His Dad’s Final Joke

Stephen, Bob Bolster, Bill Settle, Jerry Kizerian, and the man stand over their father’s body. He is laid out on a metallic table and covered in a sheet. The temple clothes are folded next to him, and the man has a pair of garments to dress him in. Dad looks pasty and puffy, not reallyContinue reading “His Dad’s Final Joke”

Your Mom’s the Coolest

The girl lives on the corner of a street in one of the newer neighborhoods south of his. Her street T heads another street, and across that street is a large drainage ditch. The young man, Ted, and Greg are all riding in the ice-blue minivan; the young man’s mom is driving. They turn downContinue reading “Your Mom’s the Coolest”

His Son Is Trying to Kill Him

Their son does not like anything the man does for him. He hates having his diaper changed, cries like he is being killed. When the man goes to give the boy his first bath, the man’s mother in law insists, “Babies love their baths!” But Grant does not: he screams bloody murder through it. OnContinue reading “His Son Is Trying to Kill Him”

As Long as You Didn’t Start It

He is in sixth grade now. Few things have changed for him at Sanders Elementary. He still wears corduroy pants and khaki button-down shirts. On one arm, he has two bracelets, names of men missing in action from Vietnam. On the other arm, he has one bracelet with the name of a man missing inContinue reading “As Long as You Didn’t Start It”

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 Poor Man’s Made Out of Muscle and Blood

The boy is ten and on his first All Star baseball team. They have completed their first practice in the simmering Corpus Christi heat, and it was nothing like regular Little League practice. Drills were far more intense, they conditioned, and they worked the entire two hours with no time wasted shagging balls or foolingContinue reading “A Poor Man’s Made Out of Muscle and Blood”

Your Life Is a Mission

The stake president has released him from his mission. He removes his tag and tucks it in his pocket. “Could I have my dad give me a blessing?” “Sure,” says President Grande. His dad stands and places hands on his head. “Gordon Derby Laws, Jr., by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, I lay myContinue reading “Your Life Is a Mission”

Haunted House

The man moves up the walkway to the front door and opens it. The door opens to a hall that connects to a dining room with a beat-up oval table. There’s one seat at the table and in that seat is his father. “What are you doing here?” “I don’t know. What are you doingContinue reading “Haunted House”

Be Sure to Check for Bombs Under the Bed

They live in a rental house in Corpus Christi while trying to find the home they want and selling their last home in San Antonio. The boy has already checked under his bed and in his closet—fortunately, he has found no bombs. Irrational? Maybe you haven’t seen Cloak and Dagger. Maybe you don’t remember thatContinue reading “Be Sure to Check for Bombs Under the Bed”

Ass-Face-Itis

The boy has been vomiting all day, and he’s had a touch of diarrhea at least once. It’s Christmas break, and his dad is off of work, so today, they watched Gone with the Wind and Patton, now they are about to start Ike. As Dad opens the Blockbuster rental box, he smiles and laughsContinue reading “Ass-Face-Itis”