flower crown, peter pan collar, and ~dem boots~

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Sometimes a certain blogger’s aesthetic gets stuck in my head, and I sit around itching until I can emulate it. In this case, it’s Kate of Scathingly Brilliant, specifically this look. She doesn’t post anymore (boo hiss), but her blog was one of my favorites. Say what you will about style ruts, but I admire people who own a certain look and wear the hell out of it. In Kate’s case, super!kawaii pastel Disney princess. It’s not everyone’s thing, but it worked for her.

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Today I’ve also got part of a short story for you. Recently I’ve been editing some of my old stories. I used to think polishing up an old story was “cheating” somehow – that the Skye who wrote it was an entirely different person, someone I’d be somehow ripping off. This just in: I’m so neurotic that I worry about plagiarizing myself. That is not a sign of anything good.

So here you go. It’s a ten-page story, about half of which I’ve rewritten so far. Just an intro to whet your appetite:

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It’s been three years now, to the day, but I still can’t forget how time used to move differently. How three or four or five years ago I wouldn’t have measured in years at all. I moved in seasons and sighs and smoke curling through morning mist. The tensions were high, but the living was grand. We’d be blown to hell soon enough; now was the time for our own hedonic heaven.

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My days poured into the shape of her, bold along her spine or precious in the details of her eyelids. Awash in seconds, hours, days, she glowed. When energy filled her and she brimmed with excitement, with lust, time raged by in bounds. Other days, slow and piecemeal, it was barely there. A meager heartbeat in waxy skin.

“Tell me about her,” my brother asks sometimes. He can tell when she’s glimmering just inside my bones. “Let her out.”

“I can’t,” I tell him, again and again. I never took the time to memorize all of her at once. She wasn’t interesting to me that way; her devilry lay in the details.. She was a smile and a sterling collarbone and a pair of perfect earlobes and a set of hips. I can’t let her out, because that’s all I have. I just need it to stay mine.

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gray chevron dress, red coat, & a short story

The story I’m currently working on.

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She knew the pace of these streets. The bread truck at nine, the garbage at nine-oh-six, the hospital shuttle at quarter after. Ruth could set her watch by each morning’s cadence. If she wasn’t out the door in time to cross the garbage truck down at Seventh and Peck, a scathing Look awaited her. Any later than that and Ruth was looking at a write-up. Maybe a pay dock to keep her in her place. Never mind that she had thirty years on the manager.

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She wasn’t prepared the morning the hospital shuttle came too late. Her daily grooves were carved too deep; her vision was tunneled. She was still mid-crosswalk when the driver’s foot screeched, his mouth shrieked, and Ruth went still, struck dumb by the impending splat.

Suddenly her fleshy knees met concrete. There were hands on her shoulders, inarticulate soothing in her ear. The shuttle had careened to the side. Its driver was practically hopping: “oh Jesus, oh Christ, fuck, that was way too close –”

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“She’ll be fine,” said the woman who had saved Ruth’s life. “It’s okay, you’re already late. I’ll get her on her way.”

The shuttle lumbered away, and Ruth’s savior helped her to her feet.

“Thank you,” Ruth said when she could speak. “You saved my life. I don’t even know what happened there – deer in the headlights, I guess.”

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“No problem. You weren’t supposed to die today.”

“No, but really –” Ruth felt herself welling up; goodwill and menopause could do that to a person. “You came out of nowhere, just for me. It’s like you’re my angel.”

The second woman’s eyes gleamed and her mouth twitched upward. “Yes,” she said. “I am.”

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