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The O:JA&L Masters Series
Flash Fiction

Featured Writer: Michael Martone


From The Tiny Book of Forts by Michael Martone. Click on the title to explore more of his work in the new PDF chapbook available now as a free offering from O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press.

Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia by Charles M. Russell

A Captain Keares mistook the mouth of the Columbia River for something more but couldn’t cross the bar. He named the cape “Disappointment” and the bay “Deception.” Lewis left the Corps of Discovery at Dismal Nitch to see the Pacific by himself.

After the Great War, the fort remained manned. A sergeant and two enlisted men caretook through the Great Depression—raising and lowering the flag each day, sweeping the pine floors, attending to the telegraph, and playing endless hands of bridge, the three of them and one dummy.


About the writer: Michael Martone is an American author. A prolific writer, he has published 30 books and chapbooks. From 1996 to 2020, he was a professor at the University of Alabama where he taught in the Program in Creative Writing. Martone is now retired.

Image: Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia by Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926). Opaque and transparent watercolor over graphite underdrawing on paper. 24 x 28 inches. 1905. Public domain.

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