In the second story from my collection Middle of Nowhere, two young siblings in Nebraska are brought to live with their father’s mistress after their mother becomes institutionalized.
OUR BUICK STOPPED HERE
COLT’S FINGERS CREPT TOWARDS THE SILVER COMBINATION LOCK OF HIS DADDY’S SUITCASE. From the front seat of their car, his daddy reached back and swatted Colt’s hand away with a grimace of twisted yellow teeth. No funny stuff said his daddy’s eyes in the rear view mirror, but funny stuff was what Colt did best. They had stopped in front of a house on a quaint, tree-lined block that Colt found familiar to his own – a slow moving world of nosy neighbors, tossed newspapers, and jingling ice cream trucks. His daddy then changed his tune and teased him by sliding a quarter from behind his ear. Colt knew better. Loose change wouldn’t buy good behavior. He let the sweaty quarter plop into his palm, but kept his other hand in a hidden caress of the suitcase and waited patiently for his daddy to disappear.