“Jack hadn’t slept since he drowned Elise. He hadn’t set out to hurt her. She’d just said so many things that wounded him in short order, leaving him no time to recover. The passion and fire in her that first drew his eye quickly left him burned. It left no working patience in him. They had been walking along the shore when she’d brought up Beatrice. Beatrice. Why had he ever given her the time of day?”
I’ve been plugging along on my anthology based on the Sylacauga meteor event. I was inspired to write it after reading an article about Ann Hodges, and seeing her photograph. She looked overwhelmed and alone. As alone as I could imagine one would be, having been the only person in known history hit by a meteorite. I’ve started with other tales based around the event because I think when I finally sit down with Mrs. Hodges, my heart will ache.
I’ve most recently been writing a story based on Julius McKinney’s discovery of a piece of the same meteorite on his property. Julius was alerted to its presence by his mules, who refused to move until he removed the meteorite from their path. Realizing its significance later, he retrieved it from the underbrush he had tossed it in and took it home. He’d later sell it and make enough money to afford a house and car from the profits. I’ve felt at home with Mr. McKinney, and have enjoyed writing about him, even if the tale I’m telling is a highly fictionalized version of events.
Mr. McKinney and Mrs. Hodges had vastly different experiences both in how they were affected by the meteorite and how their stories were covered in the press. Mr. McKinney being subject to the widespread prejudices of the time, was still a footnote on all the information found in my research. He is merely an aside, even though his life was drastically changed by his discovery.
Astronomers have pinpointed the source of the meteorite as 1685 Toro discovered in 1948 by Carl Wirtanen and takes 584 days to orbit the sun. Its proximity to earth in November of 1954 make it a likely candidate.
Café Macabre II has been officially announced by author and editor Leah Lederman! It is an anthology of 13 dark tales and illustrations by women. I have the honor of having my short story “The River.” included, illustrated by amazing artist Keyla Valerio. A quote from “The River” as well as Keyla’s illustration served as the opening salvo of promotion for the project, which will go live on Kickstarter April 6.
This anthology is a follow up to Café Macabre, published in 2019, which I also had the honor of being a part of.
If you’d like to start at the beginning, Café Macabre is available on Amazon and signed copies are available at my storefront.
Thank you for reading. More updates to come for both Sylacauga and Café Macabre as well as other things in the works!