Maria Bouroncle was born in 1965 in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. She has lived in Washington D.C. since 2002. An economist by profession, Maria—who spent over 25 years in the field of international development—published her first book in 2018, and subsequently decided to pursue her passion for writing professionally. “It Came to Me on a Whim” has been translated into several languages and is currently used on the Scandanavian Crime Literature Course at UCLA.
2023 Shrimpy Award-Winning Entry It Came to Me on a Whim (Excerpt)
“Why haven’t you opened the blind in the bedroom?”
Ingeborg was sitting at the kitchen table, fiddling with the watch Artur had left behind on the wax tablecloth with its green floral pattern.
“We got all the way out into the woods before I noticed I’d forgotten my watch. What time is it anyway?” asked Artur.
“See for yourself,” replied Ingeborg slowly.
Artur glanced at the American clock on its shelf in the corner. Half past eleven. So they would have time to fetch another load from the woods before dinner. But first, he would just go and open the blind — it shouldn’t be left down in broad daylight. What would the neighbours say? He walked across the kitchen in the direction of the bedroom. The lug of the copper washtub was sticking out from behind the half-open door. But Artur had left the washtub in the kitchen. Why had Ingeborg dragged it in there? She should have finished the laundry ages ago, anyway.
Suddenly it struck him: the windows had not fogged up as they usually did in the winter when she hung up the laundry indoors. There was a sour smell, and the house was unusually quiet.
“Where are the children?” he asked, receiving no answer.
On opening the door to the bedroom, Artur saw the large, round copper washtub sitting just inside. It was half full of water, and the rest had spilled out onto the floor.