the assumption that your parents made a college fund for you when you were a kid.
    • Cry when you’re accepted into Vanderbilt but can’t afford to go.[8]
  13. Understand that none of these events are connected, but you still wear a black dress that chafes a rash onto your thigh.

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