This story first appeared in Black Treacle magazine in August, 2013. I encourage you to go read it there and support them.
NELL WATCHED a beetle trundle past her shoe. The white lady gurgled like a backed-up sewer, and then she was quiet and there were only the wet smacking sounds of Grandmother eating.
The white lady’s gun lay in the dirt. Nell thought about taking it, but it was too heavy and too long–at least twice as long as the rifle Mama was teaching her to shoot. Instead she dragged it into the shadows and hid it beneath some scrap wood. The spyglass on top looked valuable, but Nell didn’t have time to salvage it.
Nell raised her head to scan the wooden walls of Fort Jefferson. They were in terrible danger this close, she knew, but Grandmother got the woman’s throat before she could raise an alarm, and the rest of the fort was still and quiet. It wasn’t the first time Grandmother’s hunger had got them out of trouble. Continue Reading