Prose, chapbook, 16 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
This short fiction chapbook chronicles four young women who arm themselves against discrimination and violence of the Old American West with the sacraments they know as magic and the strength they know as each other. Confined to their Mojave frontier town, Laura, Mabel, Grace, and Nellie long for lives beyond the forces that rob them of autonomy. They strive to defy the men who decide their fates as Mabel and Grace must hide their romance from the town.
Unable to release their rage out loud, the four women confront their enemies through rituals loosely drawn from an old pagan tome. After the mayor’s son threatens Laura on her way home from school, she seeks out the communal power of her friends to retaliate. The four draw from their practice and take action—steadfast in their beliefs in each other above all else.
Daria Deptula is an author and early childhood educator. They have a B.A. in History and an undergraduate certificate in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at Austin. Daria lived in Poland and Ukraine before moving to the United States at age eleven, and wrote their first novel in the ninth grade. Their short story “Final Memory” appeared in the anthology Courage is a Gift in March 2019, followed by the publication of “A Dead Message” in the literary e-journal Cleaning up Glitter. Daria’s debut novel, Solastella, was released in late 2020 from Thurston Howl Press. When they’re not reading or writing, Daria enjoys playing the piano, mandolin, and guitar. They live in Austin, Texas.