Sonya Huber
Glass Beads

Sonya Huber - Glass Beads

Creative Nonfiction
Sonya Huber is the author of two books of creative nonfiction, Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir (2010), finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year, and Opa Nobody (2008), shortlisted for the… Read more »
Leslie Jill Patterson

Leslie Jill Patterson - Mirage

Creative Nonfiction
Jill Patterson teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University. Her prose and poetry have appeared most recently in Texas Monthly, Creative Nonfiction, Cave Wall, The Ledge,… Read more »
Susan Gabrielle
Newton's Third Law

Susan Gabrielle - Newton's Third Law

Creative Nonfiction
Susan Gabrielle's work has been published or is forthcoming in The Christian Science Monitor, Heyday, TheBatShat, San Francisco Peace and Hope, and Bethlehem Writers, and she was a finalist in the… Read more »
Leslie Tucker
Packing Heat

Leslie Tucker - Packing Heat

Creative Nonfiction
Leslie Tucker, a Detroit escapee, lives on the side of a South Carolina mountain and refuses to divulge its exact location. She is an avid hiker and zip liner, a dedicated yogi, an ACBL Life Master in… Read more »
James Valvis

James Valvis - Samaritan

Creative Nonfiction
James Valvis is the author of How to Say Goodbye (Aortic Books, 2011). His writing can be found in many journals, including Anderbo, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Juked, LA Review, Nimrod, Pedestal… Read more »

Packing Heat

Leslie Tucker

She unfolded one delicate hand from her flower print lap, flipped it nonchalantly and spoke with quiet authority. “Don’t worry, we all got guns.”

“But there must be metal detectors. I probably just didn’t see them.”

“Nah, I been here before. Gets hot they leave the back door to the parking lot wide open.”

Six of us lined the wall of the jury box in Magistrate Court in Greenville County, South Carolina, and two alternate jurors sat in the front row of the otherwise empty courtroom. Judge Jesse McCall stepped out of chambers, apologized for the delay and asked us to wait, said the lawyers were trying to work it out.

I was contemplating the safety of a court building without metal detectors and must have looked concerned because another juror leaned forward, stuck her chin around the woman next to me. “You safe, honey. We got it covered.”

When the first woman spoke I’d thought of pine trees and plaid shirts, hunting rifles, maybe handguns in nightstands, but that wasn’t what these women were talking about. They had carried guns into the courthouse, probably in the purses that sat near their feet. And they’d insinuated that… Read more »