Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julane Hiebert | Redeem the Time
Author Guest / July 8, 2016

High in one of the willow trees that line the bank of our lake, the setting sun highlights the red head of a red-bellied woodpecker. I watch as he pecks and hops his way up the tree into the canopy above until I can no longer see him. And my storybook mind wonders where he is going in his white apron, black and white tux, and his bright red top hat. Our wee cottage sits on the banks of a small man-made lake in the flint hills of Kansas. While the houses across the way sit high above the water, we have only to walk out our back door and traverse the required 100 feet span between our deck to the swing which sits along our seawall. We woke this morning to stormy skies, and the water looked dark and angry. Wind whistled through the timber to the east of us and drove waves high enough to make the resident geese bob like corks as they made their morning visit to our cove. Tonight, as I write this, the face of the lake is stoic, almost petulant, and only an occasional twist of the heart-shaped cottonwood leaves betray what otherwise…

Carre Armstrong Gardner | Novocain Brain
Author Guest / July 8, 2016

Last month, I had some dental work done in the left half of my mouth. Going to the dentist is never a picnic in the park, in fact, it usually makes me think I am going to die. I managed to avoid thinking about it until I was actually sitting in the chair. Then, I suddenly remembered why I used to drink, but by then it was too late. All I could do was lie back and think of England. My dentist, Dr. Nelson, is such a nice, sweet woman. She makes me wear safety goggles. So, I’m in the chair, goggles on, and sweet Dr. Nelson starts by shooting Novocain into my gums. Novocain makes me nervous: I am a nurse, and I know about local anesthetic toxicity, and I am sure it’s going to happen to me. I feel the little pinch….I wait for it…THERE! My heart is racing! I know the next step will be a weird metallic taste; my ears will ring; I will flush all over, and then the end will come. But none of that happens. My heart rate slows to normal. Apparently it was just nerves: a bullet narrowly dodged. Dr. Nelson and…