I announced earlier this week that I had a non-fiction piece appearing in an anthology to be released this December. While I am excited to have this piece accepted and now published, I am also very nervous. Having always considered myself to be a novelist, this short piece felt almost surreal to write, and even more surreal to be published. For various reasons, vulnerability like this is not my forte. At any rate, it’s done. I hope you have the opportunity to read it; the anthology itself is very well done and put together, so I don’t think you’d regret purchasing and reading stories by so many local authors.
Here is an excerpt from my entry.
“Phoenix out of Ashes”
Everything is a blur. My heart pounds. Nothing is familiar. Panic sets as realization strikes…I’m lost.
When I was three my family took a trip to Disney World. We stepped through the entrance, and enchanted, I pushed my way through the crowd. My destination: Cinderella’s castle. Soon a sea of faces swam around me, and not one was familiar. In a place where dreams are supposed to come true, a little girl stood alone and scared.
Ten years later, I was lost in another blur of faces. I wandered aimlessly through high school, known only as “Katherine’s Sister” or “The Middle Carmichael Kid” or my personal favorite, “Hey Girl.” It’s the best time of your life, they said. Well, whoever they are, they never had The Nightmare.
Flames leapt from the center of the pit every night, licking at the dry vegetation. Crisp, brown grass, leaves, and branches fed the wrath of the fire beneath. I held fast to the one green bush on the side of the hill, but my strength faded fast. Trapped in this pit, I heard voices echoing—voices of people I knew I loved, but couldn’t quite recognize. Were they leaping out of the fire or falling into the flames? Turning to look, my grip loosened. I squeezed my eyes tight and swallowed a scream, then I woke up.
Always at the same time: 2 a.m.