Shimmerville, Tales Macabre and Curious

Shimmerville, Tales Macabre and Curious

by Gary Earl Ross

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Welcome to Shimmerville . . .

The Urban Refugee Camp sits in the shadow of a crystal gray city. Behind its concertina wire fences are old tents and lean-tos of corrugated fiberglass or plastic sheeting tacked to wooden frames. Inside these are ghosts in cast-off clothing, wrapped in stolen blankets and damp sleeping bags, human detritus left in the wake of a changing world.
These ghosts never walk the night. They are permitted to leave the compound only by day, to seek handouts or housing or temporary work. There are makeshift kitchens that serve hot food and businesses that let the indigent sweep sidewalks or shovel snow. But most of those who live here are unseen by the city that towers above them, that grows upward and outward with no thought of the bones beneath its cornerstones. At dusk the ghosts trudge back to Shimmerville, for if they are not inside by dark, they will be locked out—and there is nowhere else to go.
No one knows who gave Shimmerville its name, but there are hundreds of similar camps across the country, places designed to hold the disparate and desperate by-products of urban renewal, racism, globalization, catastrophic illness, stock market crashes, rabid partisan politics, and failed wars on poverty, drugs, and terrorism. The URC is a purgatory for the forgotten, an open-air mausoleum for those who shimmer with the semi-visibility of the might-as-well-be dead . . .
An old man and his daughter appear at the gate one evening in early October, just as the air is beginning to grow colder and the homeless inside realize how flimsy their clothing really is. The old man’s voice is rich and thick and sweet, like Turkish coffee with too much raw sugar. The camp has never had a storyteller before . . .

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013373228
Publisher: The Writer's Den
Publication date: 09/14/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 230
File size: 688 KB

About the Author

Gary Earl Ross is a language arts professor at the University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center. He is the author of the short story collections The Wheel of Desire (2000) and Shimmerville (2002), the children’s story Dots (2002), the novel Blackbird Rising (2009), and the stage plays Sleepwalker (2002), Picture Perfect (2007), The Best Woman (2007) and Matter of Intent (2005), winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award from Mystery Writers of America. Ross edited Nickel City Nights (2008) and co-edited (with Gunilla Theander Kester) The Empty Chair: Love and Loss in the Wake of Flight 3407 (2010) and The Still Empty Chair (2011). A member of the Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Dramatist Guild, and Mystery Writers of America, Ross is also resident playwright for Buffalo’s renowned Ujima Company. His most recent plays are Murder Squared (2010) and The Scavenger’s Daughter (2011-12).

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