|5,348 words/17 pages double spaced
|First person, present tense
|Iris's mother, whose name isn't mentioned
|Married mother of six children and member of a nature-based tribal community. She physically cannot speak for an unnamed reason, and uses her hands, her expressions, and sometimes her writing to communicate.
|Iris: The focus of the story; it is about her coming-of-age ritual.
Aubrey: The protagonist's husband
Briar: A teenage boy whose coming of age worries Iris
Laurel: A love interest girl
|Indeterminate time, small village culture; probably in another dimension or another planet
|Iris's mother has always had trouble communicating with her daughter, and it isn't just because she lacks the ability to speak. This daughter is different from her oldest two, and she finds herself confused as to how to guide her into womanhood. Iris's mother tries her best to prepare her daughter for her sunday--a day when she has to choose her first love in a ceremony--and she finds through Iris's choice that they have more in common than she previously thought.
|Information, inspiration, and other notes
|This story is a complete rewrite of a concept I originally wrote in my short story "Grace." Only one or two lines and some names remain from the original. Like "Grace," this story is very heavily influenced by Joan D. Vinge's short story "Mother and Child"; though the plot is not at all the same, the general mood and inspiration came from that story. Interestingly, nearly everyone uses sign language in Ms. Vinge's story, and mine is the opposite. The story was chosen for publication and appeared in Kaleidotrope's summer 2015 issue.
|[Sketch of main character]
SHORT STORIES PAGE