Emilya Naymark is the author of the novels Hide in Place, out now, and Behind the Lie, out February 8, 2022.
Her short stories appear in A Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta, Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, and 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY.
She lives and writes in the Hudson Valley
I finally got to travel last week, and I loaded my kindle with plenty of reading material. Four in one week is not my personal best, that is reserved for the vacation where I read a book a day, ran out of books, and had to find a bookstore in a panic before the flight home. Obviously before kindles. I read a mystery novel (times 2), a memoir, and a sliver of vampire fiction by Octavia Butler, who never disappoints in the “taking a trope and turning it inside out, on its head, and sideways” department.
Although many living things communicate with each other (my dog certainly feels a burning need to let me know the mail has arrived the very moment it does), humans, at least on this planet, are the only ones who have language. And novels. And stories. And Instagram.
None of us live in the present, not unless we’re meditating, and even then it’s really hard. Mostly we live in the past. Sometimes in the future. Memories are fuzzy, mutable, and, depending on who you ask, highly inaccurate accounts of our past. Therefore, it’s safe to say we live in lala land most of the time.
Well, okay, I do. I admit it.
So, I asked the Miss Demeanors about their earliest memories.
These holiday seasons seem just as much about food and sitting down with family and friends as they are about gifts or any religious significance.
As I looked at my bounty of treats that included a metric ton of Christmas chocolate and even an authentic Jamaican Rum Cake baked by a friend from her grandmother’s recipe, my thoughts turned, as they are wont, to murder weapons. Specifically, poison.