IT’S JULY and things are burning -- all the trees and brush burning, leaving clouds of smoke like smog in a city, hanging over us, coming in so thick on hot days you can barely see the Sawtooths. I’ve never seen anything like it. I moved to Idaho two years ago from Connecticut. I left the flat and crowded east, looking for something wide open and new. When I drove through this valley, where there are sandy foothills sprinkled green with sagebrush, winding rivers, and mountains that are tall and sharp and purple in the evenings, I stayed. I got a job at a garden center taking care of flowers, shrubs, and trees and called it good.


"Retun is to Here" is online at Failbetter. It was also chosen by Webdelsol as a Fiction Highlight in 2014.