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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Summer Stories - The Lost Year: ‘Flight’ by Kim Barnes

We hadn’t yet left the house when the first harbinger hit. It was late May and almost two years since Wife No. 5’s departure (my mother was No. 1 and would have left my father like the other four if she hadn't had a stroke first).

Summer Stories - The Lost Year: ‘Spider Island’ by Simeon Mills

After three years on the island, I stepped off the ferry, back onto the mainland and was greeted by the cruel sound of children eating ice cream. There had been no such treats on the island. No children. I would see my own son tonight at 8 o’clock, but would I recognize him?

Summer Stories - The Lost Year: ‘Nothing Lost’ by Kris Dinnison

In January, I lost my motivation. That didn’t seem so weird. It always happens in January. First, I make the resolution, then I lose the motivation. It’s an annual thing, like those swallows at Capistrano or how everyone is suddenly Irish in March.

Summer Stories - The Lost Year: ‘POTATOE?’ by Eli Francovich

He’d bought the microwave two months ago, after Julie moved out. She took their microwave. And their cat. Those were the two things they’d bought together as a couple: a microwave and a cat. In retrospect an ominous pairing. She left her four yoga balls and a blanket. 

Summer Stories - The Lost Year: ‘TLY’ by Trent Reedy

Aidan Baker didn’t know everything about the world, but he was pretty sure senior prom wasn’t supposed to smell faintly of manure. And in all his mom’s old favorite teen movies, the music at prom had never had to compete with the screech of the train wheels on steel rails.

Summer Stories: ‘How I’ve Missed You Lately’ by Ian Pisarcik

Apple Pirn stood in front of the kitchen window in her old Vermont farmhouse among the fruit flies and cidery light wearing a thrift store blouse with the front unbuttoned to expose her sagged breast. The man on the telephone had told her to wait and so she was waiting.

Summer Stories: The Lost Year - ‘Oblivion’ by Polly Buckingham

When her daughter comes in wearing a mask, Margery thinks she’s dreaming. She thinks this isn’t the real world. The ghosts in the walls knock. The cockroaches fall out of the cupboards. “Listen, Dad. I really need you to come with us to the new house." 

Summer Stories: ‘Pandemic’ by Shann Ray

John watched a blackbird light on the window sill. Feeling numb, he looked away and further berated himself. “He’s so self-enclosed,” he overheard Samantha tell their oldest. “He doesn’t hear me.” The children knew and didn’t know. They moved in his presence like worlds in orbit.

Locally Writ: ‘Summer Stories’ series to be published as anthology

Inspired by a project the Minneapolis Star had planned in 2013, the original idea for “Summer Stories” was to run a serialized novel in Sunday’s Today section of The Spokesman-Review. When several local authors started releasing short-story collections around the same time, Carolyn Lamberson, then the features editor, had another idea.

Summer Stories: ‘What Rises Beneath’ by Jess Walter

It was quiet for 140 years. Then, in March, the mountain began to rumble: earthquakes, bursts of steam, blue flame, ash clouds that sparked 2-mile bolts of lightning. All spring, the volcano seethed, spewed and shuddered, magma bubbling up its throat and pushing the north flank out 5 feet a day.

Summer Stories: ‘Ashes to Ashes’ by Julia Sweeney

It was a Sunday morning in May, and Ben had just left Angela’s dilapidated Seattle apartment building in good spirits. After a year of flirting, yearning and maneuvering (and with the aid of some Jack Daniels added to the espresso they sipped while playing chess at Last Exit on Brooklyn the night before), he’d finally gotten Angela to invite him home.

Summer Stories: ‘Hope’ by Dan Gemeinhart

As a matter of fact, I never wanted to kill my neighbor's cat. But sometimes things happen, and sometimes one thing leads to another, and sometimes you're just kind of swept along in a landslide, and then all of a sudden you're trying to hide a dead cat. It happens.

Summer Stories: ‘Saint Helen and the Spokanites’ by Samuel Ligon

Paw Paw said it was just hippies on the mountain got smote. And fornicators. “Nary a Christian among them,” he said. “What about my Grandpa Murphy’s camp,” I said. “Closed,” Paw-Paw said. “And they was Catholic anyway – not Christian.” “Catholic is Christian,” my mother said. “And it’s not just hippies up there.”

Summer Stories: ‘Bandits’ by Sharma Shields

When Mom fell in love with the man of ash, we tried, at first, to be happy for her. We vacuumed, we mopped, we sang. We swept up the ashes without complaint. Even then the thin film of him settled beneath our fingernails or whirled up at us from a plumped cushion, catching in our eyelashes.

Summer Stories: ‘Red Zone’ by Ben Goldfarb

Hank went down to the dock before dawn. Dirty spring snow lingered along the cobble path that led from cabin to lakeshore. The mist hung so thick that he heard the canoe before he saw it, the rhythmic clunk of aluminum on wood. 

Summer Stories: ‘Waffle Hut” by Neal Thompson

I saw my twin sister working at the Waffle Hut outside Kid Valley, her hair longer and grayer since we last spoke. That was nine years back, when mom died. An aneurysm seemed to have been waiting and waiting for just the right moment, and then POP! Mom’s gone. Sixty-seven and healthier than either of us, knocked to the ground by a tiny gremlin, right there outside the Goodwill.