Busy month. The Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime is about to release their 4th fishy anthology, Fish Out of Water.
I’m so pleased my own story “Gossip” is part of this collection.
Amy, a successful artist, returns to the small town she left behind her nearly twenty years ago, having heard a surprising revelation about her reputation.
She’s back to set the story straight, but soon finds it’s not easy to root out what really happened.
Especially when the Church Bazaar Ladies get down and dirty with the gossip.
Amy Hartmann parked on the main street near the Co-op and lit a cigarette and waited. How stupid was it to come back? What could she achieve? Although no one had said anything to her face, she knew half the town—the half over forty—remembered her as the girl who stole Louise Mathieson’s husband.
She’d felt like a fish out of water in this hole since the moment she was born. Too smart, too ambitious, too full of ideas. Eighteen years ago, she’d vowed never to return. Carpathia wasn’t Vancouver. Hell, it wasn’t even Vernon. It was the dreariest dump in Canada, and she’d seen a lot of dreary dumps in her hungry years.
Damn the luck anyway, running into Leon Briggs last month. If only she’d looked through him, instead of letting herself wonder where she knew him from. Leon, in no way memorable except for how he would hang around outside the high school, eyeing the girls. They’d all made fun of him. Creepy old Leon.
Though no creepier than a lot of the men in the town. Her father included.
Leon had remembered her, all right. Along with the unknown history she’d left behind. That had been the shocker.
There she was. Louise Mathieson hadn’t changed in all these years, except to look even more dowdy and plain. Jesus, was that the same coat she’d worn eighteen years ago? Amy stubbed out her cigarette and got out of the car.
Louise knew her immediately. She didn’t appear surprised. Just angry.
Fish Out of Water, edited by Ramona Defilice Long, is published by Wildside Press, and is available there in paperback.
Where else to buy Fish Out of Water.