It was a crisp sunny morning as Dad drove Ali and me to school. We passed the usual sights, the abandoned warehouses, crumbling storefronts, and the shady gas station with bars over the windows and peeling beer and cigarette signs along its cinder block walls. Dad liked to pretend it was nothing, tapping on the... Continue Reading →

The Call

I was in my tree when the backdoor squeaked open. Mom plucked her cigarette into the yard. “Marcus.” “Yeah?” Her head followed my voice to the tree. Her eyes glistened. “Phone for you. It’s your, um, it’s your father honey.” My mom wasn’t one to get caught with emotions. She was fond of telling me... Continue Reading →

Beer Battered Santa

I was up late—Johnny Carson late. Mom and her new friends were in the kitchen, where they’d spent the evening making jolly, singing and laughing and carrying on well past dinner. Every once in a while she’d pop her head around the corner, the phone cord stretching as she reminded Angie and me that Santa... Continue Reading →

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