• MFA in Writing

  • Bill Hughes
    Gabriel Kaufman
    Jill Tydor
    Jordan Rice-Sarantis
    Julian Quisquater
    Kate Chianese
    Kristin Adochio
    Maggie Heaps
    Ryan Buresh
    Samina Chaudry Hitch
    Sarah Bushman
    Vernon Keeve, III

  • Autumn Darbrow - CCA Graduate Thesis Events

    Autumn Darbrow



    Thesis Abstract

    We never quite know why people do the crazy things that they do, but every once in awhile, we’re allowed into the mind of one of those people. It’s then we get to see things through their eyes. To feel what they feel, and maybe, to understand why they do what they do. My thesis explores the minds of people behaving in ways that are not the norm, more darker ways, and invites the reader to look through their eyes for a moment.

    Thesis Work


    The coldness of the dingy, low-lit studio apartment wall soaked through the skin on her back as she held the rough towel under her chin. It barely covered her fatty, bruised tits. Her nipples stood erect. She could feel the tightness in her skin, and the once pink now purple points burned. He sat there with his legs stretched over the beer-stained mattress’s edge, a sheet bunched on the floor around his ankle, and slowly dragged on a joint. His eyes closed and half a smile formed at the corners. His penis lay flaccid, drops leaking from the tip, the same white, sticky mess that pooled underneath her left ass-cheek.

    She didn’t care he only fucked her. There were no tender kisses, no smooth, soft hands. That was okay. She didn’t whine when he pulled her hair out or pinched her nipples so hard they’d remain hard the next day. She didn’t care that all she was to him was sex. The slaps and choking made it very clear that there was never a traditional relationship on the horizon, but that’s not why she was with him. She liked the painful sex, the rush of being desired at such a base, animalistic level. A familiar hand around her throat, the sting of flesh contacting with flesh—it was thrilling. The pain he inflicted upon her didn’t bother her, and she knew he loved it by the ferocity that gradually increased during their moments together on the ratty mattress. It only bothered her that he shared that pain—her pain—with a girl from the previous night, whose blonde hair lay mixed on the ruby red pillow case next to the strands of her own brown hair. She had no idea of knowing how many other women came and went that week, and she thought of the women who had sat in the very spot as her. She wondered who they were and if they were as willing as she.

    There were no ill feelings toward the other women that came and went, only curiosity. She wondered if they had boyfriends, and he was called for those moments where they desired something not-so-sweet in the bedroom. There was no loving, gentle boyfriend for her. She always placed herself in darker circumstances, and it disgusted her at times. She often wondered why she went back.

    Yet, there she remained, sitting with the towel tucked under her chin, watching a bruise appear on the inside of her thigh. Her muscles ached and her skin prickled. A cut, pink as grapefruit, on the top of her foot glowed in the dim light of the dirty bathroom. She looked at the overturned nightstand and the shards of a drinking glass still scattered across the floor, a result of hasty and forceful undressing, before closing her eyes.

    Her eyes opened as she felt him slide off the floored mattress. She watched him walk to the bathroom and wash his penis off in the stained sink with bar soap, the joint almost burning his lips. The scents of everything—soap, smoke, sex—wafted across her face. She gagged, and the half smile she both hated and loved spread across his face as he watched her watching him in the mirror.

    “Are you staying the night?” He didn’t turn around to look at her.

    She looked down and pulled a strand of the blonde hair off of her sweat-covered thigh. She twisted the towel tightly between her fingers but didn’t look up at him. She knew his eyes were fixed on her, waiting for an answer in the red light-bulbed bathroom as his eyes scrunched to protect from smoke burn.

    “I brought my work clothes, didn’t I?”

    He smiled, showing the jagged, uneven teeth that had made imprints on her shoulder earlier as she returned to picking strands of blonde hair from her leg. She knew this was only the start of her night, even though the digital clock across the room read 1:49 AM.