I Did Not Watch with You One Hour

Lauren is bleeding. It started early in the morning. It has been three days since the doctors confirmed they could not find a heartbeat and that the baby had stopped growing. “I will cancel my meetings and stay home,” the man says. It is Sunday, and he is bishop. “I would rather not deal withContinue reading “I Did Not Watch with You One Hour”

All Apologies

“You go to Chris’s funeral?” he asks P, sitting next to her at Bayfront Park. “Yeah. You? I didn’t see you there but there were a lot of people.” “Nah. I did the viewing. Was kinda done after that. How was the funeral?” “It wasn’t him. He would have hated it. The minister kinda pissedContinue reading “All Apologies”

Olea, Shinehah, Kokaubeam, Kokob

Right after dinner and as it hits dark, Bill Ghormley organizes the young men into two teams, and they walk through a break in the small dunes and the dune weeds to the giant dune behind. That dune must a quarter mile long and wide. They have spent the day fishing in the waves andContinue reading “Olea, Shinehah, Kokaubeam, Kokob”

The Casket Is Open

Early in the evening, the young man goes with his best friend Ted to the calling hours at Seaside Memorial Funeral Home. Chris’s mother is sitting about three pews back from the casket next to a man. She is bone thin and wearing a gray pantsuit. The man must be her second husband. Her firstContinue reading “The Casket Is Open”

Don’t Cut Yourself

The sun is high and hot. The young man is hanging around with the running backs and receivers. Brian is new to the team—tall, bulging biceps, and a tattoo, all as an eighth grader. “Dude, what’s up with your wrists?” says Javier. “Oh, I got a super sharp knife and I cut myself.” “On purpose?”Continue reading “Don’t Cut Yourself”

They Won’t Kill Me if I’m with You

The young man and Elder Johnson tap on the door, and a young Latino waves them in quickly. “You didn’t see no one else out there, did you?” he says. “No,” says the young man, as he sits down on the couch. “Why? What’s up, Anthony?” Anthony peeks out the window, which is covered byContinue reading “They Won’t Kill Me if I’m with You”

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”

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”

To All Soces

The editorial page editor sits at the computer where they layout the school newspaper. He is planning to write more about the new president but Chris gave him a letter to the editor in the hall. Now he reads it. Dear Editor: There are many people in this school who think they are better thanContinue reading “To All Soces”