Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: What on earth is a “Southern Legitimacy Statement” ??? I”m only typing in this box because it’s required. *ah ha! Someone didn’t pay attention to the directions, Ed. A Man Named Karen Karen’s name had never really bothered him. He knew that eventually it wouldn’t be that interesting…

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Joshua Caleb Wilson: A Man Named Karen (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Literacy Statement:  I’m a fifth generation East Tennessean. I’ve cleared fields, dug post holes, chopped wood, and hauled hay. Had a beagle named Clyde that wadn’t worth a damn. As a teen I worked at the local AM country radio station which was housed in a trailer where I…

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Jake W. Ford: A Fear All Her Own (flash fiction)

Posted in Fiction

SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT: Born and raised in Caldwell County, North Carolina, I have lived in the Old North State most of my life (except for two soggy years in Oregon – what was I thinking?). I am the youngest of three sisters raised in our Mama’s beauty shop, which was…

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Daun Daemon: Good Customers (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement (one of the best ever): After we moved to the burbs off the farm in Down East North Carolina, my Daddy wanted to make sure his boys didn’t forget our roots. So one summer when I was thirteen or fourteen he announced he’d found jobs just outside town…

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Michael Wade: Collard Heaven (Fiction)

Posted in Fiction Interviews / Books / Music

“I’d never had a broken heart and didn’t understand the difference between what you feel and what you have to do.”  The novel, Mourning Dove embraces an enduring story of the 1970s American South and holds onto it with a such precision — dialogs so rare and unique that you want…

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Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton (a novel)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am a child of rural Texas. The southern part not the Western part. I was raised by an Alabama born grandmother. As such I believe bacon brings us closer to God and that corn bread is staple at the two later meals of the day. I have…

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John Brewer: The Sounds of the South (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I live in North Carolina. This area of America has been savaged by Oxycontin or as they call it around here ‘hillbilly heroin.’ I’ve met a lot of people who have been affected by the drug; this is a particularly intimate portrait of a life laid low but…

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Aimee Keeble: No Ode to Oxy (essay)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Despite being born in Sin City, I was raised on I-95, traveling and living in all the states between the Mason Dixon Line and the Florida Everglades, always finding home in a North Carolinian sleepy, coastal town. A dance with the devil when the music won’t stop Maybe…

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Jessica Simpkiss: A dance with the devil when the music won’t stop (flash fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement:  I grew up in western North Carolina and that’s still where I live now under the shadows of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. Except for a stint in Washington DC (which is still pretty close to the South), I’ve lived in the South my whole life from…

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L.B. Sedlacek: The Care and Feeding of Cemeteries (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m writing this on my porch, in a t-shirt, in December, drinking a PBR. Jump School See, I didn’t learn how to jump out of airplanes the old fashioned way. This was before the Gulf War. I was a private at Fort Benning and I wanted to…

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Julia Hogan: Jump School (short fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born in backwoods Mississippi, and spent my youth bouncing between my homestate, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia. I also spent some time in Florida, but many consider it to be a lost corner of the North, so I won’t list it as one of…

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Rae Monroe: The Cowmilker

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: … a short story I wrote about Debra, her big ideas about school drop off, and the special brand of passive aggression that can only be found in Southern mom groups. The story is loosely based on an actual exchange from my group in an affluent Dallas neighborhood….

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Kristin Sample: Lost Raven Moms Yahoo Group (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

My Southern legitimacy is purely honorary (two degrees from U. of Arkansas, 1985). The Neurosurgeon’s Rat The neurosurgeon grimaced at the sight of the family clustered in the waiting room.  They refused to leave the waiting room, according to the supervising ICU nurse at the desk. They reminded him of…

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Robb White: The Neurosurgeon’s Rat (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Here’s a fan favorite from Mule writer Tim Peeler. So much code to delete, it took forever to clean this one up. This came from the Wayback Machine. 1990s Classic Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Résumé Was there snow on the ground, or was it one of the first…

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Tim Peeler: Résumé (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: parts of this world differ from others in the oddest, saddest and most real ways. and in those same differences we find similarities. such is my south. such are all places. towns of the south are often islands. and islands are often their own little terrifying worlds. here…

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Jesse Miller: See It To Believe It (micro-fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Another great old story from the 1990s Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. One more attempt at rebuilding our archives. This is one of my personal favorites. I think he’s known as Thomas Scott McKenzie now. Barges They sat in the molded yellow plastic chairs outside the Arby’s, eating their…

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Barges by Scott McKenzie (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement:  When I was a kid, my grandmother made us biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and she always made two with a special pinch of dough on the top. She called it a “hop toad” and I knew that those two biscuits were just for me. That was in…

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Fred Guyette: They Had to Call Life-Flight (micro-fiction)

Posted in Fiction

For my SLS, I have worshiped at the twin altars of Stone Mountain (friction climbing) and Seneca Rocks (face and crack climbing). In my lifetime, I have achieved about a 50 percent success rate on the last rapid on the Nantahala. I have sea kayaked in the dark in January…

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Chris Espenshade: Will to Die (micro-fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’ve lived in Richmond, Va. for over 13 years and lived in Farmville, Va. for 2 years before that. Farmville, a small town with Southern charm, is the setting of the story. Noise The sound of the 5:10 train coming through town was comforting. In the morning darkness…

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Steven Carr: Noise (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

One of our favorite stories ever published on the Dead Mule, from around 1998 or earlier — archives found on the WayBack Machine. A blast from the past, still working on rebuilding our archives. Up Above the Dead Line It had happened for the last time.  That was all there…

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F. Brett Cox: Up Above the Dead Line (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born in Virginia and write from the hills of Tennessee. Festival Talk Every time the cold grip of winter thawed to creek water in Alabama, there came the chatterings of spring including festival talk. A well-attended festival was the watermark of a good community. Burnt Springs…

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Catherine Moore: Festival Talk (fiction)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I know what a #2 washtub, a #9 turner and a come-along are. I also know at least 3 ways to prepare chicken for Sunday lunch without going to a grocery store for the bird. If that’s not Southern, then grits ain’t groceries. The Elves and the Dwarves…

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Lanny Gilbert: The Elves and the Dwarves (fiction)