Bennett North. Smooth Stones and Empty Bones. (Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2016)

fsf160102A first-published story, which bodes well for her writing future.

It’s more of a horror story than F/SF, but it’s well handled. A young girl is getting the eggs from the chicken coop, and finds the skeleton of a fox inside the coop. One that is running about. She removes the skeleton from the coop and her garden, and we learn more about her, and her mother, who is some form of a witch. It’s a contemporary setting, and with a contemporary touch with her girlfriend’s brother going missing, things start to take a darker turn.

The nature of the stones buried in her garden is revealed, but she is reluctant to use them to help her lover’s brothers. And in a neat final paragraph we find out the full extent of her reluctance.

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