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~chapter one: ~children in passing~

~I don’t like country western music~


Billings Montana

Winter, 1957

Momma and Daddy rolled their boy child’s lifeless body into a blanket. Daddy reared back and kicked the package a couple of times. It didn’t offer much resistance. Six-year-old Jackie weighed less than forty pounds and was just over three feet tall. Daddy’s foot almost went through him. 


“Stop kicking it!” Momma pled. “We have to find a bridge to throw it off.”


“I’m whippin’ the l’il bastard’s ass one more time!” Daddy insisted, “L’il sumbitch thinks he can steal my lunch bread and get away with it. I’ll show ‘im!”


Jackie scrunched his eyes shut. His nose and cheeks were numb with cold, his face wedged in the corner, icy walls indifferent to his plight. Daddy had stuck him there hours ago, daring him to move, daring him to breathe. Daddy dared Jackie to even think. Jackie, lying little bastard he was, promised after each punch and slap from Daddy’s hand that he would never steal the family’s bread again. He would not move, he would not breathe, he would not think. 


Jackie wiggled his nose, cringed inside, hoped no one noticed; he moved. His ribs hurt where Daddy kicked him when he fell down when Daddy hit him. They hurt so he breathed in shallow halting gasps of breath, cringed inside, hoped no one noticed; he breathed. Yes, he was a lying little bastard. He stood in the corners of this house, naked half the time and cold, imagined a plethora of scenarios of death, his own death at Daddy and Momma’s hands. The bridge was long and tall. Through a hole in the blanket, Jackie saw its steel girders high above, stabbing through clouds, wrapped in sunlight. They tossed him over the rail, Momma and Daddy, and walked arm-in-arm away. Lying little bastard that he was, he wasn’t dead. His broken body tumbled through the air, stones, muddy water rushing, weeds awaiting it. He scrunched his eyes shut, cringed inside, hoped no one noticed; he thought



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© 2015 graphic artwork music & words

conceived by & property of

tom (WordWulf) sterner 2015 ©


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