We write to taste life twice.
In the moment and in retrospection.
Jody Hobbs Hesler has written ever since she could hold a pencil and now lives and writes in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Growing up, she split time between suburban Richmond, Virginia, and the mountains outside Winchester, Virginia. Experiences of both regions flavor her writing. Her debut story collection, What Makes You Think You're Supposed to Feel Better is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press, and her stories, feature articles, book reviews, essays, and author interviews appear in a wide variety of journals. She teaches at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia and reads for The Los Angeles Review.
Things Are Already Better Someplace Else
The Los Angeles Review, March 2021
Your Beverly is a smudge of a child. A shadow of herself, but powdery pale so she catches what light there is and shimmers in it. When her daddy pulled up to the curb, she must have figured he wouldn’t see her. When was Bucky ever looking for her? She’s his own child, but you have to force him to watch her nights you work late. His mama’s your only other choice, but she won’t say yes unless you ask him first.
Pithead Chapel, Winter 2018, Larry Brown Short Story Award finalist
“Where would you rather be?” He tips his sunglasses out of the way to look at her, and his eyes are as blue as lakewater at night. “If you could pick?”
It’s the first grownup all day to ask her what she wants instead of telling her. She looks closer at him. Scrubby sideburns. Fluffy brown hair. Crooked yellow teeth. It’s really hot outside, but he’s not sweating. “Anywhere,” she says and gives a sly smile.
Heart Blown Through
The Petigru Review, #15, Fall 2020
From her porch behind a little cloud of smoke, Carmen offered him a cigarette. He said yes. Someone who didn’t know him. Didn’t know what he’d lost and wouldn’t ask how he was doing today or if Mary was holding up all right. He wasn’t sure if he was protecting himself or Mary more, but he never told her. And he’s pretty sure she never knew.