…The night after the delivery truck backed up to the garage with the sleek machine, Laney announced that she was planning to attend an equinox gathering for the weekend. I thought we had agreed to take the kids to the aquarium and some intemperate remarks were exchanged. In the back of my mind, a suspicion formed that she was at least flirting with Prevane. The soft, sheltering fall had given way to the denuded clarification of winter. That’s the way I thought of it; not the plunge of temperature so much as the disappearance of wildlife and the feeling of an abandoned resort. The nests were suddenly visible, as if caught in the intricate web of branches like wayward kites. The smell of burning leaves was among my favorites, along with woodsmoke, cinnamon and rain which seem to lead me back to some indistinct sense of ardor and love.
It was maybe late November when Laney read in the church bulletin that Father Gilroy was planning to stage a nativity skit for midnight mass and she wanted to be in it. The parents were going to perform for a change because the last version had turned into a debacle of forgotten lines, contagious hysterics and hurled straw. I knew it might mean a few more “Hungry Man” TV dinners and a missed card game or two, but it seemed a preferable alternative to the other atavistic nonsense. Laney had done a little acting in highschool and I thought this might divert her from the disappointment at not getting pregnant on schedule. She had been used to the previous times when this occurred quickly, as if it were something you just ordered over the phone…
~ published by Carve
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)