The Masters Review Blog

Jan 24

New Voices: Brianne Kohl

Check out a beautifully rendered piece that takes place in an Alaskan town thawing out in the Spring. As told through the perspectives of a young man trying to connect with his father-in-law, the difficult but sympathetic father-in-law, and a police chief in town, Brianne Kohl’s story comes to life in a barren and harsh environment. As part of our New Voices stories, we are thrilled to be publishing this thoughtful and entertaining short story.

MarchImage Credit:

A River, Breaking

by Brianne Kohl

The Cheechako

“The ice is rotten there,” my father-in-law said to me, pointing out across the frozen river. His hands were bare, gloves tucked away in the pockets of his open parka.

“What do you mean, rotten?” I asked. I still had my gloves on. My borrowed anorak was zipped up to my throat. It smelled like wood smoke and musk.

“Rotten,” he said. “Weak.” He looked me dead in the eyes when he said it. He turned and walked up the bank and onto the road where his old battered Cadillac DeVille was parked. He circled the car and opened the boot.

“You don’t mean to walk out on it,” I asked him. “Right?”

He looked at me, his mouth drawn down in a cartoon grimace. Wrinkles were etched into his face, as deep as the dredging river. “What do I look like,” he said, “some kind of asshole?” He pulled out an ax and stomped back down the riverbank.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. In truth, John Tinker was some kind of asshole. He was that special kind of abandon-your-family, live-in-the-Alaskan-bush kind of asshole.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

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