“Hobnail’ by Crystal Arbogast
Crystal Arbogast was born in Wise County, Virginia, which is in the southwest corner of the commonwealth near where my father was born in a little place called Big Stone Gap. It’s coal mining country and Crystal’s father was a miner who died of black lung; that miner-specific disease that has plagued miners since humans first dug up the ground for its mineral wealth. This story has the rhythm and flow of the stories I used to hear on the porch of my great-uncle’s Bill’s house. He was a miner too and died from the black lung as well. Which is my long-winded way of saying that her voice is completely authentic, nostalgic without sentiment and completely believable with a terrific twist at the end. This story about a mother and a daughter walking home in the dark is deceptively simple and short. You can read the story here on her site, where she’s also posted links to other stories.
See you tomorrow!