“You said to ‘kill my darlings.'”
“That’s not—!” Prudella pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. “I didn’t mean literally. It’s a saying. It means to cut out those phrases you love.”
“Well, I didn’t know that!”
Prudella counted to four, took a breath and opened her eyes. The ghoul sitting across the desk from her wore a wrinkled, pained expression, accented by the jagged scar that ran like a fissure across her face. It was a toss up as to whether the ghoul was more concerned about the bodies in the wheelbarrow behind her or her grade in Fiction Writing 101.
“It’s okay. A beginner’s mistake.” Prudella pushed the box of tissues across the desk. On the cubicle wall opposite a poster reminded her that that everyone at Transylvania Community College was there to help students succeed.
“What should I do?”
“Go over your manuscript again and bring it to the next class. Oh, and maybe talk to Irving. He’s a necromancer, I think.”
“The term is ‘resurrectionist,'” the ghoul said around her soggy tissue nose blowing.
“Do they?” Prudella watched the ghoul maneuver her load between the adjunct professors’ cubicles and made a mental note to ask Irving at the next class what term he preferred. Then she reminded herself she had another dozen Composition 101 papers to grade before her next student conference. This week’s assignment had been “how-to” articles. Already she’d read three point by point grave robbing tutorials.
“Back into the fray,” she sighed. But first, coffee.
This post first appeared on October 15, 2015.