I raised my hand. “I hate writing.”
Mrs. McMullen came to my desk. “Do it anyway.”
“I’ve been to the zoo once. In Kindergarten.” I scowled at my worksheet.
“Write about that trip, then.”
“I got lost.”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something, Jessie.”
I wrote, “At the zoo, we saw the monkeys. They were very very very very very funny.” I made the ‘very’s’ huge so I wouldn’t have to cover the whole page.
Mrs. McMullen returned it. “Do over.” She kept me in from recess.
I wrote, “I hate the zoo.… Read the rest
“I’ve been lost since the Presidio.” Broken glass littered the sidewalk, and Scott had just stepped on a spent shotgun shell, its ruffled blast end an unmistakable sign of what had happened to the mason jars around our feet.
Scott’s friend Kelly, who had joined us willingly enough after lunch, said “The Presidio. That was awhile ago.”
“How long have we been walking?”
Scott checked his watch. “Four, five hours, give or take.”
Kelly said, “That’s pretty low on the old priority list right now.”
He had a point.… Read the rest
Lisa said, “I got it,” in her nasal, robotic voice.
Caroline tilted her head and moved her mouth, but nothing came out. Her words had gone away again.
I climbed in up front and scanned the permission slip. “Crap, Scott which thing are we going to?”
Scott finished clicking in Sam. “Which what? Yogurt shop?”
“I thought you knew.”
“Well, I don’t, and the paperwork doesn’t say.”
“I’ll go in and ask.”
“The teachers are right there. Ask them.”
A minute later, with the right destination in hand, we started out of the lot.… Read the rest
But this morning I sneezed, and I came to a sudden crisis point behind the wheel. It wasn’t one of those “Ah-ah-achoo” sneezes where there’s buildup and prep time.… Read the rest
Mom said, “If it’s a boy, we’ll call him Jesse Bishop, after my grandfathers.”
“What about a girl?”
“I want something beautiful. Something that shines like the sun and glitters like a jewel.” Mom gazed out over her garden.
“No. I also want it to be down to earth.” She looked harder at the garden.
“There’s only one Eartha Kitt.”
Mom beamed at the rows of beans, eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers. … Read the rest
Scrape-squeak-squeak. Scrape-squeak-squeak. Dunk-gadunk squeeeee.
“ I think we have rats in the attic.” I stood in the hall looking up.
Scott came from his office and listened with me. “Attic fan.”
“But it sounds like The Devil in The Exorcist. You remember that scene where Ellen Burstyn tries to convince the housekeeper there’s a rodent infestation, only it turns out to be Satan?”
“Jessie, the only thing I remember about The Exorcist is that you said it was suspense and dragged me off to see the director’s cut in 2000.”
“It is suspense! And it sounds like it’s living in our attic.” I pointed at the ceiling.… Read the rest
“I had that closed.”
“We can hear you in the kitchen.”
“Yeah, Mom, it’s too loud.” Caroline poked her head under her father’s elbow.
“You’re only complaining because it’s heavy metal. If I had the Beatles up, you’d be in here dancing.”
“You’ve got Beatles? I want the Beatles!” Sam joined the fray with enthusiasm unreasonable for someone who should have been zoned out in front of the TV.
I clicked around until my desk stopped shaking with the gunshots of “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You.”
Scott rubbed the back of his head.… Read the rest