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2018 Nominee

Flickers

By Arthur Slade. Published in 2016 by HarperCollins

Isabelle and Beatrice are twins born near Lethbridge, AB, in 1913. Only a few years later, in 1926, their life has changed dramatically. Both of their parents have died, their home has burned to the ground, and the girls are in Santa Monica, CA, living as the wards of Mr. Cecil, an up-and-coming director of movies, or flickers as they were known at the time. Although they are twins, the two girls couldn’t be more different. Isabelle is pretty and has become a film star thanks to Mr. Cecil’s tutelage. She has only starred in silent films to date, but she is soon to have a role in the very first talking picture to hit movie screens. Her biggest asset is a piercing and powerful scream – and soon it will actually be heard by theatre audiences. Beatrice, on the other hand, was badly scarred as a baby and spends her time in seclusion at the Cecil estate, absorbed in science books and an insect collection and not being included in any of the Hollywood activities. This gives her time to think, and more and more she begins to wonder about what happened to her and her twin as infants and the role Mr. Cecil has played in their lives and in various other disturbing coincidences at the estate in Santa Monica. He isn’t always the caring guardian he portrays, and his upcoming movie begins to take on a chilling, even evil, quality which Beatrice senses but cannot quite explain.

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