Thursday, January 05, 2012

Sneak Peek #2

For the second in a series of sneak peeks at the new issue (vol. 8, no. 2), which will be available soon, I bring you an excerpt of Logan Adams' story, "Tethers." The story does many things amazingly well. However, one of my favorite things about it is how well worn the characters feel in their lives. Combine this deft characterization with Noir elements and you have one hell of a read. Here is the first paragraph. Enjoy.


Under the midday prairie sun, heat washed over my brother and me. We sat on one of the hills that ran like puckers in an untucked sheet across the ranch land dirt and shimmering waves of Indian grass. Andrew slumped against a fence post no longer strung with barbed wire. I stood and licked the salt on my lips, deciding what to do with him. Two beveled holes--one on each side of his calf--had yellowed and the surrounding skin was swollen, tight and blue. A thin stream of dried blood ran down to his sock like a seam--as if you could peel it away to find the stitching that held him together. Andrew's tongue lolled in his mouth, dry and white, and he complained about how tired he was--as if he'd never been more ready to sleep, to crawl under the hills and pull them to his neck and close his eyes. But from this hill we could see a house, its cottonwood windbreak, and the highway. He asked me to go on and get help. We'd come from New Orleans by boxcar, a ride we hopped the night our mother died, and now he wanted to go back there, where the city would put him in a group home. He was choosing it over living on the road with me. I felt like I was in one of those moments where you get the urge to swerve into oncoming headlights or launch yourself off an apartment building's roof. And so why not? No one knew we were in South Dakota and sometimes you just have to yank the wheel.

To read "Tethers," pick up a copy of the Fall/Winter 11-12 issue (vol. 8, no. 2). Sign up for a subscription and it will be mailed to you as soon as it is available. How nice would that be? Head on over to the webstore to sign up!

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