Behind the Book

Usually, when I get an idea for a story, it comes in bits and pieces. But once in a while— great while, frankly—an idea will come to me fully formed, a story demanding to be told.

 

Living Dead Girl was one of those stories.

 

I woke up the night of April 5, 2007, from a disturbing dream. I write all my dreams down, and usually they're pretty nonsensical, but this one was different.

 

I wrote:

 

"Alice." It is her name but it isn't her name. She thinks of who she was as someone far away. Long ago. Kidnapped when she was ten. Five years, and she lives with the kidnapper still. Now he wants someone else. New. She'll do anything to get him off her. Knows no one sees her, staring at blue thing, plastic like water but not water, reflection strange. Blurred, featureless. Flash of teeth, grinning not grinning, hands and pain, HIM. Thinks, I am a living dead girl.

 

By the time I was done writing, I knew Alice's story. I knew I had to tell it. But I had other projects I was working on, and I told myself to file it away.

 

The night of April 6, 2007, I had the same dream again.

 

By the night of April 8, 2007, I woke up from the now-familiar dream and wrote only one word:

 

Alice.

 

I wrote Living Dead Girl because it demanded to be told, and I hope it speaks to you as strongly as it did to me.

 

 

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