When I first stared writing, my most recent published work was always my favorite thing I had written. Probably because it was new and exciting to me. As the years have passed, and I’ve gotten more and more things out there in the wild, I find myself looking back on things that I’ve published, and even unpublished in some cases, to find the one story that I am most proud of. I’ve even had other people ask the question about my writing; What’s your favorite thing you’ve written, and why?
At the moment, that is a really easy question to answer, and has been for a few years now. Without a doubt, my favorite piece is Carolina, that was published in Corrugated Sky’s first horror anthology, Tales of the Black Dog. There is just something about the piece that I really love. It took me no time to write and from the very first word it seemed to flow onto the paper. (Yes, I handwrite a lot of first drafts. A glutton for punishment, I guess.)
When I sat down to write Carolina, I had a germ of an idea, but little else. I knew Carolina was a 100 year old black woman who lived in a swamp, but I had little else to go on. Once that pen touched paper though, it seemed to flow out of me unbidden. I still find it incredible that I managed to write from the perspective of a geriatric black woman. Maybe that was a past life?
Carolina is about a witch woman who lives in the swamps of Louisiana, and who has a special connection to a spectral black dog that has given her the secret of longevity, for a price. Of course, nothing comes for free. The price the dog asks in return for her life is the soul of another. As a witch woman, Carolina had an easy time offering up the souls of those she treated who were terminally ill. She could ease the suffering of those in pain, and give her more time to help those that needed it. For Carolina, it was an easy decision. Until the black dog asked for a very specific soul…