"The Sin Eater" by Holly Tellander (1st Place) (2)
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snapped in her direction and the look on her face was something I had never seen. I’d never been called that word before, or been slapped so hard by hate.

My mom knew the move had crushed me. We’d all fallen asleep in her bed that night, dreaming our own dreams of things left behind. I’d felt her fingers twining in my curls, the way she always did when she was worried and I was close by. I knew she needed me to forgive her for bringing me here. So I did.

Great-aunt Barbara had opened up her home to us in exchange for helping her navigate her way through a growing dementia. Troy came home from his first day of school here talking nonstop about football tryouts the following week. He made the team, and lots of friends, and life moved on.

A year after arriving here...

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