Endings are on my mind these days (more about that news I mentioned on Monday) - I'm approaching the end of a draft of the novel I'll be handing in to my editor by the end of March - and every day I feel slightly less ashamed of how I've done. I have zero confidence about my novel writing ability. Seriously. I think the next project post-LIGHT will probably be the first TRIAD longer-length piece, but I daresay novella length will be the goal. But holy heck do I love short stories right now, and soon I'll be able to not feel like I'm cheating on LIGHT to work on some.
At least until the massive edits come back. But that's always my favourite part of the end-stages of writing, so I'm okay with that, too.
Still, endings. Endings can be very good.
"The Patron Saint of Walking Ghosts," by Michelle Scalise
This is the first anthology I'll have begun and ended reviewing during my Short Stories 365 project. Mortis Operandi was a real joy to read for me by virtue of the variety of themes the tales launched. And with this last story, "The Patron Saint of Walking Ghosts," the book closes on neither a bang nor a whimper, but something like a strangled scream.
An orphanage with a sordid history, a woman who has dreams of love that seem dipped in death, and a man who is visiting to find out about a past no one wants unburied. The combination twists into a lethal snarl, and it's Scalise's handling of the heroine's voice - a woman who is, at best, unstable - that keeps this tale pulled so taut. You know something horrible is coming, and yet you can't look away.