The Things Sally Hardesty’s Best Friend, Pam, Never Speaks Of (CW: body horror)

Jan Stinchcomb

              What it’s like to be the first, instead of the final, girl.

              How it feels when your ass, immortalized in the dolly shot, is more famous than you are.

              How she chose the clothes she died in, red shorts with a black belt over a swimsuit.

              Where she learned about astrology. How her church discouraged this.

              How she almost didn’t go along because it was so damn hot but she wanted to be with her boyfriend.

              How her mom encouraged her to go out and be young, to be in love, because she would be getting married soon enough.

              What she thought when she fell into the room of feathers and bones. The smell. The caged chicken. The clucking.

              How that meat hook felt tearing her skin. How much it hurt when she reached up to grab it.

              How she was still alive in that freezer.

              What it means to live on.

Jan Stinchcomb is the author of The Kelping (Unnerving), The Blood Trail (Red Bird Chapbooks), and Find the Girl (Main Street Rag). Her stories have recently appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Flash Frog, and No Contact. A Pushcart nominee, she is featured in Best Microfiction 2020 and The Best Small Fictions 2018 & 2021. She lives in Southern California with her family. Find her at or on Twitter @janstinchcomb.