“Stare Decisis” in Midwestern Gothic

mwgothicissue17Very excited to share that Issue # 17 of the great lit mag Midwestern Gothic is now out, and it includes a short story of mine, “Stare Decisis.” Here’s a somewhat representative excerpt:

Nobody told Walters, upon putting on the judicial robes, how all of his friends would change their conversations around him, how they would treat him differently. Even the longtime confidants—the ones he’d had since college, who remembered him passing out at a party, or caught him falling flat on his face going after a girl, or gave him advice when he was dissolutely smoking cigarettes all day and planning his motorcycle trip across the Badlands—all distanced themselves once they knew he had sentenced someone to death. The couples that he and his wife had socialized with would not get drunk around him. The secret meaning to “sober as a judge” was that you were a buzzkill at all parties. Not that he cared about being drunk—the post-trial hangovers where he’d felt his head unravel in the night which was never quite put back together the next morning, were awful—but it was comforting to see his friends slur their words.

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