Alright, my laptop is playing tricks on me. Deepest apologies to those of you that follow my blog. You just received a blank blog post. This is why I’m a Mac person. My iMac never betrays me this way. At any rate, I just wanted to let everyone know that my new short, “Dollface” has been released into the wild from No Boundaries Press! It’s my first straight horror piece and it’s just so damn exciting! It’s also a great example (in my humble opinion) of that hazy genre we like to call Southern Gothic. Y’all know I love to write about all things dark and sensual, but this time I delved into something less appetizing. There are no happily ever afters in this story. Well… except maybe for the nutty anti-heroine.
“Dollface” is the story of Caroline, a plain Jane, small town Southern girl who just happens to be a funeral home cosmetian. Everyone in town likes Caroline, though they’ve always felt that there was something not quite right about her. For years Caroline has pined in silence for the funeral director’s son, Scott Bauer. Scott has always been kind, but never returned her affections. Her world comes tumbling down when she discovers that Scott is to be married and will leave her forever. She can’t let that happen and will go to unnatural lengths to keep him.
Check out the blurb….
“Hey there, Miss Caroline,” Justus shouted from the kitchen when he saw her come in. “Thursday night usual?”
“Yes, please,” she replied, squeezing into one of the tiny booths in the corner. Her Thursday night usual was stew beef and rice with a side of fresh tomatoes. Looking around she saw the usual dinner crowd. Sherriff Roberts and his wife Melissa sat at the large corner table by the window. Mr. Crabtree sat at the bar with his country fried steak, jabbering away to Mrs. Keester. The Brewer twins ran around the old broken pinball machine while their mom read a book, completely oblivious. Caroline sighed, her face fixed in an expression of contentment. There were advantages to living in a small town. Caroline always felt like she was among old friends in this place. It helped with the loneliness.
“So guess who hopped in here for a piece of my sweet potato pie earlier?” Mrs. Keester asked, hefting her heavy breasts on to the counter in front of Mr. Crabtree.
“Couldn’t say,” he replied, helping himself to another forkful of collard greens. “But I’m sure you’ll be glad to tell me, Wanda.”
Laughter echoed from the kitchen. Justus’s head poked out from the window. “Ain’t that the truth, Crabtree? Our church don’t need a bulletin—we got Wanda.”
The men laughed heartily at Wanda’s expense for several seconds until she cleared her throat. “You men finished?” she spat and emphasized her contempt on the word ‘men.’ “Anyway, Gerry Bauer’s son Scott was in here earlier today and he was jumpy as a whore in church.” Caroline’s ears pricked at the mere mention of Scott’s name. Grabbing the newspaper in the booth beside her, she pretended to read while listening closely to their conversation.
“Well you know that girl from over in Maitland he’s been seein’—what’s her name—Ginny?”
“Ayuh,” Crabtree answered with a disinterested glance. “What about her?”
“He was takin’ her out tonight so he could ask her to marry him!”
Caroline dropped her tea glass. It fell to the floor with a heavy clatter and ice spilt all over.
Wanda rushed over from behind the bar and pulled a towel out of her apron. “Caroline! Are you okay, honey?” She dropped down on her knees and began picking up the ice off the floor.