Since I heard the news I can’t stop smiling! Last week a friend called–which isn’t unusual–I do have friends… But I was with my family cruising over the crest of Queen Ann Hill in Seattle, and, well, I was actually more interested in inviting her and her husband up for dinner than focusing on what she was saying… Okay, I have ADD and sometimes it’s just hard for me to pay attention!
Any way, after I hung up, her words came back to me in snippets, “…congratulations…award…so proud of you…”
I immediately called her back, needles prickling my skin, and said, “Did you say something about a contest?”
Thank God my friends love me.
I am so pleased to announce that my short-story, The Stone God’s Wife, has WON the Best Short-story/Novella for 2014 in the Chanticleer Review! My cheeks are getting a workout! Here’s an excerpt:
The Stone God’s Wife
I was born the day after my sister came into the world; an afterthought, an extra piece, the twisted thing that nearly killed my mother. A talisman of things to come. My sister’s cries were met with gentle coos; mine, with scorn and derision. In the long annuals of our village, the holy sisters could not find one instance where a child lived who was not wanted. That fact, stacked against the tenacious nature that held me fast to my mother’s womb, set my fate like a stubborn jaw.
The high holy mother said that the second babe is a shadow, bad luck, and would soon extinguish the life of the first born. My mother did her best to neglect me. If it were not for my sister, I would have perished. Even as an infant, when my mother attempted to separate us, Agnes would scream and would not be comforted, save in my presence.
Together, she and I learned the cruel nature of the gods that surrounded us, the histories of our people, and what it meant to be a good steward of the earth. Together we dressed and said our prayers. Together we scoured our soiled linens on the river rocks and spread them on the flat stones in the upper fields to dry. Together we spied on the boys working the upper barley fields, their bare brown backs glistening with sweat under their labor. We clutched each other, holding our breaths because of their beauty, and the thrill of what they would do if we were discovered.
Although my mother had given up separating us years ago, and more or less accepted me like she might accept a mangy dog that would not go away, the high holy mother had not. Each prayer session began with, ‘Save us from the ugly, malformed murderess in our midst.’ Soon I grew weary of all things high and holy.
You can find the complete story of The Stone God’s Wife in Mark Souza’s anthology Nightmares: Bedtime Stories for the Wicked http://www.amazon.com/Nightmares-Bedtime-Stories-Mark-Souza-ebook/dp/B00LS8GBMO
And here’s the link for the prestigious Chanticleer Review and Writing Competition: http://chantireviews.com/2014/12/29/best-short-story-of-the-2014-summer-shorts-writing-competition/