I started writing Sam & Grace stories as a part of my senior project in high school. I, then as now, was writing a short collection of short stories. And, then as now, it was largely made up of Sam & Grace stories and Fetuses & Tiaras. What can I say, I like ampersands. My senior project mentor, a poet and librarian at the University of Idaho, told me that I had managed to write one of the most classic love/friendship stories and one of the most truly terrifying pieces of transgressive fiction he had ever read. Now, Sam and Grace are grown up and Fetuses is, I hope, almost finished.

In nearly all Sam & Grace stories, they are the only two characters. Not just the only named, the only speaking, but the only ones at all. Sure in some instances (in a meeting, ordering coffee) there have to be other people, but they act as scenery. I did this to show Sam & Grace’s co dependency that verges on dangerous. There are more characters than just them in the first story, when they meet in kindergarten, because they are not yet as tied to each other as they become. They are a set. They are Sam&Grace. Even years after seeing each other every day, they are still that set. They are still co dependant. They are still almost crossing the point of close friends to losing their own personhood to the set. They are still cosmically and comically bound together.

They grew up together. They grew together. They grey into each other. When they are apart, though, it is not as if a piece of themselves is missing. It’s like when you rest your hand on your  leg and then move it. You notice where your hand was is cold and feels different and you want to negate that feeling, but you also know that it wouldn’t be the same. Or maybe that only happens to me.


The engine turned over and Grace sighed at the familiar noise. Then she voiced a question she’d been mulling over for two years.

“How did you find me?” It was almost as if Samuel had been waiting for that. He didn’t ask what she meant and it took him less than five seconds to reply. It was so clean and unfeeling it was almost rehearsed, like he’d been working out an answer for as long as she’d been trying to find the right question.

“I got Charlie to drive me down the road to Altus. I knew you’d be somewhere along there. I saw my truck, told him to leave me and to tell them we’d be a little late. I threw the bag I got together at your house in with you, checked out the damage, and got us back to Lloyd Noble by one.” He said it all in such a measured tone. Stating information, not really thinking about it.

“Oh. That makes sense. Thanks Sammy.” Grace responded, slipping back into the-way-things-were.

“Don’t mention it, Gracie,” Samuel responded, grinning. They fell into an easy silence, a silence of people who don’t need words to fill the space, the engine humming and the tires vibrating along the newly paved highway on the way back home.