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Award NomineesShort Fiction

Luminaria

The driver scuttles out, black suit, black shades, white shirt, black tie—a caricature of driver. He looks at the house and shifts his shoulders as if a personal expectation has been fulfilled. He moves to the rear passenger door, opens it. A woman emerges, back straight, face blank. She’s older than Renie, younger than Victoria, but everyone is younger than Victoria. She is overly fashionable for the country, wearing form-fitting dress, showing what might have been curves twenty years earlier, but now seemed to be more gristle than fat. White pearls, maroon fabric. Bony joints, knobby knuckles and knees. Big glasses on a chain.

She approaches the porch and stops in the shade to look at Renie. She has the demeanor of a woman who works mostly with women, and consequently, doesn’t like them. Her stare is frank and appraising.

Art by Jeffrey Alan Love
Award NomineesShort Fiction

Uncontainable

The girl threads her arms and legs through her window, like snakes. She’s a spectacle, naked up there, and screaming every profane word she should never have heard. She would hear them, living above the street. But how does she pick them as the foulest?

Award NomineesShort Fiction

Heirloom Pieces

Catering was potluck. Potluck, for God’s sake. Catriona forced a smile as the neighbours streamed into her living room, all plump and tanned and healthy, not a scar among them. They carried platters and casseroles and cheap plastic plates, the flimsy circles all gaudy crimson or green—probably discounted post–Christmas stock from Costco, she thought, cringing.

Award NomineesShort Fiction

Pocosin

This is the place of the carnivores, the pool ringed with sundews and the fat funnels of the pitcher plants.

This is the place where the ground never dries out and the loblolly pines grow stunted, where the soil is poor and the plants turn to other means of feeding themselves.