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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Diagnosis

Story by Beverly A. Jackson (Read author interview) December 15, 2005

On the fifth floor of a medical complex I sit in an office watching a tiny spider outside the window. It clings to the frame, buffeted by wind, but nevertheless spins an ornate web across a corner of the glass.

The stalwart desk is oak, as glossy as his slate-gray eyes above the crisp, white coat. His lips move slowly, pink and moist, mouthing salvation in a hushed voice, like a Baptist preacher tipping me backwards, headlong into dark water until I can’t breathe.

I push through, seeking light, sucking air, emerge. The first thing I see is the window. The spider lurches, lifted by a gust, sways on a single thread. Its spindly legs unfurl, then curl, before it drops.

About the Author

Beverly A. Jackson is a poet, writer, and painter living in the N.C. mountains with two poodles, a cat, and a yard full of birds. Her work can be seen on the web and in literary journals for the past 10 years. She is a major fan of Randall Brown. Find her on the web at www.beverlyajackson.com and www.artshackstudio.com.

This story appeared in Issue Eleven of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Eleven
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A SmokeLong Summer

May 30-Aug 28!


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.