Magnet Creek: A Short Story

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And there was laughter. There was ozone. Somewhere far off there was a calliope organ drawling its ouroboros of melodic lunacy, screaming a song of infinite etceteras like shrieking metal. And it was warm. Feeling alone was the best of it. And, quite suddenly, the girl became aware of her true purpose in the universe. It hit her upside the head like a cold slap. It was explicit and extensive and very-fucking-horrifying—like a supermarket receipt detailing all of her failings in life, stretching on into the foggy middle distance—and it probably would have traumatized her for life had it not been forgotten in that same instant. Overwritten. Gone. A flick to the forehead. And something new and important took its place. From now on, the girl would be called Ampere,…show more content…
» If she couldn’t help her accent, she could at least help her pop culture ignorance—a stiff life of classic literature and strict bedtimes does that to a person. «Also, Magnet Creek definitely has ghosts. » «Magnet Creek doesn’t have ghosts, » her dad said. «It’s way out in the boonies, so it’ll have Bigfoot. » «Just another thing to worry about, » Ampere said, staring down at her plaid skirt. Truthfully, ethereal distractions were welcome. It was a relief to have something fictional to fear, something with a weakness well-documented by pop culture, that could be melted with a cross or holy water. Something that wasn’t a family-shattering sexual affair. Ampere sighed, fogging the glass. Life wasn’t fair. A murder ghost would have been so much easier to understand than scandal and divorce—probably would have hurt less, too. Never mind the fact that the news about the split had been broken over Ampere’s own birthday dinner. Like, “Congratulations, you’re officially a teenager now, time to grow the hell up.” She’d decided then and there not to cry about it. Ever. It wouldn’t have helped

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