Sierra to the Extreme by Zach Murphy

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

This story was originally published in Anti-Heroin Chic

Sierra liked to eat ice cream during blizzards. She’d make snow angels and draw funny faces on them.

In the spring, she liked to bask in the grass for hours and hours, as if the insects were her friends. She’d talk to trees and will rainbows into the sky.

In the summer, she’d run to the edges of town and party until the morning sun greeted the horizon.

In the fall, she’d dance through whirlwinds of leaves, watch horror films on rainy nights, and read scary stories in the dark.

When the worst spring came, the doctors found something growing inside her body. Sierra thought it looked like a tulip.

When the worst summer came, Sierra couldn’t spend much time outside, and she could only dream of being in a different place.

When the worst fall came, Sierra lost all of her hair. She dressed up in a different Halloween costume every single day of the month. And the next month, too.

During that last winter, Sierra went into the hospital and never came home. The weight of silence was strong enough to shatter mountains.

Every time I see a snowflake, I think of her. Every time a flower blooms, I think of her. Every time the heat swelters, I think of her. Every time a leaf falls, I think of her.

My name is Stella and I miss my twin sister so goddamn much.

About The Author

Zach Murphy is a Hawaii-born writer who somehow ended up in the often chilly but charming land of St. Paul, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in Peculiars Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Emerge Literary Journal, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Fat Cat Magazine, WINK, and the Wayne Literary Review. He lives with his wonderful wife Kelly and loves cats and movies.

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