DEVIN GOVAERE  

   Editor / Author 

 
Imaginary Houses

In 1973, Gabby Duncan is on track to escape her bucolic hometown of Haven Ridge, Pennsylvania. Gifted with a scholarship to Boston University and slated to be co-valedictorian, she’s cutting ties and backing away from most of her friendships except for Max, Steve, and Tony, three neighborhood boys who have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Gabby’s last few months of high school should be easy and breezy, but she gets derailed when Joyce Patterson, her academic rival, decides to be the only valedictorian and sets out to make the rest of Gabby’s senior year a living hell. Gabby could handle that, but her English teacher has just given the class a major assignment: write an essay about the watershed moment in their lives. The last thing Gabby wants to do is relive the summer of 1967, when she spent her last year as a child, riding her bike and playing an invented game called Imaginary House. Her days then were happy until her town and world turned upside down.

Now Gabby will have to wind her way through that summer, remembering events and people she’d rather forget, particularly Pete Steinmetz, the boy she's buried so deep she fears bringing his memory to light. As she revisits her past, she’s forced to remember how her perceptions of life fell apart, how her trust in people evaporated, and how the thrill of young love died before it had a chance to blossom. She also must face why she clings so closely to her three male friends and why bad boy Tony, who shadows her like a fleeting promise, makes her feel things she’d rather not feel. Mostly though she’ll have to once again face what she's tried to forget: that most people live in imaginary houses and lead imaginary lives that hold very little outward truth and often a great deal of pain.

Girrrl

 

Surrounded by fears. And all of them real.

 

There isn’t much that doesn’t frighten ten-year-old Kelly Carter—the dark, the water, monsters, you name it—but she’s about to enter the summer of all fears. When Kelly and her family arrive at Kildare Lake, she knows it’s not for vacation. They’ve come to say goodbye to her little brother, Cody, who is dying.

 

Kelly tries to be brave for Cody, but everything around her is plagued by darkness and mystery, and all of it is scary. Dangerous things lurk beneath calm water, and shadows swirl through the lake. Her parents tell her there’s nothing to be afraid of, but she doesn’t believe them. Her fears are real, and when her mother seems to go crazy, somehow, scared or not, Kelly must find the courage to keep her brother safe. Even if it means going into the water.

 

Girrrl was previously published by Samhain. This story is 30,000 words.

The Thirteenth Child

 

In the not-too-distant future, everything is perfect until the unthinkable happens… 


Will Madison lives a perfect life in a beautiful house in a

charming neighborhood. He has a fulfilling job as a teacher and historian, and lovely Tricia is the perfect wife.


Will makes every decision in his life based on what he

knows of the past and what he believes best for the future, but the thought of losing everything he has is unthinkable. So he never tells a soul about the dark times, about Tricia’s bad thoughts and tears or the emotional turmoil his life secretly holds. They get through her bad times by focusing on the next child. The children are for Trish, something personal he can do for her, but the decisions Will makes must be made for the collective good. Always. History has taught him that.


When the van pulls into his driveway bringing his thirteenth son, Will’s worst nightmare begins to unfold. For Tricia, Peter is Lucky 13, but for Will, the boy’s appearance signals the end of his perfect world and everything he’s ever believed. As his life crumbles  around him, Will cleans up the pieces in the only way  he knows how. 

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                         The Thirteenth Child was previously published by Samhain as Lucky 13.

 

Bootleg Cove

 

Some waters have secrets…

                            especially the waters of Bootleg Cove.

 

In 1967, young widow Willie Douglas and her four-year-old son move to remote Bootleg Cove on the shore of Chesapeake Bay with a plan to renovate and re-open an abandoned restaurant. With no real-world experience, Willie is grateful when Harry Warner, a local handyman, shows up out of the blue, offering to help. When Amanda and Sam, two lost siblings, came to her door in need of help and a place to stay, softhearted Willie takes them in, happy to have the company.

 

But despite her new friends, Willie is having trouble adjusting to her life of isolation. It’s not just the sweltering heat and constant storms wearing on Willie’s already fragile emotions.  Her mysterious handyman seems to know more than he’s willing to share, Amanda and Sam are acting strange, and Willie is seeing too many things that she can’t explain or refuses to believe.  She’s starting to realize that all three of her companions have more history with Bootleg Cove than she could possibly imagine.

 

But the most shocking revelation about Bootleg Cove is still to come…

 

This story was previously published by Samhain and is 26,300 words.

 


R a m o n a

 

Start young… Do it right.

 

A smart, enterprising girl, Ramona knows it’s never too early to start honing her craft. After all, practice makes perfect, and she practices plenty, waiting for the day it will all be real, the day the glass will shatter.

 

That day has finally come…

 

Ramona is a short story of 4,100 words.