Uncultivated simplicity

Rosemary lived alone in a crude shack at the end of a neighborless dirt road, on a tiny scrub acre of rocky soil. Each spring, she worked her meager garden, breaking up dry earth with her broken-handled hoe, leaving meandering furrows in uneven rows. Her apron pockets filled with dried seeds and kernels from last [...]


She survived two husbands and three children. Living alone in her family home for nearly 30 years, she was well-known in her community. Always ready with a pot of homemade chicken soup for the sick, a hot-from-the oven pie for new neighbors or hand-sewn quilts for the babies. Her church had a waiting list of [...]


The manor, boarded up since Gram passed, showed signs of neglect. Porch risers creaked menacingly. Window panes, cracked and begrimed with age, blinked against the rising sun. My keys refused to cooperate, thwarting efforts to unlock the front doors. With a final, violent shove, ancient tumblers flipped. Grating on rusted hinges, the massive oak entry [...]

A new tenant

Her bony finger, shroud in a white cotton glove, stroked the nursery armoire, seeking out evidence of the child who once slept in the room, inspecting for dust lingering where it wasn’t welcome. The Trifecta weekend challenge is to write a 33-word opening line to [our] book, an incipit. 

Dried up and brittle

Cicadas buzzed around her head, her feeble arms and gnarled hands unable to rise high enough to shoo them away. Pistol, younger than his sister by only 10 months, had the vital chore of waving a thin cardboard fan from Heston's Funeral Home to keep the pests at bay. His shock of ginger hair stood [...]