Faith – Frances Howard-Snyder
1000 words Women’s Fiction
Miriam is excited to tell her old professor about the new directions her work has taken. When she confronts his discouragement and contempt, she is forced to choose between her old faith in him and her new faith in herself and her art.
Miriam examined the canvas from different angles. Perfect? Almost perfect? What would her old teacher think? Half an hour later, she nodded to acquaintances as she crossed the banquet hall, twisting between tightly packed tables under the glittering ballroom lights. Then, seeing Tostermann at a distant table, she changed direction. He was even more substantial than before, a great bull of a man, his physique a visual rendering of his personality. His granite head had few lines, and minimal hair loss. The glasses were new, she noted, but essentially he was the same.
Leap of Faith – Frances Howard-Snyder
2500 words General Fiction
When a modern day Pied Piper turns up at her dinner party promising to give her and her friends back their wealth and freedom, little does Martha know that she is in danger of losing what is most precious to her.
“Sounds too good to be true,” Martha said, with a small laugh, hoping not to antagonize her husband. “This fellow has a product that will give us a clean house, more free time, wealth – all for a meager one hundred dollars?” “Bold, huh?” Derek beamed. “You’ll be impressed. Trust me. Wait ’til you see the video testimonials.” Martha must have still looked skeptical, because he came closer and kissed her neck. “The house looks great.” He put his big hands on her waist. “Like before we had kids.”
The Winter of our Discontent – Frances Howard-Snyder
1000 words General Fiction
Jacob has been out of contact with his adult son, Stephen, for ten years. When the young man returns to town to meet his mother, Jacob decides to confront him.
Jacob, the father There’s blood on the snow where the three-legged hound killed a rabbit. The snow is two feet deep and still falling with deceptive gentleness through a blue-grey sky. The ice on the road makes walking dangerous, and the frigid air whitens my breath and chills my marrow, but I must venture out today. My only child, Stephen, was sighted in the town yesterday. Maybe returned to see his friends or to help his mother. Not to see me or to help me.
When Trouble Comes – Frances Howard-Snyder
1800 words Women’s Fiction
Emma, a recent widow, is faced with battalions of troubles, including a dead husband, difficult teen children, an obnoxious suitor, and a mother dealing with the first stages of dementia.
Ashland, Oregon, September, 2011 The kitchen sink was clogged again. In the past, Emma had left this sort of thing to Michael. She’d ask for his help and he would tease her gently, but would appear, work some magic and fifteen minutes later, her sink would be clear. She recalled the last time it happened, the night before the fated hike. But he wasn’t here to fix it now. A mess of discolored eggs shells, blackened potato peelings and coffee grounds floated in greasy water that sank an inch every fifteen minutes, leaving a ring. Of a piece with the rest of her kitchen: the dead freesias on the windowsill, the lazy winking curtains, one open, one closed, the gritty, stained floor tiles. The calendar stuck on July.