Recently I was flattered to be invited to join a group of stellar writers who were each contributing one short story to a winter-themed anthology called WINTER WONDERS. All profits from the anthology go to a charity called Literacy, Inc.–you can read more about the charity and pre-order the book at the publisher’s website here. All profits. As in, this doesn’t benefit me. This benefits kids who weren’t as fortunate as I was.
Also, a fun fact: I am the only male writer out of the 22 contributors. I’m not sure what that says, but I feel special!
The book will be released in early December in both paperback and ebook form. To whet your appetite a little bit, below you’ll find an excerpt from the first few pages of my contribution to the anthology, “The Sound of Snow.”
Becca is on the bed watching Wheel of Fortune. “I could do this,” she says, pointing at the screen. “Sam, seriously, think about it. What do they make—twenty, thirty thousand if they win? You take it to the roulette table, bet on red, and we’re in the clear. Just like that.”
Before I can calculate our expected payout, there’s a knock on the door. This is it. This is when they kick us out.
Becca squeezes my hand as I move towards the door. “It’s okay,” she says. “We’ll be fine.”
The man at the door is about 5’6”, dark hair, stylish glasses, expensive suit. All due respect to Red Roof Inn proprietors, but it’s clear that this man is not a hotel manager.
“Mr. Prothy?” he says.
“That’s me. It’s Sam.”
He glances into the room behind me, his eyes pausing on Becca. He lowers his voice. “I’m Robert Norris. I apologize for barging in on you like this. Is now a bad time?”
“No, no, it’s fine. Come in. We’re just taking a break from the ole’ job hunt, you know how it is.”
The man doesn’t move. “If you don’t mind, could we speak outside? Just you and me?”
I glance over my shoulder, seeking approval. Becca rolls her eyes and waves me on. I know she doesn’t like feeling left out, but my curiosity gets the better of me, and I step outside with the man.
Norris raises his voice to a normal level. “Again, I apologize for the intrusion.”
“Nah, it’s fine. What’s all this about?”
He extracts a card from his pocket and hands it to me. “I represent a private research group studying the roots of human language. We’re looking for test subjects, and we believe that you and your wife might be prime candidates.”
“So why isn’t she out here with us?”
“A fair question. It’s not your wife I’m concerned about. It’s your baby.”
I bristle. “How do you know about that?”
“Your bank thought you might benefit from what we have to offer. They have documentation indicating that you recently conceived—I believe it was on your foreclosure papers.”
I vaguely remember writing something like that on the forms in the hopes that they’d give us a break. No such luck.
“We want to know your child’s first word,” he says.
Curious? Click the image below to pre-order. I can assure you that the other authors are far more talented than I. (Case in point: I just had an internal debate about whether the correct structure of the previous sentence is “than I” or “than me.” I think it’s “than I” because I’m essentially cutting out the word “am”: “the other authors are far more talented than I am.”)
Also, if you like this entry–that is, if you like the idea of me posting fiction on the blog from time to time, possibly in serial form–let me know. I could probably do it on the weekends so that the entries (which would be longer than normal entries) wouldn’t interfere with the regular content. No need to comment–just Like this entry at the bottom so I can gauge the interest.