What My First Pet Taught Me About Death

My parents bought my first dog on the spur of the moment and named her after a license plate. Her name was Zoe, like the last three letters of our license plate, Z-O-E, not Zoey or Zöe as I corrected teachers who circled my spelling with red circles through school. I loved Zoe. We were almost exactly …

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The Witch’s Child, Wicked and Wonderful

Bedtime Stories Lilian Moore "Tell me a story," Says Witch's Child. "About the Beast So fierce and wild. About a ghost That shrieks and groans. A skeleton That rattles bones. About a Monster Crawly-creepy. Something nice To make me sleepy."     This is my mother's favorite poem. She seemed to recite it constantly when …

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In Fourth Grade I Wrote My Mother the Creepiest Letter

We've been through this, I was a weird kid. Sometimes I think to myself--man, I couldn't have been that weird. Surely I misremember the past to some degree. I mean, look at her, she's harmless. What's a penchant for horrific masks among friends? From the time I waffle-stomped dog shit down the bathroom drain, thereby …

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“Hello, Ally? It’s Your Second Favorite Grandma.”

How to Behead a Barbie with a Spoon and Other Life Lessons From Grandma was still a fresh little baby post on the Internet when I received a phone call from my other grandmother, Cynthia Louise Morin. "Ring, ring," my phone said. I looked at the caller ID. "Uh-oh," I said, clicking answer. "Hello?" "Hello, …

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How to Behead a Barbie with a Spoon and Other Life Lessons From Grandma

For the first six or so years of my life, my feet never touched the ground when I was with Margaret. We flew on her broomstick, in my mind, as she carried me around on her back. My mother sometimes had to remind my grandmother that my legs were in perfectly functional order and I …

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