David Hutto

Four young men go to Atlantic City to gamble and relax, but they discover that having fun doesn’t happen just because you want it to in “Everyone’s a Winner Here.” A woman out wandering at night stops in a diner and tells a story of her mother as a little girl, lost at a frightening carnival in “A Night at the Carnival.” A man travels to Earth to receive a new heart and finds much more than he expected in “A New Piece for Cello.” A little boy secretly tells his young sister about dragons, although his mother has told him not to scare her in “Dragon Lessons.” A fireman watches a woman run safely from a burning building, then wonders what happened to her in “See the Jungle When It’s Wet With Rain.”

In these and other stories, readers of the collected tales in I’d Tear Down the Stars will enter worlds where simply being human is challenging enough...but then things happen anyway.

With settings in Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Mexico, the stories in this collection follow the hearts of people who are seeking luck beneath the stars, wherever they shine.

I'd Tear Down the Stars is available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

David Hutto

Searching for a letter from Catherine the Great, cousins Paul Gildbridge and Luke Pharo wander through the summer streets of Charleston, South Carolina. As their search takes them from the city and out onto the islands, they begin to wonder whether the letter ever existed or where this quest could take them. Following a trail that at times seems illusory, Luke comes to realize that he is on a spiritual search, partially initiated by a witch he met several times in Moscow when he was living in Russia.

This novel began as a desire to write a book that took place near water. From the beginning, I chose a place I’ve always liked: Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston not only has water but marshes, beaches, islands, and great food. So that's all perfect. Besides the modern city, Charleston has such an intense history that it seems to have pulled me in a historical direction with the book. I also managed to tie in another area that has been a powerful interest for most of my life—Russia. I’ve been to Russia six times, including a semester as a student in Moscow, and some of that experience influenced the book as well.

The Illusion of Being Here is available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Works That Have Been Published Online Are Listed Below

Short Stories

Cultivation of Culturedness

A parody of poetry readings, published in Defenestration Magazine, December 2023

People From the Future

Humor, published in Fjords Review, November 9, 2023

Poetry

The Benefits of Illumination

Poem, published in The Chamber Magazine, September 2023

Essay

The Southern Quandary of Being OK but Southern

Essay, published in Weber Journal, Summer 2000

Novels That Are Still Unpublished, With a Sample of the Writing

The Invention of Colors

Here’s how to start your day like shit. Of course, if you live a normal life, I guess you already know how to do that. But I’ll tell you, my way. Wake up in some rathole little town in the middle of nowhere, sit on the edge of your bed, and think about how your dad is dead, your mom lost her mind, and you’re living with your crippled aunt. While you’re at it, think about how you don’t know one fucking person there and don’t have any friends. Then go to school.

Birds Above the Cage

We think that the ghosts who roam the earth would be immune to natural disasters. For most disasters, such as earthquakes, tidal waves, or broken hearts, no doubt the ghosts are unaffected. A tornado, however, is such a violent force that even ghosts can get caught up in it. It can’t hurt them, but it will whirl them away, sometimes by the hundreds, translucent spirits of the dead whipped and whirled around and around by those powerful winds, helpless apparitions circling off across the countryside. The tornado that hit Gainesville, Georgia, in 1936, like a giant bomb, sucked up all the ghosts in Hall County and integrated them into the maelstrom, making those black and white ghosts equal before the wind.

No Such Thing as Sky

When memories float away forever, where does the soul go? Peter Dagursson had spent years looking at the night sky above the desert, and as a trained astronomer, he saw more than darkness dotted with stars. Gazing into the rest of the universe, Peter’s imagination carried him out thousands of light years, sailing through vast colored clouds of gas, looking down on galaxies twisting as though they were God’s toys, and gazing at black holes so transcendentally strange that even religion made more sense.

From where Peter’s wife Isabel sat in their living room, she looked over at him as he stared out the window at the night sky. What is he thinking? She wondered. Does he still have any idea what he’s looking at? These days, chances were that he looked at the night sky and saw, like most people, nothing but darkness with twinkling lights. Alzheimer’s disease had taken away almost everything.

Moonapple Pie

The village of Mule Camp Springs sat silent below the lake. In the middle of the street, down in the dark waters, lay an aluminum boat that had tragically gone down one Fourth of July, drowning two brothers who had been drinking beer and fishing for bass and who had been arguing about whether to go back because storm clouds were coming up. The younger brother had declared that the clouds were only passing through, the fish were biting, and when the hell were they going to get another day like this to fish? The older brother, who had drunk eight beers, stood up to make his point, stumbled, and tipped the boat over, which had come to rest next to the disintegrating remains of the Mule Camp Methodist church. Where the boat now lay had once been the only paved street running through the little village. Before the road was paved, on sacred days, people had arrived at church in horse-drawn wagons, wearing uncomfortable Sunday clothing, stepping down into the dust, and on profane days, farmers had come to the general store beside the church, wearing worn-out work clothes, putting their boots down into the mud on rainy days. Later on, after the road had been paved, cars drove past the church on their way to the nearby town of Gainesville. Fish now hovered around the sunken boat.

Love in the Time of Kudzu

In this singular world, we sometimes acquire our passions in mysterious ways, so that we ourselves aren’t sure why we love tuna salad to the point of a secret mania, why we feel so happily entertained watching Elvis movies, or why we experience such Zen-like satisfaction from collecting Japanese dolls. All we know is that we have a love of something, and if it makes us happy, what does it matter? One of Hollie’s earliest memories was sitting at the breakfast table, where her mother gave her a biscuit with butter and grape jelly. Whether the memory was a true one or not, Hollie recalled a trance of happiness in a sweet, grapey reverie. Later, when she found that jelly could also be made from apples, the air around her sparkled in a jelly epiphany, and by the time she tried cherry jelly, she would have gladly gone to worship at the Temple of Jellitude if there had been such a thing and if her parents had been willing to drive her.

Benedict and Miramar

Let’s give Tolan credit, as much as anyone ever has, for honestly believing he was ordained and that he had created a legal marriage. In his own eyes, which at the time were crying from emotion and were somewhat bloodshot from lack of sleep and ten bottles of Sierra Nevada beer, he considered himself able to marry people because he had filled out the online form to become a minister with the Universal Life Church. He was unaware that he didn’t click the Submit Ordination Request button, so his ordination request never got processed. Though he had never received documents recognizing his ordination, he didn’t notice, as it had not occurred to him that he would receive such a thing. Like a member of a pre-literate tribe relying on spoken assurances, Tolan did not pay much attention to paperwork, and he thought he had done his job just before tipping backward out of the boat into the lake.