Elegant, haunting, beautiful prose in short, short stories to savor and share. Imagine a world where shadows of enchantment instantly render ordinary experiences eerie, terrifying or sublime, and where the unexpected becomes the norm. The twenty-one micro stories in Laura McHale Holland’s Just in Case comprise such a place: a universe where a wife betrayed relishes her revenge; a couple chugging toward retirement takes a surprising U-turn; a much maligned character finally has his say; a cozy family scene chills the blood; a curious relative cannot leave a half-human baby alone. The short stories in this collection contain layers of meaning hidden in metaphor, revealed in raw emotion and arresting in their sudden intimacy. Magical, yet grounded this is flash fiction at its best by an author who know how to pack a gratifying punch and leave the reader hankering for more.
I believe stories can spark our deepest, truest selves—sometimes momentarily, sometimes indelibly—and I strive to do this every day. I'm now at work on a novel inspired by magical realism and folklore. It introduces a quirky, sometimes contentious cast of characters in a fictional river town where forces beyond everyday reality both help and hinder, and secrets surface, testing the community's mettle. The book is with beta readers now. Previously, I've published two memoirs, a collection of flash fiction, and an anthology on sisterhood that contains the work of 76 writers from across the globe. I also enjoy writing short plays and have had several produced locally. In addition, I edit full time for a financial services trade publication, serve as a judge for short fiction contests run by a global arts organization and occasionally copyedit novels written by local authors. I feel it's worth pursuing our dreams through all of life's ups and downs, even when they seem lost to us, and if my persistence in pursuing a creative path can help you on your journey, that will fill my heart with gladness.
We were among the millions of people who were without power for several days (five days for us) as part of Pacific Gas & Electric's efforts to limit potential damage during an extreme wind event in extra dry conditions that caused a fire to rage about 17 miles from our home. Sometimes, however, power goes out for other reasons. I don't know what brought the scene in this micro story to mind before I wrote it—my subconscious, maybe? Often picturing a scene gets me thinking, what if? And a story is born. This one is titled "Before."
Just In Case: twenty-one bite-sized stories
The scene glowed cozy. Fire in pot-bellied stove. Calico kittens romping on braided rug. Chocolate chip cookies cooling on plate. Hot cocoa in ruby-red mugs. A mother reading The Runaway Bunny to three sleepy tots. I took it all in before turning off the power.