TITLE: DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL
GENRE: YA Contemporary Magical Realism
My heaven is a dive bar, and I’m the only patron. I’m not lonely. Robert, my bartender, is good company and provides me with an endless supply of vodka tonics.
I decorated the inside of my bar top to bottom with rainbows, smiling faces, and stick figure sisters holding hands. I drew them from memory. They’re exact replicas of my little sister’s drawings. But lately I’ve noticed something’s wrong with the paper.
“You okay, Mary?” Robert asks. “You don’t look good.”
I point at a drawing. “I wish I could crawl inside a picture. Be back then. Be a sister again.”
To keep tears back I focus my eyes between the amber bourbon bottles. When I stare in that exact spot, the mirror reflects gold onto Anjuli’s rainbow painting and makes the sun glow. It reminds me of the way sunshine smelled on her skin. Wait—now there’s a hole in the picture where the sun used to be. It looks like a cigarette burn.
That can’t be good.
“You have the entire universe at your disposal and this is what you do with it?” Robert asks.
“The only flaw with this heaven is I can’t turn off my brain.” I tap my temple and take a sip. “Today I can’t stop wondering what made an otter ever eat an urchin? And why do I keep going over my locker combination?”
“Ninety-nine, eighty-seven, sixteen.” Robert spins an invisible dial right, left, right.