First Two Pages: “Cleansing Soil” by Charlie Hughes

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

Late last year, the First Two Pages blog hosted a series of contributors to the debut issue of Black Cat Mystery Magazine: Michael Bracken, Barb Goffman, and Alan Orloff. I’m pleased to welcome today a contributor to Black Cat‘s second issue, Charlie Hughes, talking about his story “Cleansing Soil.”

Charlie’s work has also appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and numerous anthologies, and his horror short story “The Box” won the 2016 Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition. You can find our more at his website here.

One additional note: Black Cat issue 2 also features a story by B.K. Stevens who started the First Two Pages blog, and the editor of Black Cat gave a nice shout-out to the First Two Pages as well and its continuation at my own website. Always nice to have such tie-ins with contributors to the series.

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay here to read off-line.

Hughes Cleansing Soil