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[hey!] bales

(June 2023)

Lovely CC Readers:

Welcome to the June installment of [hey!] bales, where we round up the month’s posts and link to them all in one convenient spot. If you’d like to be notified whenever we post, just mosey over here, scroll down, and enter your email to subscribe!

And now, without further ado, here are our latest offerings:

Longtime Cease, Cows readers should remember “Lovebugs,” Andrea Rinard’s emotional story of a girl striving for peer acceptance. Rinard’s new collection, Murmurations, published by Eastover Press, showcases her skill at finding meaning in the everyday objects of life. Rinard excels at inhabiting her characters’ interior lives; her stories are concise, compelling, and linger in a reader’s heart long after the ending.

There goes my only chance to understand him, I thought, when my boyfriend told me his mother had died. Marge keeled over dead the week after I moved in with George. He’d had zero interest in introducing us. I could tell you I embarrassed him, but I know how to behave around parents. I could tell you his mother embarrassed him but given the number of glossies of her in silver frames sitting on our fireplace mantel, I’d say that’s not the case.

The moose laps the puddle at its feet. “Water,” Miss Aurora says, “Nature’s nectar.”

“Is this,” I say to Miss Aurora, lowering my voice so I don’t alarm the children, “an emergency situation?”

“Don’t be silly,” she says. “Some of the parents tend to go a little overboard, but it’s all right.” The moose looks up at me accusingly; bits of ceiling tile are stuck in its beard.

The morning after my husband packs his suitcase and leaves, I cook some braised pork, a plateful of Brussels sprouts, and a chunk of my ring finger for breakfast.

Readers in the mood for flash fiction grounded in the speculative and rich in sensory detail will enjoy Patterns of Orbit, the new collection by Chloe N. Clark. Matt Bell, author of Appleseed, writes, “Chloe Clark’s stories are compact marvels of miniaturized mystery, something like what I imagine you might get if you stranded Steven Millhauser in interstellar space. Patterns of Orbit is a smart, moving collection, one that might permanently expand what you imagine possible, leaving you searching out fresh wonder everywhere you go.”

That’s all for a while, as we’re going on break for the summer! Stay safe out there!

~ CC Staff

Lead image: “Hay Bales in Sunflower Field” (via Flickr user Alabama Extension)