RRBC Featured Books!
PJM Publishing is proud to present the winning entries in the
inaugural Southern Gothic Shorts Writing Competition.
From the scores of entries, these ten brand new short stories mark some of the best southern gothic fiction out there, covering all kinds of styles and subject matters.
In early May in 1956 in the small South Alabama town of Farmington, and eleven year old Bobby Crosby’s life is about to change forever. He’s still anguishing over the death of his father even though it’s been five years, and he’s come to despise the life centered around his mother’s cafe, a place that turns into the revelrous hot spot of the community when the sun goes down.
Bobby escapes his real world by sitting every night in the local movie theater, third row left down front. There, alone in the dark, he leaves Farmington far behind and melts into the world of the silver screen. Bobby’s best friend is Hucker Nolan, a twenty-two year old drop-out from the swamps across the tracks who drives a taxicab in the daytime and works concession at the movie theater at night. Now, Bobby’s world seems to be collapsing and there’s nothing he can do to stop it; his mother has a boyfriend Bobby desperately resents and his feelings for Hucker are confusing and ever changing, often filled with anger and jealousy Bobby doesn’t understand. Then, the worst thing possible happens to Bobby— he’s betrayed by the person he trusts the most.
‘Stay strong,’ my father said on the morning of my mother’s death.
So I did.
What I didn’t know was that my mother’s suicide would spark a chain of events that would shadow my life. Ultimately, blind faith drove me to the ends of the earth searching for proof.
Juliette and her daughter Bonnie leave their men and jobs in Australia and fly to Kathmandu to meet a guide they found on the internet. He leads them on a trek to the top of the world. But Mount Everest is as dangerous as it is magnificent, and Juliette’s world comes crashing down when she discovers she’s not as strong as she thought.
Juliette confronts her grief and mortality, before realising her destiny in the fiery, frozen wilderness of Iceland.
Years after suffering sexual and verbal abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Melanie is still haunted by her past. Her husband, Julius¬—a cop, and thus experienced in dealing with crime and punishment—struggles to understand his wife’s silent pain, but he can’t give her the closure she needs.
Determined to exorcise her past, Melanie must choose between revenge and forgiveness. The first may destroy her marriage—but she’s not convinced that the second will bring her the peace of mind she so desperately yearns for.
Haunting and hard-edged, Trespassers is an unflinching exploration of what happens to an individual—and a family—in the aftermath of abuse.