Fiction

Floods and Fires

Families will not be broken. Curse and expel them, send their children wandering, drown them in floods and fires, and old women will make songs of all these sorrows and sit on the porch and sing them on mild evenings. —Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping Hap Enders watched as Sheriff Huntley, who…

When You Say “Home”

I’ve got a whole mess of stuff to do today,” Michael’s mother said. He watched her reach up into the hallway closet and pull their big, red suitcase from the top shelf. Michael’s grandmother was being turned out of another nursing home, this one just down Highway 74 towards King’s…

Stalking the White Deer

Dalton stalked the white deer. It became his obsession, like finding that thing and owning it in a hard, bloody way would fill a hole neither of us could name. We were newly married then and him just back from the war. He’d been home about a year, but it…

Canebrakes

Ma first caught me ashing a cigarette off to the side of the old home where the creek rustled through the canebrakes. She said I didn’t teach you to treat yourself like that. She said you always got yourself tied to things that’ll kill you without knowing. She said death…

Luck of the Draw

When the doorbell rang that early January afternoon in 1967, Florene Mullins had just turned on the two table lamps in the living room. The winter day was shading into twilight and shadows pooled in the corners, making her feel blue. She was considering fixing pork chops and fried potatoes…

Still Life in Townsend

1. Stevie Gibson never did like the picture, but she never did take it down. A dead pheasant still fully feathered, a bowl of oranges, a green glass goblet of wine, and an hourglass were arranged upon a pale tablecloth of folds and wrinkles, all against a shadowed background. She…

Fall

The cliff stood before them, their necks turned up, looking upon the seventy feet of tan rock with black iron veins splaying about the stone. It’s about confidence, Lars had told her. If you have confidence that you won’t fall, then you won’t fall. The girl reached over and played…