GAIL D. OBERST
Gail Oberst is an Oregon journalist, editor, publisher and novelist. The rebellious daughter of an itinerant preacher, she brings her unique experiences -- from commercial fishing, to stripping on Anchorage's Fourth Avenue -- to her fiction and nonfiction. She has completed two novels and a collection of essays called Wetlands. She is seeking a publisher and an agent. To view or purchase her first novel, Valkyrie Dance, click here. The first page of Valkyrie Dance is below.
February 1982, Sixth Street jail, Anchorage, Alaska
“Mayim, listen to me: He raped Kellie and killed the kitten and then took our rent money, told us he spent it on plane tickets to the job in Oregon, which was a lie. So we were getting kicked out of our apartment. Then he got me into that fight, and I got hurt, and that racked up a huge hospital bill. He stole all my pain medication and started threatening us with the guns. There were three of us, and one of him, but we are in so much trouble because of him. God, May-May, we had no place to go in the middle of winter!
So, we went back to talk to Don a few nights ago. Don! He’s the one who suggested someone should take care of Jim. Don was mad at Jim too,
I guess because Jim had figured out what Don was doing to those girls and couldn’t keep his mouth shut about it. Don wanted Jim dead, we wanted him dead. Everyone wanted Jim dead.
Me, Kellie and Charlie thought if we could just get rid of Jim, we could sell all that stuff in the apartment to Don and at least pay the rent until summer. We thought maybe Don would fence it for us, help us out if he knew we took care of Jim like he wanted us to.
Kellie was the one who thought of taking Jim hunting for rabbits. He loved to hunt. I don’t know how he fell for it. We’d all been fighting for weeks. Look, I still have bruises and scars from the fight that bastard started, and I still get these headaches from the concussion.
That night after you dropped him off, he was at the apartment drunk and pissy, and he started in again calling Charlie names. That was it. I opened my mouth and said, ‘Hey Jim. How would you like to go hunting in the morning?
We could go up toward Palmer and get us some fat rabbits, make sure these guns work.’ I was pointing to some of the stolen guns – did you see them? I don’t think you’ve been up at the apartment since we got our latest haul. We hit a house a few nights ago that had a garage full of stuff …
Thank you for getting in touch!
One of our colleagues will get back to you shortly.
Have a great day!