Living in the Aftermath. (Original writing)
This thesis consists of three stories, "You," "The Lighthouse," and "Premeditated Sex." As the title of the thesis implies, all of these stories are aftermath stories in that the significant and life-changing event has already occurred. What is left in the wake of these events is the lives the characters in each story must lead. "You" is the story of a father's mental breakdown and the subsequent breakdown of the relationship he had with his daughter. Told through the eyes of a second person narrator, the story focuses on the desire of daughter and father to connect with each other and their ultimate failure to do so. Similar in theme, "The Lighthouse" is told by a young woman with a terminal brain tumor who is propelled by the need to tie the loose ends of her life into one final whole into alienating and driving away her best friend. Set outside in the wake of a snowstorm, this story also revolves around the various perspectives one can conjure up regarding the past. In "Premeditated Sex," the narrator is again a young woman dealing with the alienation she feels from the deeply religious father who raised her after her mother's death. All three of these stories are linked by the themes of isolation, problemed or absent parent/child relationships, abandonment, and the need to deal with some form of death, be it physical or emotional. In addition, each story grapples with religious overtones and undertones and the role religious imagery and morality plays in ordinary life.