A short story for your reading pleasure! I’m really proud of this one.
“Dark Forst” SAND
published November 30, 2018
Order the print issue here (PDF to be posted later): https://www.newsstand.co.uk/sandjournal
“The island is famous for its starlit nights, secluded coves, rich corals, and, more notoriously, for its metaphysical hit men. They are known as mananambal, legendary healers who practice a pre-colonial type of medicine, and sometimes inflict illness. Hardly something for the tourist brochure, right?”
*** Author notes on the ending (SPOILER ALERT!!!):
For me, the protagonist’s journey is is about finding some sort of closure from the tragedies she’s experienced. She’s looking for some healing, quite literally, from these healers. At the same time, she holds on to some doubt about whether it’s all real, or that it actually works; it’s all wrapped up in her not wanting to let go. What I wanted for this character was an acknowledgment that she CAN believe (hence, this place is truly a holy city) even if she decides it’s all hocus pocus…that a sense of faith (in a non-religious sense) does matter anyway. This place she’s been so terrified of, that’s wrapped up in legend, doesn’t really have monsters… but it does have ghosts. And she can live with that, and in her own way, move on.