The Last Rose of Summer

Dr. Francis Thornton was the seventh lineal male to bear that name, his father, Reverend Francis Thornton, being the sixth. It was assumed, or at least the younger Francis believed it was assumed, that he was to follow in his father’s steps into the presbytery. His father was a towering man—in body, spirit, and intellect.Continue reading “The Last Rose of Summer”

The Virtue of Slaughter

Swift, blazing flag of the regiment, Eagle with crest of red and gold, These men were born to drill and die. Point for them the virtue of slaughter, Make plain to them the excellence of killing And a field where a thousand corpses lie. –Stephen Crane, “War is Kind” The table was covered in bloodContinue reading “The Virtue of Slaughter”

Ain’t My Land, Ain’t Your Land

The old woman rocked slowly in the dwindling summer evening. She gazed out over the cotton fields and listened to the midsummer evening crickets and the creaking wood of the rickety porch. Her husband, brother, son, and daughter were all out there in the distance, shades in the sun, stooping and rising, swinging hoes, andContinue reading “Ain’t My Land, Ain’t Your Land”