Mabel

Mabel pulled Peter from the tub and he was slick and pink and glistening. He hugged his towel about his chest and shivered. Half-lidded, mouth downturned; the same as when he was indignant, displeased with something. Droopy Dog. Or a little crewman stepping from the wreckage of the George 1, the downed PBM Mariner that [...]

Marian, Two

“Yes,” said John having entered their new home, having walked and turned about in the empty, hardwood-floored, high-ceilinged living room. “Yes,” meaning, as Marian knew, “Yes I'll get my bible,” something he had been quietly deliberating over—whether to bless the new house as they had their first. She was used to things slowing down intolerably, [...]

Diane, Seven

“Kindly light these candles,” said Mr Winthrop, gently touching the two of them, one then the other in their holders on the round table, before reaching beside him to produce a box of matches. Diane squinted down at her hands. Mr Winthrop got up and went to an upright something covered by a heavy black [...]

Diane, Six

The children's beds were against opposite walls in the room. Mavis's had a pink nylon mosquito net suspended from the ceiling, which she loved, and had draped in a circle around her bed year-round. It made Mavis feel safer, as though it were a thing inside which she could see out, but others could not [...]

Marian

“It better go off without a hitch!” Earnest Graffen, the Lieutenant Colonel had shouted it from halfway across the room and the other parents laughed. The children were gathering together before the fireplace to read a story they had put together. Throughout the night they had all joined minds and contributed, one line at a [...]

Tammy, Four

“Come, he hath hid himself among these trees, to be consorted with the humorous night;” Mr Feigenbaum replied measuredly, the revolutions of his foot keeping rhythm, “blind is his love and best befits the dark.” “If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Now will he sit under a medlar tree, and wish his [...]

Tammy, Three

Mr Feigenbaum was known as Mr Faggotbum at Gradston High. That was because he wore a scarf and crossed his legs, and knew more about poetry and plays than the librarians, the teachers, and certainly any of the children's own parents. Mr Feigenbaum had a wife and three children though, all grown up. He had [...]