January 23, 2016
Congratulations to past contributor Serena Crawford for winning the annual Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Her short story collection, Here Among Strangers, is set to be published March 1st by Willow Springs Books. Her story “Chinatown” was first published in The McNeese Review. An excerpt from “Chinatown”:
My mother is waiting for me in short-term parking, winded, leaning against the passenger door of her car. She’s holding a clipboard with a list of places she wants to go: first Costco, then Dollar Tree, then Walmart, then the Hostess Bakery Outlet, in that exact order. Ten years ago, she traveled the globe giving lectures on macroeconomic policy and strategic leadership; now this. Never mind that Dollar Tree is on the way to Costco, and Walmart on the opposite side of town, so that we will zigzag back and forth, wasting time and guzzling gas, or that she will tire after an hour because she is obese and takes an inordinate amount of medications for conditions she will not divulge. She has the list of items (Rolaids, batteries, Aleve), the prices she wants to compare. She has the coupons. My job is to drive, so she can examine the expiration dates and do her calculations.
We are not the greeting type—never have been—so I get down to business, pushing aside newspapers and brochures to make room in the trunk. I have a backpack and a suitcase—I only own what I can carry—which would immediately alert my sisters to the fact that I’m moving, but this is mere hand luggage to my mother.
Read the rest of this story in her new collection forthcoming from Willow Springs Books.