SmokeLong Quarterly

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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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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.