Monday, July 23, 2018

Ashes and Entropy Story Spotlight: What Finds Its Way Back by Damien Angelica Walters

With nine days remaining until the launch of the ASHES AND ENTROPY Kickstarter campaign, Nightscape Press would like to start shining a spotlight on each story and author gracing the interior of this fine upcoming anthology. And to kick things off, we're featuring "What Finds Its Way Back" and its author Damien Angelica Walters.

From Damien's bio:
Damien Angelica Walters is the author of Cry Your Way Home, Paper Tigers, and Sing Me Your Scars, winner of This is Horror’s Short Story Collection of the Year. Her short fiction has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award, reprinted in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and published in various anthologies and magazines, including the Shirley Jackson Award Finalists Autumn Cthulhu and The Madness of Dr. Caligari, World Fantasy Award Finalist Cassilda’s Song, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, and Apex Magazine. Until the magazine’s closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescued pit bulls and is represented by Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency.

Damien's fiction has been a rising current in speculative fiction particularly in the past few years and I have adored everything I have read of hers. So when it came time to make a list of authors to reach out to for ASHES AND ENTROPY, she was one of the very first writers I thought of. I'm honored that she was not only pleased to receive the invitation but that she blessed me with such a singularly phenomenal tale that both fit and yet simultaneously expanded my vision for this anthology.

"What Finds Its Way Back" is rooted in the ties that bind families together; in both the beauty of love and the dead and rotted intertwining tendrils of blood and secrets. It is a tragically twisted tale of three sisters, two twins and one other sister, and the terrifying secret their family has buried in the woods behind their house. Here is the story's opening scene:

When they were children, Keira and her sisters buried their secrets in the woods behind their house. She and Ava and Amanda would run between the trees, hands linked, one of them with lips clamped tight, drawing as close to the stream separating the old woods from the new as they dared. Together, they'd dig a hole and one would bend low, pressing lips to waiting dark, whispering the secret into the exposed dirt, their voice like drifting feathers, and the three of them would cover it up as fast as they could and run back home, not speaking until they were clear of the tree line.

By the time they'd finished grade school, the ground was thick with secrets—Jennifer Smyth is a jerk; Mrs. Halloway isn't as pretty as she thinks she is; I hate Stephan Gregory and wish he would die—all trapped in place by the self-righteous fury of childhood.
The woods on the other side of the stream held other, darker secrets.

You can read this story in its entirety in ASHES AND ENTROPY when it is released into the wild in December or sooner by getting the extremely limited single story chapbook of "What Finds Its Way Back" through our Kickstarter campaign launching on August 1st! Keep an eye out for more story spotlights and other upcoming news about ASHES AND ENTROPY here on the Nightscape Press webpage!

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