No Man's Wild Laura, Beth Gilstrap

Six years after Graham had recommitted to his wife and children, I stood naked and covered in lavender bubbles, wiping down the white tile like I did every Saturday, not knowing the second half of our sick little story. I swore I had bleached the last particle of him from my pores, but the motherfucker was black mold. Even the memory of him made all my rooms smell like something wicked, an unexplained whiff of sour, like everything about me was unclean. Some people said all I was smelling was the marshlands, the estuary—the percolating life and death in the brackish water on this side of the bridge, but I’ve lived here all my life. Marsh stink don’t bother me. But mold, mold makes my hands shake until I can get myself outside, out of my head and into crabbing or duck hunting.

-- excerpt from "No Man's Wild Laura," No Man's Wild Laura

About Beth Gilstrap

Beth Gilstrap’s fiction and essays have appeared in the minnesota review, Literary Orphans, WhiskeyPaper, Synaesthesia Magazine, and Bull, among others. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net, storySouth’s Million Writers Award, and The Pushcart Prize. Her debut story collection I AM BARBARELLA was published by Twelve Winters Press in 2015. She thinks she’s crazy lucky to be Fiction Editor of Little Fiction | Big Truths. When she’s not writing or editing, you might find her on her porch swing, with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and enough rescue pets to make life interesting.