April Texas Short Stories, Week 3

This month is dedicated to Texas short stories, many of which came from anthologies (Literary Houston, Lone Star Literature, and Unknown Texas primarily). Stay tuned next week for an interview with Brian Van Reet.

“The   Window” Brian Van Reet Staff Sergeant Fitzpatrick   tried to hold the memory, his eyes moving from the menu to his fiancée, to a   rusty freight passing through the outskirts of Marathon, dotted with trailer   parks and cement factories, into the Chihuahuan Desert.
“Tower   Six” Brian Van Reet He was a sharp man from West Texas with a thin mustache and   fast-moving eyes.
“Chango” Oscar Casares The wind was blowing some, but it was a warm breeze that made him feel like he was sitting in a   Laundromat waiting for his pants to dry.
“RG” Oscar Casares I wanted to believe the hammers were somehow sending messages all over the neighborhood.
“The Events Concerning a Nude   Fold-Out Found in a Harlequin Romance” Joe R. Lansdale I was scared to death she’d fall in love with some cowboy with  a cheek full of snuff and end up ironing Western shirts and wiping baby asses before she was old enough to vote.
“Cowboy” Joe R. Lansdale I got off the plane at Atlanta and caught the shuttle to what I thought was my hotel.
“Van Horn, Texas   (Highway 10)” Sam Shepard All I want is dessert and she giggles as though the implication is that she’s the “dessert” and the chef picks up on   this and decides I’m seriously demented road trash and starts asking me to leave.
 ”When We Were Cool” William J. Cobb It was exciting in its own wierd way, to be out driving in the middle of a snowy night, looking for the quick kiss of painkillers.
“Wild   Turkey” Ray Isle Nothing is more irritating to false nonchalance than real nonchalance.
 ”Whitey” Pamela Diamond Men stopped taking care of women in 1979-in the winter.
“Catholicism at the end   of the Century” Peter La Salle Though a waitress with “personality” means a successful waitress, a girl who can push more drinks and bag hefty tips for   herself, said “personality” usually also means the stock flirty   blather that seems to be the Gross National Product of this hip new city, the city that is the capital of this hip new Texas, the state that is the success story in this hip new America.
“The Sign from Luke XVIII” LaVerne Harrell Clark A way they have been taught without words by their ancestors:   this idea of theirs that they must ever sense or only question silently what   is really new to them; that they must talk endlessly about the little things   and never ask openly for the answers to the big things, the things to which   they are unaccustomed.
“Between   Here and the Yellow Sea” Nic Pizzolatto At this time, I still work for Alamo Sewer Treatment in   Port Arthur, and my days are spent driving backroads with a clipboard, noting   phosphorous and ammonia levels in the watershed, making sure farmers aren’t   spreading chicken shit over their fields.

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