Iowa Writes

from Fires

The radio says mountains are on fire. I wake beside Ruth, kicking off sweat-damp sheets, careful not to jostle her. She's still passed out, thank God. It's ten a.m. The heat is homicidal.

I fumble for the radio and turn it off.

Mountains—the green, densely forested mountains behind my old neighborhood—are burning. The Appalachians. No rain all spring. Dry lightning storms have whispered across Maryland and Virginia, igniting undergrowth, birthing infant forest fires that have become monstrous in adulthood. Fires like these are unheard-of on the East Coast; they've been headlines for days.

The development where I grew up has been evacuated. My parents are waiting it out in Atlantic City.

But I don't want to think about my parents. Or the fire.

I sit up carefully beside Ruth.

Dorm beds are designed for a single person, so if you're sharing one with a girl you're in love, or lust, with, the bed is perfect, because you have to be practically on top of her. But if you're not supposed to be there at all—if the other person doesn't know you're there—things aren't as simple.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Nick Antosca's Fires was published in 2006 by Impetus Press, an independent publisher based in Iowa City. Founded on a mountain of contempt for mainstream publishing and a dislike for the rigid constraints of experimental presses, Impetus Press began with the desire to bridge the gap between experimental and commercial publishing.

Impetus Press site

This page was first displayed
on July 04, 2008

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