Another quarter of L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest has come and gone. Those that placed have been notified, and I’m very proud to be among them for the second year in a row. My short fiction, “Ayda”, was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2nd quarter of 2018. Hooray!
This story was largely inspired by tales and fables from One Thousand and One Nights. While reading them in my spare time, I became fascinated with the rhythm and composition of their dialogue. It is masterfully balanced between being ornate and still fluid. While they read like poetry, the beauty of these stories exists in their ability to remain accessible and approachable. I wanted to try and achieve the same effect while modernizing the plot structure.
It was thus that “Ayda” came into being. Set in a fictional land inspired by the terrain of the Middle East, a young tailor and her grandfather live a quiet but comfortable life far from the heart of society, where a holy war has taken root. The village to which they fled years ago shares a border with Nowhere, a part of the world said to be not yet fully formed and filled with all manner of magic.
Tales of the wild beasts and spirits that venture beyond Nowhere’s border after daylight fades are legendary. It is said that those fool enough to brave a life at its threshold are often driven mad by unspeakable nightmares, cursed with infertility, and spend many a night watching their livestock being swallowed whole as they tremble beneath their windowsill. Though the terrors in each story are different, on one point they all agree: Nowhere is a place of despair, to which only the desperate flee.
Despite the stories, Ayda and her grandfather felt it better to take their chances with superstitions, for he had taught her to fear the malice of man above the myths their minds created. However, when the war finally finds them at the edge of the world, there is nowhere left to run. Armed with a mysterious needle and golden thread given to her by her grandfather, Ayda escapes into the strange, vast expanse of Nowhere, facing horrors she had long since dismissed as fables in search of magic that can save the people she loves before it’s too late.
“Ayda” is now available on Amazon as an eBook and a paperback! It can be purchased here and read on your Kindle or the Amazon Kindle app, which you can download for free onto your tablet or smartphone.