winner of the Ralph Nading Hill Literary Award for Short Story
Hardwood Flats doesn’t appear on most local maps but the name is used by locals to describe an unmapped space between Elmore, Wolcott, and Woodbury. It’s a hardscrabble bog of isolated ponds, marshland, and mixed second-growth hardwoods and occasional stands of young evergreens. Walking in the woods one can always hear running water somewhere. Much of the terrain seems to float on an inland sea. Here and there, a few dirt roads, passable except in mud season, wind through the woods, feeding into corduroyed logging roads and then tapering off into hunting trails and deeryards. Occasional year-round dwellings nestle here and there on the passable roads. Hunters or hikers will occasionally run across abandoned farmhouses moldering in clearings marked by their overgrown lilac bushes or unpruned apple trees. Further in, they may encounter a tarpaper deer camp with sun-bleached antler racks over a padlocked door.
from Lila & Theron (Charles Michael Publishing)