“King Tide” for Patreon Members

“King Tide,” my first Patreon post, is up and available for members. The 1,885-word story centers around a family celebrating their child’s birthday before a King Tide arrives.

At the top of the stairs, I yell at Keith that we have to hurry and go now because the time has changed. My heart races. My head throbs. I can’t tie my shoes any faster. His dress shoes clack on the tile, and the liquor cabinet clangs. I yell again while he probably downs one shot before we leave. His cologne enters our bedroom before he does. Loosening his tie, he asks what’s going on, and I throw my head toward the television. “They’ve upped it by fifteen minutes.” My legs shiver from being in bed all day. I had waited for him to wake me until it was time for us to see Cody.

“King Tide” – William Auten

Happy Thanksgiving—and be thankful for all that you have including the folks who put their lives at risk for us. And don’t forget to buy and the spread the word about my latest novel In Another Sun, available from Tortoise Books.

“Moonflowers” Now Available in Illuminations

If he could plant flowers on the moon for her, he would—lilacs in craters’ shadows, roses in grayscale cracks, and daisies (among her favorites) facing the long, rough edge fading into space, their yellows and oranges spiraling in front of endless black; and if he could spell her name on that same surface, he would and would time the sun’s passing that brightens the petals-as-letters like fiery birds flocking for a moment before scattering again. But he rolls over, sniffles, glances at the plastic and papier mâché spaceships that he built and strung over his bed alongside aluminum foil-ball planets that he painted.

“Moonflowers,” William Auten, Illuminations 35, summer 2020

“Moonflowers” is now available in Illuminations 35, summer 2020.

Thank you to Simon Lewis, staff, and College of Charleston’s Department of English—and thank you for reading.

“Creek on the Right” Now Available at Dead Mule School

All but one of the horses stand in the stable. Shielding the fireplace’s glow, Tom double-checks the window. Often in winter light and in sightlines from the living room to the pasture, the palomino can disappear.

William Auten, “Creek on the Right”

“Creek on the Right” is now available at The Dead Mule School (“No good Southern fiction is complete without a dead mule.”). Thank you to Valerie and the DMS staff—and thanks to you for reading.

“Start of the Season” Now Available in Valparaiso Fiction Review

Something about a tattoo he had and wanted to talk to her about while they stayed on the cape. Not wanting to make a big deal about it, but he wanted her to know. From his youth, he said, smiling when he mentioned this feature, which she had not yet seen, somewhere on his body.

William Auten, “Start of the Season,” Valparaiso Fiction Review, volume 9, issue 2, summer 2020

“Start of the Season” is now available in Valparaiso Fiction Review, volume 9, issue 2, summer 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, please support local and independent artists and businesses—and thank the folks who provide us with our now-essential everyday needs.

“Dioramas” Now Available in Tupelo Quarterly 20

Out of the butterfly room, they wander, turning the corner until the curator stops them in front of the animals. A mother clicks her stroller’s brakes. Across from her, a man arrives last, floats near the back, and continues glancing at the butterflies. He wears a small sticker stamped with the American flag.

“Dioramas” is now available in Tupelo Quarterly 20. And at less than 1,000 words, this one’s a breeze to read.

Thank you to TQ’s editors and staff and congrats to this issue’s outstanding writers and content.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, please support local and independent artists, musicians, and small businesses—and thank the folks who provide us with our now-essential everyday needs.

“Many and Many a Year Ago” Now Available

“Many and Many a Year Ago,” the winner of the 2019 Norton Girault Literary Prize in Fiction from Barely South Review (Old Dominion University), is now available in the Fall 2019 (11.1) issue online, for purchase on Amazon, and for my family and friends back in Virginia, may be in select bookshops. Congrats to fellow contributors and thanks to BSR staff and judge Janet Peery, who said

This is a smart, demanding, tautly-written, risk-taking puzzle of a story that amounts to no less than an Industrial Age creation myth, specifically the creation of the narrator. It bears the mark of family lore, a story told and retold over time. On first reading, the marvel is that the second person narrator works so beautifully, and on first reading the payoff is emotional. On second reading the story delivers its thematic riches, the seemingly random occurrences, the misapprehensions, and plain luck coming together as surely as chromosomes and alleles come together to make a new person in the world.