Author Archives: Rusty

Truckload of Trouble, fiction by Tom Leins

I hear the rattle of the tow-truck’s rusted chain before I see it roll down the rutted track and into view. The last time I saw the Mulligan brothers they hung a guy known as Blood Bubble from a hook … Continue reading

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Scarecrow, fiction by Hilary Leftwich

Scarecrow Dolly fakes her death by starvation while the others at the table take seconds from the bowl of mashed potatoes and slices of meatloaf. Mama announces there’s no pie for dessert, just butter cookies. She has little tolerance left … Continue reading

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Law of the Whippoorwill, fiction by Cecile Dixon

In the dim, neon truck stop light, I studied Gerald’s face. His jaw was clenched tight as he said, “Pharyl, these things are complicated. It’s not like working at fucking McDonald’s,” Gerald rolled the words off his tongue giving sound … Continue reading

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Fiend’s Last Job, fiction by Matt Phillips

One You do this job long enough, and you get so you want an audience; it’s not vanity, but a vague notion that you’re not appreciated. If a little old wife watches you smash her husband’s hand to pieces with … Continue reading

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Blue Lights, essay by Paul Crenshaw

When the cop pulled us over at close to 4 in the morning, my drunken uncle said to let him do the talking. The blue lights lit his face in the rearview mirror, and later it would occur to me … Continue reading

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Taking Grandma Home, fiction by Ginger Hamilton

There are two main sections in the family cemetery, the unfortunate “soldiers of the cause” and the “damned Yankees.” Factions of my kinfolk still don’t speak to one another due to choices made during the War Between the States. This … Continue reading

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Bear Takes a Meeting (Trinity Ridge)

Our Complaints & Questions Bureau is based in the bottom of a dry well. We will help you down there if you wish to file a report on my associates’ conduct. Which creek-bed is your favorite? We’ll mud you in, … Continue reading

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Anna, Whose Last Name Is Covered In Lichens, 1851-1920, poem by Matt Prater

And I was there as well, I saw. My hands, too, went out and made the world. I did not only imagine the soldiers, I touched them. I soothed, with cool rags, the dying Johnny soldier; I soothed, with cool … Continue reading

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I Hear You Weeping, fiction by Robb T. White

Jimmy Shannon from Sheboygan, as he liked to introduce himself to people who came into his bar, had never been to Wisconsin in his life. He’d done time for check forgery in Michigan and three years in Pennsylvania for hustling … Continue reading

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The Last Thanksgiving, poem by Taylor Collier

first appeared in Tar River Poetry Spring 2010 During dinner my uncle’s behind the house helping a heifer through her first delivery. Inside, dry turkey, hot dinner rolls. The heifer’s cries bellowing through the house. Green beans, sweet potatoes, and … Continue reading

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