From our kitchen alcove, I could see Mariel Crane kneeling in her garden and even humming some tune, the name of which seemed just over the borderline of memory and would probably remain there. The Cranes’ three dogs (two Irish setters and a collie) were not with her. Perhaps they would be too much of a distraction, with all the barking and chasing over the wood Adirondack chairs and around the trampoline. It was pleasant to watch her from that height as she stretched and worked the ground, the back of her baggy jeans twisted, a thick brown braid curled along her neck, as she sought out some offending weed. This was Saturday morning, probably my favorite time of the week, its quiet lack of urgency enhanced by the oblique light, the steam from a mug of coffee and the purr of a hedge trimmer somewhere down the block. I could not help myself and glanced up again to see Mariel wipe her hands on the on the sides of her admirably lean torso. But I broke off as soon as the fascination with spying began to exert itself, forcing myself back into the local paper, as I didn’t want to get drawn in too far.
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)