I have a gift for all of you – a free short story that’s been posted on my website for your reading pleasure. Angel On My Shoulder is a little something that I wrote back in college, many moons ago, and I’ve recently given it a nice, deep round of edits. This story has been posted online before on other lesbian fiction sites, so if you’ve been a long-time follower of my work it may not be new to you. But, I thought it was time that I share it here for those of you who may be interested.
This particular work is special to me because it is the first overtly lesbian story I ever wrote, and it played a large role in my own process of self-discovery. It was written during the time in my life when I was coming to understand that I liked girls – that I had always liked girls. This was quite a startling concept for someone as sheltered and carefully religious as I was at the time, and the writing of this story played a key role in helping me figure out who I am.
The original iteration was about a boy dealing with the sudden death of his female best friend. It was written for a university creative writing course, and though I don’t remember the exact terms of the assignment, I do know that I meant it to be a gloomy, angsty stream-of-consciousness thing. (I apparently had a lot of unresolved youthful angst back then. This story SCREAMS “emo teenager.”) But as the writing progressed, I came to realize that the main character wasn’t grieving friendship, but grieving love. Even then, there was something about the voice that didn’t feel right to me. I wrestled and wrestled with the edits, trying to figure out what felt so off, until it went off in my head like a flash of lightning one afternoon. The MC wasn’t a boy. This was a girl, a young outcast tomboy, someone who had struggled her whole life to find her place in the world, and was lost in the grief of losing the one person she had ever really felt accepted her for who she was.
I was terrified to show the completed project to my professor. I’m not sure what I expected – having attended private religious schools my entire life, I think I was worried that he was going to call my parents. Instead he read it over, gave me some editor-type feedback, and then gave me an A for the assignment. I had been making up stories my entire life, but this was probably the most satisfying, most real thing I had ever written.
So I hope that those of you who haven’t seen it before will enjoy it. I have a couple of other oldies-but-goodies that I’ll also be posting, one a light fantasy that I’ve always thought I might eventually rework into a full length novel with a lesbian spin, but I’ll have to dig them out of the depths of my old computer hard drive and pretty them up first. So for now, I’ll leave you with some good old-fashioned teenage melodrama.