When the Naughtons moved to Spirit Island Estates, it was one of those decisions that looked like a sure thing, a natural path, so alluring in its possibilities as to seem irresistible. With Reed’s company losing big accounts to the Paciﬁ c rim, his boss had begun hovering like a killer drone. One need not look further than the ashtray on the tiny patio outside the breakroom, the way the partially smoked, stubbed-out cigarettes stood in a skewed cluster––pillars of some primeval ruin––to sense there was trouble. In the gritty ofﬁ ce of an Oil Change Express, Greta read an article about how people in the U.S. replaced their friends on average about every seven years. For some reason, it appeared they had begun to ﬁ t the mold. People they once saw on a fairly regular basis began to hide behind their email and Facebook accounts. Caller ID seemed increasingly a security system and their families were scattered across the country like explorers. One afternoon the idea seized them that they were on the wrong road, heading in a direction which led nowhere, that they had better throw out the old map and start from scratch.
December 20, 2017
The editing and proofreading and thousand other things that go into putting a book together are thankfully finished and my story collection Home and Castle is at last coming out in early January. (see www.snakenationpress.org for the Editor’s statement and further details). Most of the stories in it were originally published in literary journals such (…read more)
THOMAS BENZ graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame. He recently won the 2017 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for a short story collection called “Home and Castle.” The book is to be published by Snake Nation Press in the fall. In the last several years, he has had fifteen stories (…read more)