Friday, May 20, 2011


Nic had not thrown up in nearly five years. After Nic awoke from her pie-induced nap she felt more well-rested and energized than ever. She wanted to climb trees, run marathons, lift elephants! She felt so good that she almost forgot that she hadn't actually eaten any pie from the night before. Nic started walking, then sped up, then started running, then started sprinting. She could feel her shoes smacking the pavement faster and faster, she ran down the street, past Foo Foods, past the apartment building and kept running. She ran all the way around town and kept running lap after lap after lap. She ran until something stopped her in her tracks. There was a man on top of the apartment building with a gun. He was screaming as if there was someone with him but there was nobody there. She became worried, a man with a shotgun talking to himself-she figured that it couldn't end well. She saw the man abruptly fire a shot and kill a policeman. She was too shocked to move. The man then, bent over the edge of the broof and vomited over the side, splattering the street below. Nic started to feel awful, "Oh no," she thought, "this isn't happening." But it was. She bent over and vomited for the first time since puberty. She would never forget the awful acidic taste of the vomit flowing through her mouth. She tried to stand up, but slipped backward on the wet ground in front of her. the back of her head made a loud crack against the pavement, and Nic lay there, eyes wide open, blood flowing out of the back of her hair, staining both her hair and the street beneath her. And just then, Nic finally left Watershed Heights.

Monday, May 9, 2011


One afternoon Nic was sitting in her usual begging spot asking people for change, when all of a sudden the lights inside every building that was in Nic's eyesight went out. People filed out of their buildings irate because of the outage. People filed out of every building that is, except for the diner. Nic, along with the various other people in the street, wandered over to the diner and peered into the window. The lights were off except for a warm glow coming from the back of the restaurant. Nic knew why nobody left the diner. The wonderful sweet smell of Nic's favorite pie was wafting out of the diner. She stood there with her eyes closed and simply inhaled the magnificent aroma of blackberry pie. This was the pie her grandmother used to make, the pie she ate at every Thanksgiving and Christmas, the pie of her childhood. Nic noticed the long line of people forming inside the bakery that led outside of the door. Everyone, strippers, cops, salesmen, restaurant owners, truckdrivers, and even bums waited in that line to step inside of the diner. Nic noticed that some police officers were trying to cut in line and people were getting angry. She didn't care, she could do nothing but stand in that same spot, and smell the blackberry pie scent. She was so drawn to it that she stayed until nightfall, after all of the lights had come back, and fell asleep right beside the diner.

Solid Meal

Nic had become fairly experienced at begging for change. She had learned the facial expressions that instill sympathy, the best spots in town to ask people, and the amount of change that strangers were usually willing to give. Over the past week, she had collected around four dollars in change after having asked more people than she could count. She wasn't surprised, bac kbefore she came to watershed heights whenever a bum asked her for money, she only gave a few coins or apologized for not having any money to give. She was younger than the average bum, and if anyone was willing to give they gave to her. She had saved up enough money to actually buy something from a restaurant. She only had enough to get a small and basic meal, but it was a meal and Nic needed one. She decided on going to Foo Food since she had often wondered what type of food Foo Food actually was. She stepped into the shop and saw a bar with noodles. The man at the cashier gave her a dirty look. She slowly walked up to him, scooped all of her change out of her pockets, and piled it onto the counter. The man gave her an even dirtier look.
"I'm hungry," she said, "I'll take whatever this gets me"
"Smaw noodow," said the man and handed her a bowl about the diameter of a CD, and the depth of a baseball.
"No vegtabuw, no toppeen, no nating, jus noodow."
Nic thanked the man and wandered over to the bar. She chose egg noodles because she figured they had protein. She sat down to one of the tables after grabbing a fork from the bar. The steam from the bowl dampened her face and her mouth began to water. She ate every noodle one by one so as to make the meal last for as lomg as it possibly could. She could hear the man behind her tapping his foot, but she didn't care. She slurped up noodle after plump noodle with pleasure from their texture, warmth and taste. She felt full for the first time in a long time.


A short while after Nic caught fire, a robbery occurred. Every hobo, tenant, stripper, store and restaurant owner was talking about it. Nic heard about it through eavesdropping on a conversation between two girls who worked at second chances. They were standing fairly close to Nic in front of the Apartment building. One was sort of tall with long, straight brown hair, and one was shorter with red hair that was pulled back into a bun. They were both wearing  sparkly platform shoes and fishnets beneath waist-cinched trenchcoats.
"It happened while I was dancing!" exclaimed the tall brunette,
"I mean what were they thinking, an entire ATM machine?,"
"And trying to load it right in front of the cop house? That's the sort of dumbass crime that makes me angry," said the short redhead,
"It's people like them that drive away business from the club, can you imagine the tips we'd get if the people at Chances actually had money?"
The brunette sighed, "Then I'd actually be able to get my own place. Jesus I'm 22 and I have to scrounge for tips by grinding on some drunk stranger who can't even afford noodles from down the street."
"That's the goddadmn truth," said the redhead.
The two clacked away in their stiletto platforms. Nic suddenly felt sick to her stomach. She had submerged her entire head into the filthiest water possible, and she knew that those two girls must feel nastier than nic had felt every day. They were youthful and beautiful, they could be having fun with their lives, but instead they were wasting away in some cheap strip club. Nic was also young, and she knew that youth only happens once because, in spite of the name of the strip club, there are no second chances in life when a person needs them most.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Nic Robinson wanted to know everything about the sideshow girl. She wanted to know how she got there, what happened to her limbs, what color her eyes were. Nic was overcome with a feeling that she had never felt before. It was as if her face and naeck were on fire and her toungue was about to be swallowed. She needed to relax and gather her thoughts before she did any more exploring, so Nic decided to head back to the old cinema. After walking for a few yards, she realized that she was tearing up. She had been so preoccupied by the precious unfamiliar feeling that she hadn't noticed it until now. Nic looked up toward the entrance of the park and saw the food car engulfed in flames. The air was so smoky that Nic barely opened her eyes. She slowly advanced closer, the flames were spreading. She ran. She wanted to speed through the flames unharmed which was becoming more and more difficult as the dead, straw-colored grass began to ignite. She hurried through the front gate unharmed and proceeded to sprint all the way to the cinema. She couldn't shake the burning feeling on the back of her neck which was also accompanied by a horrible smell. She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window of the cinema. Her hair. It was on fire. The small flame ate up more and more hair as Nick let out a high-pitched scream, louder than she had ever screamedin her life. "HELP! SOMEBODY HELP ME!" she cried as she tried to smother the flames with her hand which was only making things worse. She suddenly remembered, The Fountain! She rushed down the street to the broken, dirty fountain and without pause dunked her entire head in the filthy water.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Nic had wandered to the part of town with the old, rundown cinema. She admired the old-timey architecture and accents on the building. She all of a sudden wanted desperately to see a film inside this cinema. She wanted to know what it smelled like, what fabric the seats were made of, and the color of the walls. She only had a few coins of change in her pockets which was not nearly enough to see a movie, or do anything else really. Nic had not gotten the art of begging for change down as well as she had planned to. She sighed and walked away. As she crossed the street she noticed the smell of stale popcorn wafting through the air. The smell was coming from behind her, so she turned around and headed back toward the old cinema. She was surprised to see that there was a circus in Watershed Heights. She was perplexed. how had she not noticed this before? The massive conglomeration of odd rides, games, animals, and concession stands. Without thinking, she had noticed herself walking toward the entrance. She noticed that nobody was trying to sell her anything. She considered this to be a personal triumph, because she assumed that no one was peddling to her because they all figured that she hadn't any money. As she looked across the various attractions, her eyes focused on one particular attraction. A large trailer that had the word SIDESHOW painted messily across it. Nic wandered over to it and was pleased to see that nobody was guarding it to collect tickets. She quickly jogged up the steps and into the door of the trailer so as not to be noticed. There were six cages inside, all were empty except for one cage. Nic was slightly nervous, but she had to see what was in the occupied cage. She was shocked to see a girl about her same age, sleeping on the floor of the cage with no arms or legs. The limbless girl had reddish-blonde hair, which Nic was surprised by, because her own hair was the exact same color. The girl was clad in a  red dress that was tied in a knot just below her torso. Nic did not want to leave her. She felt surprisingly comfortable holding onto the bars of the cage and watching this girl sleep. After a few minutes she left. She decided that she didn't want the girl to see her when she woke up. She left the carnival thinking about the girl, and their mutual hair color.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nic was beginning to regret her trip to Watershed Heights. No matter how hard she tried she couldn't shake the image of the blood spewed all over the street, the flattened face with pieces of skull poking through the forehead, his crushed toes on the smooth asphalt of the street. Up until then, the bloodiest thing she had ever seen was the cut across Henry's finger when he accidentally slit it open with a steak knife, and even then Henry immediately wrapped it in a napkin so she only caught a brief glimpse of it. She missed Henry. Badly. Very badly, but she didn't know if that was enough to make her get back on that subway train and go back to those awful people that she was ashamed to share DNA with. She was sitting on the edge of the broken fountain on a roundabout that had become sort of a symbol of Watershed Heights. Something that could have maybe been beautiful and functional at some point, but that was so long ago that nobody seemed to like it or respect it. Nic stood up, turned around and spit into the filthy water that had collected at the bottom of the fountain. She had seen at least three other people spit into this water and thought that if she did it, she would become connected to watershed heights. If she ever left town, those few drops of saliva would always be there as  part of the filthy water in that broken fountain. Watershed heights may not have been the prettiest or the safest place that Nic had ever been to but it did have one major thing going for it; it wasn't home.