At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular…Read more

Hurtling to the bottom of the sea was bad enough. I didn’t need the singing, too. As our ship tumbled, free-falling through the eye of a saltwater cyclone, the nine giant maidens spiraled around us, weaving in and out of…Read more

When I was little, a kid pointed at me on the playground and shouted, “Her arms fell off!” then ran away screaming in terror to his mom, who had to cuddle him on her lap and rub his head for…Read more

We had just started over the bridge, toward my party, when the famously cheerful “Don’t Jump” Ad clicked on. This had never happened to me before. The billboard’s advertising systems scanned me—analyzing my age, my style, even my pulse—and calculated…Read more

At Muscatine High School, I’m not queen bee, but I’m close enough. I know how people see me: cocaptain of the cheer squad, popular, pretty. They don’t see the girl I was—the one I still am, somewhere deep down. The…Read more

When we’re shut inside Bailey’s car, Lauren stops screaming and starts to whimper. I take her ice-cold hand in mine. “You didn’t get hurt, did you?”  “She’s fine,” Bailey says, starting the engine and peeling away from Sparrow Hill.  “I…Read more

In the weeks leading up to and following her death, I couldn’t buy a carton of eggs without my aunt Helen’s face surrounding me at the checkout. Every newspaper. Every magazine.  Helen Reaves Cancer Diagnosis  Helen Reaves: Months to Live …Read more

By the time the police arrived, there were three of us left. Three originals. Three best friends. Architects of what was once a secret society.  The difference between leaders and initiates was evident. We designed it that way, dictated that…Read more

I was in seventh grade when my dad got published. He’d written for literary journals before, and had a few short stories in collections from small presses, but that was the year the big stuff started. Dad had always been…Read more