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”

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”

It Was a Beautiful Eulogy

His father went to the old family farm in Columbiana, Ohio, for Uncle Ludwig’s funeral. Granny and all her sisters were there. He stayed for a week and loved visiting with all of them and their families. He comes home and tells the young man and the rest of the family his favorite moment. “WeContinue reading “It Was a Beautiful Eulogy”

It Is the Gloaming

Camille is not going to make it, no matter how hard she tries. Thunderstorms keep rolling through Houston, Southwest will not finish the final leg to Corpus Christi. She has called several times to explain, the last time in tears. She tells his mother, “I hope he is not waiting for me.” “Let’s do this.Continue reading “It Is the Gloaming”

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”

What Did You Do That For?

Stephen is ahead of him coming back into the house from playing basketball in the driveway. As they reach the front room, Ruthanne comes from the hallway leading to the bedrooms. She is bawling and holding up her thumb. A sewing needle is sticking straight through it. “What did you do that for?” Stephen bellows.Continue reading “What Did You Do That For?”