The theme was XX; that could be interpreted as twenty, kisses, double-cross, platinum, cross-purposes, crossed arms, poison.... We're envelope pushers, in SIW.
Meanwhile, here's an excerpt from my story in the anthology, "Still Life With Peanut Butter."
Oh, the anthology is XX: SIW GOES PLATINUM.
Mamie is catering her own wedding reception, and is shopping for locally sourced ham.
Mamie is Intrigued
excerpt from "Still Life With Peanut Butter"
by Marian Allen
by Marian Allen
"Hi, there! You must be the bride." He stuck a hand out to Florence, then grinned at Mamie and said,
"And you must be the proud mamma."
Both women laughed. Mamie took his hand and said, in a tone meant to convey her gracious forgiveness for his blunder, "Everybody makes that mistake. I'm the bride. Florence is my baby sister-in-law-to-be."
"Oh! Oh, sorry," Avery said. "Ripe peaches are the best, am I right?"
They all laughed again.
Avery kept up a line of cheerful patter as he showed them around the farm. He deferred to Mamie, which would have been flattering if she hadn't felt patronized, as well. Florence was being patronized but not deferred to, but that was because Florence was young, which made the respect he showed Mamie due to Mamie's being . . . not young.
..."So that's the operation," Avery said. "Let's go back to the office and talk some turkey. I mean ham."
Florence and Mamie giggled as if they didn't realize he said the same thing every time he negotiated price with a customer.
They followed him along the dirt path to the barn-shaped building that held the smokehouse, industrial freezer, Country Store and office. As she followed Florence inside, Mamie caught a glimpse of a green car pulling up and a flash of blue and red hopping out. She paused, inspecting and smelling the white clematis climbing the lattice by the office door, and watched the red and blue figure.
It was the man they'd seen at Jumbo the night before‑‑Pete, the night watchman.
What's he doing here? Moonlighting? Or is it sunlighting, if you take a second job besides night work?
He glanced her way, then closed his car door soundlessly and glided through an entrance farther along the building. If she remembered correctly from Avery's tour, it was the holding room for the deliveries from Jumbo.
Hmmmm. Sneakiness is always intriguing.
XX: SIW Goes Platinum is the latest from Per Bastet Publications, of which I'm a third of the partnership. Per Bastet just won the Sizemore Award for small press excellence and promotion of local authors. We are, naturally, exceedingly chuffed.
Marian Allen, Author Lady
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