Book Details

Twenty Four Short Stories Sifting Grain From Chaff

The characters in this collection of twenty-four short stories sift through the chaff of society from their own perspectives in the hope of finding a grain of sense to their lives. A barber lauds the art of listening and never allows his customer, a newcomer to the town, to say a word. A precocious Girl Scout coaxes a recluse out of his cocoon. An expectant father at the graveside of his beloved grandfather lays to rest one treasured life to prepare for another. A dictatorial and abusive husband dies at his wife’s hand. A municipal brush truck driver rises to a final act of heroism. Two elderly men subconsciously explore loneliness in a casual and brief interaction. A lovable and profane old woman gets her final justice for those who have wronged her. A writer visits a psychologist and each rethinks how much fate has to do with what has brought them together. An opinionated old man is confronted in a court of law with the narrow path he walks between the eccentric and the insane. A journalist who once worked as a soda jerk in a small town drug store covers the story of why the drug store suddenly closed and finds himself returned there for good. A half-blind and homeless Viet Nam veteran comes to grips with a new kind of survival. An alcoholic and failed lawyer who would be a writer finds his course altered by a homeless ex-convict. A respected church member lays bare his respect while speaking from his coffin at his funeral. A creative writing professor and a young divorcee explore the line between observant writer and voyeur. A mentally handicapped bag boy in a supermarket bonds with a girl at work who is the same age and not the same age. A retired and widowed sociology professor struggles with guilt over mentally undressing women he has never met. An older brother revisits the hero worship his younger brother, a missing in action Viet Nam veteran, always bestowed on him. A homeless small town man ponders the people who abused him and the people who loved him and why he has come to where he is. A failed author explores the aloneness of his craft. A World War II veteran finds a deeper war with loneliness. A retired man who had viewed himself all his life as seeing only shadows of the ideal, finally finds his way out of the cave in Socrates’ allegory. A seventy-five year old widower presides over his generations of offspring at his traditional Fourth of July family gathering and ponders what has kept them together and what is driving them apart. A lawyer campaigning for election to a judgeship wrestles with racism and hate and their tragic consequences and struggles with whether vengeance should be a part of justice. The book closes with the same town barber as the narrator, when the newcomer is back in the barbershop again after having spent the summer in the town writing short stories. The grain these characters winnow from the chaff in their lives may or may not sustain them.

 

About the Author

Bob Hodges

Bob Hodges is a native of Scottsboro, Alabama who now resides in Hampton Cove, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama with bachelor of arts and law degrees and later studied creative writing under the noted novelist and short story writer, H.E. Francis, at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Though he is a retired judge, having served over twenty-eight years collectively on both the state and federal bench, his passion has always been writing. He has previously self-published a collection of poetry and short fiction (Ravellings: A Collection of Poetry and Short Fiction) and a biography (Dusty: Journey of a High School Coaching Icon) through iUniverse.com, and has had short stories published in The Alabama Lawyer, Birmingham Arts Journal and Hometown Press in Huntsville, Alabama.

Also by Bob Hodges

Feathers from Icarus
 

Multi-Media

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