Lucky hears the truck engine first, barks his warning and hides under the porch while I, after hearing the barking, turn off the TV and call out to Ma.
Ma puts out her cigarette, hides the pack, and with the bucket handy douses the kitchen floor and starts in with the mop like she is getting paid piecework.
I run upstairs to my bedroom—open the window to rid the room of the weed smell, empty my backpack on the bed and start reading last week’s assignment.
I hear the front door as it hits the wall after being pushed open and Pa yells out for his beer and demands to know where his supper is.
Ma brings Dad his Budweiser—drops a pill in the long neck—he reaches for it, falls to the floor, hand on chest, while me and Ma tiptoe to the kitchen and eat a slow and quiet meal for a change. Lucky gets Pa’s portion.
Paul Beckman’s latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press), was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, WINK, Jellyfish Review, and The Lost Balloon. He had a story selected for the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology Lineup and was short listed in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly in KGB’s Red Room (Currently Virtual).