What This Neighborhood Needs

They have parked the car and just finished praying together. The young man looks at Elder Davis. “So we’ll check this media referral and if no one is here, we’ll tract this street.” “Sounds good.” The street they have come to is the outside edge of the snake pit—a two-mile area on the west sideContinue reading “What This Neighborhood Needs”

Nothing to See Here

Grant is old enough now to work the TV remote on his own. It is Saturday morning and Lauren and the man are in bed. Dragon Tales is droning and the man is between here and there when he hears: “Come on, Lucia! Let’s go get more ice cream!” They are awake now and flyingContinue reading “Nothing to See Here”

After the Play at Ford’s Theater

The boy is standing in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. The weekend before, his parents decided he was mature enough to sit quietly through the performance and took him to Ford’s Theater to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. As he holds his mother’s hand, he listens to the cash registerContinue reading “After the Play at Ford’s Theater”

Baby Games

The boy has a July birthday. He is also unusually small for his age—short, slight, and skinny. He is the youngest in his kindergarten class when school starts that fall in San Antonio. He does not know it, but his parents are thinking of holding him back. After his first day of school, he sitsContinue reading “Baby Games”

You’re the Worst

The man has turned on a Premier League match. Graham is sitting on the gold chair in the corner. Grant is sitting on the ottoman holding the giant Nerf gun he got as a birthday present a few years ago. He shoots Graham. “Stop it, Grant!” Grant shoots him again. “Stop it! That hurts!” “ComeContinue reading “You’re the Worst”

You Can’t Just Give Me a Bible

The young man taps on the sliding glass door. “Who dat?” “Elder Laws and Elder Davis. We’re looking for Ernie.” “Oh, Ernie. Why you want Ernie?” “He ordered a Bible off the TV.” “Oh, ok. He out back in the trailer home.” The young men turn and start across the driveway, but before they canContinue reading “You Can’t Just Give Me a Bible”

He Does Work in Mysterious Ways

He is sitting on the stand with President Doughty, President Myers, and his newly sustained counselors. Here comes the first sister. “I never would have imagined the Lord calling someone as young as Bishop Laws as bishop. But there’s a good Spirit here.” Now comes Bill Fullmer. “I sustain Bishop Laws. And I will supportContinue reading “He Does Work in Mysterious Ways”

I Rebuke the Destroyer on Your Behalf

At 4 pm, he vomits so hard and loud that Patrina’s friend Stephanie can hear him through the phone even though the phone is twenty yards from the bathroom. Every hour till midnight, he vomits. He doesn’t move from the couch except to go to the restroom. His parents ask Stephen to sleep on theContinue reading “I Rebuke the Destroyer on Your Behalf”

Play This Game with Me

His father’s skin is ashen, framed by the blue robe. He holds an Xbox controller. On the large screen are two attack helicopters. A second controller sits next to the obese man on the couch. “What are you doing here?” “Here. Play this game with me.” “How can you just sit there and play aContinue reading “Play This Game with Me”

Oh Lord, Won’t You Hear Me?

His father is lying in his childhood bed in the room where the previous owner died. The boy is sitting on the bed next to his father. “How do you know when the Holy Ghost tells you?” “The scriptures say it is a burning in the bosom.” “What does that mean?” “You feel warm andContinue reading “Oh Lord, Won’t You Hear Me?”