I Hope He Doesn’t Die

The boy lies in bed with his hands behind his head, while his father sits at the foot of the bed near his feet. The disappointment of pitching and losing the first of two possible clinching games has mostly passed. They will just have to clinch the championship Friday night instead, and while he can’tContinue reading “I Hope He Doesn’t Die”

A Mind That’s Weak, A Back That’s Strong

He has finished the ham and funeral potatoes, and he wanders over to Uncle Ned standing next to Uncle Max. “Dad wasn’t such a bad guy. If he got angry and you were near him, he might kick you down the stairs. But if you survived that explosion, it was over quick and he wasContinue reading “A Mind That’s Weak, A Back That’s Strong”

A Poor Man’s Made Out of Muscle and Blood

The boy is ten and on his first All Star baseball team. They have completed their first practice in the simmering Corpus Christi heat, and it was nothing like regular Little League practice. Drills were far more intense, they conditioned, and they worked the entire two hours with no time wasted shagging balls or foolingContinue reading “A Poor Man’s Made Out of Muscle and Blood”

Haunted House

The man moves up the walkway to the front door and opens it. The door opens to a hall that connects to a dining room with a beat-up oval table. There’s one seat at the table and in that seat is his father. “What are you doing here?” “I don’t know. What are you doingContinue reading “Haunted House”

Get Off the Idiot Box

Lucille Hill, his grandmother, is stooped over with arthritis, probably not even 5’3″. Her fingers are crooked, and her back hurts constantly. She frequently has him, his mother, or his brother use a vibrating massager to rub it out at night. She is a direct descendant of many different Mormon pioneers, Clara Mellor of MartinContinue reading “Get Off the Idiot Box”

You’ll Thank Me Later

They are here because of preeclampsia. Lauren is a type 1 diabetic, and at 37 weeks, her blood pressure has gone up, and protein has been found in her urine. She called Gordon away from work that afternoon, Lauren’s mother, Marti, met them at the hospital, and they have been preparing for a C-section allContinue reading “You’ll Thank Me Later”

Christmas Dinner

It is their first Christmas as a married couple. They are spending it in Corpus Christi with the man’s parents. Stephen and Lydia are planning to stop by in another hour or so. The presents are all unwrapped, and everyone is now exhausted from the excitement wearing off. Around 3 pm, Lauren says, “I’m supposedContinue reading “Christmas Dinner”

A Van Down by the River

The man sits at a long table next to Lauren. Across the table are all Grant’s teachers, the speech therapist, the occupational therapist, and the head of special ed for the school. It is his third grade review of his IEP—a critical evaluation to determine if services will continue. They all have copies of theContinue reading “A Van Down by the River”

An Elegy for Christmas Past

It is 5:42 am Christmas morning when the young man’s bedroom door creaks open and he hears his brother’s voice. “You awake?” “Yeah, bro. Come on in.” “Think I should wake up Ruthanne?” “It’s tradition, right?” Stephen disappears, then reappears a minute later with Ruthanne. “I was up already,” she says. “Just didn’t know ifContinue reading “An Elegy for Christmas Past”

The Night Before Christmas

The boy’s father is wearing a Santa Claus suit, beard, and hat. The boy and Stephen are walking up the sidewalk to the small stucco home in the old neighborhood of Corpus Christi. Their father carries presents in a red sack, and the boy and Stephen each carry an armful of presents. It is ChristmasContinue reading “The Night Before Christmas”