I am Always Leaving

By Maya Lionne

When Dinah asked Lucy to write something for Tanya’s birthday gift, Lucy went to work immediately, not with actual writing, but with searching the stacks of correspondence in her room for a particular set of letters from several years earlier. After hours of sifting through piles of letters, envelopes, and envelopes without letters, Lucy found what she was looking for: a stack of letters, bound with burgundy ribbon, envelopes yellowed with age and prolonged exposure to sunlight on a windowsill in her old apartment in New York, where she developed the habit of leaving letters until the piles grew too large and threatened to block out the light. She sat down, removing them from their envelopes, the paper still faintly smelling of an odd-but-reassuring combination of her mother’s perfume and her father’s hands, which were perpetually crusted with wood glue and soldering flux, and a few other scents that brought back memories long filed away.

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Make Me Over

By Maya Lionne

I started telling fortunes for ten bucks a shot after I ran away from home, Dinah began, her fingers taking their time to scrawl her thoughts on the white college-ruled notebook paper that had yellowed with age in the years it sat on her desk almost totally unnoticed. “No, that’s too recent,” Dinah said out loud, to no one in particular. “Gotta start further back.” Writing her story was difficult, despite the fact that she’d known of Tanya’s impending 18th birthday for several months. She’d procrastinated on finding a gift, and even when Bridget had approached her regarding a book composed of everyone in the house’s stories, Dinah hesitated writing her own. But why? Continue reading

Seaside Boi

By Maya Lionne

The girl was saying something, but he didn’t hear any sounds coming from her – just a rash of noise that had begun with the words “Are you a fucking tranny?” Rain slapped the windshield hard enough to drown her out and for a moment, he thought about staying and dealing with it, trying to educate her, trying to help her understand that he really was a guy, that he just had to “spend some time in the shop” getting some parts corrected, removed, or added. That his name really was Nicolas and yes he bled every month, but he’d been taking testosterone shots and his high tide would be history soon enough, and he really liked spending time with her. But he didn’t stay. He didn’t offer any explanations or education, didn’t offer understanding. He just unlocked the car door, stepped out into the rain, and slammed the door behind him. She waited a full zero seconds before she started the car and drove off in the opposite direction.

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The LaCroix Diaries

By Maya Lionne

On Tanya’s nineteenth birthday, on a chill autumn Thursday, Tanya, Nicolas, Bridget, and Alexa came back from the night’s work selling the house’s homemade erotic calendars and magazines to find the renovated Hotel d’Souza where they lived abnormally quiet.

Alexa agreed to search the bottom floor, the light from her cell phone illuminating dark rooms in the basement. Bridget set about searching the offices and rooms on the ground and second floors, her dancer’s body gliding past rails and desks like a wraith in the early morning dark. Nicolas racked the slide on his handgun, replacing it in his brown leather jacket before accompanying Tanya in a search of the third and fourth floors.

No one could be found, and the house showed no signs of disaster – all the rooms were in order, nothing was knocked down, and there was no sign of a fight. When she finally got to the fourth-floor room she shared with her girlfriend Galina, Tanya all but kicked the door down, shouting Galina’s name in a panic.

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