April 1, 2015
FICTION by TAD BARTLETT
It’s a Saturday in January, late morning, as Joe Alsobrook slides down the gully side into the creek bottom and hikes far up the creek by himself, a second-hand coat keeping him warm, and a hat that smells like camphor. It’s 1983, a new year, and Joe is eleven years old and lives with his mother and father and two older sisters in their small town in a small house with dirty green shag carpets, peeling linoleum in the kitchen, and an ever-present smell of dog piss. But the house is a good house because it sits next to the gully with the hardwood bottomland and the creek running through it.