In an alternate universe, Reece Myers finds himself in the small Ethiopian of Gwar, working with an Icelandic medical team and his interpreter Afewerki. The place seems familiar, as he conducts a health survey for his master’s degree. Nurses Svana and Eydis, tasked with weighing local children, are a handful, drinking with the men and raising eyebrows. Their boss, Dr. Thorsonn, tries to keep order, but the village administrator, known as the Snake, challenges his work at every step.
Back from Ethiopia, Emma Smith wonders if the rape has resulted in pregnancy and continues to pursue a relationship with Reece Meyers, whose engagement to Kristin seems more in peril with each passing day.
Godo, Ethiopia, 1986, and Reece Myers has been shot in the head and evacuated back to Alabama, his fiancée Kristin in shock. As Reece fights to regain his life, the budding romance with fellow clinic nurse Emma from back in Ethiopia overshadows his engagement and spells trouble. As Reece recovers and reexamines life with Kristin, Emma longs for him and soon meets her own tragic fate.
Godo, Ethiopia, 1986, and Reece Myers has been shot in the head and evacuated back to Alabama, his fiancée Kristin in shock. As Reece fights to regain his life, the budding romance with fellow clinic nurse Emma back in Godo overshadows his engagement and spells trouble. As Reece recovers and reexamines life with Kristin, Emma longs for him and soon meets her own tragic fate.
It’s 1986, and the famine machinery is humming in Ethiopia. It’s been two years since the greatest famine of the twentieth century has been uncovered with the deaths of half a million and counting. Clinic nurse Emma Smith, alone and rattled in the remote village of Godo, hears that a new nurse, Reece Myers, is coming and welcomes him with open arms. What begins as a working relationship under trying conditions buds into a likely romance, but Reece is engaged to a woman back home and soon finds himself at the wrong end of an AK-47, dashing Emma’s hopes.
Russell Helms tackles tornados, virginity cults, IKEA, and cube steak with grace and the mundane horror of life that plagues us all. Finessed with a dark sense of humor, Helms explores the human condition one character at a time.
Helms drives his imaginary pen through neighborhoods we may not really want to visit, but once there cannot keep our eyes from prying. From trampolines to peanut butter, The World Split Open explores the dim edges of things humorus, grotesque, and otherwise mildly frightening.
Disturbing and comical, Pianotown lays fame to a giant cat and kidnapped hitchhikers. When in doubt, the eclectic inhabitants of this surreal and twisted world consult messages on cans of hairspray scattered about town. Not for the faint of heart or kidney.
Pregnant with Bobby Hartwig’s child, Thai nurse Silliporn tracks him down to Alabama where, having survived a jump from a bridge in Bangkok, Bobby’s back home taking care of stroke-victim Harold Suggs and falling in love with his gorgeous granddaughter Bee. The tiny Suggs’ house turns pressure cooker beneath the stingy gaze of Harold’s game-show addicted wife Nadine and a helpful retired nun who’s moved in next door.
Oh, what a wonderful e-mail! Decline of the able-bodied greeter. Carefully hidden among the potatoes. Hot pear. Tooth strikes sink. My child is pretty. Is that your thatch? U.S.S. Pajama Bottom. Ectopic fantasy. Cat refuses to swallow hair, dies young. Save all Teds. The birthday party across the street functions without us, apparently without any weird or ill effects. Catheter stopped up. Talking pork rhizomes. The crazed pee. Errorotomy. Show daddy how you march. A springbok in every crockpot. Black and white people. Bug-eyed Jesus.