a novella & six stories
Turnback Creek— During the day, retired heavy equipment operator Cole Emerson cooks, cleans, and tries to keep his dying sister Elsie comfortable, but at night he escapes into the dark solitude of Hardman Lake to fish for bass and clear his head, until one evening in Turnback Creek, when he spies a haunting teenage girl who awakens in him a young man’s desires and old buried memories.
The Marind-Anim— Clyde Buxton is in rehab trying to gather up the lost parts of himself when he’s wakes one night to find a mysterious yet entertaining young woman at the foot of his bed.
A Happy Boy— After a rash of miscarriages, Jessica Garren hopes to dissipate her slowly deadening despair by adopting an oddly jubilant ten-year-old boy.
The Call of Tin— During a short day-hike, Marsha witnesses a frightening creature that transforms her life, but her husband only heard it, and becomes fixated on trying to figure out what it was, hoping to shake his wife back to normalcy.
Chaos Chaos— All the men in the Crane clan die before age fifty, but Mallory wants to spare her older brother Nolan the family curse, while struggling to get her own tilt-a-whirl life under control.
One Night In Liberty— Convinced that his best friend had an affair with his wife, Arthur confronts Po, but Po isn’t forthcoming, bound by a curious pledge of secrecy.
Clewison’s Wake— Obsessed with discovering how a fellow fisherman at the lodge is catching so many big trophies, Benny decides to follow Clewison one night, and ends up lost, his only guide back a peculiar light floating against the seamless black banks of Wambli Lake.
“Turnback Creek is a vividly realized, heartrending but never sentimental novella about one man’s inability to go gently into death’s good night. Lonnie Busch is an exciting new voice in Southern fiction.”—Ron Rash, author of One Foot in Eden, Saints by the River, and The World Made Straight, and winner of The O.Henry Award
“Turnback Creek is a look into mortality, at once gentle and hard, and the conclusions in this fine novella are as true as a perfect cast into dark, deep waters.”—Brian Railsback, author of Parallel Expeditions: Charles Darwin and the Art of John Steinbeck, A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia, and a novel, The Darkest Clearing.
Lonnie Busch is an award-winning author whose work has also appeared in Southwest Review, The Minnesota Review, The Baltimore Review and others. His awards include the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize, finalist for the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award. He is also a painter, illustrator, animator who has created artwork for many companies including the “Greetings from America” stamps and “Wonders of America” for the USPS.