The wind screeched through the northern Wisconsin pines. January howled with rage, and the bitter air sealed everything with ice and rain. A small town existed among the miles and miles of trees. It was a puddle of buildings and houses. A limestone quarry outside of town sat like a gaping mouth. Floodlights illuminated the very bowels of the hole, shining up and into the sky, revealing millions of snowflakes whirling around like small insects.
In the middle of the town, inside a warm house, with the shades drawn in the upstairs bedroom, was Grant.
Grant was lying on his…
The devil appeared to Jones in a cornfield outside of town. Early in the morning, Jones was driving down an empty stretch of darkened highway and had fallen asleep at the wheel. Always hesitant to follow good advice, Jones did not buckle up, and was thus ejected from his vehicle as the car veered off the road, plowed into the field, and rolled.
His driver side window shattered as it crashed into the ground, allowing passage to Jones’s body. He was pulled out, tossed into the night sky, and soared over the rows of corn beneath him.
Jones was unaware…
Someone going through a panic attack.
Draw a bath. It’ll make you feel better.
Why is it taking so long? It’s no quicker than usual.
Go walk out to the living room. Gosh it feels cold here.
You should check the bath. It’s probably overflowing.
It’s hardly full! How long has it been?
Just step into it. It’ll make you feel better.
Take off your clothes first. Don’t look in the mirror.
Is that your body? Is that what you look like?
Look away from the mirror. Touch the skin on your stomach.
I can’t feel it. Wait, there it…
A journey through some adolescent experiences and the hairstyles that accompanied them.
2010 — Fall
You dyed your hair black. You wanted to look like those pretty boys on the internet. But upon your head, you thought that dark mop seemed out of place. Just the same, you still felt brave for doing it, brave for being true.
Your hometown is butted up against the flood plains of the Mississippi River. A single highway bolted away from the yellow street lights and snaked through those dark, surrounding, desolate marshes. …
I became a man at the Dollar General. I was in that precarious age where boys are at the cusp of adulthood — about seventeen or so — where they are children in their life experience but with a mustache or underarm hair that would say otherwise. That was me back then; a lanky son of a real bitch with a sparse mustache that hovered over my upper lip like a shadow or a stain from chocolate milk.
The Dollar General was a jewel in our town. Built in a time where one would need to drive thirty minutes to…
A woman sees a face above her bed.
We were making love when he told me, but, before that, we were out drinking and dancing downtown. His friends invited him to go out, and I was obliged to go along: the girlfriend, the only woman among them. I don’t think he really wanted me to come, but I still did.
Perhaps he thought I would be offended if he didn’t extend an invitation. Maybe I thought he would be mad at me if I didn’t go. …
I don’t know how long it has been. In this swirling wet darkness, time feels nonexistent. It’s as though I’ve always been here; and with horror that comes in undulating, tepid waves, I fear I will always be here. This makes no sense, which is what makes me scream long and hard when the unknowable becomes too much. But I shut up when my body takes a tight turn and the water sloshes into my mouth.
I think back to before. It was a fun day at the waterpark. The sunny, summer day made for long lines at the newer…
Brian leaves Iowa for his hometown in Wisconsin. He hopes to rekindle an old flame, but time can change people. Yet, things often remain the same.
The long highway home was a hot, flat stretch of patched asphalt. It reminded the driver in the old Ford pickup truck of the job he just finished down south of Des Moines. Brian could still smell the black, oily odor as it poured onto the ground. In his dirty driver side mirror, as the land zipped by in reflection, he said a silent goodbye to Iowa, his home for the last seven years.
As Jeff sits in his rocking chair in Sunny Side Assisted Living, he lets his thoughts glide into some aging memories.
Jeff Weaver sat in the glider rocking chair and faced out the large picture window of his living room. His shoed feet, covered in plain black sneakers with a thick sole, pushed up through his tired legs and forced the chair back a few inches. He relaxed then, and the chair fell forward. He would repeat this action well until it was time for lunch to be served at Sunny Side Assisted Living.
It was an overcast day. The…
20-something writer living in the Midwest United States, flyover country to some, but I find it quite nice down here.