Douglas and the Snowball

by Patrick Firth

The troubles had began when James down the lane had lost his house, Douglas thought as he grabbed a cane from a small barrel by the door. James’s children had sold it right out from underneath him. Douglas spat on the welcome mat just inside the door, and then ground it out with his boot. James had worked his ass off his whole life, thirty something years at the factory, and his life was stolen by his family the minute he had trouble getting in the tub. Now he lived in some Home in Windsor. At their age, life was full of little deaths and losses. Lost friends, cars, wives. Freedom. But rest homes kill, Douglas thought. And James had received his death sentence.

Douglas had watched the new family move in. He used the binoculars that his wife, Margaret, had taken with her to Holiday Beach when she was birding, and he was not. The family, the Wheelwrights it said on their mailbox, seemed industrious enough. The mother and father anyways. They did not sit back and let the movers do it all. The boy, however, let it all pass by. Continue reading