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  • Chapter Four in the Transformation Literary Relay!

    Here is something fun! I’m part of a literary blog relay started by my friend Christine Lee Zilka with whom I attended Mills College for grad school. (The rules are posted below.)

    I have to admit that I've slowed down the relay a little as I was tagged during what may have been the most exhausting (but amazing--more on that later) week of my life. Also, I should point out that I subconsciously ripped off my friend Nova, who wrote the second chapter of this relay. (Once I finished mine I read back over the first three chapters to find that one of her opening images became an important part of my chapter. Nova, forgive me!)

    First, click here to read Wah-Ming Chang's awesome chapter. And in a few days, you'll be able to find Stephanie Brown's chapter here. (I can't wait, Stephanie!)

    In the meantime, here is Chapter Four, by me:

    This, too, is life: waking up at 7 a.m. to the sound of the telephone ringing downstairs. 

    Last night, I thought that I was really living. Solange had looked at me with her squinty eyes, black eyeliner.

    “Do it,” she told me.

    “Why?”

    “You know why.” 

    She wanted me to shatter Justin’s bedroom window. She handed me a rock. Unprepared for its weight, I almost dropped it when she let go, which would have been what everyone expected. Because I am a girl who keeps my mouth shut and hands folded. I am a girl who never breaks anything.

    But the kids around me all said Yes, yes, do it. And Solange’s eyes stayed on me, so focused, and I tightened my grip on the rock until the weight felt familiar, like it was an extension of me. Like maybe I was not the girl I had been pretending to be my whole life.

    Alone, I crossed the dark lawn to Justin’s window. I pictured him sleeping on the other side of the glass, behind the purple curtain. Two months ago I had climbed into that bed with him. I remembered it was warm and I wanted to stay there longer, but I was not the kind of girl who would stay.

    I threw it as hard as I could, and everyone ran, and I ran, too, but not before he pulled the curtain back and looked at me. 

    Now, the phone rings. Please listen: I am not this girl.


    THE FULL LINEUP, IN ORDER (completed posts in bold)

    1. Christine Lee Zilka czilka.wordpress.com
    2. Nova Ren Suma novaren.wordpress.com
    3. Wah-Ming Chang wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
    4. Nina LaCour ninalacour.com/blog
    5. Stephanie Brown scififanatic.livejournal.com
    6. Jamey Hatley jameyhatley.wordpress.com
    7. Matthew Salesses matthewsalesses.com
    8. Krystn Lee blog.kryslee.com
    9. Bryan Bliss bryanbliss.blogspot.com

    THE RULES:

    • Start with the last line of the previous entry.
    • Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction all up for grabs.
    • 250 words (you can fudge if artistic license requires)
    • Thematically linked
    • Link to the next person on the list, as well as those who posted before you.
    • Post something within 4 or 5 days of the most recent piece.
    • Posts should start with an explanation, with links to the previous posts as well as the next.