1.) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
“Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake- its everything except what it is”
2.) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
“Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I can not live without my life! I can not live without my soul!”
3.) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”
4.) Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
“The hell with this aching, suffering, callow, half-assed delusion that he was in “love” with her. The hell with “love” anyway, and with every other phony, time-wasting, half-assed emotion in the world.”
5.) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
“They’ve got no idea what happiness is, they don’t know that without this love there is no happiness or unhappiness for us–there is no life.”
ENDING OF “HYPOCHONDRAWAY”
Lizzie gawked in horror as bloody tears wandered down my face.
” Oh my! Don’t worry, mam. You are just having an abnormal reaction to the- -oh dear.”
Her eyebrows crinkled as she tried to resist a frown. Her broken wincing face got smaller and smaller until I couldn’t see it at all anymore. I could feel my body losing itself, becoming more and more empty every minute, with every intense suck of the machine. All that blackness was seeping out forming small puddles of me on the floor. Drip. Drip. Drip. Into the cracks between the tiles. Lizzie’s voice swooped in: “I can’t! I can’t! Everything is leaking out! It’s everywhere, she’s everywhere!”.
I fell back and stared at the snowy white ceiling. “You’ll soon be forgotten”,it said brightly.
by Angie Hoover- Hillhouse
I was chewing my pencil during a presentation at work when splotches of purple clouded my vision. I tried to concentrate hard on Rick, ” The important thing to remember about the time sheets is that for every 15 minutes, you chart .25 hours.” His fat cheeks puffed up as he tried to contain his enthusiasm,“I kn-know! Simple, right?”. I put my hand over my heart to sooth it, but it pounded the walls of my body, threatening to break free. I felt the color drain from my face, leaving me pale and obvious among the sea of healthy pink and brown co-workers. “Janeane! Janeane” Rick huffed, but I couldn’t speak.
I slid to the ground where I could press my skin against the chilly hardwood floors to relieve the dizzying heat from my face.
” Get her a banana, Melanie. She needs calcium or potassium ah-o-o-or something. Janeane, you just lie right th-there. We’re getting a wheelchair”.
A large drop of sweat trickled anxiously down his nose, stopping at the round tip to dangle over my face which lay flatly beneath him. I felt his short meaty arms wrap around my back and lift me into a rusty wheelchair- the only one we had at the office. A parade of people flooded into the room to give me fruits and water bottles and heating pads. Apparently fainting is a common malady. Almost all of my co-workers had a matron aunt or a neighbor on the brink of death that fainted frequently and swore by the healing powers of whatever they happened to be shoving in my face.
“Hypochondraway” Short Story by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse
“Swallowed by the Dragon” Excerpt by Angie Hoover
I churned with the black in the belly of this beast. Swaying in bile as thick and dark as the oil of the Earth. After some time, I stopped swimming and sank. How peaceful it felt to stop clawing at the walls of her stomach. staying afloat was not worth the struggle. I would drop into her deep. I’d get smaller and smaller and then I would melt. I’d be liquid in liquid. Blood in blood.
Artwork by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse
This came to me like a comforting memory. I don’t know what that says about me. I almost feel like it is a complete work because it has such a clear beginning and end in my own mind.
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She was as beautiful as he had remembered even with 10 years of life painted onto her expression.
Their eyes met and it sent a shock right through her. She was as beautiful as he had remembered even with 10 years of life painted onto her expression. She towered over him- a statuesque beauty. Her hair had been blonde when she was a girl but it had faded to a mousy brown since the birth of her son. He was just as fat and disheveled as she’d expected but she couldn’t help but see him as the strapping young buck he once was.
Excerpt from “A Woman Made Cold” Original Short Story
by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse
She had endured a life seated in unparalleled heartbreak. She was not born hard; she was a woman made cold by circumstance.
She walked up to the door… her black leather heels digging deep into the softening oak beneath her. She didn’t knock. Her steps were authoritative without being obnoxiously loud. She seemed emotionless but if you looked hard enough you would see that her compassion ran deep. She had endured a life seated in unparalleled heartbreak. She was not born hard; she was a woman made cold by circumstance.
Excerpt from “A Woman Made Cold” original short story
by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse
This story is still unfinished. It comes to me in pieces that may or may not ever fit together, but I suppose that is the nature of inspiration.
Untitled Artwork by Vanessa Cate
There is a bloody rot in this place. It breathes beneath the floors. It lurks in the shadowy vents stalking the weak- hunting for meat until all the sick are swallowed whole. The thick smell of it made my vision go grey.
I’d been here as a child when it was a normal crumpled hospital for normal crumpled cirhossis patients and gangrenous feet. Thoughts of cancer crept into my ear, reminding me that there are poisons in this world that I can taste as clearly as the salt that rides on an ocean breeze. I wasn’t completely cured yet. Dark, unpleasant thoughts often swelled up in my head leaving no room for cupcake recipes or oven cleaning tips. Today’s Hypochondraway treatment would fix all that though. From now on, ALL my daydreams would be happy and light like lemon meringue.
Excerpt from unfinished science fiction story titled “Hypochondraway”
The concept of this fragment is inspired by a series of psychosomatic fainting spells I had. The imagery, which I will expand on in later posts, is taken from a dream I often have where I am sitting in the waiting room of a hospital in the early 1970s. Everything is yellow, linoleum, and humming with the sound of indifferent machinery.
by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse