SmokeLong Quarterly

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Star Man

Story by Bill Cook (Read author interview) March 29, 2015

Hes the Uncle Joe who stays up all night downing Monster Energy drinks in his garage with the door open all the way, shredding on Guitar Hero III.

Hes eighty-two and I hope that I am just like him when I get old, I tell Joshua. He says Uncle Joes family left him like a thousand years ago.

Do you want to be all alone when youre his age?

Joshua takes my Big Gulp and downs it.

Maybe he left some Monsters for us.

I say this like Joshua just doesnt get it. Joshua smashes my Big Gulp cup and shoots two at the trashcan.

He let me try on his army uniform one time.

Joshuas lips glow Fruit Punch red.

You look like Dracula, I tell him.

We stare at Uncle Joes house. The lights are all out. I point at a fading yellow star way past our street.

He said that he came from out there.

About the Author

Bill Cook lives in a semi-rural area in Southern Californias High Desert, and has stories published in Juked, elimae, Thieves Jargon, VerbSap, Tin Postcard Review, Right Hand Pointing and The Summerset Review.

About the Artist

Ben Cook lives in California’s rural high desert ten months out of the year and the rest preparing the world for Burning Man. He photographs everything in sight, plus things rarely caught by the naked eye. He created this artwork specifically for this story.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Four of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Four

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SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Next Date to Join: December 1!

On September 1, SmokeLong launched a workshop environment/community christened SmokeLong Fitness. This asynchronous community workshop is happening right now on our dedicated workshop site. If you choose to join us, you will work in a small group of around 10-12 participants to give and receive feedback. Each Monday, you will receive a new writing task (one writing task each week) designed by the senior editor team of SmokeLong. The core workshop is asynchronous, so you can take part from anywhere at anytime. We are excited about creating a supportive, consistent and structured environment for flash writers to work on their craft in a community.