The First Two Pages: “Two Dead, Two Wounded” by Jackie Ross Flaum

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.

This Saturday—July 4, in case you’ve lost track of the days—editor Mysti Berry will release the anthology Low Down Dirty Vote: Volume 2, a follow-up to the successful first anthology, published on Independence Day in 2018. Contributors to the new collection wrote toward a specific theme—””Every stolen vote is a crime”—and the line-up is terrific, including Faye Snowden, Stephen Buehler, Tim O’Mara, Jackie Ross Flaum, Stormy White, M. J. Holt, Frank Rankin, Bev Vincent, David Hagerty, Puja Guha, Gary Phillips, James McCrone, Madeline McEwen, Robert Lopresti, Camille Minichino, Jim Doherty, Terry Sanville, Ben Harshman, Sarah M. Chen, Gabriel Valjan, and Travis Richardson. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s programs to fight voter suppression and defend voting rights.

The First Two Pages will be hosting three of the anthology’s authors for essays on their stories—beginning today with Jackie Ross Flaum, author of “Two Dead, Two Wounded,” inspired by some episodes from her own family’s history, as you’ll see in the essay below.

Jackie is the author of the forthcoming Civil Rights Era novel Justice Tomorrow, to be released later this summer, and of the recent novella The Yellow Fever Revenge. Her stories have also appeared in several anthologies: Elmwood Stories to Die For, Mayhem in Memphis, and Stories through the Ages: Baby Boomer Plus. And she’s currently president of the writing group Malice in Memphis. You can find our more about her work at her website here.

In the meantime, enjoy this introduction to her work—and stay tuned for essays ahead by David Hagerty and James McCrone as well!

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

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