Novel Excerpt: Dead Evil by Candace Hughes ’86

Candice M. Hughes, award-winning poet and essayist, is former Poetry Editor for the MHC literary journal. She has authored a wide variety of creative and nonfiction works. Her debut technothriller was Death on a Thin Horse. Her newest novel is Dead Evil, a paranormal thriller with an intriguing romance, from which an excerpt appears below. She is published in The Allegheny Review, The Lyon Review, and Pegasus among others. She is a recipient of the Ida F. Snell Poetry Prize and a Pen Works Honorable Mention for Creative Nonfiction. Other books include the Small Business Rocket Fuel nonfiction series. Candice is founder of a health game company developing games for teens with ADHD, a biotech consultant and professional medical writer. She holds a PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology and an MBA in general business management with a focus on strategy and technology innovation.

CandiceMHughes_DeadEvil_800pxThickening smoke and ash cut visibility from twilight to moonless black night as sure as a Nor’easter rolling in from the Atlantic. Detective Gabe Bennett’s radio crackled a three alarm-fire alert a quarter mile from his location. He knew the place well. It was eight houses down from his own. He edged his Ford pick-up truck to the curb as a Ferrara tanker ripped past, racing to his neighbor Rebecca Howland’s flame-ravaged colonial. His boss’ phone was sure to light up what with Rebecca being one of Plymouth, Massachusetts’ last blue bloods, Mayflower pedigree and America’s royalty.

He pulled back onto the road, navigating through the chaos of flashing lights, cruisers and tankers. He’d left work hoping for an early night, but work had found him after all.

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Windigo by Leslie Le Mon ’90


Leslie Le Mon is an author and consultant.  A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Leslie lives in Los Angeles where she is a member of the Book Publicists of Southern California. Her books include Cold Dark Harbor and Other Tales of Ghosts and Monsters, the collection from which “Windigo” appears, the YA fantasy series Sircus of Impossible Magicks, and the unauthorized Disneyland Book of Secrets 2013. Visit www.leslielemonauthor.com for more.

Yarick, Maine

Ten years ago, in 1955, my husband and I lived in a cold water walk-up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  It was at the top of an old house on the waterfront, circa 1700, which sounds picturesque, but it just means the building was falling down around our ears, that we froze in the winter, and broiled in the summer, and that the smell of salt and fish and tar marinated our three small rooms year-round.

Ernest had graduated from Bowdoin with a degree in literature.  He didn’t want to teach; he didn’t want to pursue a graduate degree, and he didn’t want to work in advertising.  He wanted to write the great American novel–not a great American novel, but The Great American Novel. That meant he pounded on an old Corona typewriter all day and night, and sent queries to the big literary houses in Boston, New York, London, and Paris.

Ernest was very earnest, and so was his novel, but no one on either side of the Atlantic was interested. Polite rejection after polite rejection landed in our mailbox. Worse, they were boiler plate rejections–absolutely impersonal.

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Novel Excerpt: The Flower Bowl Spell

Olivia Boler ’93 is a freelance writer and author of the novels  Year of the Smoke Girl (2000) and The Flower Bowl Spell ( 2012), from which the following excerpt is taken. Boler received her master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis, and has published short stories in the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) anthology Cheers to Muses, the literary journal MARY, and Facets Magazine, among others.  She lives in her native San Francisco with her family.

Prologue

I’ve always known that rats live in the Muni Metro tunnels, but this morning, after I almost fall onto the tracks, I find out that fairies hang out there too.

This should come as no surprise to a person like me, even though I banished magick from my life two years ago. In that time, I haven’t come across anything like fairies or talking sparrows. Not one rag doll has tried to jump into my shopping cart in ages. Yet, all at once, magick has come back to me.

In the Castro Street station, waiting for an M, L, or K car to take me to work downtown, I stand on the edge of the platform with a trickling crowd of morning commuters. Teenagers heading to Union Square for midsummer shopping sprees mingle with hipsters and Asian elders. There are a couple of indigents, one slumped against the wall, the other pacing and muttering. They wear shabby clothes with dirty, threadbare cuffs. Their BO could be bottled for biological warfare.

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