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In Dark Water

The Ballantine
Publishing Group

August 1998; May 1999


Part I
APRIL 1958
Chapter 1, Page 2


no, ’cause of the bandages covering his head and most of his face. “She should remember him the way he was,” he kept saying. Their voices got quieter and quieter. I lifted my head off the pillow but I still couldn’t hear. I knew though, not to push, not to ask if they would put shoes on him. And even without her nodding, I saw in my brain the lead singer leaning over David’s feet and jamming a shoe over his toe. He covered his toe.

Her jaw hardened more when she saw the smile. She didn’t know that David had given it to me, that it was a different smile than the bad smile.

The bad smile came when Dad told me he was dead. Dad was standing but she was sitting down and I heard her spit out toward the table, “That damn motorcycle!” and Dad leaned down to her and her fist circled his back but it was weak, it was opening into just her hand again. I was standing alone by the door where we always stood whenever we got called in by Dad. I heard him say it once more in my head, David was killed, and then it came, the smile. I put my head down but it was too late. Her eyes saw me from under Dad’s arm. I saw them see me and I ran. I ran to my patch, the grass. I just stood there looking at it. The smile was gone. As soon as I got out, it was gone. But still I didn’t sit down. I just stood there and watched the grass bend.

< Begin again


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