If there is one immutable feature in the social fabric of the American South, it is the telling of stories, a sense of place, traditions, family relationships, desires and hope. It has given rise to a unique blend of voices in American literature, an entire school of writing, rich and diverse, with its own peculiar imagery, grace, and eloquence. It is a place where the simple and the quaint rise from mere words on a page to a level of art. The stories in this collection echo with new voices, timeless and universal themes sure to strike a chord in the hearts of readers. Our only guideline was for our authors to contribute stories with a Mississippi theme. The diversity in styles, eras, and settings create a marvelous collection of Afteron Tales we're sure you'll enjoy. The Gulf Coast Writers Association provides an arena for today's southern writers, and other writers of similar bent, to add their voices to this tradition. The Editors conceived this anthology in that spirit, encouraging new as well as established authors to share their voices. We hope this will be the first of many such collections from GCWA.