When I set out to do NaNoWriMo this year, I wasn’t sure how far I would get with my story. I certainly didn’t expect said story to rapidly escalate and end way under 50 thousand words. I went with the flow, quit NaNoWriMo, and spent the rest of November editing and polishing the story. The result is my newly published novelette, Sea Witch Song.
Sea Witch Song
Tarah Jackson died at sea. Her secret lover, Uma Brown, attends the funeral with no choice but to bottle up her grief. At Tarah’s wake, a drunken fisherman claims that Tarah was killed by a monster from the deep. Late that night, while the other fishermen who witnessed Tarah’s death drink and wrestle with memories of the monstrous encounter about which they dare not speak, Uma Brown takes a bottle of rum and her fiddle to the sea. There she plays a song raw with grief. She lets the tears fall free. She drinks from the bottle, cries out the heavens, and curses the sea. Along comes the monster from the deep.
Sea Witch Song is currently available for download at the following locations:
Somber men in charcoal suits carried the empty casket. Uma watched, stricken, as they lowered it into the gaping hole beneath the sycamore tree. That crowd that had gathered was silent, many still struggling to come to grips with the reality that had brought them all together in this moment. Tarah Jackson had died at sea. Jasmin Island’s beloved daughter had fallen overboard during a storm ten days earlier and presumably drowned in the crushing embrace of violent waves. Now, with no body to bury, her family was holding the service in the cemetery behind the old Baptist church.
Indifferent to the scene unfolding below them, raucous seagulls shrieked, swooping across the sky. The breeze buffeting against the church building carried the salty scent of the sea mingled with the earthy sweetness of sugar cane from farms far afield. The grass was springy, the ground still moist from rain two hours earlier. The afternoon sun was obscenely bright. It was far too fine a day for a funeral.