“Ondine” by Wayne Lee Gay from Saints & Sinners 2010: New Fiction from the Festival (Queer Mojo).

This story took first place in the contest the Saints & Sinners 2010: New Fiction from the Festival (Queer Mojo) anthology documents, and it’s easy to see why. This is a rich, evocative and thoroughly engaging story. The main character, Elizabeth, hails from a deeply religious, ultra-conservative family. They’ve tried to instill fear in her, yet she longs to break out of their world, and it’s possible to feel her spirit rising as the piece unfolds and she interacts with the other characters. But this story is more complex than can be told by her point of view alone. There are four viewpoint characters in this short piece and subtext at every turn. It’s a great, thought-provoking, beautifully rendered tale.