I just finished a first draft of a short story titled “Negative Space.” I don’t post much from the short stories I’ve written, but I haven’t had much time to blog lately; my river schedule keeps me pretty busy. The story, as a whole, will of course go through revisions and the submission process, but for now, here’s a sample.
I pulled the lever on the truck’s door, and its ancient joints screamed as the door swung open. I stepped out and what would have been warm humidity felt cool on my face. I shut the door and after it’s slam I was left with the night’s rhythms—cricket’s crying and other night flyers and creepers humming and buzzing over the chug and rumble of the Ford’s idle. I stood away from the truck on what I knew was the overlook sidewalk. I looked forward, knowing what I should see–the hazy blues, grays and greens of the Gap and mountains folded against the sky–but it was just a darkness. A few steps forward would send me rolling and limply crashing down the bank, and I wondered what that would be like. I didn’t want to jump; I was too pissed for that, but I wondered how it would feel, how far I would go before my broken body rested.
I looked back to the truck. Its headlights stretched into the empty space of blackness like a luminous gas and dissipated at its terminus without finding anything to illuminate. I took a deep breath before I went back to the truck, and the night air smelled wet and full and fertile; it smelled like Brent had, and from then on I would think summer nights in the Smokies smelled like sex.