SpecFicNZ Short Story Winner Live!


SpecFicNZ is thrilled to announce the release of our first place SpecFicNZ/Wily Short Story Contest, “Wearing the Star Cloak”, by Darian Smith, narrated by SpecFicNZ member Dan Rabarts.


There’s a moment, just before waking, when I forget it’s gone. I feel the ghost of it on my shoulders, the warmth inside. It boosts my confidence and makes me stronger. I am more myself. I am ready to rule the islands and mould the day to my bidding.

Opening my eyes is a disappointment. My old bones ache with the craving. It’s been missing from me for almost three decades, but I feel it just the same. I am simply an old man with his memories and regrets. I had my chance. I was not worthy.

The woven flax that covers my doorway is brushed aside to reveal the antidote to my thoughts. Iolani smiles like the last of the sun glinting off the dark ocean at twilight. They say that our children and grandchildren are our greatest treasure. Iolani is mine.

“Good morning, Grandpa. I brought you breakfast.” She lays a tray lined with banana leaves beside my sleeping mat. It is covered in sliced pawpaw, banana and coconut.

“You’re a good girl.”

Her eyes dance and her smile gets even wider, then her face twitches and the smile disappears.

“What is it?”

She shakes her head. “Nothing, Grandpa. Enjoy your breakfast.”

I roll quickly to my feet and tug the flax mat covering the window away. Sunlight fills the bure. Iolani turns as though to leave, but there’s speed in my old bones yet. I grasp her by the shoulders and turn her to face me, peering closer. In the corner of her lip, there is a smudge of blood. “Who did that?”

Be sure to go read or hear the rest HERE.

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