How to Bury Your Dog
by Eva Silverfine
GENRE: Literary/Upmarket fiction
Lizzy has largely retreated from the world: she tends her adopted strays and goes to work, but she has forsaken lifelong pastimes and declines invitations from old friends. On the day she buries Happy, the abandoned basset hound she adopted years before, she learns a real estate developer is threatening the heart of her rural community—a tranquil pond and a relict stand of hemlocks. For Lizzy this is a magical place, hidden from the modern world.
Coaxed by an old friend to join a group fighting the development, Lizzy is reluctant—she wants to avoid both hope and him. But she realizes she can no longer keep the outside world at bay. As the battle over the development unfolds, Lizzy opens herself to two young neighbors who share her love of the natural environment—an awkward sixteen-year-old and an inquisitive ten-year-old. And as Happy’s elements return to the earth, buried memories find their way to the surface in increasingly curious ways.
Lizzy had wandered toward the pond herself that morning after a restless night. Her mind had been full of the day’s trip, which overall had been predictable and therefore frustrating. She took her usual route through the woods to the bluff. A bird called relentlessly—she recognized its song, but she couldn’t remember its name, even though Wes had told her so many times. She had never tried very hard to remember because its name was not important to her. She didn’t need to name the bird to be reassured by its call, to be reassured by knowing it was there and living the life it was supposed to live, to be reassured there was a world much bigger than herself. It was in knowing there was a world bigger than her own life that she typically found comfort, but this morning she was experiencing the other side: that she was too small to affect the course of events unfolding in her own backyard.
As Lizzy approached the bluff, she saw the sourwoods were in flower—racemes of dainty white urns were calling in the honeybees. She walked to the edge of the bluff and looked over the hemlocks standing firm on their perilous slope.
Even if she hadn’t known the hemlocks were relicts of another era, the bluff had always seemed an ancient place, a magical place, hidden from the modern world. An earthy scent emanated from the ground— humus and moss overlain with the sweet aromatic sheath of shed hemlock needles and branchlets. She loved the hemlocks—their form, their scent, their flat, dark green leaves.
From living above her parents’ hardware store in Brooklyn, New York, to living a mile down a gravel road in semi-rural Texas with her husband, sons, and the local wildlife, Eva Silverfine has explored a variety of urban to rural landscapes. On that journey, she earned two degrees in the environmental sciences, worked in an entomological research lab, and eventually retooled as a copyeditor. She freelances for several academic presses and writes personal narrative and fiction in the in-between spaces. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of online journals; she has published a collection of essays, Elastic Walls: From Brooklyn to Texas and Points in Between; and her novels, How to Bury Your Dog and Ephemeral Wings, have been published by Black Rose Writing. Find her at www.evasilverfine.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Eva Silverfine will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway