Eddie Louise is a novelist & audio-drama/podcast creator who builds speculative fiction worlds on the page & for the ears. Writer of the hit audio-drama, THE TALES OF SAGE & SAVANT, and the novels TRANSMIGRATIONS, and THE LAST WITCH.
Ol' Jessie's Jelly Roll
The jelly hadn’t set, and that was a problem. Ol’ Jessie stomped through the cottage as if she could awaken recalcitrant cherry pectin with the rhythms of her feet, the grinding of her teeth. Her Jelly Roll would be an abject failure without the titular jelly, and there was no time before the village fete to create another batch. The chocolate sponge on the sideboard was a perfect warm brown, so fluffy that finger depressions rebounded like a milkmaid’s lips after vigorous kissing. Jessie dunked a finger into the cherry brandy jell and tasted it. The ruby-red concoction was rich and redolent with the deep sweetness of ripe cherries and just a zing of brandy. It had been properly boiled, why wouldn’t it set? Shaking her grizzled curls Jessie turned a resolute chin towards the planked door and followed it out into the scratch yard. Either the cake would be a triumph or not; fussing and worrying would not set the jell, and there were chickens to see to.
One of the Boys
All she wanted was to be one of the boys. One of those towering columns of knees and elbows, enthusiasms, and loyalties. They moved as a pack, six, eight, boys at a time. All older, all full of the mystery and mastery of the masculine in a world that prized such. She was only six and she could already see how boy was better than girl, how masculine was rewarded, how feminine restricted. The ranch was man-kingdom, the ranch house was woman’s territory. Land management, animal husbandry, and mechanics filled his days. Bread making, laundry, milk cows, and chickens hers. Her Barbies came clothed in sky-high plastic shoes and impossible beauty standards His G.I. Joes wore muscles and stern expressions. Boys were better, and so she chased the impossible ideal.
Setting The Table
Pandemic has been a whirling teacup in all our lives, flinging us wildly along a trajectory between terror and delight. It has been horrible to be stuck at home, unable to attend conventions, and see our compatriots in person. It has been wonderful to have so much access to brilliant online events and have the chance to interact with members of the community that have never before been able to attend those same conventions. These conflicting gravities have also exposed the fissures in our systems for granting awards and celebrating their recipients.