Venti Moonshine Latte

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     So there we are, on the front porch of a friend’s friend of a friend. There is a child’s bike in the yard, a dog sitting among piles of moving boxes on the couch, a coffee table with no glass, and a gun in the bedroom. A jar of moonshine and a pile of playing cards sit on the table, under the glow of a bare light bulb. Things had gotten very weird at Starbucks.      But let me back up. Sometimes, as a young educator, new to Alabama and a tiny bit bored with living out in the woods miles and miles from what was once considered acceptable civilization, a trip to Starbucks sounds nice. When the nearest business is a gas station with slot machines featuring displays of sequined pantsuits that...

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Bubba & the Bobcat

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     I’m not sure I can do this story justice, so I’ll relay the facts as best I can. One really had to be there, in the woods of Northern Alabama, sharing conversation and campfire-cooked wild animal, to truly appreciate the enormity of the event.      “The Event,” of course, was a loud and boisterous man, all too appropriately named Bubba, a “flatlander” from central Alabama, conveniently deposited to our front porch one Friday afternoon as a friend of a friend joining the night’s camping trip. He emerged from a new model dark blue pickup truck with an open Budweiser in hand and an unlit Pall Mall in the corner of his mouth. In his substantial shadow, a diminutive woman in a flannel shirt and Victoria’s Secret sweatpants followed: Bubba’s Old Lady.      As...

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Murder on the Half Shell

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     “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” – Jonathan Swift, Irish essayist      The 9th of June 2012 was the day I became a killer.      Five years ago you couldn’t have paid me to join the ranks of those referred to as criminals, serial killers, murderers – those with black hearts and even blacker souls who unflinchingly take up arms against the helpless. Yet here I was on June 9th, staring down my innocent victim with cold-blooded murder in mind, and for not just one, but 12 possible victims – a serial killer overnight!      I had meticulously plotted and planned this moment for the last two months, weighing my options – the perfect location, the number of potential witnesses, the best murder weapon. I had sought advice from...

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