With every trip he makes to the dentist, Wade's pain only gets worse. His smile has faded. He's clenching his jaw and grinding his teeth more, not because of bad oral hygiene or any mishaps in orthodontics. Wade's teeth don't need straightening out, but the rest of his life could use that kind of adjustment. Wade has fallen in love with handsome Dr. Emmett, and their office visits in the afternoon have become decidedly more personal than professional. And poor Wade is sure his girlfriend Jessa would punch him in the mouth if she found out. After all, Jessa did just abandon her church and her family to be with him. And she did just have Wade's baby. So their relationship has already caused enough gossip in the small Georgia town of Waverly. When Wade tries to end the affair, the breakup takes a brutal turn, leaving Wade in a state of panic. His life is under threat. His secrets could be exposed, and his family may fall apart before he realizes what kind of person he wants to be.
As a child growing up in the South with cerebral palsy, Benji Carr developed an eye for the bizarre and quirky, which provided all of the stories he told his friends and family with a bit of flavor. Working as a journalist, storyteller and playwright, his work – whether the stories be personal tales of struggle and survival or fiction about cannibal lunch ladies, puppet romances, drag queen funerals, and perverted killer circus clowns – has been featured in The Guardian, ArtsATL and Pembroke Magazine. Onstage, his pieces have been presented at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Alliance Theatre, and as part of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival in Manhattan. He lives in Atlanta and helps run the online literary magazine, Gutwrench Journal. Impacted is his first novel.
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The engine of Wade's Prius was running but, as usual, made no sound. And Wade just sat in the driver's seat, staring at the door of the dental office, trying to motivate himself to damn move. Five minutes passed, then ten. And Wade just sat there, contemplating his situation, weighing the options. If you sit long enough in a hybrid car, it doesn't even hum. It just pauses, waiting for you to shift a gear or turn off the ignition or something. Twenty minutes, Wade sat there, staring, waiting, hating himself and sipping on a cup of lukewarm black tea. Should he just leave? Should he cause a scene? Because Wade couldn't unf**k his dentist or reverse the Prius down the road to Hell he'd been traveling for two months, he had to come up with another solution.