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Kent Nelson

Kent Nelson is the author of nine books of fiction, including The Touching That Lasts and Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still. He has a North American life bird list of 748 species and has run the Pikes Peak Marathon twice. He lives in Ouray, Colorado. 


The Spirit Bird

The turbo-prop King Air descends from the clouds and cants low over the sea, around the snowy block of Sevuokuk Mountain—the sacred place—and there’s the town of Gambell: lines of shacks strung out on a stark gravel bar, with the lake behind, [...]

Joan of Dreams

The windrower lurched left, and Joan raised the cutting bar to slide over what she knew was the unseen mound of a gopher hole under the dry alfalfa. The earth in the dark shadow was damp still from rain days before, and the windrower veered sharply [...]

Northern Lights

We were east of Hot Springs, South Dakota, on the gravel toward my uncle's farm. I was riding in the backseat between my aunt and my mother, but leaning up between the front seats to hear what the men were saying. My uncle was driving. He had on a [...]

The Train Through Dominguez Canyon

The sun had just cleared the mesa to the east, spreading a thin light like gas across the treeless plateau. It was already hot. Mead had walked only an hour from the gully where he'd hidden the car, but his T-shirt and his Denver Bears baseball cap [...]

The Trogon Dish

It's hand-painted," Martha said. "Look, Aiken." Aiken took the dish but barely turned it in his hand. "Everything is hand-painted," he said. "God, it's hot." He wiped the sweat from his forehead with his hand and wiped the hand on his trousers. Th [...]

Roses and Limes

Henschel held the last note and gazed at Mattie. It was easy in the joy of the moment to forget everything else. Her long brown hair wisped in a gust of street wind, and she looked away to God-knows-where, but Henschel loved that last harmony, the [...]

Invisible Life

          I had over-prepared the event,              that much was ominous.              —Ezra Pound          Villanelle: the psychological hour My mother had little to add. She sat with her cof [...]

The Humpbacked Bird

THE shadow of the vulture drifted across the rocky hill in front of them, and the two men stopped and looked up. Schafer raised his hand to block the midday glare of the sun and squinted to find the bird that belonged to the shadow. "Alone," Tom s [...]

Wind Chimes

1 I left four men on the drilling rig with instructions to keep it moving until the dawn shift. The rest of us went down. I picked my way along the path in the half-darkness, while some of the others drove their trucks. The high beams bounced ove [...]

The Squash Player

Art McNeal woke at four o'clock Tuesday morning with a sharp pain in his lower back. He tossed for half an hour before his wife, Muriel, turned over and said, "For God's sake, Art, go to sleep." He got up and went to the bathroom, where he checked [...]

The Beautiful Morning of Almost June

Spring 2002 | Fiction

I live alone 40 miles from Tucson and work at home translating movie scripts from German into English. Before this, for ten years, I worked at Farrar, Strauss in New York, handling German novels and film rights, which I parlayed into freelance. Agents send me scripts from Zurich, Berlin, Los Angeles. A translator might have any name, but let me call myself Ruth.