Baton Rouge writer Emily Beck Cogburn’s short story, “Losing It All,” is a story of loss and redemption.
Inspired by the events of the August 2016 flood, the story was recently published in Alluvian’s “Weird Weather” issue (alluvian.space/current-issue-weird-weather). Alluvian is a creative online journal launched in 2015 that publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, and video related to environmental concerns.
In Cogburn’s story, the main character, Doris, lives above her late mother’s hair salon in a fictional small town near Baton Rouge. Doris feels like a failure, unable to recover from her mother’s death and find the meaning of her life. One night, she wakes up to find that the living room has flooded. With the help of the sheriff and his boat, she and her dog escape to the town hall, where the mayor asks her to help stranded residents like her.
“During the flood, I remember people saying over and over again that they had lost everything,” Cogburn said. “I wanted to write a story about what it meant, but I also wanted there to be hope. The flood was a terrible time for many people. Yet, like any tragedy, it taught people something about themselves.
Cogburn is the author of the novels “Louisiana Saves the Library” and “Ava’s Place”. His short stories have appeared in various literary journals. Follow her on Twitter, @emilycogburn and on Facebook, @emilybeckcogburn.