Fiction: "You are the Greatest Lake" by Greg Schutz

Published in the Sycamore Review

Jul. 25, 2011
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I don't normally provide links to excerpts, but I really enjoyed reading the first part of this short story published in the Sycamore Review and I encourage readers to check it out. If you like it, buy a copy of the magazine to read the rest of the piece. Here's a short excerpt:

We are at the tip of the thumb of Michigan. The sky threatens sun, so John has reluctantly left the water and run into town for groceries. His waders, latex and neoprene, hang in the mudroom. They smell sourly of rubber and sweat and still hold the shape of his legs. I put a pitcher of lemonade in the refrigerator to chill. The rental cottage is quiet. From the back porch, I can see Dot out in the bay, practicing the dead-man’s float. Dot is John’s daughter. She is eight years old. “I love you,” I say.

Distantly, she stirs in the water, as if she’s heard me.

The yard rolls down to the lake, grass giving way to pebbles and shells, pebbles and shells pouring smoothly into the water to form the firm, gravelly bottom that John says draws bass into the bay. I know nothing about smallmouth bass except what John has told me—a striped bronze fish, football-shaped with the slung jaw of a linebacker, that he wades for, casting, on cloudy mornings and afternoons. I know that in broken light they rise from the depths to prowl the bay for crayfish and leeches, mayfly larvae and minnows. I know the bay is broad and flat as a pan. A quarter-mile out, where Dot is floating, it’s only two or three feet deep. Still, I worry. John makes allowances for her that I could never imagine for my own daughter. She is so small.

Click here to read the rest.

I hope this summer those of you who are writers as well as readers are submitting stories AND reading some as well. We gotta support each other, after all, and ordering a few literary journals to keep around your place during the summer is an easy way to kick the boredom that sometimes hangs in the 98-degree air ...


Ken Brosky

(Awesome cover artwork by Blaine Fontana)


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