Fiction: Hooked Up

Buck followed, having nowhere else to go. He glanced around at the filth and total confusion of the tiny place divided by a soiled and torn old quilt. The walls moved with bugs in the flickering candlelight. Fred grabbed at Ginny, who wore a threadbare wrapper. She had a wonderfully white and soft-looking body, Buck…

Fiction: Sleeping Arrangements

“Mrs. Crenshaw, I want to apologize for my acid tongue earlier on,” Mrs. Markham said. “I was worried over Buck, as I’m sure you were, but that was no excuse.” Margaret surveyed the plump, plain, little woman. “I accept your apology. We Easterners have high standards as far as manners go. I couldn’t possibly hold…

Fiction: The Wedding Party

On the train west, Margaret Crenshaw insulted the coachmen and train conductors while fretting over the linens and china purchased and packed with great care for Thankful’s wedding. Fred in his booming arrogance educated his family about Indian tribes and the sinister Chinese—betraying his ignorance of both. Meg stared out the window, chin in hand,…

Fiction: Choices

“Do you really believe that you had any control over your parents?” “Yes, they depended on me! I went wild when they needed me to be calm. I poisoned a teacher and Mother lost a replacement for Eliza, and then my father took me and I tried to please him but still he did the…

Fiction: The Only Thing Left

“Then I’ll be eternally damned, right?” William asked with a sneer. Kenyon said nothing. “But Buck, who admits to almost killing someone, is saved. Well, that’s some trick.” Kenyon thought a moment. “It’s interesting that you feel within your rights to judge and require certain behaviors—say from your father—but it annoys you that God, who…

Fiction: Stealing Salvation

Buck cupped Thankful’s wet cheeks in his hands. “Poor you, you’re as messed up as the rest of us Crenshaws, but I love you for it. Don’t cry, it’s all right. I’m so glad now that I’m here for you.” “Oh, Buck, it means so much to me that you don’t hate me. I’ve been…

Fiction: Faith

The doctor led Thankful and Buck through the short, cool hallway to the adjacent room reserved for hopeless cases. There lay the lieutenant asleep. “He’s not dead, is he?” Buck asked from the doorway, craning his neck to see. “No, Buck,” the doctor replied and turned to Thankful. “You may want to say your last…

Fiction: Freedom

“Thankful is a uniform chaser,” William said. “Now, you should take that back. Thankful’s a romantic and a good girl, and I’ll help her all I can.” “So I guess you’ll be taking my spot on Mr. Kenyon’s team.” “Me?” Buck chuckled. “My cartography skills are only fair to middling. Nothing on the wonderful maps…

Fiction: Awakenings

The cool adobe walls reminded William of Old Camp Grant as he awoke on yet another bright day. “Finally awake, Willy?” Buck whispered from the next cot. William lifted his throbbing head and turned to him, his body aching. “Buck? What happened?” “My father’s Scotch landed us into a mess. I’ll have some story when…