Grant Faulkner is the executive director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of 100 Word Story (100wordstory.org). His stories and essays have appeared in The Southwest Review, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, PANK, Gargoyle, eclectica, Puerto del Sol, Berkeley Fiction Review, and Word Riot, among others. He's currently in the process of finishing a collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures.
Z. lived in a boxcar that resembled a fairyland. Scarves, buttons, burn marks on the velvet of an armchair. Her nose, a hawk’s. Her eyes, swirls of shining ice. Her arms, rubber bands. Most people didn’t know how good she was with a yo-yo. As a child she wanted to be a mortician. As an adult, she wanted to be a clown, a puppeteer. Momento mori. We found her clutching a French crucifix. 34 pills and a bottle of rum. Sketches of clouds wearing taffeta dresses adorned the ceiling. “You can’t learn how to skip,” was scratched on the wall.