Sunday, December 7, 2008

Excerpt From Turnback Creek by Lonnie Busch

The reflection of the moon shattered when Cole’s lure hit the water. He stared at the rings radiating out, at the moon slowly repairing itself on the black surface. Cole hated fishing on nights like this—when the bass weren’t biting, the stillness so complete it seemed the world had stopped breathing—but night was the only time he had for himself.
Even the unexplainable breeze that always spread a faint ripple across the surface of Turnback Creek was oddly absent. Cole had just cocked his wrist to cast again when he heard a noise deep in the woods, a rumbling mechanical sound like a generator firing, a deep popping followed by a dull continuous thudding. He imagined one of those big Hollywood wind machines, the kind he’d seen on the MGM Studio tour out in California years ago, except that those fans weren’t nearly as noisy as this contraption. This sound brought to mind a bulldozer, but he quickly ruled that out—no one would be crazy enough to drive a bulldozer in the dead of night. Not in the woods.
Using his trolling motor, Cole pointed his bass boat toward the commotion. Halfway across the cove, the noise stopped. Instinctively, he drew his foot from the pedal, as if to match the sudden silence, the boat drifting soundlessly through the darkness. He swept his gaze across the woods along the bank, the trees and foliage forming a black jagged wall. His eyes burned from lack of sleep and his back was sore from lifting Elsie. When the rumbling sprang to life again, he laid his fishing rod down and turned the boat toward the bank.
Lonnie Busch is both artist and writer, and designed the cover for his novella, Turnback Creek. His short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as Southwest Review, The Minnesota Review, The Baltimore Review, The Southeast Review, Roanoke Review, Talking River Review, Flint Hills Review, Willow Review, The Iconoclast, Pisgah Review, MoonShine Review and others. Stories of his have also been finalists in the World’s Best Short Short Story Competition in 2004, The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction in 2005, and most recently, the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award.

As a painter/illustrator, Busch has created artwork for corporations and institutions across the United States, including the 2002 “Greetings from America” stamps and the 2004 “Summer Olympics” stamp for the US Postal Service.

His most recent projects include the cover for Jimmy Buffett’s novel, A Salty Piece of Land, as well as a block of forty stamps for the Postal Service in May of 2006, entitled, “Wonders of America.” He now makes his home in the mountains of North Carolina.

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