The Ford Page 99 test of Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale

Have you ever heard of the Page 99 Test? Because Mother’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d give it a go with Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale. In the story, Ginny is trying to solve the riddle of her past regarding a mother she never knew.

Here’s page 99:

“How are you called?” Old Mariachi said, triple counting his money.

“Espy,” I said.

“Do not worry, we will help you with your lies.” That old guy spooked me.

Sophia, glued to my side, played with her shiny black ponytail.

“Where’d you get that necklace?” I asked, pulling mine out from under my mariachi outfit.

“I won’t tell you.” He walked to the van.

“Why?” I said putting one foot in front of the other, right behind him.

“Because, my dear, you will find that most things left buried need never be dug up,” he said pocketing a wad of cash in his back pocket. I wanted to punch him for not answering me. For treating me like a child. And then he spun around and said, “That necklace and your vihuela could only have found you four ways, and all of them are dead,” he said.

My vihuela.

“So, you’ve been visited.” He wiped his head, sat on the front bumper of the van and stared at the tie-dyed sky.

“What’s your name?” I said in a whisper not expecting an answer.

“Carlos. Carlos Mendoza Di Ortega,” he said examining my face, with raised eyebrows.

He kissed my hand like princes do in fairy tales. “What bathed La Güera, you see, were all the good wishes her audiences gave her. They asked God to keep her for many years. They prayed her voice would never end. But all things do. They do.”

If you want to read more, Winnemucca is available to sample or purchase here:

SMASHWORDSKINDLE | PAPERBACK | NOOK | Or buy at these Independent Book Stores


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