Fiction

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…

The Fullback

He is an eclipse. He is divine intervention. He is the fullback. Like a vessel launched from a bed of flames sent spearing into an unsuspecting sky, he tears into the fabric of space and opens a passageway for the lone man behind him. The crazed din of the crowd…

Junebug

From the kitchen window I can see two little girls lying in my yard like small sacks of brightly-dressed potatoes. My daughter June is walking among them, followed by another girl struggling with my wheelbarrow. June is draping one prone girl with a sheet, my good sheets, given to us…

Warble

It’s a warble,” said her Uncle Ted. “See em in squirrels sometimes.” He drew on his cigarette and Leena watched its smoke spread out like fog around her mother’s face. It was a typical summer Saturday afternoon, she and her mother “baking,” as her mother called it, in deck chairs…

Muddin’

Though they weren’t married anymore, Chelle and Bill still got together for sex from time to time. But only when they had both been drinking at the Elks, usually on nights when the special was tequila. Cheap tequila with a little lime and salt was Chelle’s favorite. After the first…