Just before I headed to Japan, the lovely Atticus Review published one of my short stories. It was quite a treat to see this piece finally find a home somewhere. I wrote it nearly eight years ago and have taken it out nearly once a year since then and revised it, working it over again and again until it finally took this final shape. Here is an excerpt:

The car windows consume an endless stream of brown fields and dry grassland as she continues forward and faster. The scenery has turned violet in the darkening light. Anne has wanted to come out this way for a long time, wanted to see the part of the state that doesn’t live in the green and the damp or with the ocean as a constant companion. But now that she’s here she just recognizes the unfairness of geography. It really is more beautiful where she comes from.

She passes a mobile home propped up on cinder blocks; its screen door lurches forward aggressively toward the highway. The front half of a windscreen-less car sticks out from behind the trailer and piles of tires mark the far edge of the property.

How sad, she thinks, knowing her mother would never settle for such a mundane expression of sympathy. She would summon up proper indignation: “That’s just tragic,” or, “It’s a crime to let people get that far behind.”

The urn has been sitting on the back seat since Anne left Aberdeen yesterday. She can’t keep ignoring her, although she is aware that addressing her dead mother’s ashes would be an indication that she isn’t coping.

Click here for the full story.