Sunday, June 30, 2013

Second Chances

Missing someone who is not yours to miss is the worst kind of disappointment.
The metallic sound of the shovels stabbing into the earth makes my ribs thump. I’ve been as skittish as a wet kitten since last night; afraid that what was done wouldn’t stick. The dirt-covered men around me are working hard and fast, trying to get the job finished so they can go home to their wives and children and pretend that they weren’t a part of this.
“Work faster, girl!” the old woman squawks at me. She’s been scrupulously supervising us the entire time, not lifting one finger to help. She does spells only, I was told. She doesn’t get her hands dirty, with neither blood nor dirt. The hard part of the spell has already been completed—I only need her now to seal it for good.
I try not to jump out of my skin when she slaps a heavy, jewelry-covered hand against my back. I timidly glance up at her, but only for the smallest second. The skin on her face looks like tattered leather stretched across a skull made of knives. I'm afraid to look her in the eyes. She digs her claw-like fingers into the soft part of my new upper arm and lets out a low, guttural moan.
 “We don’t have all day, darling,” she mutters. Her voice sounds like a coffee grinder eating wind chimes. “Work. Faster.”
 I nod a little too quickly and stomp on the top of my shovel, pushing it into the ground. She stays close by and watches me with tiny, black eyes. Her silver hair lifts in the air every time the wind blows, and I have a fleeting feeling that she could fly away with the breeze if she wanted.
          I knew I had to help dig the grave. That was part of the deal. I just didn’t know it would be this hard. The hardest part is knowing that not just one, but two people are going into this grave.
And it’s my fault.
A blister the size of a quarter throbs against the wooden handle of my shovel, but I try to ignore it. Complaining has never gotten me anywhere.
I’m not used to these arms and legs and fingers yet, and it’s hard to convince my body to do the things it needs to do. I’d hoped—I’d prayed, actually—that my old memories would be gone in this new body, but they stuck to my soul like peanut butter to the top of my mouth, still constantly taunting me with images of his face. I should have known prayer and magic wouldn’t mix. It’s not like I deserved to forget, anyway.
"I said, work faster," the old woman hisses into my ear. Her breath is hot and sticky against my neck and it takes everything I have to not vomit into the grave in front of me. I can feel the immorality of what I've done rolling off her skin, and I'm pretty sure she feeds off of it like dessert.
One of the workers glances up at us, but quickly drops his eyes back to his work when the witch catches him watching.
I blink back the tears threatening to spill through my lashes and continue to shovel dirt out of the hole, as fast as I can.
Crying has never gotten me anywhere, either.
I push his stupid face out of my mind and think back to last night, when I saw my own new face for the first time. I stood in front of the mirror in the old witch’s ratty house, thinking, “Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me.”
The girl staring back in the mirror was not me.
 But she was. I was living in her body now, whether I liked it or not. I lifted my hand to my face and watched as she mimicked me.
            Not she. Me.
          I’m pulled back to the present when someone's shovel glances off of a root. The sound echoes through the makeshift graveyard, and several crows scatter through the trees. One of them lights on the tree branch above me. It cocks its head and watches me, like it knows what I did—like it knows what I sacrificed for a new beginning that never came. A gnawing feeling picks at the loose threads of my soul, and I can’t shake the idea that it does know what I did.
             The shovel falls out of my hands and I have to hold myself together so the shivers rattling my bones don’t make me come undone in front of all these people. I squeeze my eyes shut and ignore the old woman, who's shouting obscenities at me for dropping my shovel.
            I never meant to hurt him. But it happened anyway. I knew that there was no way I could get away with it, that the only way I wouldn’t be sentenced to the death penalty was for my body to die along with his. Only, I wasn’t quite ready to die yet. No one would ever know. No one believes in magic.
            The old woman smacks me in the face, forcing me to open my eyes and pay attention to her. My cheek stings like it has been lit on fire, but I still don’t cry. I don’t deserve the comfort of tears. She points to the two heaps lying next to the grave we’ve been digging.
            “It’s time, child,” she says. “You have to be the one to bury them or the spell won’t stick.”
            I try to take a breath, but it’s a ragged, shuddering thing, doing me no good.
            After the deed is done, and I watch the faces—my face and his—cover with clumps of dirt, I can’t help but question whether missing someone who’s not yours to miss really is the worst kind of disappointment. Maybe not being able to erase your memories, no matter how hard you try, is worse.
            At least I tried. But second chances aren’t always what they cracked up to be, after all.

Story by: Stefanie Marks

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hidden Places

Sasquatch is watching us.

I can feel the hot breath across my skin, dry and leathery, like the cracked slicks of mud below me. A fly buzzes, thirsty for a drop of sweat, and I lean against the railing on the boardwalk bridge that spans the dried swamp. The puff of stale air barely sways the cattails that droop wearily in front of the thick woods beyond.

I feel his eyes, staring at me. The dense foliage hangs stagnant, except for one leaf shaking on a vine. I know what that feel like, to be trembling when everyone else is calm.

“What are you looking at?” Logan snaps at me over his shoulder, stopping just beyond the bridge. I don’t move. We’re trudging down this nature trail on the hottest afternoon in July, and it might be my fault. I don’t know anymore.

 “I feel like someone’s watching us.”

He laughs. That snort he does, that makes me feel like I need to rewind, to unsay what I just said. “Trust me, there’s no one here but us babe. That’s the point, right?”

I shiver, in the scorching heat. Did I choose this?

He wants me alone. At first it was flattering. Even now, I wasn’t missing anything. My family was away at the cottage, same as always, eating, swimming, five to a bedroom, and relatives asking the same embarrassing questions they asked about my last boyfriend.

I blamed the summer job so I could stay home and then I called in sick.

I was really feeling sick now. The same pit of the stomach nausea. The same sinking feeling. I’d wanted to stop after the first time. But I’d already made my choice, I didn’t know how to undo it. He said he’d die without me. He cried, and I cried too, real tears, both of us. We clung to each other with shaky laughs and promises.

He came over to the house today, and sat on the couch, working his way through a box of Cheez Its, searching the instant download menu on the TV, trying to break the parental block password. The shades were drawn, the living room was dim and gloomy, the A/C had the house at an uncomfortably unnatural chill, and suddenly, I felt trapped.

I didn’t realize I had picked a fight with him until it was too late. I just wanted to get out of that house, out to where I could breathe. Where he couldn’t do any damage. I held my breath as he punched and kicked, until the cushions recovered, and a black scuff from his tennis shoe was the only scar on the door.

“Fine, have it your way.” He said that a lot. But when I’d think back and try to remember, I couldn’t remember how it ended up being my way.

Today, it was this hike. I said I wanted to go out, to do something in public, like a real girlfriend. I didn’t want to hide in the house all day. In his mind, that meant I didn’t trust him. He hurled questions at me, without giving me time to answer. Why didn’t I trust him? How could I accuse him like that?

I tried to explain, in half-sentences and interrupted apologies. He forgave me, grudgingly. And now we were having it my way. But we’re still alone. In the woods, still hiding. Still not my way. He’d twisted me around again.

“Are you afraid to be seen with me?” The words are out of my mouth as soon as they enter my mind. “Afraid to admit you knocked me up?”

I’m not pregnant. I’ve been wanting to say those words for days. I should have never told him I thought I was. “Don’t say anything until you’re sure, Addy,” my best friend Gracie warned me. I should have listened to her. Two negative tests taken too early, and I still wasn’t sure. But my uncertainty and my fear had me shackled to Logan.

I’ve picked the fight and he starts yelling. My stomach cramps again and I hope I’m right. I’m sweating, I’m alone in the woods with him, tempting fate with a tampon in my pocket. I want this to be the end, the nail in the coffin of this relationship. I want him to admit he’s scum, he’s a jerk, he doesn’t plan to keep any promises, he doesn’t give a damn about my choices. 

Then I’ll tell him. Oh God, I hope I can tell him. I’m not, you bastard, I’m not.

He calls me every horrid thing he can, he says it probably isn’t even his, and I’m the one who’s gotten us into this mess. He’s hollering it all at my back, because I’ve crossed the bridge and left the walkway, breaking through scratchy dry grass and brambles up a slope to the woods. I’m going to hide in those trees and squat, and oh God, I hope I can tell him.

“Leave me alone you bastard!” I don’t even recognize my shrill voice. Compared to the names he’s calling me, it’s a compliment. The evergreens are thick in front of me as I scramble over a rocky ledge. The brush crackles behind me, his voice is close. He’s not going to let me disappear into those trees.

I turn to scream again, “Stop following me!” He has one foot on the ledge and he’s brandishing a thick branch like a weapon. Hatred twists his face.

Something roared. Something reached out and shoved him down the slope. Something pried one of the rocks loose with superhuman strength and sent it down on top of him.

Afterwards, I’m shaking with relief. I thought he was going to kill me. I don’t know what made him fall. I don’t know what he saw that made him scream like that, just before he didn’t scream anymore.

I look back into the woods. The trembling leaf has fallen still, indistinguishable from all the others.
Guest Author: Maria Mainero. She likes sappy sweet stories and things that make her laugh. Don’t ask her why everything she writes turns dark and twisted. She blogs sporadically at

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Goldwater Mine

The following letter was discovered on the body of one Jasper Meeks at the Comfort Inn off Interstate 79 in Pittsburgh near the Goldwater Mine.

June 21, 2012

To whoever is unfortunate enough to find this,

I ain’t writing to excuse what happened. You need to know that right up front. In fact if the other fellas would quit haunting my nightmares—at least I hope they’re nightmares--I’d probably carry what I know to my grave happily. It won’t do no man any kind of service to know what really happened that summer so long ago, but the others…well they jest won’t rest until I make my confession and so here goes.

I don’t actually remember much about the cave in. We was workin' the mine like always, pick axes swinging their familiar clang against the stones. One minute Buddy was singin’ “Come On Eileen”—that old eighties pop song that drove us all nuts, but that he loved because he was actually married to a girl named (of course) Eileen. I used to wonder how many times he sang it to her too and if it made her skin crawl after the hundredth time like it did mine. Anyway, that one minute the mine was solid and still and the next it jest wasn’t. There was an awful rumbling that set my teeth to chatterin’. Then darkness. Screams.
A deafening roar of crumbling rock followed by an eerie stillness. I probably blacked out at some point. Got hit in the head pretty hard. When I come to, Gilly and some of the other fellas had their head lamps on. We were in maybe a forty foot by forty foot space, all fifteen of us. Everybody hackin’ up half their lungs to get the dust out of ‘em. I felt like I’d sucked on a rock. My mouth tasted bitter, metallic.

At first we stared at each other for the longest time. You work in a mine all your life and a cave in is something you think about--come to expect--at least in your nightmares. But when it happens, well, your brain still has the audacity to be shocked. It took only minutes once we snapped out of it though, to realize how many men we’d already lost. I could see some of what was left of them. A few fingers peeking out from the rocks, debris-grayed and stiff. The bottom of a shoe. Good men every one. Back then I thought they were the unlucky ones. Ha!

So  there we were, buried alive without some of them Victorian era grave bells to ring to let people know we weren’t dead and gone. At first we knew they’d be looking for us, they’d have to be looking for us…but we also knew we were miles from the surface, in the deepest section of the mine. Even though they knew we were down there, there was no guarantee that they’d be able to get to us in time. Mine rescues can take days, maybe even weeks if the rescue's tricky.

Gilly rallied everybody together right away. He tried to keep us busy emptying out our pockets and such to see what supplies we had. Turned out it wasn’t much. A few packs of gum, a pocketknife, a set of playing cards, a couple of water jugs (we got lucky with these. The rocks left the water untouched—pulverized our lunches instead). We didn’t put Gillly in charge, but it was easy to let him take it. He got us to organize. Take shifts stretching out so no one got too cramped up, panicky. For the first few days it wasn’t bad. We played cards. We sang songs…jest not Come On Eileen.

The real problems started after the second collapse. We heard it, but there was no way to figure out where it happened. The ground shook with it. I could feel it in my legs and back. Everybody got real still—like if we moved—the rocks beside us would decide to readjust themselves too and bury us completely this time. When everything went still again a couple guys were crying. When a woman cries it ain’t scary. But when a man who’s spent his life hauling stones and shrugging off all manner of tortures does, it’s downright terrifying. Gilly tried to rally us all over again, but it didn’t work so well the second time. Two collapses meant that we were buried extra good. Our hopes of rescue started to flicker out at about the same time our head lamps did. Wasn't long and we were in total darkness.

And then it got hard to breathe.

The guys stopped crying. Everybody started taking small, shallow breaths. It got hard to think. Sitting in the dark like that, the lack of oxygen was a weight on all our chests…and it did something to me. I didn’t want to die. I know the other guys didn’t either, but when it came down to it, I didn’t really care about them. It was my life, my family I was panicked for. I really, really didn’t want to die. That’s all I knew.

It didn’t look like I had a choice, though. The earth had swallowed me up and clamped its jaws shut tight and that was that. I couldn’t cry. There was no point in fighting. All I could do was sit back and let my panic swell up inside me until I could barely contain it.

Suddenly, there was a tapping--some kind of miracle. Faint at first, but then steadily growing. They were digging down to us. They knew we were there. It would take hours, sure, but they were coming. A couple of guys started shouting and banging on the rocks with their boots. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Every yell, every movement took what little oxygen was left. Gilly told ‘em to shut up, but the hope…it got hold of 'em like a fever and they yelled and yelled and banged and banged. My head filled with it--until it and the panic were all that was left of me. At that rate we weren’t gonna make it. Not with all those mouths gulping down air. If there were less of us...maybe. If only there were less of us.

I don’t remember feeling for the pocket knife…maybe if I hadn’t been sitting right next to the supplies…

In the end I got out. Alone. I wasn’t gonna kill them all, but once I started I knew that whoever I left would tell and I’d trade one hole for another to be buried in…one made of steel bars and cement. I kept feeling for their arms and then stabbing my way up to their throats. The dark made it easy. I remember the way that the men tried to wriggle out of the way, screaming when they bumped up against each other. Even if they couldn’t see me they knew what was coming. The coppery smelling air announced it.

My rescuers sent a flashlight down through the hole when they broke through the rocks. I yanked on the rope to let them know I was there and I could hear the cheer rise up from above me, faint, but mighty. I didn’t want to turn the light on, but I needed to find some clothes to wear. I wasn’t going topside in my underwear. I took Gilly’s pants. They were neatly folded under the playing cards and remarkably clean. But the rest of the room…and the guys…I should’ve left it dark. Then maybe I wouldn’t see them every night—blood soaked and wide-eyed and staring at me. Lately they’ve been showing up during the day too, propped up against the kitchen half wall or in the back seat of my car. I’ve dealt with it, tried to reason them away…but then I started waking up with rocks and dirt on top of the covers, pinning me to the bed and the men standing over me their mouths and their awful, bloody throats grinning at me. Now no matter where I am I can’t breathe, I can’t get any air…and I keep coughing up dirt. It’s not possible. I know that. And maybe you won’t believe me. But I know what I have to do. They want me to tell the story while I can still can. Before my lungs collapse just like that mine and everything goes dark one last time.


Story by: Amy Christine Parker

Picture by: Emilian Robert Vicol

Friday, June 14, 2013

We Used to Wait

We Used to Wait

We don’t want to end up there. The mines. It’s where people get lost. It’s where dads leave families. It’s where boys stop growing up or just start growing old. It’s where people get stuck and darkness looms and breathing becomes as difficult as lifting a hundred pounds.

We don’t want to end up there. But we do. Each of us. All boys at one time and before we know it our voices are lower. Our muscles more defined. Our brows smudged and wrinkled and we don’t fight. What’s the point of fighting? We make due with what we got. In the end we all end up in the mines because work is slow. The economy is bad. And this is a very small town.

The smudge of the fingers. The dirt so packed into our fingernails it’s a wonder to see someone without the dark crescents under their skin. We taste it. We taste it with each bite of a sandwich our loved ones packed for us and we don’t even notice the oil or grit because it’s almost the same as turkey on rye.

Our days are this: We wake up when it’s dark. We dress. Some of us kiss our moms or wives or kids goodbye. Some people have no one to kiss or no one who kisses them. Sometimes there’s an animal to pat and sometimes there isn’t. The boots slip on signaling the real start. Things creak and crack when we get up no matter what the age because once in the mines you aren’t getting out anytime soon.

We walk. Walk as the sun starts to peak and the moon dims hidden by the slow glow and we walk towards it. To a hill that reminds some of a volcano and others of a tomb. At some point we all form a line ready to go and truly let the day begin. In bunches we head into an elevator that hums and hiccups as it lets us down and takes us up. And just as the day shines through we get feel it less, see it less. There’s nothing but a sliver as we plunge back into darkness.

We work. We hack things up. We huff chemicals or elements. We push wagons. We cart coal.  The young men whimper but not for long and the older men curse all damn day. We dig and find oil and then come the men slick as the substance wanting us to sign away what is on our land.

We sweat. We cough. We don’t recognize ourselves anymore because some of us weren’t dark and now we are and others were already dark and got darker. Some bomb tunnels to make for more ways out and others stare on, halted in their movements afraid that that blow will be the one to take us under. Happened before. It could happen again. There are limbs with numbers and last words scrolled on them that make for a moment to cross yourself before putting it in a bag to take to someone. This is why some men don’t wear rings anymore. If they get lost then at least the family may have something to pawn.

We don’t dream. We don’t sing. We don’t think. We just work. We do. We’re in a cave of testosterone and we do it because it’s all there is or all that’s expected of us. There’s no light beyond what’s on our helmets, weighing us down and matting up the hair some of us have and others wish they still had.

There’s no color but for black and gray and brown. But one day someone stops. A boy, a young man really. He stops his work. He stops digging. He stops moving and wheeling and coughing. One by one each man stops too. Looks on where he is. Someone asks what’s going on. What’s the hold up here because we should keep on. The day won’t stop just because we do.

The boy points, he crouches. The boy groans as he bends. And soon we all come by thinking it’s another arm. A foot maybe. Lord forgive him if it’s a head. But it’s none of those things. There’s a doll. A lifesize baby doll with eyes closed and when the boy reaches for it the eyes open lazily. And the puckered lips look more like a smile now with the eyes wide open staring at us and he asks, “How you think this got down here?”

We know how. But we look on triggering a memory of something better. A light beyond the lost. One of us takes the kid in our arms. That one’s smile cracks on his lips and his teeth shine adding more illumination to the darkness and he says, “Reminds me of my little girl.” I look up at the rest of them, stroke and smudge the baby’s face and realize it reminds me of Adelaide. My little Adelaide and that I’ll see her soon. And for the first time in awhile I start counting down the hours. 

Story by: Jenn Baker
Photo by: Emilian Robert Vicol

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Krystalyn Has Another Book In the Works!

I'm so excited to be able to finally tell all of you some great news. Krystalyn's middle grade novel, TRACY TAM: SANTA COMMAND, was bought by Month 9 Books!!! This means that very soon Krystalyn will have three books out in the world: LEGASEA, SPIRIT WORLD, and come October 2014, TRACY TAM. She is one busy lady and I'm about as proud as any crit partner could be.

Here's the announcement as it appeared in Publisher's Weekly this past week:

Krystalyn Drown's TRACY TAM: SANTA COMMAND, about a young girl who doesn't believe in Santa, yet must rely on the magic of the season and the miracle of science in order to get out of a jam in time for Christmas, to Georgia McBride at Month9Books, with Ashlynn Yuhas editing, for publication in Fall 2014 (World).

It is amazing to see Krystalyn really coming into her own and getting her books out in the world. She is a very talented writer and a wonderful critique partner and I really just could not be an happier for her! Congratulations, Krystalyn! I hope it's just the beginning of what's to come for you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

June Giveaway!

Now that Book Expo of America (BEA) and school are over the summer has officially begun! Which means...lots of summer reading. And we want to help you in this endeavor. So, we'll be holding another giveaway. Also, stay tuned, because we have more BEA goodies to share in addition to celebrating the debut publication of Amy's YA thriller GATED from Random House in August.

For this giveaway you can choose from the following items:

Scholastic Tote Pack
A nice, handy-dandy red Scholastic tote which includes the following Scholastic publications:

Signed ARC of Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins
(Illustrated by James Proimos)

ARC of Duke by Kirby Larson

ARC of Torn by David Massey

Paperback movie tie-in edition of
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Individual ARC (or copy) of one of the following titles: 

ARC of Awaken (book 3 in Abandon series)
by Meg Cabot 

ARC of Treasure Hunters (an illustrated novel)
by James Patterson

Hardcover of The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The contest runs for three weeks and we'll post winners here via the Rafflecopter widget. Those who do not get back to us within 24 hours of contact will forfeit the prize and we'll choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 7, 2013

Opal Dreams

by: Krystalyn
My buddy, he don't say much to me. Ain't much to say anyway. The heat sucks the thoughts right outta our brains. Turns 'em into one word grunts.

Lift. Swing. Clang. Nothing. Lift. Swing. Clang. Nothing.

No change in sounds as the ax hits naught but rock. No swirl of color hidden in the cracks that grant us a one way ticket out of this hell hole.

Opals. That's what we was promised when we come out here and bought our small patches of claim. I traded a car for mine. My buddy, he traded his family. After about six weeks of him coming home with nothing but dust in his pockets, his girl and their two little ones piled themselves in their trailer and took off for elsewhere. That's when he stopped talking. There are times when I don't know if that's sweat or tears running down his face. When I see those wet streaks, I hand him my handkerchief and ask if he wants to get the dust out of his eyes. He's always grateful. I tell him he'll get his girl back. He just needs to be patient and keep swinging.

I ain't got a girl, but I know one back home. I want to take her out of that pit, buy her a big house, and treat her like a queen. I think she'll have me too. Back in school those blue eyes used to find mine in the hallways, and I'd like to catch fire. Those looks told me I was bound to do great things.

If I find an opal … when I find one, I ain't saying a word to anyone. I plan to bend over, real casual-like, pretend I'm taking a breather, and pocket that opal like I'm just grabbing some chaw. I'll finish the day like everything's normal. I can't make a fuss, because there are those out here that'll stab you in the neck before they'd drink to your fortune. I ain't one of 'em, but they're here.

Once quitting time hits, I'll head on over to the trading post. I'll say I need a drink, which is true most days, but I won't sidle up to the bar. I'll slip into the back room where Manny does his dealing. At that point, everyone will know what's happened, but by then, it won't matter.

Manny will make me an offer, and I'll spit on the floor to show him what I think of that offer. I'll say what I think the opal is worth, and he'll hem and haw about how I'm trying to rob him blind. Fifteen minutes later, we'll settle on a deal straight down the middle, and I'll leave with a pocket full of riches. I'll pass some over to my buddy, find myself a new car, and beat a path out of here.

Lift. Swing. Clang. Nothing. Lift. Swing. Clang. Nothing.

The shadows are getting long when I hear the cry. A guy whoops for joy at the claim next to my buddy's. We ain't friends so I keep my eyes on my own space and bring the ax down again. My buddy stops moving though. A tear crawls down to his beard. I pull out my handkerchief and offer it to him.

“Keep swinging, man. Our time's coming.”

He brushes my hand away. He's only done that once before. When we was at school, some kid kept taking his lunch. The kid didn't even eat it. He just ripped the bag apart and stomped the food into the dirt. My buddy put up with it until one day, he'd had enough. I tried to stop him, but he had the rage in his eyes, and I knew there was nothing to be done. He beat that kid into a pulp and left him face down in the school yard. The kid never bothered him again.

While the guy next to him dances around, flashing that opal of his to everyone in sight, my buddy's eyes once again fill with rage. Just like before, I know there's no stopping him. But still, I try.

I grab my buddy's arm as he heads toward the guy.

He yanks free and hollers at me. “I been digging twice as long as him. It's my turn, man. It's my turn!” He pounds his chest. The tears drip down his face, and I know he's hurting something terrible.

“Think of Annie,” I say. “Think of your kids.”

He calms down, and his eyes harden. That scares me more than the rage, cause it means he's not angry anymore. He's resolved. He swipes his arm across his eyes, and he gets real quiet. “I am thinking of them.”

He hefts his ax onto his shoulder and races toward the guy, who's still dancing around like a fool.

I chase after him. Ain't no words gonna stop him now.

He reaches the guy and shoulders his ax like a baseball bat. I grab the tip of the ax and haul my buddy backwards.

He curses me and punches the air outta my stomach.

I let go of the ax.

He prepares to swing at the guy, but it's too late. The guy's done caught on to what's happening. With his own ax, he catches my buddy across the face. Blood and teeth burst out of my buddy's mouth. He falls to the ground, and he don't breathe a stitch more.

The guy smartly pockets his find and heads straight to the trading post.

I ain't sure what to do next. Call Annie. Arrange a Christian burial. I don't do neither. I ain't got the money. What I have is two claims now, two plots of land to work, and a family that needs my help.

I walk back to my ax, pick it up, and start swinging.

Lift. Swing. Clang. Nothing. Lift. Swing. Clang. Nothing.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Picture!

This month's picture was chosen by Krystalyn and has a cool feel with the black and white and shadows and fuzzies, no?

It's by Emilian Robert Vicol, and you can see his other work on Flickr.

Hope this garner's some inspiration and do check back on Fridays to see what has sparked our creative flow.

And as always we do hope you'll join in the fun and perhaps submit something based on this image for us to post. We'd be honored, truly!

More giveaways to come and the winners will be notified for the Krystalyn prize pack on Monday.