Between Earth and Sky
Once Upon Now Grand Prize Winner published by Gallery Books.
Sixteen-year-old Mira Sighansen never questions her place in the majestic wilderness of the Yukon Territory until she witnesses her brothers' oil rig explode. Refusing to believe the young men are dead, the teen's suspicions are strengthened when their bodies aren't found and she's later visited by six wild egrets.
But these are no ordinary birds, and Mira is faced with a remarkable task not even the loss of her voice or the anger of her best friend (over a boy, of course!) can hamper.
Convinced she can break a magical enchantment to bring her brothers back, Mira will risk jail and even psychiatric commitment to stop the rig from being rebuilt. Failure to overcome the doubts of her mayor mother, the opposition of her drilling foreman step-father, and the wrath of an industry thirsty for the valuable natural resource could mean not only the end of her family as she knows it, but also the loss of a vital part of her peoples' culture.
This 9,000 word original short story is a modern-day retelling of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale number forty-nine 'The Six Swans' with a First Nations twist. It was part of the #OnceUponNow contest sponsored by @Target for a chance to be included in a published anthology. As of July 5, 2016, it has made it into the Top 25 and as of August 16, 2016, it has been announced as one of the Top 10 Grand Prize winners.