"The Vine Dynamic" by Shaun Turner
Issue #19 / October 2015
Illustrated by Heidi Unkefer
KINDLE EDITION ($0.99)
SHAUN TURNER writes in West Virginia. He is a 2nd year MFA student at West Virginia University, where he is fiction editor for Cheat River Review. His work can or will be found in Southwest Review, The Adriot Journal, Night Train, and Gravel Magazine, among others.
"Ma Dodd loved her kudzu. It had hung around the Wonder Vine Pick-N-Pay since before Woodrow was born, back when the store was still called Victory Grocery and she had harvested the plant in bushels.
Kudzu can grow a foot a day—up to sixty feet a year—and Ma Dodd used it. She chopped the plant into feed for the pigs, folded scraps into compost, boiled the blossoms into jellies and poultices and sweet green relishes. And even Gra-mama Dodd, who always called it porch vine, had used the plant, too—made and sold kudzu vine baskets in the store, a skill Ma was never able to pick up.
In Ma Dodd's bedroom, she kept a quilt locked in her old hope chest. Gra-mama Dodd had made it for Woodrow's birth. The pattern was called “Star of Alabama” because Ma Dodd's beau was originally from Montgomery. He stayed for a while before he moved to Oregon. Told Ma Dodd he was just a traveling man. The colors Gra-mama used were deep greens, light greens, purple-hued greens...