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”

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”

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”

I Think It’s an Important Message

Near evening, the author has just finished and printed his first novel. It is about a white football coach in a black part of San Antonio. The author’s father is preparing for trial, so they are sharing the office. “Dad, can you read the trial scene for me? I want to make sure it isContinue reading “I Think It’s an Important Message”

Christmas Nightmare

On Christmas morning, the boy and his brother could stand it no longer. “You awake?” says the boy. “Yeah,” says Stephen. “Think we got hoppity horses for Christmas?” “Hope so.” “Wanna go check? “Think we’ll get in trouble?” “Not if we don’t get caught.” “What time is it?” “3:45.” “Mom will KILL us.” “No, we’llContinue reading “Christmas Nightmare”

This Will Be the Day That I Die

Until South Padre Island Drive ends. That’s how long you drive to get to Big Shell. You drive the island expressway across the bridge, pass Snoopy’s on the right, pass through Flour Bluff, watch it turn to a two-lane road, and then there are sand dunes and a sign that says, “Four-wheel drive vehicles onlyContinue reading “This Will Be the Day That I Die”

If One of Us Is Going to Die, It Should Be You

On this trip to Utah, he has gone to the temple for the first time and been baptized for three of his grandmother’s brothers. The boy has turned 12 and been ordained a deacon. Now, he is with his brother, sister, and father near the amphitheater at Aspen Grove. They have returned from the shortContinue reading “If One of Us Is Going to Die, It Should Be You”