July/Aug 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 4 FictionJuly 1, 2017 |

Slipping

By the time Keith reaches Marla's Tavern, it is dark outside and the parking lot is full, but just thinking about a cold beer makes his mouth water, so he parks three blocks away and then, when he steps out of his pickup truck, he slips on the ice. Right there in front of God and everybody, he falls on his ass and this is his week to drive the crew to the work site, which means he is the first man to leave the house in the morning, the last to get home at night, and today is his birthday, and Tricia is still not speaking to him. It is December 1987, just a few days before Christmas, and sleet has been falling steadily since lunchtime. Keith left his jacket at home this morning and now he sits shivering and wet on the ground, his hand resting on the wheel well of a fourteen-year-old Ford F-100 that he inherited from his old man. Eight feet long with a V8 engine and nearly two tons of curvy steel, this truck is the first and finest thing he ever loved, even before Tricia, even befo

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By the time Keith reaches Marla's Tavern, it is dark outside and the parking lot is full, but just thinking about a cold beer makes his mouth water, so he […]

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