Thursday, December 20, 2012


Poppy:  Where I grew up, we didn’t have school, cept when the plice came.  Then they’d take me and matty and lilly and put us in a car and we always asked to turn on the lights and matty wanted the siren too, but the pliceman wouldn’t do that.  Only the lights.

We drove fast, and then he walked us into the offise and I had to go with ms. Claire and matty with mr. cow which isn’t his real name, but he was always chewing cud, it looked like.  Lilly and I wanted to stay tagether, but we never could cause she had to go one with the plice to her school, the hi school.

Ms. Claire gave me breakfast from the cafeteria, and I liked Ms. Claire, and she showed me numbers and words and taught me to tell time.

Matty always ended up in the offise with a black eye or a bloody nose, and then we’d walk home, we’d walk along the panhandle, past the bums who knew our daddy, past the stench, into the projects where I saw a man get shot right in front of me one day when I was out on the scooter my daddy took from some rich person’s garbage and gave to me.

I don’t ride my scooter anymore.  I stay inside.   Lilly comes home, and she makes us some Campbell’s soup and I’m still hungry, but oh well, this is it.  I only hope the rats don’t come when I’m tryin to sleep, like they did once.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


(sorry I haven't been keeping up the blog posts, been busy finishing one book, and starting another... this is the start of the new book, Mama.  Note that this Lara is different from the Larabee who's posted before -- Shelley)

I called my real mother Mama.  That much I remember.
The rest is a blur.  I don’t even know what she looks like.  In my memories, I see parts, such as her feet, padding down the stairs in Chinese slippers one time after I spilled my milk, so quiet, I wouldn’t have known she was coming except for the creak of the steps in our old house. 
I remember the quick pattering of my heart against my ribs – Mama always said I was nothing but bones -- but I don’t remember why I was so scared – was I going to get in trouble?  What kind of trouble, and how much?  Would she yell?  Punish me? 
I remember her crying a lot.  She was always crying.  Would my spilled milk make her cry?  Was it my fault she cried all the time?
If my memories are real at all, I know that in a flash of quick thinking, I put the cat on the table, and he lapped up all the milk before my mother got downstairs.  When Mama reached me, she patted my head, calling me a good girl for finishing all my milk.  All my fear slipped away in a rush of relief.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


(I keep toying with Lilly's story -- the girl abducted one night out in San Francisco.  One day it will coalesce into a novel.  For now, I play...)


He wants (me here forever).
He says (speak when spoken to).
He goes (to work or to play, all day, all day).

I wish (for windows, a door, a chance).
I claw (at the plaster under the bed, where he won’t see).
I suck (on my arm until it bleeds).

Prison is too tight
For a fifteen year old girl.
All I did, all I did,
All I did
Was go out,
Was have fun,
Get drunk,

All I got, all I got,
All I got was this,
This room,
These walls,
            And him.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Corinne (Secrets I Don't Dare Tell, excerpt)

Meanwhile, I reach over to the coffee table with one hand to get my phone.  I start texting Marissa what happened, when suddenly my mother smacks my phone out of my hand!
“What the fuck!” I say -- big, big oops.
Right away, I amend that to, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean… I thought we were done.”
“We’re not done,” my mother says, leaning forward and getting all in my face.
“I was just telling Marissa—“
“I never should have gotten you that goddamned phone.  I thought you were special, Corinne, but you’re just like every other kid your age—“
“That’s right, I am!” I say, even though it really hurts to hear my mother say that to me.  “So I don’t even know why you’re punishing me for last night when everyone – everyone – is having sex by the time they’re like fourteen, and I’m sixteen, and all I was doing was—“
My mother pushes off her knees and stands up.  She starts walking away!
Listen to me!” I yell.
“I did listen!  I always listen to you, Corinne!”
“You’re not listening right now!”
 “Ladies, please.  We’re getting off topic.  Ashley, sit down, please.”
“There’s more?” I say, too snotty, I know, I know.  I’m an idiot.
“I’m sorry.  I’ll be good, Daddy, I promise,” I say, leaning closer to him.
“Yes, you will,” my mother says.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” I say.
“You’d better not talk to me with that tone.”
“I’m not.”
“And just to make sure you are ‘good’, Tim will be staying here with you this weekend,” my mother says.
I sit upright, and the stone, which has grown to a baseball-sized rock, rolls around my stomach.  I feel like I’m going to be sick.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


On days when my leg aches, my heart aches more. 
I woke up this morning same as every morning, reaching for my crutches, swinging my leg down.  It shivered with a jolt of pain that then settled in as a quiet, throbbing ache.  Unable to stomp my feet, I pound my crutches on the floor, as if I’m stomping them.  Then the heartache comes.
It starts as an uneasiness in my belly, uneasiness which rolls into an iron, spiked ball like the kind you see on maces in medieval pictures.  The ball is dragged by a chain, up my throat, and lodges in my chest.  With very breath, I feel the spikes stab deeper, pushing into my lungs so I can’t get air, pressing into my heart so that I double over.
The leg pain is real.  The stomach-throat-heart-and-lung pain is in my mind, and that makes it worse.
Oh, Anne.  Why you?
Btw, this is a huge leap from the why me’s I felt first after the accident.  Back then, my leg hurt so bad, it was like a hot, sharp sword was thrust through my knee and twisted.  Twisted and twisted, like my brain, twisting and twisting through the events that led up to the accident that led up to my ruined leg and …
And…. And….
Deep breath.  Lying back down in bed, I make myself face the truth.  The accident ruined my leg, but it killed Anne.
And it was my fault.