Working Title: The Photographs
By Dana Quell

There are pictures of me hanging on the wall in the hallway of my mother's house. I know if I take them out of the frames and flip them over I will see them labeled carefully in her handwriting: Katheryne at six months, Katheryne at 2 years, Katheryne at 7, Katheryne at 15, Katheryne's graduation, Katheryne's wedding...

The pictures end there. The smiling girl from these photographs began to frown sometime after the last one was taken and didn't allow the vulgarity of it to be captured on film. Her parents were disappointed when she stopped taking the joy she had taken previously in life, when she woke up every day and went to bed every night at the same time after doing the same things day in and day out and became a mechanical slave to her job -- when she became me.

This girl had all of life's advantages at her disposal; she could have been anything she wanted to be and anyone she chose. She cared for people and was wild enough to entertain them, though serious enough to be a wall of strength and support when they needed her. Everybody wanted to be around her; everybody liked this fun personality, this Katheryne who had an endless realm of possible futures spread open before her.

But this girl is gone.

Her ghost still walks these forgotten hallways, decorated in wallpaper lost sometime in 1974, still resembles the girl in these tired old photographs, and still remembers what life is like without worrying about deadlines or taxes or divoce or death. But I am not this girl anymore. I'm not Katheryne anymore but Ms. Aegir, the cynical journalist who divorced her husband less than a year after she married him.