Cynthia J. McGean

Mrs. O’Leary’s Torment:  A gothic contemplation of the final moments in the life of Chicago’s most infamous cow owner.  Winner of the Oregon Writer’s Colony Short Story Contest.

Clockface:  A woman reaching her fortieth birthday awakens to find herself held captive by a bizarre, comical and threatening manifestation of her own biological clock.

Daemiel Watches:  In a dark and primitive fantasy world, a hideously twisted creature rescues a baby from child sacrifice and attempts to raise it as his own without succumbing to his primal urge to devour it.  2nd place, Kay Snow Awards, 2011; Honorable Mention, Writer’s Digest Horror Competition, 2011.

The Battle of the Pewhasset Pie Palace:  All Big Rosco has going for him is his love for Loretta, his big ears, and a windmill-tilting spirit worthy of Don Quixote.  Is that enough to save the Pewhasset Pie Palace from the clutches of the villainous Taco Charlie and the destructive power of The World Famous Twelve Flags Amusement Park and Arcade Extravaganza?  A lively, homespun tall-tale in the humorous vein of Mark Twain or Jean Shepherd.

Bread of Life: Destruction is just creation gone wrong, but nobody ever died from a story, did they?   In this feminine twist on the golem legend, a village storyteller spins a winter’s yarn that hides a vengeful purpose.  “Bread of Life” explores the sinister powers of creative artists and the uneasy role they play in a community.      

Carted Away:  When she moves to an unfamiliar city to escape grief, a middle-aged woman finds herself haunted by a portentous urban vision.  Set in Portland, Oregon, “Carted Away” meshes the real and the surreal, the untethered realm of the inner life and the anchoring details of external experience.  Semifinalist in the 2012 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

The Quiet Cross:  The struggles of a mother and her children play out through the simple, yet courageous act of attending Sunday Mass.

Blemishes and Grace:  How are the comforting rituals and routines of life impacted and disrupted by the death of someone whose greatest accomplishments were merely to honor those same daily niceties?  


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