Hostage Rescue

The man’s oldest son has turned twelve, and today is his birthday party. Their new house has more than one hundred acres of woods behind them. They have allowed him to invite a bunch of friends for a party, and Lauren has turned over the activities to the man while she handles food. “Don’t worry,”Continue reading “Hostage Rescue”

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”

The Primary Program

The boy has the biggest part of any kid in the primary sacrament meeting program. The primary president gives him the script weeks ahead of time, and he spends hours each week memorizing his lines and learning his cues. They have two Sundays of rehearsals, and he delivers all of his dialogue without looking atContinue reading “The Primary Program”

Fifteen Bucks for a Joy Ride

They have retrieved Peanut again from one of his neighborhood escapades, covered his new hole with a rock, and come back inside. It’s dusk on a warm, humid evening. Their mother is playing Super Mario Brothers. After Kevin showed her on his system, he gave her a turn, and she took them out that dayContinue reading “Fifteen Bucks for a Joy Ride”

The Boy’s Cat

When the boy was nine, he noticed a large black cat in their Leon Valley neighborhood. It dominated other cats. Sometimes, he would hear intense whining or crying and see the black cat on top of another cat, pinning it in place with his fangs embedded in the other cat’s neck. Once, he saw boysContinue reading “The Boy’s Cat”

Take the Trash Out, Please

Graham is sitting on the couch watching a Minecraft video on an iPad. “Hey, bud, could you take the trash out?” the man says. “No,” he says without looking up. The man sighs. “Let me rephrase that. Take the trash out.” “Uggghhh. Why?” “Because it’s full and it’s your job.” “Why can’t Lindsay do it?”Continue reading “Take the Trash Out, Please”

Damn Tacos

Each year on December 24, the boy’s father takes Stephen and him shopping. All three of them have usually bought almost all their gifts, but Dad likes to be out in the crowds, get lunch, browse a bookstore, and spend time together before heading home for Christmas Eve traditions. The boy is twelve and aContinue reading “Damn Tacos”

Most Teams Celebrate When They Win

The man’s oldest son started football for Silver Lake when he was ten. They went 0-8 that year. That same group of kids has never won a varsity game since mighty mites. The man and his friend are the new the Silver Lake seventh and eighth grade coaches this season. They have dumped the oldContinue reading “Most Teams Celebrate When They Win”

Purple Heart Funeral

The man’s youngest son discovered Oversimplify on YouTube on his own around age eight, which made him an unlikely authority on eras of history that most people know little about. Now, he often says things like, “Can you believe people thought Czar Nicholas was so bad? Apparently, they haven’t heard of Leopold II of Belgium!”Continue reading “Purple Heart Funeral”

Why Don’t They Call it Lawyer Pibb?

What do you call two thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? Progress. What’s the difference between a lawyer and a shark? The shark doesn’t charge you after eating you alive. What do you say to a drowning lawyer? I have no idea. Good! The young man’s dad is a lawyer. Dad laughs alongContinue reading “Why Don’t They Call it Lawyer Pibb?”