Carve publishes stories both online and as part of print Premium Editions. The Premium Edition contains numerous extras not available online, like interviews with authors, submission statistics, poetry, and more.
Here’s an excerpt from my story “La Cuesta Encantada” that appears in Carve’s Winter 2016 issue:
The last thing Althea needed with Owen missing was Irene nosing around. Yet there she was, pacing outside the store, her wrinkled cheeks ruddy from the early morning chill. Althea hid inside in the dark behind a shelf of stuffed seals, willing her friend to leave. Owen might be wandering along the freeway, traffic swift with impatient commuters. He might need her. She gripped the shelf. No. He was a grown man, her husband of almost fifty years. He could still take care of himself.
Irene stopped pacing and rapped on the window. “I know you’re there, Althea,” she called. “It’s eight a.m. I’ve got news.”
Althea sighed and flipped on the lights before unlocking the door. “Can’t it wait? I’m getting ready to open.” She walked to the cash register and started dusting.
Irene followed her. “Our whole lives, you’ve never been too busy to gossip. Where’s Owen? I haven’t seen him in forever.”
“Upstairs,” Althea lied. “He overslept.”
Owen had sneaked out before dawn while she was showering. No note, nothing. But that wasn’t anybody’s business. He always came back eventually, sometimes his normal self, sometimes not. Friday he had been gone all afternoon. When he finally returned, there were twigs in his thick white hair, and he let out a whoop before dancing her up and down the aisles, right in front of the customers. Then he had barged out of the store and upstairs to their apartment, where he had slept straight through until morning.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview that appears in the Premium Edition:
What was the inspiration for these 3 women [in “La Cuesta”] and their friendship? Is there a model of that in your own life?
Yes. I have an identical twin sister, so I’ve always had someone who’s known me better than anybody else since before we were born, and I’ve always had, in addition to her, several really close girlfriends. A lot of times, we’d exist in a triad from different important parts of my life. It’s funny being a twin, especially an identical twin. People often say, regarding friendship, “Oh, threesomes don’t work.” Well, yeah, with many such friendships, there’s always the odd person out. But my sister and I have always made that work, and we’ve got our various triumvirates. So the dynamic of a triumvirate of friends really interests me, especially with women. I feel like women who support each other and have known each other since they were young really learn to protect each other, even when there’s something they hate about the other person. Those kinds of relationships have always fascinated me.
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Update: You can now read “La Cuesta Encantada” in its entirety online by clicking here.
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Wonderful excerpt, Colette. And I agree with you. Women who really know each other are very protective of one another. I’m sure you’ve mentioned being an identical twin before, but I totally forgot about it. I bet there’s pros and cons. However, having someone whose basically an extension of you, and you of her, must be nice.