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  1.  (10631.1)
    The story, itself.

    So. Short fiction.

    I'm getting increasingly interested in what short fiction looks like now, with the increasing use of e-readers and the like. Makes sense that there should be a vast outpouring of short stories fluttering through the air, ready to pick up and read at a moment's notice for a nominal fee.

    It's perfect, really. A self-contained, complete experience, ready to pick up over a coffee break and put down before your coffee cools. I know that we're seeing it with flash-fiction, but I'd like to think that the good old-fashioned short story can find its place.

    Anyway, I've decided to give it a try with The Ballad of the Wayfaring Stranger and the Dead Man's Whore. It's North Carolina in high summer, when the cicadas scream loud enough to drown out speech. It's the gas station where nobody stops. It's a pretty girl singing "In the Pines" while she waits for her beau to finish sharpening his razor.

    It's a good time, and it's a self-contained experience that costs less than a buck.

    Come on in. Saved a seat for you by the fire.