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Oh Brother

As he sat there watching Tim Tebow lead the broncos to another come from behind victory he wondered, “why are they not watching this game? Its AMAZING!” Being the curious person that he is, Ben decided that he would eaves drop on his brother and his new girlfriend’s conversation. After the post game interviews, Ben got up from the couch and tiptoed to the edge of the staircase so that he would be close enough to hear them talk, but still out of there line of vision.
“Ben is SO ANNOYING! He never leaves us alone! Doesn’t he have his own house to watch the stupid game in? Go talk to him and tell him to leave!”
“But he’s my brother! Can’t we at least let him stay until after the 4 O’clock games are over?”
“NO he has to leave NOW! If you get him to leave I’ll make it worth your while” Ben then saw Cindy get a lot closer to his brother and he could tell exactly what “worth his while” meant. Ben’s brother immediately changed his tune.
“Yeah, sure! I’ll go tell him to leave right now!” Ben heard his brother take a step towards the stairs so he darted back to the couch. Before his brother could even get a word out, Ben got up from the couch and made some half-ass excuse as to why he had to leave and immediately ran out the door.
He felt like such a dick. How could he do this? He was being such a cock-block! And to his own brother! Ben felt so bad that he decided that he had to do something to make it up to them, but what? Get them a gift? Wash their car? No, none of those things were god enough. Then all of a sudden it hit him. He’d sneak into their house when they went out to dinner and set up a romantic night for them. He’d get candles, flowers, condoms, and anything ells you might need for a perfect romantic night together.
That Monday night Cindy and Mat both went out to dinner and Ben went to work. He put candles all over their room, spread rose petals on the bed and the floor and used every other romantic cliché heed seen in movies to set up the room. Feeling very accomplished and good about himself, Ben left the house and returned home to watch some football and wait for his brothers inevitable phone call, thanking him for setting up the perfect night. Ben sat and waited but nothing. No phone call, no email, no text message, nothing. Ben wasn’t that mad though, because he just assumed that they were a little too preoccupied to call and thank him.
All of a sudden, Ben heard a knock at the door. Who could it be at this time of night? Did they walk here to thank me in person? Wow, I must have done an even better job then I thought! Ben got up and opened his door to find his brother and girlfriend standing there. But they did not look happy, if anything they looked pissed. With out even walking into the house Ben’s brother started yelling at him furiously.
“What the FUCK did you do?!?!?! We could have been killed!!” Ben was so shocked by how mad his brother was he could hardly speak, “W-wha what are you talking about?”
“What happened? What happened!? What happened!?” Cindy said with her voice getting increasingly louder every time she repeated it. “You burnt our fucking house down! Who the fuck leaves lit candles all over the place without telling anybody?!” She took a deep breath, “When we got home one of them got knocked over and lit our window shades on fire and then the bed and eventually the whole house went up in flames!”
Needless to say, Ben felt even worse then he did before, not only did he burn their house down but now he had no where to watch football on Sunday!

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SARA

I wish I was an amazing lover.
Sara always told me I “did it for her” in bed. I thought it sounded a lot like adequacy. She said it wasn’t. I was a stallion, she said.
When we’d met I told her I wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. She told me not to call it sex. It was called making love she’d said.
After we’d made love for the first time she rolled over on her side and cried. I wanted to know why she was crying. Was I terrible at making love? She wouldn’t tell me.
Two months later I came home early when I was fired from the Pet Shop. I found Sara in bed with Chet from the Ihop on my block. I asked her the next day if Chet was better at love making then I had been.
“I was fucking him” she said, “not making love”.
I stayed with Sara after that. We avoided the Ihop. In bed I would ask her if we were fucking, having sex or making love. She cried again. She said she couldn’t do it anymore. She left.
I slept with more women after Sara.
Kimberly only came over on Tuesdays. Her AA meetings were near my flat. We would drink tequila and have difficult, sometimes painful sex. I asked her if I was good at making love. She called me a pussy.
Isabel had olive skin and black hair. I thought she was beautiful. We met at a bar after I found a new job. We both liked jazz and had had braces. She said I reminded her of a matador she had seen perform as a girl. He was amazing and graceful, she said. We had sex in the bathroom. I never saw her after.
Janice worked at Best Buy with me. She had hoop earrings and a tongue ring. I told her about Sara and Chet. She asked me if I got an erection when I ate pancakes. We had sex everywhere. The bed, the floor, the couch, at work.
Janice told me I was an amazing lover. She asked me if I loved her. I told her I loved Sara.
Sara didn’t stay with Chet. It was a one time thing, she told me. We were having wine.
“You know you have serious fucking problems, right?” Sara asked me. She sipped her wine. A single tear formed in her eye. I asked her if she loved me but she ran out of the house in her dress.
The next time we had sex Janice told me I needed closure. I needed to get over Sara, she said. Then I could love her.
I told Janice we were not making love.
“What are we doing then?” she asked.
“We’re fucking” I said.

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Advanced Creative Fiction Workshop Writing Samples

These drawing were then given to a Advanced Creative Fiction workshop where students used the images as prompts for their own short stories.

The purpose of this quasi-experiment was to determine whether students would want to incorporate the image/text into their creative work, or would they feel that the combination of text and images would be detrimental to the creative process.

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Mason Gross Student Drawings

Based on an excerpt from a short story, students from the Mason Gross School of Arts created these drawings. The drawings represent their interpretations of the text.

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