Just received the final cover art for The Monster’s Corner, an anthology of short stories featuring the monster’s point of view. It will be out on September 27th, and it includes a Kate Shugak short story called “Siren Song.”
Last year in the news I saw a story about how sex traffickers are luring young Alaska Native women into prostitution. Alaska Natives are considered “versatile,” the article said, which means they can pass for Asian or Hawaiian, ethnicities evidently in high demand by the kind of men who want to have sex with children. (I don’t even like calling them men. What say we just call them assholes and be done with it?) Many of these kids are runaways from bad family situations in poor villages and they have no money and no support. After a few days on the streets of Anchorage, they get cold and hungry and become easy targets for grooming by pimps.
This story enraged me, as these stories invariably do, and then I had a thought. What if one of these girls had a plan? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one, just one of these girls, even if she’s only a girl in a story I made up, turned the tables on one of these sex traffickers?
At this opportune moment, Christopher Golden asked me for a short story for The Monster’s Corner, an anthology featuring “stories whose protagonists would otherwise be cast as the villain of the piece.” The result was “Siren Song.”