Edited by Jamie Alan Belanger. Now out and available from Amazon and through the Ingram’s catalog. My story, Tree Song, is in this volume along with scary, curious, and funny stories by Jamie Belanger, Noah Burch, DL Harvey, Julia Labanowski, Tim Lynch — and me.
For as long as our species has existed, humans have always been social creatures. We gather around campfires and tables, sharing meals and stories. Somewhere inside this greater narrative lies a long string of tales that come full circle. People meet, and part, and then at some point they meet again. It seems inevitable, as if this conjunction of lives was always meant to be.
In this volume, the Greater Portland Scribists explore these bonds. Whether trying to save a childhood retreat from corporate interests, reuniting with old friends, returning home for a final goodbye, or trying to cope with a dear one who won't depart, these tales are about the twisting journeys of our relationships. Location, context, and pasts are irrelevant—it's the people with whom we connect who help shape our experience on this world.
Excerpt from “Tree Song”
“She’s a sweet child. And smart as a whip t—” Mama’s voice.
“—but ugly as a mullein plant,” finished another voice.
“Yes, well … that,” Mama said.
Jütta had been feeding chickens and had slipped into the kitchen for a drink of water when she heard that.
Mama’s voice was guarded in the other room, where she must be drinking coffee with Mrs. Wimple, their Anglo neighbor.
In the kitchen, Jütta shuddered.
“Where did she come from? Who were her people?” the neighbor went on.
Jütta stopped, alert, tin cup poised under the faucet, wondering if her mother would say something that might answer her own questions.
There was the briefest hesitation as Jütta’s mother figured out that Mrs. Wimple was fishing — for gossip. Then she popped out the answer that Jütta had heard all her life: “She was born in Milwaukee — over there. She came from an orphanage there. We know nothing about her parents. She was a foundling.” “Left on the steps of the orphanage…?” sympathized Mrs. Wimple, still fishing.
“Something like that,” Mama said briskly. “ ’Nother cup of coffee?”
Jütte will find out who she is this very day — but she’s not a foundling from Milwaukee. Much stranger than that.
Edited by Jamie Alan Belanger. Eight great stories by Jamie Alan Belanger, Matthew Stephen D., Timothy Lynch, Robin Hansen, Steven Inman, D.L. Harvey, Shelli-Jo Pelletier, and Richard Veysey.
Life is full of surprises. Sometimes changes upend everything we thought we knew, inverting our perceptions of the people and world around us. Part of the joy and terror of living lies in experiencing these inversions. Scribings, Vol 5: Inversions presents eight stories from the Greater Portland Scribists, each with its own hidden twists and surprises. A former rock star who can no longer sing. Escaped convicts with much to atone for. A strange boy with an affinity for plants. Gods watch mortals make a seemingly simple choice. Tiny shoe prints lead to a birthday adventure. A hostage tries to salvage a botched bank robbery. A soldier flees war only to find it follows. And a quest for a missing corporate department that may actually be hiding.
Excerpt from “The Hidden Smell of Sunlight”:
“Janus had an affinity for plants and only spoke near them. Seven years old, he had never begun to talk. Those who didn’t know him thought he was mentally challenged.
“Weeding the tomatoes in the kitchen garden, Janus said, “Water. Please. Water. And phosphates and calcium. Nitrogen.” Janus got silently to his feet and brought a hose and a wheelbarrow of manure and lime to the tomato plants, which thanked him greenly with their poisonous fragrance.
“He knew so much about green things, even as a little boy, that his father joked that the plants must be talking to him.”
In fact, the plants are talking to him and through him, and what they are saying would be terrifying if anyone paid attention.
Price: Free from Lost Luggage Studios and Smashwords
Publication date: November 29, 2015
Page Count: 205
The Greater Portland Scribists was formed in July 2010 and published their first anthology the following June. Since then, they have published an anthology every summer. After the publication of their fifth volume in 2015, they decided to look back and select the best stories for a special edition. With the help of fans in autumn 2015, they chose one story each from current and previous members. … A great sampler!
Stories contained in this volume:
- What Time Is Our Torture Session? by Lee Patterson (from Vol 1)
- In the Business of Rotting by Cynthia Ravinski (from Vol 1)
- Secret Under the Sand by Jamie Alan Belanger (from Vol 2: Lost Civilizations)
- Otherkin by Steven Inman (from Vol 3: Metamorphosis)
- Breed by Timothy Lynch (from Vol 4: Miscreations)
- The Joke by Richard Veysey (from Vol 4: Miscreations)
- Sand Fleas by D.L. Harvey (from Vol 5: Inversions)
- Wolf and Raven by Shelli-Jo Pelletier (from Vol 5: Inversions)
- Repurposed by Matthew Stephen D. (from Vol 5: Inversions)
- Better Alive Than Dead by Robin Hansen (an all-new story exclusive to this volume)
Excerpt from “Better Alive than Dead.”
“My language tutor found me a driver/guide with a lorry to transport me and my baggage as far as the mission at the falls downstream of the southernmost village of Kalumbekë. The only road there from the capital quickly becomes an unpaved track so thickly overgrown that at times we had to stop and cut back encroaching brush before we could proceed. Branches constantly scraped the sides of the lorry and whipped through the windows. From the mission, there are only footpaths to the three villages.
“Prof. Kang had … suggested studying the village of Ngoro-ngoro, which is less influenced by the American mission than Kalumbekë, thus more ‘pure.’ Nothing turned out to be pure. …”
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