Earlier this week, we highlighted a new anthology of fantasy stories: The Toll of Another Bell. One of the stories included in the collection is Jilted River by Ginger Mann: a great tale about an Appalachian fairy tale that attracts visitors to a state park, but then they start to disappear.
Fifteen-year old twins Trystan and Wagner live with their father, a Park Ranger frequently called out to rescue people stuck in “the Hollows,” a deep sinkhole off limits to hikers. Daredevils attempt to access the area, ignoring warning signs and common knowledge that compasses, radios, phones and electronics don’t work there.
The allure is a forest legend of fairies with a siren song; men often disappear to return with no memories or not at all. In Jilted River, the twins’ Father becomes the latest to go missing, and it is up to the teens to save him (and the others) from the forest. Along the way, they discover the fairytale has some elements of truth to it, and they need all the help they can get to overcome supernatural forces at work. You will find your self rooting for them as they face extraordinary obstacles and cosmic events.
I really enjoyed everything about this story; the Appalachian setting, the well crafted legend, the authentic teenage characters, the overprotective parent, the fast paced plot and excellent storytelling. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fresh take on the fantasy genre.
Ginger Mann is a poet, musician, and digital security engineer. If you can’t find her doing those things, look for a woman chasing around her small children with a camera. A Texas artist, she enjoys writing for other Texans. Her song, “River Night”, premiered on October 12, 2013 in North Austin. During that same weekend, her first short story, “China Doll,” began selling on Amazon.com.
She is also a key writer, and digital security adviser, for “Think Before You Click,” the Cyber-Safety campaign of legal counsel, Rick Mann. Ginger lives with her family in the Austin, Texas area.