Author: Suzanne Kamata
Publisher: Kelsay Books, 2022
Waiting My brother Benjamin waits for Gent our lost cocker spaniel to come home. Dad waits for his boss to give him a promotion. Mom waits for portents and signs. My boyfriend waits for me to say “yes.” I wait for the future far away from here. The town waits for a missing girl to turn up and tell us it was all just a joke. Vigil My little brother Benjamin fills the plastic dish only to later dump the untouched nuggets and fill the dish again, a ritual a sacrificial offering to our lost cocker spaniel. He’s gone door to door promising mown lawns washed windows shined cars in exchange for information. No one helps. Everyone is more concerned about the disappearance of a young woman. Young women disappear with alarming regularity. Two dead, in the woods naked. A third still missing. Shira Bates. Shira I was invited to her birthday party in kindergarten. I tried to wrap up my mother’s engagement ring after snatching it from a crystal saucer while she washed dishes a suitable gift for such a princess of a girl I thought. Mom caught me spanked my behind made me give Shira a Barbie with silky blonde hair smooth skin wearing the latest fashions like the birthday girl herself. I was more Raggedy Ann. Later, Shira and I drifted apart. She fell in with the cheerleaders became star of the chorus girlfriend to Number One Hottie Greg Shealy found God. While I faded into gawkiness good grades and hid behind glasses and my long stringy hair. Invisible me. Her Voice On the last day of school a week before she went missing Shira Bates sang with the chorus in the school cafeteria while I ate my blueberry yogurt. Her voice blended then soared above, the others went silent, listening to her solo before jumping back in again. That girl could sing angels out of the sky, could get larks to land on her outstretched hands, I thought with a kind of wonder instead of the usual jealousy that I felt around Shira Bates.
ABOUT THE BOOK
American Suzanne Kamata attended Lexington High School in South Carolina with Sharon Faye “Shari” Smith, who was kidnapped and murdered by Larry Gene Bell in 1985. This crime compelled the writing of Waiting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She now lives in Japan with her husband and two children. Her short stories, essays, articles and book reviews have appeared in over 100 publications. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a Special Mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/Wingspan Fiction Contest, winner of the Paris Book Festival, and winner of a SCBWI Magazine Merit Award.
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