“It seems like everybody but people from here are sure about what we’re about, and they make money being wrong about it.” The residents of Labor County, a fictional small community in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, may be short on cash, but they are rich in creativity and tirelessly inventive as they concoct new schemes to make ends meet, settle old scores, and work off their debts to society and, in a way, to themselves.
A zealous history professor is caught stealing from the local museum in protest of petty theft; an arsonist strikes it lucky—twice; a skilled leatherworker saddles a turkey and finds a rider; an angel aspires to be a punk rock Roller Derby princess; a grieving artist carves a miracle into a roadside rock face; and affable Uncle Archie produces a seemingly unending supply of new and bizarre items to display in his Odditorium.
More than a collection of tales,Working It Off in Labor Countyassembles memorable characters who recur across these seventeen linked stories, sharing in one another’s struggles and stumbling upon humor and mystery, the grotesque and the divine, each in many forms.
Larry D. Thacker is a Kentuckian writer and artist living in Johnson City, Tennessee. He is the author of the paranormal folk history Mountain Mysteries, two chapbooks, and four full poetry collections. He holds an MFA in poetry and fiction from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Visit his website at www.larrydthacker.com.