ISBN: 978-1-59948-937-7, ~120 pages, $15.95 (+ shipping)
Release Date: October 4, 2022
The Advance Discount price for this title has expired. For those who prefer to pay by check, the price is $19.95/book (which includes shipping + sales tax) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001.
PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.
Nancy Martin-Young has played with words in every iteration of her life: as an academic, a reporter, an editor, and a writer. Besides articles, poems, and short stories, she has also penned three romantic suspense/paranormal novels set in Raleigh near where she lives: Seeing Things, Hearing Things, and Sensing Things, plus a Regency novel, Wit and Prattles. The Last Girl Standing is the title of her poetry chapbook. Nancy is still married to the guy who took her to the prom. They share a passel of nearly perfect children and two spoiled-rotten basset hounds.
Above all, this collection celebrates the female voice—from retired superhero, to worn-out mom, to pregnant wife on the brink of madness—often with a bit of snark and always with a compelling twist. Through superb description and turn of phrase, Young captures our attention, as the tone of these stories progress to and through dark places, reaching light on the other side. ~Anne M. Kaylor, publisher, author of Floating a Full Boat and Unwilling to Laugh Alone
Southern Edge, Nancy Martin-Young’s stunning collection of short stories, brings into the light all that we keep hidden—even from ourselves. With generosity, a deep and unflinching understanding of human nature, and a great deal of wit, these stories give us insight into who we are and why we matter in the world. ~Mimi Herman, author of The Kudzu Queen
After their exposure to cosmic rays, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, Reed Richards, and Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four developed superhero powers.
Sue decided she was invisible.
When sculpted males jogged past her Saturday morning, their breath stayed even, and their eyes remained full forward. The Food Lion cashier didn’t return to his open lane as she unloaded her diet soda and cat litter. Instead, he lingered in lane six, chatting with the baggers.
And at the crowded brewery that night, the bartender never saw her standing at the corner signaling for a draft, though he served the slim and shapely redhead in the skimpy top next to her. “Um, excuse me?” Sue shouted silently after he’d passed over her the second time. Even if she emptied the tip jar, no one would notice. She couldn’t find her reflection among the faces in the mirror behind the bottles.
She slept with the cat that night.
During her slow jog around Crowder Park on Sunday morning, owners failed to tug their straining dogs from her path. A grubby toddler plopped down in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking the right-of-way while his mother texted. Neither looked up. Sue slogged by in the soggy ditch.
Couples strolled along every path, despite the cloudy day. Even the pond turtles clumped together. Sue cast no shadow on the grass.
Her Sunday mornings once consisted of lazy snuggles and a tug of war over the Times— before she discovered the motel receipt in Reed’s khakis, before he moved out to “find himself” with the help of a younger, thinner, altogether more visible woman.
Monday, recent rains nudged the muddy water over the bank at the lake near her condo, so Sue’s sneakers sank in the thick mulch coating the trail. Vaguely reminded of hamsters, she inhaled the cedar scent as the chips crept into her socks. Mist loitered in the cove where cypress knees bent over floating green islands of duckweed. The air hung heavy. Mallards huddled under shrubs, their necks curled and beaks tucked beneath a wing. No feathers rustled when she plodded past them, still invisible.
Invisibility’s a superpower, Sue reminded herself. A coveted one, better than Reed’s ability to twist and manipulate. She’d achieved this invisibility all on her own—no accessories needed. Yes, she had Wonder Woman beat. The sound she made wobbled between a laugh and a sob.
At the half-mile marker, a solitary drake squatted in the path ahead of her, refusing to budge as she approached.
Sue wished the sun would melt some of her flab while it burned off the haze. As she approached the bridge, she added a new verse to the jingle from the old Meow Mix commercial, a lyric she’d been refining throughout her self-improvement campaign:
No more fat rolls. No more jiggle.
No more Fritos. Lose that wiggle.
Keep on running. You can do it.
Don’t just stay a lump of suet …
Ignoring the sweat dripping from under her baseball cap and soaking her sports bra, she ran on, slowing only when she saw him up ahead, hulk-like, as if he’d grown out of the landscape.
He looked familiar. In fact, she was sure she’d seen him around.
To read the conclusion of “Visibility” and other stories in SOUTHERN EDGE, order now, have it delivered to your door and be among the first to receive it when it is released.