One of my current works-in-progress is a linked short story collection set in a fictional Texas town called Rosewood. For your Friday reading enjoyment, here’s a little vignette from this collection.
Rosewood was hardly a blip on the map. No phone reception, no landmarks, and her car low on gas. A classic trademark of small towns like this—you didn’t belong if you got lost. She felt betrayed. Give me some credit, she thought. I was a kid, barely old enough to drive. Wind kicked up a sandy mist that obstructed the road. Her parents watered the grass every summer, but it died anyway. It was probably dead now. No matter—she was coming home with time to spare. Would they understand? Did they know how she felt when she snuck out with Rob to have a smoke, how she asked him questions about his after-college plans, how his answers didn’t leave any room for her? She was as old as they were when they moved here, and she was coming back, alone. It wasn’t working—nothing ever did, but now she had the vocabulary to say why. It’s not you, it’s me. Or, a clean, swift break: I don’t love you anymore. At one time, these words would have been saved for Rosewood, but not today. The slow afternoon stretched on and her car sputtered forward. She turned the wheel and followed the bend in the road.
Want more? Check out my story, “How to Feed a Penguin,” now available as a podcast from Bound Off literary magazine.