A Halloween Masque is a short story by Avril Adams published in 2014 in Kings River Life.
Bridget drove a mile down the gravel road that ran parallel to the highway. She had almost forgotten about it as the shortcut to Cromwell. Bridget’s mother never took that road anymore, since the accident, but Bridget was in a hurry. When they curved around the first bend Bridget’s headlights illuminated a massive, twisted oak tree, its branches extending far across the road. There was a long, deep gash in the trunk of the tree where Victor’s car had veered into it that night last year on his way to the Junior Halloween dance. Bridget saw something moving in the brush beside the tree.
KRL is a California online magazine with a focus on the San Joaquin Valley and beyond. It has a strong mystery section and a growing fantasy/horror section as well. It features reviews of all sorts, author interviews, and short stories.
First Annual Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Contest – As part of Little Tokyo Historical Society’s 130th Anniversary of Little Tokyo (1884-2014) celebratory activities throughout the year, Little Tokyo Historical Society held a fictional short story contest that awarded cash prizes to the top three. The fictional story had to depict the current, past, or future of Little Tokyo as part of the City of Los Angeles, California.
Ernest Nagamatsu – Doka B-100
Rubén Guevara – Carlos & Yuriko
Satsuki Yamashita – Mr. K
Jeridel Banks – Smiles Sonata
Dimitri Ragano – The Guardians
Kiyoshi Parker – A Little Piece of Home
Avril Adams – A Wedding in Little Tokyo
Chester Sakamoto – Nihonmachi Serenade
A Wedding in Little Tokyo by Avril Adams uses magical realism to weave a story that incorporates the myths and traditions of ancient Japan into the fabric of everyday life. Under the stress of living as a Japanese woman in Los Angeles just before the start of World War II, there is a mysterious encounter with supernatural forces. Here is a preview of A Wedding in Little Tokyo:
As the light danced through the trees it moved toward her with apparent purpose and direction. Suddenly Miraku heard another burst of barks which roused the kit puppy. Pushing a snout through the pine branches, there appeared a snow white fox, a kitsune. Miraku counted five fluffy white tails arched over the vixen’s back and another four carried closer to the ground. Her eyes expressed quickness beyond the cunning of an ordinary fox. Miraku knew she was face-to-face with a vixen of great age and wisdom, capable of wondrous, magical feats. As the fox gazed cautiously at her, Miraku sensed a delicate sensitivity in the kitsune which gave the aspect of a lovely human courtesan. The fox bared her teeth when she spoke and the guard hairs around her nostrils moved together as a field of poppies traced by the wind.