Fiction Pick of the Week: "The Extra Mile"

A woman in an unhappy marriage stumbles toward change.

"Without turning the radio on, Hannah drove back into town and into the driveway of her house. She sat there in the car for a long while and ran through the drive with Tex over and over. She wanted to go back and stop herself from touching his leg. She wanted to go back and stop herself from driving there in the first place. She wanted to go back and stop the day from ever starting."

Ember Days

An atomic scientist and a victim of the bomb journey towards a blast site, in pursuit of buried cash.

"These ridges would lead to the test site, to the money. Blake tugged a pear-shaped canteen from his pack and drank. At first his tongue rejected the slight taste of salt and he spat. His bottom settled into the dirt as he looked at Ortiz, who watched him back."

The Day He Flew

A elderly father and his grown son attempt uneasy bonding on fishing trips.

"But he would talk to me during that time when he wasn't concentrating on a cast or reeling something in. I loved that he would tell me stories. That day with the mayflies he told me how he went fishing everyday as a kid, had to because they ate whatever he caught that day for dinner. And when he went fishing with his dad in a little aluminum boat and when the motor gave out his dad told him to get out and drag the boat. He put a rope around him and pushed him into the water, which was probably full of gators and moccasins, and he dragged his big, fat, drunk dad in the boat until they got to shore."

Once It's Gone

Animals,physical proximity and emotional distances link a troubled family and an eccentric neighbor.

"I am an expert now on the importance of throwing oneself back into neglected friendships and job. I suppose the advice is universal: teenaged girl, single working woman, middle-aged man living with his wife and the daughter he used to fail to recognize among the crowd of other people’s children pouring out of school when he went to pick her up. Now she drives herself."