Stacy Lash, Maine Author

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The Magic Twenty-Two

the magic 22 front

Sometimes I think that I need to pick a genre and stick with it. Others, I tell myself that what makes my writing unique is that one day I can get off on a feminist dystopia tangent, the other enmeshed in a sordid romance. And, every once in a while, a fantasy/horror pops up. That’s what happened when I wrote The Magic Twenty-Two.

Sort of.

Let me explain with a little more detail.

One hot summer day, I was sitting alongside of my Olympic size swimming pool, fanning myself with hundred-dollar bills, sneaking cougar-esque glances at the very young, very rippling early-twenty-ish bulge in my pool boy’s Speedo’s. I thought to myself, “My, my. He’s probably not even twenty-two. Does that make me a pedophile?”

Cue .wav file of screeching acetate LP.

I’ll begin again, this time seated in reality.

One dreary summer day, when the rain felt like it wouldn’t end until the upcoming apocalypse, I began to think about the tragic state I found myself in. A year previous, my beloved step-father had put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. I was still falling asleep to the image of his bulging, bleeding eyes. Still waking up in the middle of the night after nightmares about seeing him but never getting him to respond to me, and all the time knowing that as I followed him, he was heading off to find a good place to put a bullet in his brain.

My brother had moved to London to pursue his PhD. My mother had withdrawn to the point that I felt like little more than a stranger to her.

I said to my husband, “You know, it’s almost like he killed them both. That he pulled that trigger and he didn’t just kill himself, he killed her too.”

And that’s when The Magic Twenty-Two was born.

I used the character of Leon to encapsulate the horror of what had happened. He personified depravity.

The Magic Twenty-Two is what I would describe as an experiment. There’s a little bit of magic in it. Some talk of curses. The delving into social outliers.

And there’s a lot of death.

Need I say more?

Pick up a copy of The Magic Twenty-Two at – a subsidiary of



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