red fern frond

Sibling rivalry

“Have you told your brother?” Momentarily speechless, my mouth agape, I finally shook off my stunned silence. “No, and I have no intention of telling him.” It was our dad’s turn to be dumbfounded. “How can you not?” “It’s really easy. I deleted his cell number from my phone, I blocked his emails, he never…

grist mill

Grisly mill

A fine, dusting of yellow powder covered every surface of the grinding room. Two massive stones ground together, pulverizing hard, dried corn kernels. Meal, pressed between bed and runner, filled a hopper between 50-pound bags of grist waiting to be milled. Powered by an overshot flow of clear, cold mountain water, the heavy, wooden wheel…

neon store sigh

Contagion

Black motes float acoss my vision, dancing upon vitreous pools of tannic illuminations, spinning to a waltz unheard by all save me. Taunting, teasing, coaxing me to swim with the inky eels and snakes. The contagion of my illness passes easily to those around me. As if the presence of abstract thought and unsuppressed passion…

jack2_WM

Forgive and forget

Burrowed into an overstuffed, leather chair in his office, Ricky swirled the ice in his rocks glass, fascinated by the thick legs on his whiskey. Watching the amber liquid slide down the sides of his drink, he was transfixed. Throwing back the last of the fiery liquor, Ricky reached for the nearby bottle. On close…

mason jar of iced tea

Straddling the Mason/Dixon line

I am the product of a mixed-marriage. My mother is a southern belle and my father is a damn Yankee. Dad drinks Michelob out of a bottle, and my mother sips sweet tea from a mason jar. She says, “God bless you,” and he says, “Gawd dammit!” Unfortunately for them, their romance didn’t take the…