Contest Winner Archives - Uncharted

Overture: A Novel Excerpt from Mordent

We met in college, which is to say, Ohio. A small liberal arts school you’ve probably heard of and regard with either approval or suspicion, depending on your politics. Me, enrolled in the music conservatory, and her, art history, although really, her heart was set on baking. It was a coffee shop sort of thing, […]

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Chasing Ghosts

Jackie Kennedy has been angry with her father ever since her wedding day. Still, she reluctantly agrees to meet him for lunch. He’s been indefatigable with his entreaties, and besides, she could use his advice. Leaving behind the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, where the newlyweds seem to be stuck for now, she takes the […]

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Birds Aren’t Real

Evan Little lives in a narrow, blue, two-story townhome. His is Model A, which is the best model. His bathroom is to the left of his closet. Models B and C have their bathrooms on the right. His back patio overlooks the canal, which is the best view. Much better than the community pool because […]

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Hooray for Hollywood: A Novel Excerpt

Daisy wandered into MacKay’s Pub and went to the phone at the back, ignoring whatever the barman grumbled at her as he wiped down the counter. She leaned against the sticky wall and plunked her change into the slot. After a terse conversation with an early shift operator, a man picked up on the other […]

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Chapter 9: An excerpt from Seven Out

Marcus suspected that he would never quite get used to weightlessness.  He’d been back-down at launch, with the contact points of his body pressed reassuringly into the seat’s cushion by Ashran gravity. For a time, during takeoff, his weight had tripled, but even that had felt somewhat natural. Down was still down. Up was still up. But […]

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Thank You, Bus Driver

She runs a hand across her stomach. It is only the smell of burning meat, she tells herself. Jorie tells herself this again when the pump disgorges another identical dollop of homegrown beef frothing with lard and sinew that squalls, spluttering, as it slaps onto a grill of mirrored steel. Meat. Vegetables. Minerals, they pay […]

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The Blades of Ana Velasquez

Most girls bleed. “A visitor,” Mama and my tias had called it for years, their shared and groaned secret, like a pesky neighbor arriving too often. “Someday, you too,” they’d promised. When I awoke to the twisting in my center, a foreign pain that was somehow familiar, I thought I was no different. I was […]

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Deep Skin Anatomy

Even before her niece arrives, Imogen can feel her sparrows stirring. It’s been twenty years since she’s allowed herself to feel them. It’s been twenty years since she’s allowed herself to feel anything at all. ### When Ginny arrives at Aunt Imogen’s house, the raven is still on the back of her hand. CPS couldn’t […]

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More Than Electric Sheep

Overhead lighting is disabled. It is late at the Home for Aging A.I.s, and my internal clock counts the passing of each solitary electron. By the dim glow of our power indicators, my stereopticon discerns the cuboid polycarbonate shells of my fellow residents. Their tripod-mounted cameras stare without focus. My audio input device detects only […]

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Mine

It’ll be one of those nights. I can tell. I can always tell. Firstly, it has to be the right time of night. Late enough, but not so late for the drink to have truly set in. There will have been just enough alcohol to fuel the fire but not enough to completely incapacitate. Secondly, […]

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Blood Flees Our Mouths

Clay County, Illinois April 4, 2017 My whistling dies on my tongue the second a familiar scream rips through the trees. It comes again before I’ve extricated myself from the briars of the Ghost Woods’ treeline, and dropping my school library copy of Of Mice and Men and a ziplock baggie of foraged morels, I […]

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In Space…

The first time Annabelle’s son overdosed, there had been an outpouring of support. For her. For him. A community.  The first time Annabelle’s son went to rehab, there had been check-in texts, casseroles dropped at the door, stories of recovery and hope. The first time Annabelle’s son relapsed, there were friends clucking maternal platitudes, invitations […]

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