Kathryn Olsen (aka Kaki) has been to 17 countries on five continents.
After an illustrious upbringing in Massachusetts, she studied English at Brigham Young University. As a result, she’s been known to find theological flaws in zombie lore and Peruvian sacrifice metaphors in Superman movies.
When not working a desk job or overanalyzing media, she enjoys writing about anything from possessed iPhones to dragon-smuggling androids and has been called upon to lecture on writing by various organizations.
Her debut novel, Swan and Shadow, was published in March, 2016.
turned thirteen, Aislin and I got to spend a whole month away at camp. It was
one of those all-purpose places that had a name worthy of Thoreau or a
retirement home. The camp had something for everyone, from hiking to skits, but
they stuck Aislin and me in different cabins and we rejoiced. Aislin was in
Bunk 3 with Jill and Bekah, who taught her how to sail and talk to boys. I was
in Bunk 9 with girls who wanted to try makeup and fawn over Derrick Ferrell.
They traded diving lessons for eyeliner tips.
couldn’t stand ignoring each other, so we ate dinner together and teamed up for
canoeing. We once swapped bunks and would have gotten away with it if Aislin’s
counselor hadn’t noticed that I had been cured of my hay fever.
of July, disaster struck. Aislin’s counselor pulled me aside to ask where she
was. I hadn’t seen her and the same went for her friends and counselors. I
headed to my bunk after dinner in case my sister turned up there.
Aislin started throwing rocks at my screen. I snuck out of the bunk and found
her hiding behind a birch tree. She was crying and naked and promised to tell
me everything if I could bring her some clothes and a tampon. I brought both of
them without asking questions and while she got changed, I sought out Nina, her
higher-ups that she’d gone skinny-dipping on a dare and someone had swiped her
clothes. Terrified that someone from camp would see her, she’d hidden in the
woods until night. Nina was sympathetic to the awkward teenager, but
skinny-dipping and going MIA were both against the rules. Aislin got kitchen
duty for her infraction and got told that the next time, parents would be
Aislin told me that she’d spent all day with wings and the conviction that
she’d gone bonkers. I had no reason to doubt her, but I witnessed her
transformation the next day to prove that it wasn’t a hallucination. After
seeing my twin sister’s hands sprout feathers and watching her shrink to swan
size, I’d wondered if I was bonkers too.
missing again, I knew exactly where to find her, but there was no way I was
telling Nina. So I shrugged miserably and said I hadn’t seen her that day.
decided that both of us had problems with authority. My parents didn’t believe
that, but they didn’t argue when we were asked to leave camp early.