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Category Archives: Holly

Holly gave it up before she knew what it was.


Rose and Roger are deep in effusive conversation about nerd TV with the host and, as cute as it is, Holly eventually stops listening. She’s pleasantly buzzed and she feels like gliding. She glides toward the kitchen.

“You need ice skates to pull that off,” says a guy in a mottled sweater and parachute pants.

“You need a ski resort,” she retorts.

He shrugs. “I have one.”

Holly is oddly charmed by his open arrogance. “How’d you score that?” she asks. “Let me guess… dotcom. No! Record producer.”

“Specialty porn,” he says.

She laughs.

“Yeah,” he says, smiling. “But actually, though.”


Holly is so giddy from the night that she actually takes Mr. Porn Resort’s card and slips it down the front of her dress. Everyone’s drifting over to watch an epileptic ball descend a pole, so she takes Rose and Roger each by a hand and leads them out to the car.

The streets are empty silence and the moon’s just starting to wane. The clock in the dash says 12:02. Holly leads them again, up the steps to her apartment, where frost has paislied the sliding doors.

Holly kisses Roger. Holly kisses Rose.

Rose kisses Roger.

“Happy new,” Holly says.


Holly lives, altogether, with five and a half sets of foster parents. The Kreuks count as half because they split her assistance check and lie to the caseworker, and for eight glorious months she is Rowan’s daughter.

Rowan can’t adopt Holly because she’s poor, with a history of suicidal depression and (not coincidentally) breast cancer. Holly doesn’t learn this until she goes looking. She gets extra-nice for a while, and Rowan figures it out, and they fight.

I’m not going to tell you they never get a chance to make up. They do. They make up in plenty of time.


“This crosses you,” says Rowan. “This covers you. This is beneath you, before and behind you. Hope. House. Here is your Crown. Here is your Self.”

The card is full of terror, trumpets and storm. “Gabriel,” says Holly. She touches the waxy face of Judgment and it is in that moment the most beautiful thing that anyone has made, that anyone will make.

“Yes,” says Rowan softly. “You’re the angel.”

Holly’s still caught in a stare; Rowan gathers up the rest of the tarot without looking at them. They’re both stoned anyway, and nothing good comes of reading those you love.


“I eat apples, most days,” says Roger, “because there is nothing more disappointing than an overripe nectarine. Half the time that’s how you get them, unless they’re underripe and hard as rubber; you have to either slice one to test every day or trust your crappy luck. You can’t tell by looking or touching, and the zone of ripeness is so small. But when you get a good one, they’re the best fruit in the world.”

Holly’s amused. “Did you have a point?”

“Is that what it’s like to like boys sometimes?”

“Well,” she says, “no.”

“I’m hungry again,” Rose mutters.


The Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility is about ten minutes out from Las Cruces proper. Holly and Roger always make it a point to pick up hitchhikers directly under the big signs that demand you not do so.

“So what’d you do?” says Holly to the dusty man sitting bitch in the truck.

“Possession with intent,” he says.

“Are you going to start again when you get back to town?”

“Gonna do more than just possess this time,” he grumbles.



“Too bad.”

“Oh, don’t get me wrong,” he chuckles, “I can get you pot.”

Roger drives, watching for roadrunners.


A gust through one open window, and the tarot goes whipping away out the other. Madame Zaganza yelps; Holly clears the sill like a hurdler. The scar on her hand barely bothers to ache.

She finds cards in gutters and tree branches, but a good deck is waxed to protect the inks, and these have all washed blank. She wipes wet hair from her forehead. Then she realizes what that means.

The storm pounds like the pulse of a giant, and Holly opens her arms: soaked to the skin, cold and laughing. She drinks the rain until her heart is full.


There’s this one really good day. It’s April, and the breeze coming off the water plays with their hair and jackets, but the skies are clear and kind to Holly. Rose has stories to tell them about the city, and Roger captures in-camera the moment when the sun and wind wreathe their heads with fire.

The alt-weekly has a misprint the next day: every article replaced with Missed Connection after Missed Connection, all unique. Who were the three of you, they ask plaintively. Did you know your own beauty? Can I please, oh can I please hold hands too?