Clarion West Write-a-thon 2021

Betsy Mahaffey

June 7, 2021 12:00am - July 31, 2021 11:59pm

My Write-a-thon Information!

My Writing Goals

This summer my goal is to rewrite, revise, edit, and submit some of the short stories I have been working on for the past year or so, and then start the next draft of my dark fantasy historical novel.

Writing Sample

Writing Progress

Let The Light Fall

Catherine had always known it was there, lurking, waiting for her. Each time she jogged across the pedestrian bridge along the dry riverbed, she would feel it: the air was cooler and heavy with moisture, the bridge rumbling beneath her as the monster stirred in its lair. She would smell it: rich with algae, stale urine, wet concrete, cattails. For years she had ignored these signs, ignored the inevitable, and focused instead on the rhythm of her footfall, the pounding of her heart, her precious time alone, away from the dinner to be made, scraped knees to kiss, laundry to fold.

This afternoon, however, as October shadows, long and sharp, hinted that she would be getting back to her car just before sunset, Catherine found herself in no hurry to go home. What waited for her there? Dinner for one. No kisses. Less laundry to fold.

Without warning, an unsettling wail, loud and urgent, caught her attention. She had sensed in recent months that some cosmic summons was sounding just out of her hearing. It was today that she finally heard it clearly. Low, but piercing and mournful, the sound tugged at her anxiety, excited her curiosity. Catherine decided to follow it.

She scrambled off the path, over the guardrails, and down the embankment into the wash. Coarse grains of sand caught in the lip of her shoe and grated against her skin, but the deep, low moaning, slow and repetitive, lured her forward.

As she entered the shadow of the overpass, a burst of cold, damp air rolled over her sweaty skin. She shivered, but pressed on, peering into the shadows where debris from seasonal flooding stacked up against the concrete pylons supporting the bridge. In the weak light, the moan sounded again, deep and low, clearer now. Not a threat: a complaint, a pleading. Something in the darkness moved. Catherine fumbled for her phone and turned on the flashlight.

What I Write

My passion is Science Fiction, but my writing tends toward Dark Fantasy, Horror, Magical Realism, and the Weird. A colleague characterized my writing style as "sex, violence, and cars". She isn't wrong.

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