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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Caved In

Story by Barry Graham (Read author interview) December 15, 2008

Art by Robinson Accola

Steven wove a small scourge from the branches of a weeping willow and whipped his little sister while she searched the sidewalk on all fours for enough cigarette butts to resurrect a whole. It was Sunday morning. It was cold outside. They were waiting for the big white bus to arrive and take them to the Presbyterian Church. Karly picked up three-quarters of a Camel Light and handed it to Steven. He let her stand.

Karly thought about her father, how his life caved in on him at the bottom of a coal mine near Cobble Creek, and how things were never this bad before their mother signed them up for Sunday school and stopped coming out of the bedroom. She sat in the center of the fourth row on a cedar pew beside Mr. and Mrs. Salt, drawing pictures of pine trees on the back of her church program while the blood from her knees coagulated.

About the Author

Barry Graham is the author of the National Virginity Pledge (Another Sky Press). Look for him in Storyglossia, Hobart, Elimae, Pboz, Wigleaf, Cella’s round trip, and others.

About the Artist

Robinson Accola creates artwork for SmokeLong Quarterly as needed.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Three of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Three
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A SmokeLong Summer

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From May 30 to August 28 2022, SmokeLong is going to host a superworkshop. We want to spend the summer with you, the flash community. Our workshops take place on a devoted website where you can create a profile, interact with the flash community, and take part in group discussions on craft, but A SmokeLong Summer will be much more.