Women and Love by Olive Riley

 Author’s Note:

These are fictional stories with themes form real people’s stories. Almost everything is made up, but the emotions are as real as I could make them. My goal is to make people feel less alone in their experiences, or at least somewhat understood.

Elizabeth

She sat at her desk Thursday after school working on an assignment due the next day. Her spindly fingers urgently typing trying to get her assignment done so she could go to bed. It is 8:08 p.m. She has to wait two more hours until bed is a socially acceptable thing to commit to. Outside she hears laughter from people who are celebrating the end of their Thursdays a bit differently than she.

This happens most Thursdays through Saturdays, so she purposefully keeps her assignments unfinished until the last minute. This gives her a reason to tell herself why she is staying in. The door slams below her window and she hears laughter from the group of girls who had uncomfortably invited her to their “non-solidified” plans that evening in the dining hall. From the sounds of their laughter diminishing with the growing distance between them and her spot at the desk she concludes that their solidified plans did not include her as a detail.

Another hour passes and she is almost done with the homework that is due on Friday. Elizabeth decides she needs to procrastinate. Procrastination now meant less lonely feelings later.

Continue reading “Women and Love by Olive Riley”

Transformative Slave Gothic: Hannah Crafts’s African-Americanization of Gothic Literature by Nicole Margheim

When Africans were violently brought over to America and forced under the institution of slavery, the separation from their heritage was far more than physical. Their traditional religions and practices were demonized and punished on a large scale, creating a compulsion to assimilate to the dominant culture and enforcing a more complete rupture from their various cultural pasts. The fictionalized autobiography The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, a manuscript written in the mid-nineteenth century which tells the story of a slave woman who runs away from her oppressors, deals with the tensions between the Western America and the traditional African cultures under the institution of slavery. Many scholars have noted the manuscript’s blatant appropriation of the urban gothic Bleak House by Charles Dickens in several passages, but the comparison between the Western gothic genre and Crafts’s novel goes deeper than simple copying. Crafts takes many characteristics of the Western gothic novel and incorporates them into her own work, contextualizing them in accordance to experience of slavery. In other words, she African-Americanizes them. Specifically, Crafts African-Americanizes the Western gothic literary tradition in her use of traditional folklore and oral narratives in the African-American communities under slavery. This appropriation illustrating the complicated relationship between the two cultures is furthered by Crafts’s character and persona, Hannah, through her own position within and without the African-American culture of folklore and oral narratives. Continue reading “Transformative Slave Gothic: Hannah Crafts’s African-Americanization of Gothic Literature by Nicole Margheim”

Oreos Are Just Cookies by Sydney Moore

An Oreo. To some this is a very delicious cookie. Crunchy chocolaty outside that seems to melt in your mouth and a silky-smooth crème filling. This is the (black) cookie that craves (white) milk. It is perfect for when everything is going wrong and just one package would be good enough to solve all the problems in the world. However, to some an Oreo isn’t just a cookie. To some it’s an insulting nickname. To me, an Oreo stopped being just a cookie a long time ago, now it means black on the outside, white on the inside. An Oreo is what I’ve been unofficially called since sixth grade, but to be honest the not so subtle racism started when I was much younger than that. Continue reading “Oreos Are Just Cookies by Sydney Moore”

Fuck You, Elliot by Olive Riley

My fifth grade teacher, Ms. Stickman, sat us around the classroom in groups of four. Each time I had grown somewhat comfortable with my table companions she would uproot us, and I’d end up with three new classmates with whom I’d had little to no interaction. I realize now that she may have created these endlessly rotating seating charts to help kids, like me, who suffered from crippling social anxiety, but let me tell you that when I was eleven there was no way I was going to see these moves in any positive light. Especially after the time I was seated smack across from Elliot. Continue reading “Fuck You, Elliot by Olive Riley”