Queen of Ghosts

by Mandy McHugh


The ghosts I made are loud and lost
but rarely lonely.
Holding the past,
I keep them
in my presence
slick and dripping
in a sheen of sweat-laced regrets.
I wear them around my neck
like the pearls I never owned
or the silk noose
of his tie.
I take them black
in my coffee,
neat in my whiskey,
but heavy in my crown—
the obsidian weight drowning
out their whispers.
they say.
I agree,
counting the stones again.



Mandy McHugh is an author from Upstate NY. Her debut novel, Chloe Cates Is Missing, was one of Popsugar’s Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2022. Her sophomore thriller, It Takes Monsters, is forthcoming in October 2023. When she isn’t writing, Mandy enjoys running, car karaoke, and experimenting with various recipes with her two children. You can find Mandy on Twitter (@WriterACMcHugh), TikTok (@authormandymchugh), and IG (@acmchughwriter), as well as her website, mandymchugh.com


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