Entry Nickname: Remember Me
Title: THE GOSSAMER VEIL
Word Count: 75,000
Genre: Adult/Historical Fiction
Fifteen-year-old Katya watched her family starve to death one by one. She buried her dreams of a happy ending along with the bullet-riddled body of the love of her life. Her survival during Stalin’s assault on Ukraine is a testament to her strength, but it came at an unforgivable price. Now, in the twilight of her life, the secrets she has kept buried for decades have come back to haunt her.
Summer Porter just wanted to stop the nightmares, and nearly died doing so when she accidentally overdosed in high school. Doctors labeled her schizophrenic, but the dreams she’s endured her whole life are something far different. While away at college, she discovers that painting the horrifying images in her mind prevents the dreams. A normal life seems almost possible, till she moves back home. There, the night terrors return and the lure of a quick pill fix threatens everything she has worked so hard for.
Desperate for a change, Summer jumps at the chance to move in with her ailing great-grandmother Katya. Their renewed relationship compels the old woman to do something she swore she’d never do: rip open the scars of her youth and tell her life story. Hearing this confession awakens an inexplicable connection between the two women. This bond may be Summer’s only opportunity to understand and end her nightmares for good and Katya’s last chance at the forgiveness she has spent a lifetime yearning for.
First 250 Words:
When the first shot rang out, the basket my mother had packed slipped from my fingers. Bread spilled to the ground, forgotten, as I raced towards my aunt’s house. Alina yelled for me to stop, but her voice barely whispered in my ear. All I could hear was my cousin Sasha screaming.
My sister caught up and tackled me to the ground. We landed in a snowdrift next to my aunt and uncle’s barn, hidden from view. I had almost made it to the yard. Her speed saved my life that day, but I was too foolish to thank her for it then.
“Katya!” Alina hissed into my ear. Our limbs tangled and our heavy cloaks twisted around us, but it didn’t stop me from trying to wrestle away from her. My arm throbbed where her hand dug into it. “Stop! You can’t let them see us!”
“I don’t care!” I wrenched my left leg from under her and rolled onto my stomach. Snow made its way into my boots and under my thick skirts. The icy crystals numbing my leg scarcely registered. Desperation pushed me forward. “We have to help them!”
I yanked off my cumbersome cloak and left it so I could crawl away from her. Sasha’s screams had stopped, but I was close enough now to hear her quiet whimpering and my uncle’s pleading voice.
“Please!” Alina begged from behind me. “You know it’s too late for them!”