I had to share this fantastic story from Bonnie Reads and Writes. In her words, it is an Appalachian-inspired take on the “genie in a bottle.”

Bonnie Reads and Writes

by Bonnie Douglas

Below is a story we did, originally for the #2022 Short Story Challenge, but 2022 is over and we’re still writing. This is an Appalachian-inspired take on the “genie in a bottle.” We hope you enjoy it.



Granny Steinbrecher had been in these mountains a long time. She had traveled into this territory as a young girl, walking behind her father’s packhorse. She was married by thirteen and had dug, planted, harvested, cooked, and bore three children all in these hills. When her man died, she was 30, and when her daughter Aggie made her a granny, she was 33. Now at 50, she could barely count her grandchildren.

But the oldest grandson was gone now. Sniffling, she said his name, “Jesse.”

The sniffling turned to sobs, and she leaned against a door frame, weeping. When she finally dried her eyes, the devastation had turned…

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