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Excerpt of Story I Submitted to Clarkesworld

Today I sent Evie Jones and the Good Luck Fundraiser to Clarkesworld Magazine!  Now, the odds are obviously against me, I’m looking at a rejection, blah blah blah.  You can’t be published if you don’t try, right? 🙂

Here’s an excerpt from my favorite short story series (it’s my only short stories only series, but whatever 🙂


“I’m going to fail the bar again,” Ashley said, eyes wider than saucers.  She took a gulp of her beer, staring past me into the restaurant like she was watching her law career flush down the toilet.  “I’m going to fail and get fired and that’ll be it.  In this economy, when employers find out I took three tries to pass the bar and lost my firm job because of it, I won’t even get hired at the Public Defender’s office.”

“No,” I said, shaking my finger at her.  “Hey, look here.”

She sighed, looking me in the eye.

“You are not going to fail again.  You had some bad luck last time.  You were sick and got blindsided with harder questions than expected.  That’s all.”  I held up two fingers about a centimeter apart.  “You failed by this much.  Which sucks!  Because you were right there.  But that means this time,” I tapped the wood table, “you got this.”

She looked at me like she wanted to throw her drink in my face and I ran my hand through my newly short brown hair.

“Evie, I say this with all the love in the world, but shut up and stop being the perky pixy.  I want to wallow.  I want to cry, and say why me, and bitch about the fact that I failed by half a percent.  Because being right there, knowing if I’d checked A instead of B on one or two multiple choices, or put one more paragraph in an essay, and I wouldn’t be going through this all over again, is devastating.  Okay?”

“Nope, because if you believe you’re going to pass, you’ll do better.  It’s all about positive thinking.”

She rolled her eyes.  “You know I don’t go in for all that New Agey stuff.”

I bit my tongue.  No, literally, because I wanted to say, “I come from a long line of witches.  I practice techniques to track and move energies, and I do spells and potions dating back to the Druids.  My ancestors helped build Stonehenge.  I’m old age, baby.”

You can’t say that to normal people in modern day Utah.

Or, you know, to Mormons.

Hey, if they get to call me weird for my charms and crystals, I get to call them weird for their magic underwear.  Fair’s fair.

I stuck my tongue out at her.

Ashley smiled and took another drink of her beer.

“No really,” I said.  “Studies have shown if you believe something, like you will do well on a test or in an interview, like you’ll recover from a sickness, ect… it affects your body.  It’s why placebos work.  It’s the mind telling the body it should be getting better, so it does.  You wear a good luck charm to a test, you think it’ll work, just slightly, so you’re more confident on the test.  And that’s usually what gets people.  They get scared, lose confidence, second guess themselves, and eat up time.”

“So you’re saying it’s like Friday the Thirteenth?  You think there’s bad luck, so there’s more accidents and stuff?”

“Exactly,” I said, grinning because she wasn’t too far off.  “You know, since people in western cultures believe it’s a bad luck day, their good luck floats off them and then black cats scoop it up.”

She stared at me for a moment then burst out laughing.  “Where do you come up with this stuff?”

Ha!  She thought I was kidding.

Okay, so it wasn’t luck per se, it was good energy.  The stuff people made every day with their thoughts and deeds.  It’d been called luck, karma, chi, the Tau, and of course, the Force.  It was all the same idea.  Energy.

And when millions of people had the idea that a day was quote unquote, bad luck, even if they didn’t really believe it, they did shed a little of their good energy just by the collective thought it was possibly a bad luck day.

I grinned, shrugging.  “Oh, you know, it’s in my New Agey books.”  I took a sip of my wine.  “Though, it’s not just black cats that can scoop luck up, they just have better marketing people, built their trademark as the bad luck kitties.  All cats can do it.”

She snorted.  “Too bad we can’t get those cats to pass some luck to me.”

I froze with my glass halfway up to my lips.

Now there was an idea!

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