Tag Archive | early work

Sweet Euphoria – Sour Milk 6

bleachindexTo start this story from the beginning, click here.

“If you say so.” Steve looks very doubtful, wearing a kind of half frown. He can be an airhead sometimes. I turn back to my photo. Jerry and Sean sit behind Stacy, giving her bunny ears. That was when they thought it would be cool to have blue hair and write band names on their arms. Tattoos they called them. Sometimes they thought it was awesome to walk around with straws in their noses, but luckily they hadn’t done that in the picture. They were constantly together, doing whatever the other did, almost identical. But Jerry had a more adorable face.

“Yes I do say so,” I mumble, my mind turning back to the conversation at hand. “I can’t believe our parents never caught on, even though the bush got all beat up. I also can’t believe none of us ever got hurt. I mean there were pricklers and all, but it was just too much fun to notice.”

“It was all about the euphoria of the music,” he agrees.


So, I knew right away that I wanted to use this picture. I think it might have been this page of the Bleach booklet that gave us the whole crowdsurfing idea. Or at least it inspired the idea that the euphoria of music could make you feel good flinging yourself into things–bushes, drumsets, same diff, right?–and might make you a little invincible. Which, by the way, was a completely valid and sound inference to make. Just for the record.


Next installment: Where Did All the Little Kid Go?

Crowdsurfing – Sour Milk 5

To start this story from the beginning, click here.

bushesimages“Hey, was she the one who suggested the crowdsurfing thing?”

I turn to look at Steve, my train of thought interrupted. “Huh? I’ve never crowdsurfed in my life. I barely even go to shows anymore.”

“The bushes…”

“Oh!” Giggles erupt from my mouth. “That was so much fun! We’d wait until we could see through the front window that Mom and Dad were watching TV, and then we’d jump into the bushes and pretend we were surfing a crowd. What a zany idea that was. Remember that one time we all jumped together?”

“Not really.”

“Well it happened.”


And here, the autobiographical in this fiction becomes obvious. Especially if you’ve read Warding Off Eclipses with Sex and Music. Yeah, I really used to do this “crowdsurfing.” Some people’s kids, I tell ya.


Next Installment: Sweet Euphoria

I’ve Got Pictures On My Mind – Sour Milk 4

To start this story from the beginning, click here.

wedding_158On impulse I get up and walk to the table in the far back corner. It’s covered in old puzzle pieces, love letters, a few books and some dust. Digging through the memories, I pull out a photo. There we are, the seven of us, immortalized in our youthful bliss and trauma. The picture was taken by my parents; they always thought we were such a “cute” bunch of friends.

First I study May, short and spunky with short red hair, sitting as close as she possibly can to Brad, the tallest and oldest of the bunch, wearing a leather jacket and spiked hair. It’s obvious he’s trying to sit apart from the group. He always was too cool to smile for the camera, I think, seeing his calculated look of nonchalance.

Most noticeable in the picture is Stacy, wearing a black band shirt, dyed black hair and an expression that conveys her superiority and her need for attention. She was an enigma to say the least, always in everyone’s face. But we loved her for that. She told it like it was.


Another quick installment from a story from late 1999.


Next installment: Crowdsurfing

The Trouble with Twins – Sour Milk 3

can-stock-photo_csp14570295To start this story from the beginning, click here.

Steve’s smile widens to a grin. “And that first night, we played all the songs with dirty words and the door was closed so we didn’t have to censor anything.”

“Oh yeah!” I exclaim. “What rebels we were! Somehow I just don’t get the same pleasure out being able to play nasty songs in my dorm room.” Steve laughs. “And then they made us keep one of the big overhead door open every time. The parental trust was overwhelming. They were paranoid and they didn’t even know that Jerry and I were supposedly going out.”

“God, you always did steal all my friends away from me, didn’t you?” he asks.

“Sure, but it wasn’t my fault they all thought I was cooler than you.” I punch him playfully. “Anyway that is what you get for having a twin sister.”

“I guess so. Besides, it went both ways.”

“Yeah, man, Stacy was my best friend until the time she came over and met you. She never bothered to hang out with me after that.”

Steve grins. “Yeah, I know, but it’s not my fault she thought I was cooler than you.”

“Whatever,” I reply.


Another installment of the last short story I wrote during my first semester freshman year of college. Early shit, yo.

Next installment: I’ve Got Pictures on My Mind


Only Happy When It Rains – Sour Milk 2

boomboximagesTo start this story from the beginning, click here.

“What is?” Steve asks after a long pause. He is sitting on the chair next to me, which has taken far more abuse than the couch.

“I think I was happier when I was depressed.”


“I know that sounds nuts, but if I think of the good times I had back when I was in that whole teenage angst stage, and then think about how I feel now that I’ve, grown up a bit shall we say, I think I’d pick the teenage angst deal over this.”

“But, Sara, you wanted to kill yourself every other day.”

“I know, but that was because everything that happened was the end of the world back then. Now, I have real problems and I know that suicide is no solution to anything. What a paradox! I don’t really mean I want to be depressed, though. I just miss all the fun we had, in here especially. Do you remember the first night we claimed the garage for us kids?”

“Yeah,” he says with a smile. He is starting to get that far-off look in his eyes, the same one I feel. “That was so cool. Dad had just finished building it, and they’d thrown the old couches and chairs back here, and then they put in the electricity. Was it you who thought of bringing a CD player?”

“I think so. And Sean, Jerry and Brad were with us.” Sean and Jerry both lived across the street and were still juniors in high school. Brad was the boy in the green house. We hadn’t seen him in awhile.


The second installment of an old short story.

Next installment: The Trouble with Twins


The Old Garage – Sour Milk 1

pt1wjpu1apqfnlpn_580 “It’s weird,” I say. I look around me. I’m sitting on an old couch, long worn out and starting to tear, that my parents got before I was born. Across the back part of the large driveway that has seen countless games of rollerblade hockey and an abundance of chalk drawings, sits my bluish gray house. There are angles and lines everywhere, a window now and then. I used to think it looked unfriendly, kind of aloof, but then was when I had an imagination and houses had personalities.

Inside the garage, the one my dad and his friend built that one summer that I thought I discovered who I was, are so many scattered things a cyclone may as well have hit. My sister’s rollerblades and a pile of bike helmets in one corner, a table covered with pieces of different puzzles in another. The telescope that broke the first time I used it is against the back wall, in a jungle of bikes and scooters. The windows have collected dust, so much so that it’s hard to see through them to the green house with that cute boy my friend May was always chasing after. The walls are unpainted and a bit uneven. The two small lights on the ceiling, which is also unfinished, still work, and that is a good thing.


This is the first section of a story I wrote during my first semester away at college. It’s sort of autobiographical fiction and was probably the first thing I wrote that wasn’t sci-fi or other-worldly in some way.

Next Installment: Only Happy When it Rains


The Perfect Couple: A Complete Short Story

southernlightsI am sick. Yes, very sick. My psychological problems go well beyond any normal adolescent developmental problems or troubles. I doubt my condition could even be classified by any therapist. I fondly refer to it as the Unconditional Love Disorder. I think it started the moment I read my first cheesy romance novel, at age seven. Ever since I have been totally obsessed with finding unconditional love, someone who would do absolutely anything for me.

Ironically, I have been in some of the worst relationships ever, even though my standards are so demanding. My first boyfriend, Charley, after two months, told me he had to leave me to find his inner self. I’m not stupid, though. I knew he really just wanted to spend more time with his “cult,” whose only purpose was to play Dungeons and Dragons day in and day out. I wonder if that can even really be called a cult, probably not.

Continue reading The Perfect Couple


This one’s from my senior year of high school. It was my first attempt at writing a satirical story. I knew so many girls (myself included at times) who were so over the top melodramatic when it came to love and boyfriends and I wanted to take it to a whole new level to sort of poke some fun.

Angie suffers from UCS, Unconditional Love Syndrome, a mental fixation on love and romance beyond any normal teenager’s. When she expresses concerns to her best friend, Jade, a science geek who wants to perform Frankenstein experiments on frogs, about her new boyfriend’s loyalty, Jade concocts a contraption and a scheme for Angie to test her new guy’s devotion.

As always, for more writing samples, you can always check out the Samples page. There’s also a section for Published and Early Work (most of this latter section is downright mortifying, but you know, oh well).

~Emilia J