Yu dangles the worm near her lips, tongues the air. The other kids dare her to eat it. She does. One day soon, the worms will get to eat Yu.
The monster oozes from the closet, slinks past Tim’s bed to Jon’s. It pulses wetly. Jon sobs, “No, Timmy!” It writhes, slurps. Tim smiles.
Mom drove me to school day after day, her eyes red and swollen. Today, I saw red lips instead of red eyes, and a smile. A harbinger of hope!
Alcohol bottles on the floor. Father mumbles incoherently. I storm out crying. The liquor store is close. It tastes good, warm with hope.
She’s on the school bus. She crouches low in back. The driver doesn’t see her. She’ll stay here all night. It’s warmer than at home.
“He was a saint, an inspiration! Father Joe will be missed.” We lied through counterfeit smiles and timorous skin for the entire funeral.