My Mema and Papa go to the same Hardee’s every morning and order the same thing.
My daddy reading me the Harry Potter books way past when I actually needed to be read to–because we’d started that way and he was going to finish that way.
When I was younger we weren’t really supposed to put the dog on the bed, but whenever we had hard days Mama would let us. When we got the news that daddy would need open heart surgery, Mama and I sat on the bed cuddling with our golden retriever. He’s gone now and I still think of him as “the heart attack” dog. Miss him.
My grandma used to tell us that if we didn’t clean all our scratches we’d end up with an infection. One time she told me that she once knew someone who’d lost a finger because they hadn’t cleaned a scrape well enough. She used to pour this stuff that burnt and smelt terrible on all of our injuries. To clean it, she said. I hated it, but all I could think about was that person who’d lost their finger. I liked all of mine and figured I’d try to keep them.
My Mema is the only person who calls me Bri and I love it.
Back when I was Sissy and my little brother was Bubby. I don’t remember when I stopped calling him that, but I remember vaguely whenever he stopped calling me Sissy and started using my name. He’s nineteen now. I don’t really know why, but it still kind of makes me sad when I think about it.
My Papa Crump has always been a story teller, but recently his favorite story is about when he was young and he demanded a raise from his boss. He went to his boss and said that if he didn’t get more money he was gonna have to quit and find something else. His boss said, “Bill, I don’t want you to quit.” and Papa said, “I don’t wanna have to quit.” The man gave him a raise. I don’t know why he keeps telling us this story, but I’ve heard it so many times that I can still hear him saying it in my head. I don’t want to ever forget that. I recorded him telling it on my phone. I have a lot of recordings of him telling stories on my phone.
When we were kids, my cousins and I used to run barefoot all over our grandparent’s yard climbing trees. I was the oldest and it was always my job to create the game. I’d make up a story and divvy out parts. I always took it very seriously–I think I was a writer even before I knew I was. We used to take my grandma’s old dresses from the fifties and wear them while we played. They were our costumes. Our armor. Our ballgowns. The dresses still hang in the same closet they always have.
Mama didn’t really like us watching Cartoon Network when we were really young. When I went to my grandma’s house I used to watch it anyway (I know, I was such a little rebel). Courage the Cowardly Dog used to give me nightmares. Mother knows best.
I can still remember the exact second I decided that I wanted to be a writer. It was sudden and absolute. I haven’t stopped wanting it since.
When we brought my dog, Fenway, home for the first time he fit in the back window of our car. He slept there, it was his favorite spot. He’s the size of a horse now and I have now idea how he ever managed to fit somewhere as small as that.
I was so scared to show my dad my writing at first. I felt so terribly vulnerable. Now he is the first person to read anything that I write and I would be absolutely nothing without him.
My mama used to sew me dresses with tags inside that read “Made with love by Mommy.” I have no idea how to sew, but I want to learn for the sole purpose of being able to one day do that for my children.
When my dad had his third heart attack, my mom came into my room and told me what was happening. She was getting daddy ready to go to the emergency room. She told me to take care of my little brother, Josh. I remember making him Easy Mac. I was probably twelve or thirteen at the time. We stayed by ourselves in the house that night. I think that was the first time in my life that I’d ever stayed overnight in the house without an adult there. I slept in my parent’s bedroom and worried all night. I think Jonah was probably on the bed that night too.
My family has a farm house in the middle of nowhere. It is about two hours from where I live. It is over two hundred years old. My great grandparents lived there and it is where my papa was raised. My grandfather is such a good storyteller that I can sometimes feel my great grandma Maggie in that house, even though she is long dead and we never met. He describes her so vividly that she feels real. I know she still lives in that house and I hope it always remains standing for her.
Hello! My name is Brianna Joy Crump and I am a twenty-two-year-old writer from Raleigh. North Carolina. I am a recent graduate from Gardner-Webb University where I received my BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. While in college, I wrote nine and a half novels, as well as multiple short stories and a handful of poems. I am currently rewriting one of my novels and hoping to pursue agents and publishing come the fall. For more information, feel free to contact me on social media or check out my website.