Book Review: Emily’s Stitches: The Confessions of Thomas Calloway

I love the short story forum. It’s a daunting task to set a limit on words to tell a tale. But it’s something to weave a collection of stories together to form a bigger story. “Emily’s Stitches: The Confessions of Thomas Calloway” by Leverett Butts, is such an example. The crux of these stories tell the tale of Thomas, a young man trying to make sense of the world. But it’s not as simple as he believes. And after meeting Emily, a girl with issues of her own, the world becomes more complicated. And it doesn’t help that friends like Gardener Smith twist his way of thinking under the guise of educating him. The stories compose a journey of a young man struggling to find his place.

Leverett Butts does a wonderful job of integrating these stories into a tale that doesn’t pull punches. Leverett’s description of Owen, Georgia is so rich for a small town. The characters and their relationships have range and complexity. No one is squeaky clean, not even Thomas. And by the end, you get the sense that all of them are doomed to be stuck in the environment they were raised in. 

Leverett Butts includes a variety of poems and short stories. Some stories take place in the same universe of the main series.  Some deal with loss, some about revelations. “Misdirection” is a favorite. It’s about a hit man who approaches a crossroads in his career. “Requiem” is another good one where a young man recollects where he met the girl of his dreams and the friend who refutes it. And “Gods for Sale, Cheap” takes a satirical look at how we approach religion. I found that one fascinating. 

I want to write a series of stories that center around a theme, a character, a town, whatever. “Emily’s Stitches” is an example of how to approach such a task. What Leverett Butts does with this world and these characters is wonderful. He’s definitely an inspiration to follow. 

Technology Bites

Frank strolled into the local coffee shop and couldn’t help staring at the number of patrons with their heads down, looking at whatever was going on their phones. He felt disgusted. He thought it was disrespectful to be on a device while in line. His phone rang, but he did not bother to answer it. The phone kept vibrating, but stopped after five pulses in his pocket. It was his turn. Continue reading “Technology Bites”

First Kiss

Inspired by another prompt from Lori Carlson, this scene again takes place in an elevator, but under different circumstances. It should be noted that the names of the characters have been changed so as to not offend anyone. Enjoy.

Prompt: You’re stuck in an elevator with someone from your past. Write the scene. 

I ran to the elevator, hoping to catch it before it closed. Continue reading “First Kiss”

“Eye” Salute You

Lori Carlson wrote a scene on her Promptly Written blog, and I thought I would give it a try. 

Prompt: You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write the scene.

As the elevator door closed, a hand wedged itself in between. It belonged to a grey-bearded man with a camouflage cap.  He looked at me like I was supposed to hold the door for him, or something. I was already running late for my appointment and didn’t want the hassle. The door closed and the elevator started moving. He didn’t press anything. There was no possible way he was getting off the same floor I was. 

There was a stench about him I couldn’t put my finger on. It was like a combination of pain cream and perspiration. I tried not to wretch. There was some rope wrapped around his corduroys. I couldn’t imagine that keeping them from falling down to his ankles. He then turned to me with those icy sad eyes. I tried not to make eye contact with him. Instead, I focused on the cap with stars lining the brim. He took the hat off, almost daring me to look at him. It was entrancing, borderline hypnotic. It was as if he wanted me to know his story without him saying a word. He walked toward me. I couldn’t move. He leaned to me with those eyes for what seemed like an eternity. 

The elevator bell rang. He stepped back and nodded his head. The door opened and he marched out. I stood bewildered.  The door closed, but I didn’t care.

I Hate Birthdays

Before you read this, it should be noted that I do not hate birthdays. My birthday is this weekend. But I thought it would be a little fun to create a story about someone who despises her own birthday. I’ll share about my birthday weekend in an upcoming post. In the meantime, feel free to comment on this story. I look forward to reading what everyone has to say. Continue reading “I Hate Birthdays”

“Once Upon a Time…”

I’m not a fairytale-type of person, which is weird considering a have two kids under the age of five. But after reading a post from The Write Practice, it got me thinking about how we write our stories. Sometimes, the easiest way to start a story is the phrase, “Once upon a time.” Continue reading ““Once Upon a Time…””

Waiting

Trent glanced at his watch. It read, “12:14.” His feet tapped the floor like a drummer. Trisha patted him on the shoulder and kissed his cheek.

“Don’t worry. We’ll make it in time.”

He titled his head at the line. It looked as if it could circle the mall three times over. He and Trisha and Ophelia were in the middle.

“I told you we should have left sooner.” Continue reading “Waiting”