the idea 

Josephine is a heartbreaking bitch.

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Josephine is a heartbreaking bitch.

She’s the kind of girl who smokes cigs while reading books as she walks down the street.

The night they broke up, Alex said, “I knew you’d break my heart from the moment I saw you.”

She rolled her eyes. “I still don’t understand what you saw in me (except for the sex, obviously), because I am nothing like the girls that you flirt with on campus.”

And then she walked out.

But Jo knew exactly what she was doing, walking down those streets smoking her cigarettes reading Chekhov.

Fuck, it could have been Albee or Shakespeare or Beckett and he wouldn’t have glanced up.

bottom power

Ann was, by necessity, a fearless negotiator.

She licked her fingers clean, scraped every crusted bit of chocolate from her thumb whorls with her eye teeth.

Soldiers rarely gave their chocolate rations without strings to girls over twelve.

Ann felt guilty even as her wretched ribs scraped her palms when she wiped saliva onto her frock.

She’d been sent to trade three pouches of bean seeds, carefully cultivated and cleaned last autumn, for nothing less than five loafs of bread, two legs of lamb, or one hen in perfect health no more than eight months old.

Ann was, by necessity, a fearless negotiator.

But the farmer down the way knew she’d accept a hen with a bout of bronchitis if he supplied her with two roots of ginger.

After the trade, when she found cover crouching behind a large boulder, she opened the burlap sack and pushed her whole face into the mildew dark.

Starving for that cure, she bit into the root before anyone could find it and take it away.

Ann gasped and spit putrid mush onto the grass. She pulled the roots out, still feeling physically assaulted by the taste, and saw that the ginger had some kind of fungus right through the centre. She could see no salvageable bit to cut and replant, if growth was even possible in this climate.

She longed for the bittersweet taste she knew earlier that day. But it was gone.

Desperate, Ann put the rotted roots back in the sack and looked up in time to see the hen wander away.

The bird had a coughing fit, which slowed her down. Ann caught up to her and tucked her under her arm.

“Let’s go home and heal that cough, sweet girl.”

mud lily

Shelly showed her soul to some guy once

Shelly showed her soul to some guy once and he shrugged.

“Ya, so what?”

It’s funny now because he’s just some guy, but back then she was devastated.

Back then it was Forest the genius up-and-coming installation artist who did incredible things with polished titanium and plastic grocery bags.

Shelly fell in love with his work. His creation filled her with childlike awe. There was something so real about standing beneath his sky. It was better than being outside on a cool May evening. Better than far away stars. Better than the sweet streams of churned earth and Plumeria fields after a good downpour.

Forest watched her filling with wonder as she took in his work. He stunned her with his intense stare and immediate claim.

Quick, quick, like a lion.

He made her feel like a lioness.

Shelly, as a rule, doesn’t give into passion. She reads her lit books seriously and eats her microwave meals with a fork.

It was crazy for her to consider making love with a stranger. But she found herself in his bed that night. Dizzy and drunk on the passion that swelled her cells.

Shelly’s momma had told her to never sleep with anyone before showing that person her true self.

That stuck, even in the haze.

When Forest shrugged, the spell was broken. Shelly covered herself and walked out.

She held in sobs, tucked as a hard curl digging into her lungs, until she had stumbled all the way home.