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They Marched Into Fields

Story by Jamie Iredell (Read author interview) September 29, 2009

art by Christy Call

The fields were polka-dotted with strawberries. The youngest—a towhead—said his finger had found the furthest reaches of his nose, which tickled, and that the sky had turned pink. The middle one—Michelle, a girl, brace-toothed and bespectacled—said, “Shut up, Bobby. Youre such an idiot.” The strawberry arched from her fingers in a parabola of streaked red. It splattered Bobbys shirt so that it resembled a television gunshot wound. The freckled chubby oldest filled the inside of his headlock with Michelles curled locks. Another berry—smashed upon those curls—resembled the brains that ticked away under Michelles scalp, the mind itself overcome with hatred. She was, after all, the middle child, a girl, the one they called “Four-eyes,” and “Lispy,” for her retainered Ss.

“You fat ass,” Michelle hollered from within Jacobs elbow. It sounded like she was deep inside a cave, locked away, which, of course, she was. There were things these brothers would never know: the twisted ruined barn beyond the southern hills, the old man and his son, the hundreds of colored bottles, and that to those men she was beautiful and wanted.

When Jacob released her, the hills sparkled not with strawberries and brothers, but with dew, alight with sunset, dappled like a tuxedos white-rosed lapel, the scent of mango carried in from the sea.

About the Author

Jamie Iredell’s Prose: Poems, a Novel is due out this October, and is made up of the chapbooks Before I Moved to Nevada, When I Moved to Nevada, and Atlanta. His writing also appears in elimae, The Chattahoochee Review, and The Literary Review, and is forthcoming in H_ng M_n, Opium Magazine, and Keyhole Magazine. He designs books for C&R Press, and blogs at jamieiredell.blogspot.com.

About the Artist

Christy Call’s home on the web is at http://christycall.com/. In addition to illustrating this story for Jamie, her artwork will also accompany his forthcoming “Prose: Poems, a Novel.”

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

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"The Shape of Things: Movement, Momentum, and Dimension in Flash CNF" with Steve Edwards

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From sentence-level craft concerns to questions of overall approach, this 90-minute webinar will explore strategies for adding shape, intensity, and depth to your flash creative nonfiction.

Steve Edwards is author of the memoir BREAKING INTO THE BACKCOUNTRY, the story of his seven months as caretaker of a 95-acre backcountry homestead along federally protected Wild and Scenic Rogue River in Oregon. His work has appeared in Orion MagazineThe Sun MagazineLiterary HubElectric LiteratureThe Rumpus, and elsewhere. He lives outside Boston with his wife and son.