Category Fiction

Happy Birthday, Virginia Woolf

But if one sat down among the rushes and watched the pool—pools have some curious fascination, one knows not what—the red and black letters and the white paper seemed to lie very thinly on the surface, while beneath went on some profound under-water life like the brooding, the ruminating of a mind. Many, many people must have come there alone, from time to time, from age to age, dropping their

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Silent Witness

Karen was down to 100 pounds. She wore long sleeve shirts to work to hide the marks on her arms. It had gotten so bad that one day, her boss pulled her aside and said, “Karen, do we need to talk?” ”Don’t, Ben. Life just sucks right now, you know? I’ll handle it.” And life did suck. She was working a dead-end job with no real prospects. She had lost patience

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A Lion in the Woods

I It was nearly dark when 10-year-old Tommy Tucker zipped around the corner of the old train station on his bike to witness the cougar atop its prey. Startled by the squeaking brakes and the bike’s headlight, the huge cat retracted its claws and fled across the tracks, disappearing behind an abandoned warehouse. There on the side of the tracks was the limp body of a small girl, face down

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My Favorite Holiday Story: Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”

(In today’s column, I  feature “A Christmas Memory,” a short story written by a fellow native Alabamian, the late Truman Capote. I first heard this story forty years ago. In December of 1977, Mr. Randal Simmons, my seventh-grade English teacher, read it to our class. Even then, I admired its simple and elegant beauty as expressed through my teacher’s soothing words. Mr. Simmons passed away some years ago, but I’ll

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Desert Snow

Charlie Peterson looked at his watch and then at the departure board of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport. Another 45 minutes, he thought as the Christmas Muzak and flight information droned over the loudspeaker. He adjusted his thick, wire-frame glasses and tried to get comfortable in the plastic chair. He peeked at his wife. She was still angry. The laugh lines around her eyes had transformed into something severe. “Come on,

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Bloodstream

Karen was down to 100 pounds. She wore long sleeve shirts to work to hide the marks on her arms. It had gotten so bad that one day, her boss pulled her aside and said, “What can I do?” ”Don’t. I’m a big girl. Life just sucks right now, you know? I’ll handle it. . . . please don’t give up on me.” That night, Karen and her best friend Belinda

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