Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

The Quiet Kind

by Katey Schultz

Nathan’s is the quiet kind of PTSD. Even he knows that much. Here’s one way it works: When teenagers drive past his house on Grove Road, engines backfiring like the muffled explosions he heard in the Korengal, he lets his mind make a movie of everything his cells are telling him to do—Nathan, diving beneath the dinner table; Nathan, chin-tucked, hands reaching for the safety on his M4; Nathan, sheepishly returning to his chair, dodging his wife Tenley’s gaze. If he focuses hard enough on the movie, he can keep still instead, as if he never even heard the pop-crack, as if he’d never even been re-deployed.

There is the Nathan living and the Nathan watching Nathan. Together, they present a 30-year-old man wound as tightly as the muscles in his throat. Three weeks out, he’s back to full time at Mountain Hardware, working the six to two. The guys were good like that—saving his position. He keeps waiting, but they never ask what he did “over there.”

One morning at the shop, an old-timer comes in wearing a Vietnam Veteran’s cap and limping like his right side carries half-a-pound of shrapnel.

“What do INS employees do after they get fired?” he calls over the counter. He holds a bag of Torx head screws in one hand and some hurricane brackets in the other. Nathan and Ranold, the Assistant Manager, stare blankly at the vet, who answers his own joke: “They go work for TSA.”

“Good one,” says Ranold and drums his fingers on a display case.

“I saw your picture in the paper last month,” the vet says to Nathan. “Welcome home.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“That’s a different war over there now, isn’t it? GPS units and NVG’s. ”

Nathan feels the vet’s expectant pause. Here is the moment he should say something. Instead, he shrugs and rings up the vet’s sale, stuffing the items along with a flyer into a single plastic bag. He came back to work so soon, he reminds himself, because routines feel comforting. Because if he sits alone for too long, his mind spirals toward memories of hand-to-hand combat he has to work hard to undo. He understands now that the idea of coming home is a farce. Nothing seems familiar anymore. No matter what he does, he feels off the mark. Like grabbing for something dropped into a pool and watching how slowly your hand moves, how quickly what you’re after starts to sink.

The shop bell rings and the door shuts behind the vet. Nathan reaches for the weekly paper, a ten-page Who’s Who of weddings and obituaries.

“How many tours do you think that guy did?” Ranold asks.

“It’s hard to say,” says Nathan. “A lot kept going back.”

“Like you?”

Nathan stares at the headlines, page two pressed tightly between thumb and forefinger: Help Your Local Food Pantry, Tigers 2-0 in Pre-Season. “Yeah, like me. Sort of.”

“Well, we’re all glad you made it back in one piece,” Ranold says. “And you sure look a lot better than that guy.”

Nathan forces his gaze away from the paper and out the storefront windows. He should stand. If he can stand, he can talk, and if he can talk, he’ll be okay. His body obeys, and he sets the paper down lightly, then turns to face Ranold. He will not tell him that making it back in one piece is not the issue, but how many pieces of you got left behind. He will not say that even though he’s never been hit, he feels as hollowed as the hemlock trunk on his shooting range. He will, instead, look Ranold in the eyes and speak very, very normally.

“Thanks for saying that,” Nathan says, then nods, lips quickly pressing closed.

Maybe it’s always been this way. People in the South can claim their reputation of hospitality, but after a decade in Appalachia, Nathan’s only ever seen it go skin deep. It keeps him clammed up, backwards from his Midwestern upbringing. He believes in hard love, as his mother puts it, and that’s about talking things through even if it means a knock-down drag-out. Eventually, you come out on the other side, and the space around you feels like the cornfields after they’re mowed down. Expansive. Open. Ready for a new start. Here in the Blue Ridge, there are too many hollers. Too many places a man can hide.

Blue Ridge Mountains: photograph by Cindy Sheppard [Blue Ridge Mountains]
Photograph by Cindy Sheppard

Nathan has about an hour each afternoon before his daughter Cissy gets home—enough time to grab his rifle and huff ten minutes to the top of the ridge. This particular afternoon, he feels the edge of winter in the fall air. At least he doesn’t mind that about the mountains. The way each season teases itself out of the previous, slow and steady until one day you look around and realize the leaves have fallen, the frost turned to snow, your Carhartt vest not quite warm enough anymore. Today’s a rag, though. Nathan knows fall will still hang on a few more weeks. He walks quick, gaze up, scanning the trees for variations in the bark. Thick, corrugated bark means hickory. Thin, grey, and blistered means beech. The oaks give him trouble unless the leaves are still on, but he likes the challenge.

Nathan felt uncertain when they first previewed the lot, but up top he found a scar of land about five feet wide and a hundred yards long that opened to the sunlight. He knew he’d need a way to climb from their house at the bottom of the holler, up to the top to get fresh air. The ridgeline would be his place to do it, though he wonders now—how can a man used to endless Indiana pasture ever grow old on land like this? Pin-holed, creek-jambed. Everywhere he looks, ridge after ridge stretches down from high peaks to form a series of claustrophobic hollers. Not too terribly different than the Korengal.

He loads his rifle with a few rounds and takes aim. About eighty yards away, an old hemlock has fallen across the ridge, its trunk the width of a man resting sideways on his shoulder, as if taking an afternoon nap. Sunlight warms the bark of the decaying tree, its centerline stripped to the cambium by bullets so that it almost glows. Nathan fires and sees the wood spray. He lowers his rifle and echoes of the single shot sing through the hollers below. The world always feels doubly silent afterwards, a sensation strong enough on most days to remind Nathan how he used to be, if only for an instant, before he starts sinking away from himself again. Sending out a single shot without reply is a luxury lost on most civilians. That’s the lure. Perhaps he can normalize himself, he thinks, by repeating this action until both Nathans—the one living and the one watching—reconcile and let the silence be true.

Anyone would rather forget those night missions, ambushing safe houses deep in the valley with his squad members, not knowing if they’d scare up somebody’s children or come around a corner to face a room full of terrorists juiced on heroin. More often it was the latter, and what happened in those dark hallways and leaning shacks had woven into Nathan’s muscle memory like a new neuron—ready to fire at the slightest suggestion. He rarely saw their faces, but he could feel their breath—feel it stop once he released his grip or withdrew the blade. He didn’t need to know what they looked like; come daylight, the face of any Afghan he saw could have been like the men he’d killed the night before and now here they are, day after day, just on the other side of every blink Nathan takes. Back at the outpost, the imagery almost made sense. Eyes open, he saw Shrouder strapping flea collars around his ankles to keep away the itches, or Babyfat writing his blood type on his combat boots with black Sharpie. Eyes closed, he recalled his first confirmed kill just fifty yards outside the wire, bullet zipping so fast Nathan saw blood and brains splatter out the insurgent’s mouth before his own finger came off the trigger. If he didn’t see that, he saw Specialist Martin’s Humvee, the IED that carved up his fire team like so many sides of beef. Nathan carried severed limbs in a plastic bag over his shoulder, handed them off to Sarge, then retched into the thirsty dirt.

But back home, this movement between worlds is simply too jarring. Eyes open: Cissy with her purple backpack and back-to-school sneakers, jumping into her tall Daddy’s arms every day she comes home from school. Or Tenley, the way her lower lip softens whenever he walks into the room, like she still can’t believe he made it home uninjured. The contrast alone seems enough to steal a man’s breath.


If he and Tenley ever had another child, Nathan would want to talk about making a move. Back to the Midwest. Tenley’s parents held Cissy the day she was born. They get to take her for long weekends and see her in dance performances and holiday plays. Nathan’s mom drives down twice a year, three times if money is good. It seems only fair to raise a second child closer to the corn. Nathan considers this on his short drive home from Mountain Hardware, passing Coffee Perk, the library, the tackle shop. Main Street even boasts a movie theater now, old church pews salvaged from some place in the Piedmont, then installed in the biggest building downtown. It makes for an odd experience, watching Avatar or Matrix Reloaded on benches accustomed to prayer.

Outside town, the two-lane highway traces Cane River, mile after winding mile. Ten minutes to Grove Road and another few miles deep into the holler, then home. Before the turn, Nathan passes the park where he and Tenley used to push Cissy on the swings, and when she was smaller, in the stroller along the narrow, looping path. This was their family spot back before Cissy started school, before Nathan’s two tours, before they made an offer on their land. Nathan remembers asking Tenley for another child in that park. The day is right there. Cissy had fallen asleep, chin slumped to her neck, rosebud lips partially open. Nathan kept one hand on the stroller, gently rocking it back and forth. His other hand rested on Tenley’s knee, and he kept it there to ground himself while he said what he needed to say. Mountain Stream, Blowing Rock: photograph by Cindy Sheppard
“Mountain Stream,
Blowing Rock”
Photo by Cindy Sheppard

Tenley’s response had been practical, financial. As though she felt Nathan’s desire quaint. There sat the woman he left Indiana for, the bottle-tanned, blond, smartest person he knew, telling him maybe too much family wasn’t the best idea. Her older brother had three kids and “Just look at ’em. Hardly get a moment to themselves.” She tilted her gaze toward his, then looked down at the ground. “I’m sorry,” she finally said and stood so they could walk back to the car. Tenley had also mentioned money, but Nathan knew there must be more to it than that. Most husbands would resent their wives this privacy, but he can’t hold a single corrupted thought about Tenley in his mind. Even on his worst days outside the wire, it had been her photo that kept him believing in the goodness of humankind.

At home, Nathan sets his keys on the counter and aims for the sofa. He doesn’t have the energy to hike up to the ridgeline. Not today. He unlaces his work boots and kicks them off and stretches his long body from one end of the couch to the other. When he closes his eyes, sleep isn’t far behind.

Cissy can’t know that waking Daddy by jostling his toes is not unlike the way his fellow soldiers woke one another for fire watch, but there’s something suspicious about her touch. Too light. Too uncertain. Almost as if an insurgent has snuck into the bunkhouse and is standing there, moments before Nathan opens his eyes and sees the tip of an AK targeting his forehead. First response: every muscle in his body cinches tight, right up to the air trapped inside his lungs. Nathan realizes almost immediately how horribly this could go—Cissy feeling Daddy toss her to the ground with the flip of his legs, then his chest slamming into hers as he readies for the chokehold, then no—wait. It’s just his daughter. His only daughter.

Nathan opens his eyes and sees her there, blond pigtails and a toothy grin. “Sweetie, come on up here, away from Daddy’s feet, okay?” He might be whispering. The Nathan watching Nathan can’t be certain.

She slips her backpack off her shoulders and curls into Nathan’s arms. He shifts to his side so he can cradle her there, his little turtle. He wonders if she feels his heart thumping through his chest wall or his lungs cinching tighter, his consciousness holding court in a violent world.

“How was school today?” he asks. He’s back inside himself now, the good father on the sofa with his girl. He wants to cry at the simplicity of it. Tenley would like to walk in on this. He aches at the thought of his wife, feels a clutching of energy below his belt. He needs her. To know she needs him back. When he came home the second time, he felt cut down. Tenley and Cissy fared so well without him. They missed him, surely. But didn’t they need him while he was gone, too? Weren’t there things besides cleaning gutters and water bars that only he could provide? Nathan doesn’t feel certain anymore.

He squeezes Cissy between his arms and lets out a sigh. She’s saying something. Her day. That’s right. Nathan strains to focus, her voice so sweetly syncopated he could almost forget everything else. “Let’s get up, my girl. Let’s see what you’ve got for homework.”


For Tenley’s part, Nathan isn’t so much divided in two as he is an anomaly. She makes a study of him—this man she knows wholly, though now it seems an entire continent of unknowns could live inside of him. If a map existed, she might hesitate to look. Since his return, it’s one day at a time—a stark contrast to the dreaming and planning they did before his first deployment. There had even been talk of another child once, but how could Tenley have explained? She often thinks of having a larger family, but only in the way she thinks about what might be cooked for dinner or what movie might be showing that weekend. She certainly doesn’t think about children in a bodily way. She’s known one was enough since she was a child herself playing house with the neighborhood girls, always insisting on a small, pretend family. What would she and Nathan do with a new baby, anyway? Tenley sees enough of life’s miracles and failures at work as a CNA. Clocking out is perhaps her favorite part of the day. That and coming home to see Nathan there, for good.

She imagines their house sealed tightly from the rest of the world, the only place in the Blue Ridge her Nathan feels safe. He cried every day that first week home, and not the kind of crying that could be stopped. Crying in the hallway, crying while sitting in the truck in their driveway, crying over his first home-cooked meal. Crying with deep, body sobs Tenley hoped might bring the rest of her husband back to her. “Is there more?” she asked and pressed his wet face between her palms. She even held him a few nights in the beginning, opposite how they used to sleep: Tenley’s body cupped along Nathan’s back, her arm slumped over his shoulders, barely reaching halfway around. It made her feel uncertain, like borrowing someone else’s high heels. For so long she prayed to have Nathan standing in their living room dressed in civilian clothes, dimpled-smile across his face. Now that she has him, she knows she should have prayed for more.

But after that first week, Nathan’s crying stopped. Safe meant silent, and Tenley worked to make their house the place Nathan wouldn’t be pressed to explain himself, the place where, if they all worked at it, he wouldn’t even have to remember Afghanistan at all. Slowly and deliberately, he amputated memories. Tenley knew enough to feel it happening but had no clue how to make it stop—or if she should. She watched Nathan hunker down as if riding out a storm. If he spoke at all, his words came between sharp inhalations of breath. Even still, Tenley occasionally caught herself wishing Nathan would lose his temper. If he could just get pissed about something, she might be able to angle back into him, back to the way things used to be.

Tenley’s handling of Nathan’s return might look cold to anyone on the outside peeking in. That’s the thing about small Southern towns, as much as she loves them. Even her closest girlfriends dish judgment, warning her about the way combat changes a man. As if they know. As if they wore body armor, marveled at bullet holes through Kevlar, and lived on MREs for almost a year. Not that she did, but she’s closer to it than any of them and by holiday season, just when everyone hosts parties and cook-offs, she can almost scream she so desperately needs a break from all the social saccharine. The house transformed into a vacuum and now here she is, suggesting a two-week vacation at her mother-in-law’s on a landscape so barren she feels the wind might blow her all the way to Canada.

“Do you want to?” Tenley asks. She’s been prepping pork roast since mid-afternoon: marinating, stuffing, considering side dishes. Sunday dinner is her favorite, and with Cissy tall enough to see over the countertops, she has a little helper.

“Let’s go see Grandma!” Cissy grins when she says it, leaping into her mother who in turn bumps a pan of steaming green beans. Water hisses onto the stove.

“Everything alright in there?” Nathan calls from the living room where he sits, hunched over a Scrabble board.

“Nothin’ doin’,” Tenley calls. “My turn yet?”

“You’re not going to like this,” Nathan says. He walks into the kitchen.

“Triple score?”

“Double. But I used a Q and added to your last word.”


“Yeah. Sorry, baby.” He catches her around the waist as she moves to walk past. She loves that. How his wide palms make her feel petite. But she doesn’t like the other things those hands might have done. She slides quickly from his touch. That’s another thing they haven’t found their way back to, either. But enough—Tenley hasn’t even told her girlfriends as much. It’s smarter to let them guess. Chances are they’ll conjure a better version.

Tenley walks to the table. “QUIDDITCH?” she calls. “That’s not a word.”

“It’s Harry Potter’s game, Mama. And it’s a word.” They all stand in the living room, encircling the game board. Cissy flips through the Scabble dictionary. “Here, Daddy,” she says, proudly opening to the Q section. “Can you find it?”

“Let’s see...” He slowly thumbs through the pages.

“Mama says we’re going to Indiana for Christmas!” say Cissy. “She says maybe even for two weeks.”

Nathan glances at Tenley from across the table. “Two weeks, huh?”

“It would make your mother so happy,” she says. If she could just be direct, she’d like herself a little more. Her husband is home safe. She should be happy. And yet she has to re-learn him. Lately, she resents it. Nathan does things he doesn’t realize—little shouts in his sleep, nightly twitches and jerking. He even developed a new mannerism, a sideways lizard-stare that makes him look half-in and half-out of conversations. She can’t tell him. How could she? He’s been through enough. If she can get him back home, maybe he’ll remember himself. Indiana. The one thing, she used to tease, he might have married instead of her.

“Do you mean it, Ten?”

“I do.” She holds his gaze when she says it, marking the promise.

“I remember those two words,” Nathan says, and when Tenley blushes into a smile the family looks, for a moment, like a combat zone never came between them.


Winter now, and Nathan zips his coat to his chin, heading for the ridgeline. He follows his narrow footpath through the browned leaves, flecks of mica glittering atop the soil. He hopes the cold front is just that and won’t bring precipitation. Tomorrow they hit the road for Indiana. His mother called twice that week already, asking what more she could prepare, oh and didn’t I tell you? Your sisters are coming! She hadn’t said it, but Nathan knows that means nieces, nephews, and brothers-in-law as well. He tries to feel excited but suddenly what seemed like it would be an easy Christmas—maybe the one he’ll finally be able to convince Tenley they should make the move—will now be a hustle-bustle negotiation of shared bathrooms and chips ’n’ dip.

Up top he hears the wind hiss, a few territorial squirrels yakking over their stashes. In the Korengal the monkeys made that racket, screaming day and night without reason. Memories of their cries are still one of the few things Nathan hasn’t been able to sever. Even now, monkeys chatter through his nightmares. He hikes a little farther and considers shooting the squirrels but decides against it. He never liked killing. Until joining the Army, he never realized that what a man believes could be so far from what a man does. Nathan aims at the hemlock trunk and fires. Now, he has to live with parts of himself he hates—and the unsettling fact that those are also the parts he misses most. Combat, that dopamine-crazed brotherhood where every move matters. He can’t remember the last time he did something bearing that much consequence for his own family. Life pales in comparison to the constant threat of death.

Nathan loads two more rounds and fires, the sound like somebody slapping cupped hands over his ears. It feels good. He fires again, then walks to the target. The old trunk has nearly rotted through in several places; a few bullet-ends are visible in the mealy heartwood. He perches against the edge of the widest section and stuffs his hands into his pockets, fingers curling around the spare bullets like loose change. How many bullets did he dodge in the Korengal? In truth, the ones he didn’t dodge scared him more. The ones he never knew came so close. That was the rub, wasn’t it? You could dodge one just to get sliced open by another. Or worse, the one you dodged might spiral through a fellow squad member instead. He slides a bullet from his pocket and slips it into his mouth. The taste of metal startles: cold brass beneath his hot tongue. Nathan’s thoughts race. For a while he imagines the smell of the outpost (how strange to miss something so rank). He remembers the piles of rocks for protection, the rations of salt tablets, the buzz of firefights. He rolls the bullet around in his mouth, metal clicking against his teeth. Few people can understand this kind of longing. He can. His wife Tenley cannot. And there it is, that first, cracking admission of her imperfection. He feels relieved.

That night, after they tuck Cissy in and start the last load of laundry before the big drive, Nathan decides he will try to talk. He can’t be certain what he’ll say, but he knows if he starts by telling Tenley about antics his platoon pulled during the weeks of boredom between missions, he’ll stumble into a tale and maybe they can both laugh. Tenley can’t understand, but she can listen, and Nathan knows he owes her that chance. He mutes the television when he hears her step down the hall. She walks into the bedroom. He hasn’t looked at her closely in months but he looks now. The best surprise is this: she hasn’t changed. Thin tank top, flannel pants, and a slightly knock-kneed gait that makes her hips look wider in the best possible way. Even the curves of her elbows appear smooth, the dip of her collarbone, the way her hair (finally down at the end of the day) teases the tops of her shoulders. She shuts the door and crawls into bed. When Nathan doesn’t move to turn off the bedside light, she turns to him, questioning.

His throat collapses. This won’t work. He moves his lips to her instead.

Back before they were who they are now—seventeen-year-olds working their first time away from home as counselors for a summer camp in Virginia, Nathan offering Tenley his class ring after just eight weeks—neither could have guessed themselves into this house, this bedroom, these nervous hands now fumbling with clothing, the sheets, the goddamn comforter. Nor could they have guessed what came so easily then is now a quietly suffered re-education. Tenley works on her mind, hard. Considers turning off the light, the television. She will not think of the fifteen hundred million ways her husband might have killed another human being, fingers on a trigger, fingers in her hair. She closes her eyes and pushes back at Nathan but doesn’t let go. She knows this. His smell. The heat of him. She finds herself on top and presses her hands into his chest; moves with him. If this is suffering, she wants more.

Nathan moves with her, but soon his mind splits, the Nathan watching Nathan getting in the way. He kicks his legs, forces his eyes open. He will not lose this moment. Look at her. Look at her. The first time he ever thought he’d been hit, he hadn’t wished for anything. Just laid there, face-planted in the middle of an IED-laden road, and marveled at the blankness. Later, he felt ashamed. Shouldn’t he have thought of his wife? His daughter? He heard someone holler for a medic and that’s when he realized he was clean. The blast knocked him out but didn’t cut him up. He crawled his way to the medic and hollered: “I’m out of ammo, but I’m not hit.” The medic handed him a magazine with one hand and kept firing with the other.

Tenley repositions her hips and slides her hands up Nathan’s chest toward his throat. Not a choke but something reminiscent in an accidental sort of way. The Nathan watching Nathan could have told her not to do that but she wouldn’t have heard, she was in it. Now it’s too late and Nathan hooks his hands around her wrists, angling his legs so he can flip out of the attack, every cell in him arguing: No! Yes! Tenley seizes the half-second before disaster and opens her eyes.

“Nathan!” She says it loud and he loosens his grip.

That fast, she slaps him across the face, and the house holds still. One breath, two breaths. Three. They stare at each other, chests heaving, and Nathan can almost taste it—the freshness of something new breaking into him as something old sinks away. Just then, he laughs out loud.

They stay up most of the night after that—Nathan talking, Tenley listening, both of them finding each other again like that first summer. When Cissy tiptoes into their bedroom at half past eight the next morning, she can’t know that in nine months, she’ll have a baby brother. Nathan and Tenley can’t know either, but it won’t be long. Cissy scoots on top of the covers and noodles into her mother’s arms, pink nightgown damp with warmth from the night before.

“Mama, it’s time to go,” she whispers.

Tenley curls around her daughter and feels her body, toasty as a furnace. “I know, darlin’,” she says. “Did you sleep okay?”

“I dreamed that Santa brought me an iPod for Christmas,” Cissy says, excited now. “And also a jewelry box and tap shoes and a trampoline for the backyard.”

“Lucky girl,” Nathan says. He rolls onto his side and drapes his arm over Tenley, hand reaching all the way to Cissy’s shoulder. “Guess we’d better let Santa know you already got everything you wanted, no need to come find us in Indiana.”

“It was a dream, Daddy.”

“A good one, too.” He smiles. He feels suddenly shy, recalling the night before. But shy is better than shut down. He could almost get used to it. “Sweetie, go and brush your teeth so we can get dressed, okay? I’ll toast us some waffles while Mama’s in the shower.”

Cissy skips out the door. Nathan presses his nose into the back of Tenley’s neck, inhaling her scent. He knows there’s work ahead, but he has to believe a small hurdle has been cleared. Tenley turns to kiss him, then slides from the bed and walks into the bathroom.

After waffles there’s the rest of the packing, setting the faucets to drip in case of a storm, stopping the mail, and one last errand in town. But by lunchtime they hit the Interstate and by mid-afternoon cross into Kentucky. They’ll be late arriving, but it doesn’t bother Nathan. He calls home and talks to his sisters for a minute, then tells his Mom to have everybody go ahead with dinner. They’re staying two whole weeks. There’s plenty of time. Besides, he doesn’t want to rush this: cruising along at sixty, a mirror-full of mountains in the rearview, the horizon opening more and more with every mile.


Photo of MWSA Medal

—Reprinted with permission from Flashes of War: Short Stories (Apprentice House, 2013), winner of the 2013 Gold Medal Book of the Year for literary fiction, awarded by the Military Writer’s Society of America

SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

Katey Schultz

Photo of Katey Schultz

grew up in Portland, Oregon; is most recently from Celo, North Carolina; and lives in a 1970 Airstream trailer bordering the Pisgah National Forest. She earned an MFA in Writing from Pacific University and received the Linda Flowers Literary Award from the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Flashes of War is Schultz’s first book of fiction. For reviews, press kit, and other details, check out our FoW Portal Page in this issue, or visit the author’s website:



SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

Cindy Sheppard

is an office manager at a public-works company, who enjoys traveling whenever she can arrange time off. Although she has been shooting photos for thirty years, especially to document her trips, she does not consider herself a photographer, saying that she only points the camera and clicks the buttons.

We were delighted to be the first to publish Ms. Sheppard’s visual perspective, in the Fall 2012 issue of SHJ. Three of her images appear in that issue, and now, a year later, we’re pleased to publish three more. Though she was traveling when she took these shots, too, they’re of scenes much closer to home, in North Carolina.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury