Raleigh NC

5. The Things We Miss

Continued from last week’s installment of Digging in the Dirt. Sheriff Daniel Coyle huffed up the long, gradual hill a few acres from where he’d parked his gray Ford Crown Victoria by the storage barn at the small, family-run pig farm. Moist winds blew the mixed scents of fertilizer and grass around the field. Once…

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“Over Here, Over Here”

“All your games are single player ones,” my sister complained a few months ago. The two of us were relaxing in beanbags in my room, staring at the woefully black TV screen on a lazy Saturday afternoon. “Isn’t there anything we can play together?” I scanned my shelf. “Maybe Child of Eden… wait, no, that’s…

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My Girlfriend Bought a House

by Jay Mangano My girlfriend bought a house. I say “my girlfriend bought a house” and not “my girlfriend and I” or “we”, because my girlfriend merits being called a number of things that I do not. Like secure, responsible, or adult. So my girlfriend bought a house and welcomed me into it. We’re a…

spooky selfies

Flash Fiction week VIII: Spooky Selfies

Length: 500–1000 words When: Publication date is the final week in October. Topic: Spooky Selfies What does that mean? Stories should (a) involve selfies, and (b) be vaguely related to Halloween, or something spooky or scary. As usual, contact the editor to sign up, or leave a comment here and we’ll get back to you.…

life after life

Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Snow.11 February 1910. Ye gods, thought the infant Ursula, in a preternatural burst of consciousness, as she was born for the ninety-ninth time. Again She startled herself into a lusty scream. Bravo! A divine voice spoke from somewhere unseen. Do you realize that this is the first birth you’ve survived all on your own? In…

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4. Mud Pies

Continued from last week’s installment of Digging in the Dirt. The sun was slipping behind distant treed mountains at the furthest viewable point of Route 118. “Entering Dirt City, PA. Pop. 329, Elev. 994 ft.” Louisa swerved, just missing the sign. She corrected immediately and continued at exactly 45 mph. It didn’t happen all the…

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Five and a half years ago, I packed up my life and moved to Canberra. It was a new city, away from family and friends, where I didn’t know a soul. Two years ago, I packed up my life once more and moved back home to Brisbane, away from dear friends I’d met and an…

pumpkin

Ask Ceil – Pumpkin Spice

Dear Ceil, I just had a pumpkin spice latte with my pumpkin spice donut, in front of my pumpkin spice candle. I don’t have friends anymore; I only have these things that are flavored with pumpkin spice. Is that ok? Sincerely, Autumnal in Austin Dear Autumnal, You know, when a person and a spice love…

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To Kill a Banned Book Reading

For Banned Books Week, in an inspiring tribute to literature, a local library hosted a 4-1/2 hour reading series, featuring local writers, artists, teachers, and others. A dear friend and fellow writer would be reading from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley that evening. I brought my 10-year-old son along. I’d been working late a…

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3. Frogs

Continued from last week’s installment of Digging in the Dirt. Tabitha, a pale woman in her 30’s with blue-tinted black hair cut in a severe bob and–at 4pm–still in her pajamas, carried two mugs of coffee in one hand, a clipboard under her arm, and a stack of file folders in the other hand. She…