by Maria Haskins
Read her story Silver and Shadow, Spruce and Pine here.
When I wrote this story, one of the things that was on my mind was how we view old people, like our parents and grandparents. Often, I think, we see them as though they have always been old, as if they’ve always been parents and grandparents. I guess that’s natural, especially when you’re a child. But every old person was once a young person, every old person has nuances and complexities in their past (and present). We all have regrets, and in every life there are choices we might have made, roads we might have taken, that would have led us somewhere different. I was fortunate enough to know both my grandmothers pretty well, and I know they had some interesting stories from when they were younger. And I also think about that know, when I’m older, realizing how much a life can hold, and how the way we’re seen as we’re aging might not at all fit with how we are, or how we see ourselves.
I love writing stories with grandparents and parents, and stories that involve “older” people, as in: people who are older than 50. And I do think there’s something to be said for doing that purposefully because it can help put a new spin on old tropes and fairytales, and maybe provide a new depth and a new angle that change the way we see an old familiar story, and also how we think about aging and older people.
Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and reviewer of speculative fiction. She debuted as a writer in her native Sweden, and currently lives just outside Vancouver with a husband, two children, several birds, a snake, and a very large black dog.
Her short story collection Six Dreams About the Train & Other Stories was published in 2021 by Trepidatio Publishing. Her work has previously appeared in The Best Horror of the Year Volume 13, Black Static, Interzone, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Bracken Magazine, Mythic Delirium, Shimmer, Cast of Wonders, PseudoPod, Escape Pod, The Deadlands, Diabolical Plots, Kaleidotrope, and elsewhere.