Teenagerhood is an awkward time of strange sensations and metamorphoses. For some it’s worse than others. Meet Markella, the protagonist of Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s ‘Thlush-a-lum’, coming up in Pulp Literature issue 5.
- What is your greatest fear? The unknown, especially when I’m trying to sleep and there are sounds coming from outside that I cannot place. It happens all the time. Some mornings I wake up and feel more worn out than when I went to bed.
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? That I don’t satisfy my parents. That must be why they don’t hug and kiss me like other families do.
- What do you most dislike about your appearance? I have four birthmarks on my back: patches of dimpled flesh on my shoulders and on my lower back. I press my fingers into them sometimes, looking in the mirror, and expect it to hurt, but I guess I don’t press hard enough. Can you press too hard? I don’t want to know.
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Sizzle, snap, flutter, pulse.
- When and where were you happiest? When Mother gave me wine and a smile for my seventeenth birthday.
- How would you like to die? I’ve never thought about that before, though I overheard Mother and Father discussing it once. They always think I can’t hear them when they speak in hushed tones, but I can. All they said was that they hoped it happened “anywhere but here.” I’ve never lived anywhere but home, but I think I’d want that too.
- What is your motto? Don’t listen to what you don’t know.
- What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘Thlush-a-Lum’? I wish I had a sibling. I think — I think I wouldn’t feel so alone if I did. We could learn about everything together, maybe even investigate the sounds outside the window together. I think, with someone else around, I’d feel brave.
In all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result. But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe, maybe, sea captain was the right choice after all. Becca’s speculative fiction and food and drink blogging can be found at rebeccagomezfarrell.com.
Find out what those sounds outside Markella’s window are in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature, which can be purchased through our Kickstarter page.