The Ladies Stardust
by Kessler Shumate (United States)
Audio: "The Ladies Stardust," read by Anna Gibbs
August is tangible tonight, Wendy thought, bus ticket cutting her palm.
“I’ll visit. It’s California,” Robin said matter-of-factly. “They’ll have something I like.”
“I’ll find it for you,” Wendy said.
Robin grinned, and Wendy’s heart stuttered.
“Alright?” Robin asked. Front porch shadows painted Robin’s cheeks, her baby hairs teased by humidity. Ziggy Stardust verses drifted in hallowed memories. It sat in a box downstairs with records that prompted Hail Marys from family, smiles from Robin.
You listen for pleasure to some songs, for pain to others, Robin had said. Which was this?
“Alright,” Wendy responded. If their goodbye was “see you tomorrow,” so be it.
Kessler Shumate, age 18, is a freshman at the College of William & Mary. She plans on majoring in biology but also has a love for film, music, and books. This piece is loosely inspired by David Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" and the universal nostalgia and longing we weave into music.
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5/17/22, 4:27 PM
5/16/22, 11:40 AM
I am waiting with anxiety what does she doesto fight back these things which are very complicate to handle for a teenager...... I am Very anxious because I am in the same situation..... So I want to know what will she do.....
5/15/22, 3:16 PM
This is such a wonderful piece. I love it so much!
Rain Wind Thunderstorm
5/13/22, 10:46 AM
You are really good at writing. And at such a young age! If you don't mind me saying so, your writing style is warm and cozy. And also at the same time, very deep, meaningful and relatable. I especially loved the "The Reflection" part.
5/13/22, 9:28 AM
I really wanna know what does she does to fight back these things which are hard to handle for a teenager.
5/11/22, 2:37 PM
I loved every word of this. Maybe because I am relating too hard. I hardly possess any of the love or filial piety I am expected to have towards my family. I am dubious of anything my grandmother says to me and have long learned to just swallow it all with a smile though I question how much I know. And. Just. Knowing. That you will be forgotten by your extended family for the rest of the year but still held up to their expectations. Thank you for writing this! I'll always remember a beautiful #ownvoices story :).
5/10/22, 6:57 AM
I really am curious about how she is gonna fight this situation and will she be able to fulfill her dreams which she once had
5/6/22, 2:03 PM
Ooh I really love this! What a great ending too. Fellow students, we've got this!
5/6/22, 1:53 PM
I love this piece so much. Novels and writing rarely makes me cry, but this was just too relatable.
5/6/22, 1:51 PM
This was so beautiful, and created such a detailed image in my mind!
5/6/22, 11:35 AM
I thought that was a truly insightful piece. As a teen writer myself, your words were a refreshing reminder of the meaning behind adolescence. Thank you for bringing your writing into the world, and hope to see more of it soon.