"Tracks" is a gothic story set deep in the underworld of the American South.
Rig Nelson lives beneath train track trestles in a jungle of kudzu, banishing himself from society after a terrible accident. But when some young boys stumble upon Rig and remind him of a voice from his past, Rig wants nothing more than to stay alone. He tries to scare away new visitors by making fake monster tracks in the mud, but this fails and ends in violent confrontation. However, nothing is as violent as his memory of why he went to the woods to begin with.
Originally published in the acclaimed literary journal COPPER NICKEL, Tracks is a 6200-word story, or about 25 book pages.
"No Jazz in Indiana" is a dark coming-of-age story. This Christmas, there's a blizzard in Indiana, snowing a family in their trailer without power. Charlie and Jimbo, two young brothers, try to make the best of things, but their father has just lost his job at the saxophone factory.
Dejected, their father doesn't want to play his usual game of riffing with Charlie. His failed dreams of becoming a jazz musician come to haunt him while he tries to hold his family together in the cold.
While Charlie teaches Jimbo about the secret of Santa Claus and riffs wildly into the dark moments of the blizzard, the story looks deeply at what it means to use imagination and improvisation. Will their father reach for his dreams again? Is there a place for art in the last saxophone factory?
"No Jazz in Indiana" was originally published in the acclaimed literary journal The Cream City Review. The short story is 5,000 words long, or about 20 book pages.