Hayfield. Sunset. Marcus spears bales then stacks them on flatbed. Coop tightens straps. Cold beer, dusty thighs.
Coop: "See you tomorrow?"
The old man searches the nighttime sky with cataract eyes, remembering his youth. Haley's Comet burns past. "Twice!" he exclaims, then dies.
Timmy is a lonely only child. His father is a doctor who makes lots of money. His mother spends it on rubies. Timmy hates his parents.
Timmy cleans the house while his mom polishes her rubies. "Come play with me!" But mom is too busy. When mom naps, Timmy makes his move.
Mom keeps her rubies in a velvet bag. Timmy slinks to the bathroom and locks the door. When mom wakes, she can’t find her rubies. "Timmy?"
Dad comes home. Mom cries on carpet. "Where’s Timmy?" asks
"My rubies have been stolen!" screams mom. Timmy snickers in the bathroom.
Timmy shakes the rubies from the velvet bag. They plip into the toilet. Timmy moves his hand to flush. But Dad knocks on the door. "Timmy?"
Mom bursts into the bathroom. Dad follows. Mom sees the rubies in the toilet. Timmy cowers in the hamper. Mom splashes. Dad sighs. "Timmy?"
Mom collects her rubies from the toilet. Dad pulls Timmy from the hamper. Timmy cries. Mom rushes him. Dad stops her, hugs Tim. Mom joins.
John races to the peak. Stripping down to nothing, he wags at the sun & bellows: I am man!
"AND I AM SLEEPING," groans the hill-goblin.
Girls sun on beach. Boys, cars, and young mustaches wrestle. Trevor arrives late, but brings cold soda--bicycle hidden beneath boardwalk.
Jen curls beneath the willow tree, summer reading bookmarked with a dandelion. The beehive drops. Stuart cradles it, ignoring the stings.
Earning Your Keep
He wipes taco juice off fingers. "Do you think Mom would like this?" Holds up plush teddy bear.
Younger brother shrugs, looks around, winks.
He pats pockets, broke. "Take it," says brother, still scanning. He stuffs head in pants. Diving bear's pink paws protrude.
Store badge on pressed shirt, "Shouldn't you boys be in school?"
Nervous feet. Bear paws wiggle against stomach. Red-faces, "It's summer."
"Maybe you boys can help me, that is, if you have the time?"
Younger brother shifts anxious. "Can I pee first?" Badge nods, smiles, waves.
Younger brother pees, then boys clean bathroom. Store badge helps. "Simple work is good work," says badge. Boys scrub hard, sweating quiet.
Finished job sparkles. "Good work. You boys have earned something. Pick a small gift to take with you. Maybe a teddy bear?"
Pink bear drops from shorts. Younger brother freezes. Long silence.
Badge bends, picks it up, hands it to older brother. "She'll love it."