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Short stories from The Vicious Circle

The Bend in the Road


The Whistler Writers Group, also known as The Vicious Circle, will be presenting the Whistler Writers Festival Nov. 3-14, 2004. The festival is designed for writers and readers, with a smorgasbord of creative events, including: discussions with and readings by award-winning West Coast authors; a workshop to inspire new writers; and an intensive workshop for emerging writers on craft and the publishing industry. A schedule of events is available through Stella Harvey at or by calling her at 604-932-4518.

The Bend in the Road is the third of four short stories written by members of the Vicious Circle that will run in Pique Newsmagazine from Oct. 15 to Nov. Nov. 5. These stories are part of a collection of stories by local writers that will be released at the festival. The journal, appropriately called The Vicious Circle, will be available for sale at the festival for $5. Enjoy the stories! And check out the various events open to the public at the Whistler Writers Festival.

The Bend in the Road

By Brandi Higgins

The alarm goes off and sleepy eyes try to open. A wet nose touches a hand, and a paw comes on the bed. A whine imploring that they go now. Rising to the chill and semi-darkness of the early winter morning, the woman puts on warm clothes and grabs a pair of woollies. The puppy at her side is insistent and grabs the side of her jogging pants trying to hurry her downstairs. She pauses. The sleepy cats, who have spent all night playing amongst the plants and furniture, now sleep wearily in their chairs by the fire. She pets them, then moves onto the hallway and puts on a warm coat, toque, mitts and heavy winter boots. The puppy, knowing now that they are really going, waits quietly by the door for the bright blue leash and collar that stand out against the soft black velvet of his thick puppy fur.

The door opens and they are out in crisp winter air. It feels cold on their warm sleepy morning skin, but the woman knows that it will get much colder than this, and that they will be thinking of these mornings as warm in a few months time. The ground is covered with snow, but yesterday’s warming and then last night’s freezing has compacted the fluffy powder and formed a thick crust of ice atop it. The two stamp the ground and walk down the drive. They are met by the sound and smell of cars warming up while their owners sit inside trying to get one last drink of coffee before heading off to work. They walk quickly to the road that is called Sandy Beach and turn down it. It is a road that leads to a river, and a small piece of sandy land that the teenagers use for parties on warm summer nights. There are no houses near it, and there are no parties now that winter has come.