by James Tadd Adcox
(an excerpt from his debut novel, Does Not Love, now available from Curbside Splendor Publishing.)
Viola and the FBI agent have dinner at a sushi restaurant on the near west side. The FBI agent is saying goodbye to a friend of his, a white-haired but healthy older gentleman who is retiring from his post as judge. He had presided for more than a decade over one of the most prestigious of the secret courts.
“Many people believe that today’s secret courts, the ones that deal with Terror, are the only secret courts there have ever been,” he says. “But there are other courts, much older, much more secret, that deal with, for example, matters of the heart.”
“Like what?” Viola asks.
“Well, I can’t go into any detail, really,” the judge says. Continue reading
by Erika T. Wurth. An excerpt from her novel Crazy Horse‘s Girlfriend (Curbside Splendor Publishing)
Driving up, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. It was late May, and although the mountains still had some snow on the peaks, it had been a hard but short winter and things had been warming up for some time. We had packed Mike’s big, blue SUV and were on our way up 103. His right hand was resting on my leg and he was driving with his left. Our windows were rolled down, and Mike was playing another one of his white noise bands that I didn’t recognize, and I closed my eyes and let the raspberry, deep green, pine, dirt smell roll over me. It didn’t take too long to get to the foot of the mountain. We were planning on camping somewhere around the lake, but we decided to drive to the top of the mountain first. They had just opened the road up for the season and we drove, things getting bumpier and bumpier, which just made us laugh as we rocked back and forth in our seats, firmly buckled in. Continue reading
by A. J. Perry, an excerpt from the novel The Old People (Thames River Press, 2014)
And then it might occur that just when it seems to the Old People that things cannot get any worse–when it seems that nets can get no emptier nor the river any drier–things can in fact get much worse. That the rains will continue to not come–not just through the rainy months of this year but through the rainy months of many years. And that the wood carver in his search for his digging tool will have gone from one end of the river to the other–from the top of the mountain to the edge of the sea–without finding the digging tool that was buried. And that each of the knot makers is still holding to his own way of knot tying such that in time the knots will cease to be tied at all. And the waters will cease to flow. And the holes of the island can no longer be dug. Continue reading
by Tim Parrish
(an excerpt from the novel The Jumper, Winner of the 2012 George Garret Prize for Fiction)
J.T. barely noticed it among the stack. He tossed the mail onto his kitchen table, then sat and skimmed the rental ads for the tenth time. He had two-hundred fourteen dollars and no car. Even the smallest garage apartment in this neighborhood started at one-fifty a month and that didn’t include deposit or utilities. Plus, he’d been in this spot for two years and it was beyond sweet for the price. His only hope to pay off Mr. Charley and stay here not too far from the college was a blackjack game tonight, actually a pretty good hope since blackjack was his game. Continue reading