I Didn’t Kill Maggie Adams, Mama.

Mama said I had to find a job and support myself since it doesn’t look like I’m going to college here anytime soon and Mama doesn’t have any money to send me to a college out of state. I don’t want to go to the community college in my town because there will be kids from school who still hate me because they think I’m responsible for the death of Maggie Adams. Well, they sure weren’t complaining when Maggie Adams was standing there in the hallway of North Lake High last year in her ridiculous orange, striped skirt, bawling because I hurt her sorry little feelings.

Anyway, how was I supposed to know that Maggie Adams would take all the things I did in pure fun to heart? Like the time I told everyone in our Freshman P.E. class that Maggie told me she has herpes. Or the time I made fun of Maggie’s volcano zits and fat ass. Or the time I told Tom Friedman during Senior year that Maggie Adams stalked him because she liked him. Well, Tom never looked in her direction again and the kids at school thought it was hilarious that Maggie Adams would think there was a chance of her being with with one of the most popular guys at school.

A week after Maggie Adams killed herself, her rich parents got the police to arrest me. Mr. and Mrs. Adams wanted them to charge me with involuntary manslaughter but they didn’t because I was a minor and they didn’t “have enough evidence.” I guess the notes, online posts, and the testimonials of the kids at school wasn’t enough for them. I got expelled, am  put on a year of probation, and have to do 200 hours of community service. Maggie Adams’ parents wanted to see me behind bars and they still go to the police department to nag about it. Mama told me she heard of I would’ve thought the community service and probation would be enough for them.

Well, this whole thing first got the attention of the local newspapers and news channels and soon  became  some kind of ‘national celebrity.’ No school wanted to accept me as a student because it would be bad publicity. So, I got my GED and now I work at Jay’s steakhouse as a waitress. The diner is about an hour drive from home because everywhere I applied to, someone asked, “Hey aren’t you that girl from t.v.? Jennifer Maxwell?”  People watch too much T.V. now days.

Well, ever since that day Mama and I haven’t been on the best of terms. Yesterday, as I was headed to work, I called out,

“I’m going now, Mama.”

Mama responded in a huff. “Make sure you don’t open your trashy mouth at work or you’re sure to get fired.”

I frowned. “Mama, I don’t know why you won’t let it go. They way you carry on, you’d think I killed somebody.”

Mama looked at me with those steel eyes, she placed her rough, worn out hand from years of hard work, and said coldly, “But you sure did break someone and that’s even worse if you ask me. Your evil spirit took the knife and plunged it through Maggie Adams’  already broken heart.”


Peoria Illinois area, a publication opportunity awaits you!

Street of Dreams

I will archive this today on my Submissions Opportunities , but for all my fellow Central Illinois writers, here is a great opportunity:images

Bluffs Literary Magazine is now accepting submissions for its second issue. Yes, for those of you who haven’t heard from us in a while, we are still alive and still serving the literary needs of the Peoria area.
So for everyone in, near, or passing through the Peoria area—send us your finest literary work! We long, we ache, we yearn to read your poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, essays, short plays, flash fiction, and hybrid literary constructs. You—yes, you reading this right now—have no doubt produced some of the greatest literary work ever to come out of (or near to, or not so near, or not near at all—geographical precision is irrelevant) Central Illinois. Let us read it, let us publish it, let us offer it to…

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Friday night

while everyone was out,

she sat in front

of her sequined, pink

vanity mirror

staring at the

scars and lesions

on her face.

She picked at each angry red dot

with her manicured fingers

feeling frustration

and strain in the lines of her


she frowned as she remembered

the girls who called her ugly

while the boys passed by her–

as if she was invisible.

She took a flower and pulled out its petals

“ugly, not ugly”

she repeated and repeated

in a frenzy


the petals of a hundred flowers

were soon strewn all over the


The sequins on the vanity’s frame



her image in the

crystal clear mirror

mocked her.