New South

Micro Prose: Two pieces by Justin Carter

Memory In Which Nothing Happens

We had just come from a party at which we’d done nothing but sip water & watch one of our friends drink too much Mad Dog & leap into his own piss. This was high school. A band had just played the local Christian teen center & the after party was at a house out in the country. A long driveway & cars lined up down it. When we parked, a guy we’d seen around town asked are y’all at least twenty-one &, before we could answer, kept going: I’m just kidding. The party spread from the garage down a path lit with torches to a clearing where two kegs were. We didn’t drink them. Everyone around us smoked weed. It was the first time I’d seen people smoke weed. The next day we’d lecture our friend about it & he’d tell us we were being squares. He’d tell us we needed to grow up. That night, though. We left the party at 12:30. Went to the city’s park. After ten minutes sitting & talking, the cops came up. It’s past curfew, they said. We aren’t from this town, we said. We didn’t know, though really we did. Our bodies smelled like drugs & alcohol. I waited outside mine, ready to watch myself cuffed, hauled away. The cops said get in your cars & go, which is what we did.

Slow Erosion

Last season, the beach moved in three more feet, the houses built on stilts above grass now above sand &, before the decade ends, above water. The ships roll into the Intracoastal carrying oil from offshore while a family of five stands on the rocks, casts lines into the Gulf. The best fishing is when those boats roar everything up, the man tells me while I stand at the end of the pier. In the distance, a truck makes circles in the sand. A bonfire burns despite the ban, the smoke stopped in the middle of the air, suspended.


Justin Carter‘s work appears in The Collagist, cream city review, The Journal, Passages North, & Sonora Review.

Photo by Crazy Zou