What I told the police the morning after Michael Parker

Adam was my scoutmaster. I mowed his lawn, especially while he was in Iraq. He built homes. Lost his job a year ago. I hadn’t seen him since his wife’s funeral. She was having a baby. It came early. She was bleeding. The baby was a dead boy. She died on the living room floor.

I went to say goodbye. I had just got home from work. He was moving. I mean, they were kicking him out of his house. His money was gone.

When he opened the door, he looked like a skeleton with skin. Eyes bulging, looked like he had been crying for years.

It was dark and cold. He had candles for light.

He was drinking. Empty liquor bottles were everywhere.

He hadn’t packed anything. It was all his wife’s stuff – the wall mirror, the curtains she made for the windows, family photos, and her favorite painting of Jesus Christ calming the sea. In the half-light, it was creepy: the disciples’ scared faces, Jesus’ arms stretched into the darkness that surrounded them, like a giant mouth of a beast was about to eat them alive. Adam saw me looking at it. He laughed:

“Miracles don’t happen to the poor.”

He bawled, said they were tearing him away from the “spirit of his wife.” She was there, he believed.

No, he didn’t talk of plans.

No, he didn’t talk about death.

Yes, I knew he owned guns. He loved guns.


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Filed under Michael Parker

10 responses to “What I told the police the morning after Michael Parker

  1. Perfect ending here, esp. after focusing us on the image. Very well done.

  2. “Miracles don’t happen to the poor.”

    Great. A lot said even though it’s flash– which I love!

  3. Melissa

    “He was moving. I mean, they were kicking him out of his house. His money was gone.”

    This line says it all!!!!!!

  4. Melissa

    And I love how this story is written. The short sentences. Every line painting a clearer picture of Adam.

  5. i like the choppy feel of this. it gives the piece urgency.

  6. Short, choppy sentences give the piece an almost reality TV feeling. Like quick snapshots, and the pacing speeds up throughout. Nice!

  7. ooohh. (and I thought I’d commented on it when I first read – guess I just thought on it.) Yes on what Len and Robert say: urgency, pacing – really working. The narrator seems vulnerable while being completely unsentimental. Great mood you’ve created. I like this very much.

  8. Pingback: Week #40 – The money’s gone | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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