One of the things that make us happiest here at One Story is when we publish writers for the very first time. “Safe Passage” is Ramona Ausubel’s first published story, but you would never know it from the sure and practiced hand she uses throughout this strange and beautiful journey. When I first read “Safe Passage,” I was entranced by the first line: “The grandmothers–dozens of them–find themselves at sea.” There is a quiet confidence to these words, and I was not surprised when I read Ramona’s Q&A and discovered that this sentence was the starting point for the entire story. As I continued reading I found myself really, really liking Alice–the tiny bits of information about her two husbands and children were all I needed to get a full understanding of her character. I got choked up and teary-eyed when the grandmothers said their goodbyes to fishy. And the wonderful surprises of the Santa Claus dolls and mounds of yellow roses falling from the shipping crates, along with Alice’s final dance in the water, all added to the overall feeling in this fantastic tale that death does not always have to be a tragedy. It can be a transformation, and a joyous one, at that.