Born to Ramble
“What were you doing up at the back?” Ken said cracking his knuckles and only making fleeting eye contact. “A walk. Just checking out the fencing.” “Down?” Eldon shook his head. Thought of telling him about the casing, but decided against it. “All good.” “There’s a storm supposed to hit today. Later this morning, I think.” “Yeah, I smelled it coming.” “Smelled it, right.” Ken laughed and plucked his phone from his pocket. “There’s whole programs that tell you the weather now, Dad. Probably a helluva lot better than you can.” Ken smiled crookedly, thin lips barely able to contain all those teeth — took after his mother that way. Silence, then Ken laughed, fell forward over his knees and guffawed. “What?” Eldon asked. “That’s all you got to say? Haven’t seen you in weeks.” “No fault of my own.” “You going to blame me for this? Or Linda? Or...the kids? They want to see their granddad, you know.” “You made it very clear,” Eldon stopped, controlled himself. “You should bring them over sometime, then. You want coffee?” Ken shook his head, followed into the kitchen. Eldon picked a mug up from the drying rack, dumped two large spoons of instant coffee in it then filled it with cold water from the tap. “I think it’s meant to be hot.” “I don’t mind it like this.”
Short fiction by Jared Yates Sexton, Amanda Miska, Paul Hamilton and Robert James Russell.