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The Ladies Stardust

by Kessler Shumate (United States)

November 2021

Write the World Review

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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Tom Lofft

9/24/22, 2:13 PM

Was this inspired by flights over Iceland?


9/24/22, 10:04 AM

Amazing. I love it.


9/23/22, 7:34 AM

This is just so good!!!! "The air has been poisoned' I love how you describe things! Congrats :))


9/23/22, 7:32 AM

Love the message! The way you prompt the readers to rethink over 'is anything free' is so effective and the ending is...gorgeous.


9/23/22, 7:30 AM

Gosh, Antara...this is really beautiful! I love your use of language, and the anecdotes were so effective!! Congrats so much :))

Nidhi Kamalapurkar

9/22/22, 9:30 PM

I love it! Especially the part where you say if humans can control the world, they can control themselves too!
Keep up the brilliant writing!


9/22/22, 5:22 PM

Poignant and so beautifully written!


9/22/22, 5:19 PM

I love the flow, this is gorgeously written! Great piece!


9/22/22, 5:17 PM

Life really is all about the little things and you wrote about them in a beautiful way!


9/22/22, 5:16 PM

This is a lovely piece, Keren-Happuch! It provokes such a magical and dreamy feeling.


9/19/22, 5:47 PM

Oh my god, the part about changing the mindset given the pre-existing beliefs drilled in by those around us... Even we often hesitate to have these conversations at times amongst friends as this topic is seldom more than a subject of twss jokes. You put it into words brilliantly!

Avisha M

9/17/22, 6:46 PM

this was thought-provoking! I particularly enjoyed how you connected existentialism to the topic. it provides a different perspective.