Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. v

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vii

The following stories were originally published, in different forms, in the following places: “Depot Island,” North Atlantic Review; “Still Life with Dead Bird,” Dogwood; “Beard of Bees,” Painted Bride Quarterly and Weston Magazine; “I Was Jimmy Carter,”...

read more

1. Beard of Bees

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-9

When the bees came, they did not come in swarms. They came in crates. Unfortunately for me, they also came while I was at work. My wife Gayle was home, though, and signed for them, thinking they were the frozen steaks I was supposed to have ordered. Then...

read more

2. Still Life with Dead Bird

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 10-18

The dog had come to us from the same litter as one belonging to a woman I’d been seeing at my own work. We were winding down as a thing, but then she got this perverse idea of us both having sibling dogs. Being an art professor—sorry,...

read more

3. I Was Jimmy Carter

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 19-25

Miles LaPine was Jimmy Carter. Jeffrey Tunxis was Ronald Reagan. He was also the most popular boy in the fifth grade. No one else seemed to remember he’d wet his pants when they were all six. They had no trouble remembering Miles’ supposed past as a booger-eater....

read more

4. Little Liars

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 26-29

They were in the hot, rotting chicken coop at the abandoned farm down the street from Miles LaPine’s house. Miles was going over his recent discoveries about Columbia, the new space shuttle....

read more

5. Version

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 30-40

I’d never pictured myself the type to kidnap my own children, yet here we all were together, driving past the city where the kids now lived with their mother. Until early that morning, my two sons and I had been having our visitation where we always did, at...

read more

6. Guests of Honor

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 41-57

Back in high school, Night-Swarm used to say his disguise made his head a smooth black dome, terrifying in its inscrutability. The “disguise” was a scuba hood worn over a dirt-bike mask. Both were made of stretchy black neoprene. I wouldn’t let him wear the...

read more

7. Mr. Cake-for-Breakfast

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 58-64

Just the LaPine men at the dinner table tonight, eleven-year-old Miles and his father, Dennis. It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, 1981. Miles’ mother is down in Florida, taking care of Grammy LaPine, who’s had a small stroke. Grammy LaPine is Dennis’ mother; she...

read more

8. Failure to Thrive

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 65-88

Anne wasn’t always a social worker. Before that, for the first half of her adult life, she drank. She hit her kids more times than she cares to count, even at this safe distance, twenty years sober and with an advanced degree. When she couldn’t afford a babysitter...

read more

9. Depot Island

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 89-99

His mother sounded small over the phone. Miles couldn’t tell if it was because she’d been drinking, or because of all the trucks grumbling back and forth outside his motel window. It was a wet towel of a night in North Carolina, the 3rd of July, 1982. Miles LaPine...

read more

10. The Book of Right and Wrong

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 100-117

This is the kind of town Black Rock, CT, has become: Besides the landscapers and tree specialists, you can hire a team of guys just to come and pick up all the dog shit from your lawn. When Bobby Benoit grew up here, there was no such thing. Now there are three...

read more

11. Kate the Destroyer

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 118-126

Three years after the fact, it’s still what her family’s known for around town. A woman lets her unstable ex-husband drive the kids down to Disney World, and only the kids come back? Kate LaPine knows how it looks....

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF