First-place winner of the 12th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition. Read it here.
Work in progress:YA magical realism
THE WIDE STARLIGHT
THE WIDE STARLIGHT
According to Arctic folklore, if you whistle at the Northern Lights, they'll swoop down and carry you off forever. Sixteen-year-old Eli Davis knows it's true because it happened to her mother. Everybody says she was too young to remember that night in Svalbard when her mom brought her out onto a frozen fjord, whistled, and disappeared. Everybody says Eli just can't face the fact that her mom abandoned her.
Years later, Eli is living with her dad on Cape Cod when her mother shows up, unannounced, with a very hazy story of where she's been all this time. Eli is so thrilled to see her that she's willing to ignore the fact that her mom smells like burnt matches and has ice for fingernails. Now that Eli finally has her back, she's not giving her up for anything. So she keeps it all a secret -- the narwhals mysteriously appearing in Cape Cod Bay, the electronics shorting out in her house, the tiny meteorites landing in her yard by the hundreds.
But her mother wants to spend every waking second together, and Eli starts to feel like she’s drowning in the one thing she spent her whole life aching for. It's too much, too fast, and she pushes her mother away, not expecting her to disappear as abruptly as she appeared. Eli’s devastated. Until she finds the note tucked in her coat pocket:
Find me where I left you.
YA speculative fiction
Sixteen-year-old freediver Addie Thomas is struggling to recover from a diving accident that left her clinically dead for three minutes. Dragged along on her mother's honeymoon to a private island, Addie discovers a lake with an abandoned city at its bottom. Slowly, she starts to dive again and her lungs begin to heal. But the island's got secrets and spirits, and things that were hidden deep in its past are slowly rising to the surface.