Fiction

Berry Patch

It was not so much that Herbert was gone, although she missed him, but how he’d done it, that bothered Irene. Sometimes she could go a whole day and not think about him, at least not to dwell on it. But her brother John insisted on coming over from Richmond…

Circulation

Booth Chandler still thought of the Issaqueena Star as his newspaper even though he’d long since sold it to the assholes in Virginia—and grown rich and fat in the process. Now he had an opportunity to become some kind of executive with our parent company, which I’d been waiting for him to…

When We Are Clay Again

You were a creature of the highway, a growling ghost with a rib cage visible underneath a thin layer of Tennessee clay-covered fur. You were never mean, but at first you had the ferocity of a buzzing hornet, too afraid to stay in one place. When Grandfather found you by the side of the road, I remember…

Second Coming

I had known all my life the world would end with the new millennium, that Jesus would return and save the faithful and leave the wicked, and that girls who didn’t want to be left behind had better behave. I knew this because my father told me, me and the rest of the congregation at the Little Martha…

Fish and Wildlife

Drew 1957 I was trailing after my father on a path between tall pines, heading back to our cabin at Kentucky Lake. We’d hiked to the bait shop before anybody else had come awake so Daddy could phone Number One. Daddy runs coal mines down in the mountains, and Number…

My Side

It’s taken me four long nights to accept the fact that I don’t have to huddle on the left side of the bed anymore. I can spread out. I can sprawl in the middle. I can leave my light on. I can eat chocolate chip cookies on the duvet, or…

This Must Be the Place

The clouds overhanging the horizon are the color of coal, and beyond that clot of shadows William can see veins of coursing light–but he spares them no thought. For now there is only the pale sky above and the highway like dark and yellow-lined water passing beneath the old convertible as…

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…