Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicyclefeature in which authors shed light on their recently released books by comparing them to weird things. This week Cathy Ulrich writes about Ghosts of You, her debut story collection out now from Okay Donkey Press.

If Ghosts of Youwere an actress, she would be Marilyn Monroe in the outtakes of Something’s Got to Give, breathless, beautiful, enduring take after take with a terrier that can’t get its performance down, stripping down for a moonlight swim to pique the public’s interest, Marilyn Monroe, smiling, smiling, smiling.

If Ghosts of Youwere a wife, she would be Joan Vollmer the writer, Joan Vollmer the woman with her own dreams and hopes, Joan Vollmer the cynic, Joan Vollmer with a bullet in her brain and a husband who would become a very great man.

If Ghosts of Youwere an extra, she would be Elizabeth Short, liked-men-too-much Elizabeth Short, slept-on-people’s-couches Elizabeth Short, not-quite-a-success, not-quite-famous, beautiful-but-not-too-beautiful, lost, lost Elizabeth Short.

If Ghosts of Youwere a moll, she would be Bonnie Parker, she would be on the run with her lover, sleeping in abandoned farmhouses, sleeping on tattered blankets under the heavy stars. She would be burnt to the bone in a car wreck, she would hobble or be carried for the rest of her life. She would scream in the moment before she died, she would scream and scream and then the sound would cease in the clatter of gunfire.

If Ghosts of Youwere a mother, she would be your mother.

If Ghosts of Youwere a daughter, she would be my daughter.

If Ghosts of Youwere a woman, she would be any of the women you know, or think you know.

If Ghosts of Youwere a murdered lady, she would set the plot in motion.

     
Cathy Ulrich is the founding editor of Milk Candy Review, a journal of flash fiction. Her work has been published in various journals, including Black Warrior Review, Passages North, and Wigleafand can be found in Best Microfiction2019, Best Small Fictions2019 and Wigleaf‘s Top 50 Very Short Fictions 2017 and 2019. She lives in Montana with her daughter and various small animals. Follow her on Twitter at @loki_writes.