You and Your Tulpa
When angry, tell him that he has no birthday, that instead he came into the world gradually through your witchy want, first as a ghost, a flicker of an intention, then as a pair of eyes floating membrane by membrane in the air above the craft table, and then every day a piece of him burnished into view, winterpink nose and nipple and knee and knuckly finger, and by the time you realized he was there, behold! he was already there, looking just as he does now: an adolescent stray with eyeteeth and acid tongue and a stare like the suspicious glint of a needle, and sometimes he must be reminded of the truth, that maybe you did not spring him from your head with the blade of an axe though you might as well have, and you could at any point stuff him back in there, disappear him piece by moody piece until he is once again hanging fleshless in the air, unmagicked, and unborn
Jen Julian is a writer and transient North Carolinian. Her debut short story collection, Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses, was published by Press 53 in 2018, and her recent work has appeared in Jellyfish Review, JuxtaProse, SmokeLong Quarterly, TriQuarterly, Beecher’s Magazine, The Greensboro Review, and The Chattahoochee Review, among other places. A 2016 Clarion alumna, she holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and an MFA in Fiction from UNC Greensboro. Currently, she teaches creative writing at Young Harris College.