Planned Development

Jack Hodges ignored the mechanical voice of the GPS urging him to turn around. The roads didn’t exist yet, but he recognized the stand of redbud trees. He had played here as a child every Sunday after church while his parents enjoyed their weekly picnic.

He followed two meandering ruts cut into the reddish-clay soil. Tall dropseed grass scraped against the bottom of his truck, and his approach flushed a covey of Northern Bobwhite quail who were feeding on the seeds. A red-tailed hawk soared into view, tracking their retreat through the tall stalks.

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Stephen Brown is the author of Shadows of Chaco Canyon, an historical mystery novel. A National Park Service Albright-Wirth grant to research the Underground Railroad led to his second book: A Promise Moon. He is scheduled to graduate from Spalding University’s MFA Program in November 2017 and his preliminary master’s thesis has been accepted as an online resource by the University of New Mexico.

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