New Voices: Megan Giddings

February 20, 2014

You guys, this story, it will cling to your bones. Megan Giddings does some remarkable work in this playful yet poignant piece, in which she experiments with point of view, stretches the imagination, and mixes whimsy and sadness in perfect amounts. As soon as we read it, our editors pounced to make sure it was a part of our New Voices series, and we’re thrilled and honored to be publishing it here. Congratulations Megan on a wonderful story. Readers, enjoy.

Brothers What

The Brothers Wham!

By Megan Giddings

The Voice of Fortune

It’s easy to assume that when people hear George Michael sing and sigh, “that’s a voice that can raise the dead,” they’re just complimenting him. It’s not a compliment. It’s true. I experienced it. His voice is an alarm clock urging all dead within hearing distance to rise.

It was a little over five years since I’d died when his voice penetrated through the soil and my casket’s lid. My bones started clanking, reforming, growing solid. The coming together shook loose the ant colony that had burrowed into the cardboard. It ejected the maggots and broke off the long-ends of my fingernails. Flesh grew back. My face became firm again and my eyelids filled out, thin and crepey. I heard the satisfying slurp of my spleen growing back crimson and full. My heart played a cadence and then returned to a steady rhythm. Rapids of blood flowed from it, making my body whole.

I pushed out into the darkness. As I tunneled up, stronger than I had ever been in life, especially near the end, I felt my muscles working in striated unison and knew definitively I was alive. I’d spent the last years lying in beds, vomiting into toilets. It was a time spent reading the pauses when doctors and nurses looked at charts and learning how to understand glances interchanged between my primary care physician and the specialist brought in for consultations. My parents began speaking to me like I was a child not only because I was on heavy medication, but because fear had caused them to reduce me to the version they best knew how to take care of.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

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