Little Layna Adelaide learns to fear the softest sounds. For, like the softest hands that do terrible things, it is the creak and moan, the glass's clink, the sucked-in breath: all these the many sounds that teach her to run.
Warning: "Mudbelly" is not a happy story. It may remind of you of things you've been trying to forget. It did for me.
This short story is an excerpt of Starfall, a magical realist take on the adage, Be careful what you wish for. "Mudbelly" starts at the beginning of things, though it is not the beginning of the novel.