She recovers the stitch and keeps knitting. Despite her comment, she sings two bars from the Happy Days theme. “Sunday, Monday, Happy Days. Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.” She puts down her knitting, “It’s Wednesday,” she remembers. “We have to attend the hangings.”
For months I led Victor Frankenstein on a mad chase, from Switzerland to Italy to Russia to the Arctic Ocean. Then a storm separated us and, in the distance, I watched a passing ship rescue my creator and leave me for dead.
The day is so hot the sky itself might be melting when the girl and her father meet at the outdoor table of the tacky beachside restaurant three minutes off Greenwood Lake Turnpike. It’s a Tuesday, late in the evening but still a long way from sunset. She twists at the stem of the headless sunflower, the top of it left carelessly on the table beside the empty plastic vase. He fiddles with the corner of where the label meets on a bottle of Yuengling.
“So,” she says.
He waits. She adds nothing. The strap of her white sundress slides off her shoulder, and goes ignored.
“So,” he says. “It’s been a long time.”
People are looking at us.
Seema’s face was at the window, ten year old eyes surveying the world, button nose squashed against the tinted glass.
They’re not looking at us, honey. They’re looking at the car.
“You two live in Nerdville,” Dad snapped. “Why doncha play baseball for real steada sitting at that table all day, rolling those goddamn dice?” He was referring to the World Baseball League, that marvelous horsehide fantasy game that I played with my kid brother, Robbie, throughout every summer day.
Dear diary, I’m a ten year old boy who probably won’t make it till eleven. I’ve got a sickness but I’m not sure what kind. All I know is that I’m not as smart as the other kids and I look different too. It’s sad so I won’t think about it now.
While a few math geeks appreciated Joshua Calisto’s obsession with predictability, the general population thought he was just weird. A genius yes, but weird. Like most gifted mathematicians, he spent his life in obscurity, few ever seeing his work, fewer still understanding it.
Now, at last, Calisto’s moment had arrived.
You didn’t say anything as you gripped the bird in your fist. My parakeet, bright yellow like a small lemon, hung there very still, its head just above the knuckle of your thumb. The look on your face spoke your evil.
When I was seven my cousin John put a water pistol in my ear and pulled the trigger, laughing so hard he peed himself while I stumbled around the patio shaking my head and crying. Earlier that morning he’d boasted that everyone in the world was shit, except me, and someday he’d make the shits pay. That summer John was only nine, his arms covered with self-inflicted bite marks and Magic Marker skulls.
The third time Maggie left her husband, she took the dog, but not the cat. She was back in four days with the fury tamped down in her gut and the guilt still a metronome in her head. Simon had sorted every shelf in the apartment while she was gone and put every knife from the kitchen in a Tupperware container in the freezer. “I knew you’d be back.” She had not told anyone she was going, so the failure to stay gone did not chime with criticism through her network of family and friends. In truth, the last few [Read more]