This morning I emailed off a short story entitled Uncle Allen, its blurb, an Author’s Note, and a signed contract for an upcoming anthology. It’s inclusion in the anthology isn’t exactly secret, but I’m still holding off on saying I will actually be in it until the producer and editor read and approve my story. I’m playing with the big boys (and girls) here and I am scared to death I’m going to screw it up. Seriously…looking at the list of authors in this book and then my name somehow on this list makes me think I won some cosmic lottery. The sales and reviews these guys (and gals) have is ridiculous compared to the measly handful of sales and reviews on my books and stories. There is no way I deserve to be in this book, but I’m not running away from this opportunity.
However it goes though, I’m done and at peace with the story I submitted. By now, I’m sure you may be wondering when you will get to read Uncle Allen. If all goes well, it will be early January. But, for my blog readers, I’ll give you a sneak peek here:
“Hello Rachel!” Grandma Naomi called out as the car came to a stop. “We’ve been waiting for you to get here.”
Whew. She at least remembers my name.
“We?” Rachel asked, hoisting her suitcase out of the backseat.
“Oh yes. Me and your Uncle Allen, of course.”
“We almost had more visitors, but they left just a minute or two before you got here,” Grandma Naomi said. “Funny looking though. Kinda glad they didn’t decide to stay.”
That stopped Rachel. She knew she’d been all alone on the gravel road coming into the farm. While the road continued past the driveway, it was rarely used, and Rachel hadn’t seen any dust from the road when she arrived. But she had been distracted listening to the music on her phone. Perhaps she simply wasn’t looking for a car and missed it.
“Really? What were they here for?”
“Hmm…now that you ask me, I can’t quite remember. I’m sure they were here for your Uncle Allen, though. They always have been,” Naomi said, putting her watering can down next to a row of marigolds. She bent down — an amazing feat considering her advanced age — to pluck a few dead flower heads off the plants. Rachel, though, was still concerned about the visitors to the farm prior to her arrival.
“Who were they grandma? You say they’ve been here before?”
“Oh yes,” her grandmother replied. “Those men have been coming here for a long time. I wish they would just go away, but they won’t leave me and Henry alone. They just felt…off. Like they were here, but not here at the same time. Strange clothing, and their accents…I’m not even sure they were from this country. Could have been spies. You know–the Soviets.”
And there it was. Her grandma was combining fact, fiction, and history together. While Rachel had been recognized and greeted on the way in, suddenly Naomi was somewhere in her own past, and was apparently reliving some political thriller at the same time.