It was a cloudless, sapphire-blue sky that day. We had the camping trip planned for a month, and it took even longer than that for us to coordinate our vacations, so that we could all be there together. It was a reunion I had dreamed...

Nestled just off the Appalachian Trail, near the border of Virginia and West Virginia, where forests grew thick and pressed in on all sides, sat a small region known as Dry Branch.  Barely more than a collection of campgrounds, Dry Branch rarely received visitors, save...

Tommy Ihlman was only seven years old when his parents bought the house on Tamara Lane. Though it was no mansion by any stretch of the imagination, the five-bedroom raised-ranch style home seemed like a palace compared to the one-bedroom studio apartment he and his...

Prejudice has always required three main ingredients: One, lots of people with one or more common traits. Two, other people that don’t share those traits. Three, enough people upset over it. Silverkey Crossing has always been predominantly white like any small town of the Midwest. Said...

I graduated from high school a few years back. I still live with my parents, but I’m using this time to my advantage. They’re kind enough not to charge rent and that allows me the ability to save up almost every penny I make. The...

It had started with a word. Ensorcell. Pollyanna had first overheard it when she was a child, playing with her Barbies in the spacious parlor as her mother prattled away on the phone to one pageant organizer or another. “She’ll absolutely ensorcell everybody, she’s a natural!”...

My sister Heather meant the world to me. She always seemed to have everything growing up. She was the homecoming queen in our small town. She graduated valedictorian of her class. She was voted Most Likely to Succeed her senior year. She was captain of...

Sometimes, you may see people on the news, or reality shows, or even social media, and think, “How the hell does someone live like that? How can they believe that?” As someone who grew up deep in the hornet’s nest, I can tell you. We are...

Late one night, I found myself driving down what seemed like an endless stretch of road. I was on my way back from a week-long business trip, facing at least a twelve-hour drive home. Having always been afraid of flying, the monotonous trek was unavoidable....

Everyone probably knows a Hank Easley. You know those people you say you can look up a word in the dictionary and their name would be alongside the definition? For Hank, that word would be ‘slime-ball’. Greasy, sleazy and greedy, it was little surprise to anyone growing up...

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