For the Love of Skiing – Matthew H. Emma
6500 words General Fiction
This piece is dedicated to the late, great Austrian Skier Ulli Maier, who was killed in a race prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics and is meant to be an inspirational tale to athletes and non-athletes alike. I hope those who read this learn or are reinforced in their beliefs that, with tenacity and perseverance, it’s never too late to exercise the ghosts that have plagued you or live up to your potential.
One week remained until the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. These were going to be my Olympics. I envisioned the name Brigitte Reichel becoming synonymous with a good place in sports history, instead of the one it was accustomed to. I stood at the starting gate along the Tofana in Cortina, Italy, preparing for a downhill training run. This meet was the last tune-up before the Games. The beep went off and down the slope I flew, twisting, turning and almost wiping out on the final approach to the finish line. My time of 1:19:03 wasn’t bad, but well off the pace set by competitors like Marlo Rotmayer, Trina Werthen and Laura Gottsch, all Olympic favorites.
Perfect Lives – Matthew H Emma
5000 words General Fiction
“Great,” I muttered to myself, as I trudged up the stairs. “The pampered, privileged bitch’s here again.” Helene’s grey 2012 Mercedes convertible was parked in the visitor’s lot outside the two-bedroom Reseda condo I shared with Mom. I stormed inside and barreled towards my room, but before I could complete the escape, the forty-five year-old, bleach-blonde married to Hollywood Producer Jerome Fishler stood before me in a green sparkling top and jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch. Her fingers and wrists, drenched in gold and diamonds shined like display cases for the Jared’s Jewelry chain. “How’d practice go?” Mom asked. “Like crap,” I said, as I dumped my backpack on the carpet.
Why Audie Cared – Matthew H. Emma
2800 words General Fiction
“Why Audie Cared” is a cautionary tale. Often, people view the lives of celebrities and the wealthy as perfect and have a tendency to question their motives when they do good things. This story tries to illustrate that no one has it perfect and everyone has problems.
The tragedy of my dad’s death didn’t impact her. I needed to mourn and sought an explanation for her behavior. Audie’s pressuring began with several daily text messages. “Today any easier?” she’d ask at nine in the morning. “Must be tough for you.” “Miss him,” I’d say. “But I’m surviving.” “Just checking in,” I’d get at two in the afternoon. “Still here,” I’d answer. “Anything I can do?” she’d ask at seven at night. “No,” I’d reply. “I’ll let you know if there is.” Emails soon joined her arsenal. At least five or six times per week, I’d receive files containing information on what had to be every Los Angeles-area agency offering psychological counseling. Soon after beginning this new method, she called.