I stumbled upon this story, “Cold Case,” which I wrote a few years ago and sent in a newsletter to members of my readers group. I’d forgotten all about it. I am now considering it for inclusion in Just in Case. Picking stories for a collection reminds me a little of choosing songs for a performance set. I wrote songs for a time in my youth and would perform occasionally (when I could get over my stage fright). I would spend quite a while considering which songs to include and what order they should be in. I’d envision as best I could the emotional journey the songs were likely to take the audience on. It involved a lot of guesswork. I think the same is true of organizing a collection of stories.
Of course it was a witch we outsmarted in the woods, not some feeble, senile neighbor. And yes, her home was built of candy and cake. Impossible? I have no time for people who don’t believe in magic. I am not a sociopath. She was about to eat my brother—me next, no doubt. You think the jewels make us look guilty, that it was all premeditated? You think we killed our stepmom, too? Outrageous! You have no proof. Hansel made a deal? He’ll never testify against me. Let’s just see what a jury has to say.
Would you include “Cold Case” in Just in Case? I’d’ love for you to write a comment and let me know your thoughts.