Gifts in the Dark (an excerpt)

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Gifts in the Dark

By Vonnie Winslow Crist

It was almost time to walk to the graves. The sun had vanished behind the Nodin Sea, the streetlamps were being lit throughout the city of Halona, and the pair of owls that haunted Old Kurak's Medicines & Cure-Alls were calling for the dead.

"The dead," sighed Mari. This year, in addition to her parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and other long-ago ancestors, she needed to remember Old Kurak, her Beloved, and his granddaughter, Little Nina.

Mari heard the clink of jar hitting jar as her sister loaded the food into the two picnic baskets they would carry to the graveyard. She quickly finished the last four scarlet feather stitches on the small tablecloth she was embroidering, tied a knot, and bit the unused tail of embroidery floss off close to the fabric with her teeth.

"Ready, Jacy," she said to the small white cat watching her sew.

The cat chirped in response. He hopped down from his perch on the stone bench beside her and strolled to the doorway...

The rest of "Gifts in the Dark" can be read in Vonnie Winslow Crist's award-winning story collection, "Owl Light," and online in a publication from Digital Fiction Publishing.

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