Fiction

Neighborly

A Saturday in autumn, early and quiet. It started simple like that. If it’d been one of her boys I would’ve laughed myself dead, but with Ruth in mind the whole thing seemed more serious somehow. Maybe cause we all knew her so well. We could imagine her coming out for the…

Murmuration

She left a little at a time. The way the starlings do, lifting from a line off into nowhere, one by one until they’re gone completely. First was the index finger on her right hand. She was numb from sugar, so she didn’t notice when it started to cook. That smell that…

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…

Last Light

The house had the appearance of a French villa but it was here in the middle of Ohio. Icicles hung from its eaves and the beige brick was bright against the snow, which had melted and then frozen again, forming a crust that Edward’s boots sank into once he stepped…

Sparkle

Inside the candyfloss pink ticket booth, Mavis—that’s what her name tag said—shifted her massive cardiganed breasts off the counter and looked out the customer window to see if there was anybody behind us. “Now, it’s not her usual thing,” Mavis said when she’d decided we were alone. “But.” Behind me,…

Trout Flashes

1. In the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia, sitting on a rock that juts like a peninsula into a little stream called Back Creek, my twelve-year-old brother—wiry, already chiseled and lean—wets a piece of bread between the tip of his tongue and his front teeth, takes it out, balls…

Gone to Water

God didn’t give us no lakes in Canard County. Too much downhill, too much push to the water. So when the government decided we could use some help, they dammed up our rivers and they made us lakes. Had us make them. The people I come from were good enough…

Dark Stars

You see a lot of it in law enforcement,” said Earl McClure, pouring himself another shot of Bulleit. “A family that one bad thing happens to, seemingly random, and then another and another, until it becomes a whole cluster of tragedies. And you don’t know why. Why them.” Jimbo Hunter…