I’m a Sailor Peg

They have just passed a parking lot on the Spotsylvania Battlefield history trail. There is a clear trail to the right just on the other side of the placards at this stop, so they follow it. It goes for a quarter mile and ends at a busy road. “This isn’t right,” says the man. “WeContinue reading “I’m a Sailor Peg”

You Got Skunked!

Lucia is almost four and Lindsay is eighteen months. All winter, the scent of skunk has lingered around their yard, and they can’t make out where it is coming from. It is a warm spring day. The girls are in the backyard while Grant is at a summer school activity. Lucia bolts inside and cries,Continue reading “You Got Skunked!”

I Want You to Be Honest about Something

The man has three distinct scenes in mind before this conversation with Lucia. At age eight, she hit her five-year mark with the local dance company, which meant that she was to receive a five-year award at the spring dance recital. They issued these awards partway through the recital. Each kid’s name was called, andContinue reading “I Want You to Be Honest about Something”

A Present from Muffy

Muffy has long white hair with streaks of gray and black. Her eyes are blue and alert, though she is never mean. She is mom’s cat and sleeps at the foot of their parents’ bed. Her favorite game is to chase rabbit’s feet and, once she has caught them, drop them in her water bowl.Continue reading “A Present from Muffy”

To Monitor a Cat’s Blood Sugar

They are in Texas for Christmas eight months after being married. They are sitting in the front room getting ready to watch a movie with Ruthanne and the man’s parents. Mom comes in dressed in a nightgown and her slippers, and she carries a bag full of needles. “Lauren, before I forget,” she says. “IContinue reading “To Monitor a Cat’s Blood Sugar”

Peanut

Their mother parks the minivan in front of a drab building in downtown Corpus Christi. “All right, everyone out. You have to come in and help decide.” “Decide what?” Ruthanne says. “This is animal control. We’re going to see if we can find a new dog.” “Really?!” they all yell. They have two cats. TheyContinue reading “Peanut”

A Comprehensive Guide to Potty Training

She is not like Grant. She plays quietly with dolls, cuddles easily, and hates being dirty. She has transitioned out of diapers and pees easily on the potty. The man walks through the kitchen into the hall. A noise from the half bathroom at the end causes him to turn. She is sitting on theContinue reading “A Comprehensive Guide to Potty Training”

The No-Headed Lady

In the 1980s, the legends of both Ted Bundy and Gary Gilmore are alive and fresh in Utah and Salt Lake Counties, so it doesn’t help the boy that his grandmother’s house is insecure, creepy, and haunted. Insecure? The kids all sleep in an unfinished basement where wood scaffolding stands unfinished; the floor is coldContinue reading “The No-Headed Lady”

Get Out of My Room, You Jerks

Their parents are out for their Friday night date. Ruthanne is on the couch knitting, and Stephen and the young man are settling in for the long-awaited confrontation. They have been playing a full season of Super Tecmo Bowl. They each have a team from the NFC and the AFC. Stephen has the Los AngelesContinue reading “Get Out of My Room, You Jerks”

That’s What They Expect You to Do in the Church

The young man has been fasting today. He wants to confirm that he should marry Lauren Elliott of Massachusetts, a sister he knew from his mission and has been dating since coming home. The day has not gone as he expected. He and Lauren got in an argument at church. He has had a splittingContinue reading “That’s What They Expect You to Do in the Church”