Creative Writing

Published on March 16th, 2016 | by Rafael Alvarez

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The Great Magnolia Vagabond: Buzzed Up In Oxford

We were pulled over by about six police cars just outside downtown Oxford not long after a young woman on a bicycle (she thought she was Zelda Fitzgerald) gave us the slip and, after that, exchanging cross words with a couple of local boys peering into the guts of a car that would not run.

Me and the vice-president of the Story Company along with Artie “The Living Legend” Lien drinking and driving our way between Memphis and Vicksburg and back again in the new Chevy Celebrity station wagon my soon-to-be ex-wife and I bought to run carpool back in Baltimore.

The local boys, who did not take kindly to my smart-ass answer to something they’d asked called the police to say that two white guys and one black guy were riding around with cocaine and a gun in a car with out-of-state plates.

Not exactly a get-out-of-jail-free card.

This was a lie but the officers did find an empty bottle of Jim Beam under the driver’s seat, a few burnt seeds—SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!—some rolling papers and 500 copies of a broadsheet called “The Fab Fiction Top 40” printed on white card stock with pink and black ink, the colors of the King.

Satisfied that we had neither coke nor firearms—we did carry fishing poles and apparently I walked the line just well enough not to be legally drunk—the officer in charge picked up a stack of the Story Company fliers and asked, “What is all this?”

“Like Johnny Appleseed,” I said. “We give away short stories everywhere we go.” The Local Voice Ligature

Oxford Writes: A New Group for Writers
The Great Magnolia Vagabond No. 9 / 1993: Schooled by "Rule" in Holly Springs

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About the Author

Rafael Alvarez is a reporter, short story writer & screenwriter based in Baltimore. He has been visiting & writing about Mississippi since 1984. A former staff writer for HBO's "The Wire," his new book is a collection of short fiction called "Tales From the Holy Land."



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