Paper Dummy

Afghanistan. Or maybe it’s Congo. Or Rwanda. Odd, how he can’t remember which, can’t remember exactly which one of so many nightmare holes that was. The failing equipment is vivid in his mind. He can still remember the codes painted on the metal, the sparks coming out of personnel carriers …

Beds for Bad Dreams

“Futons won’t work for Dance,” Emma says patiently, putting her seatbelt on. She’s been saying things like that through three stores now. “The bed frame needs to be higher up off the floor.” Drin looks at her, and sits back in the leather driver’s seat. “What am I missing here?” …

Out of the Box

This one Dance recognized. It was one of the better dreams, like the ones about laughing with his grandmother teacher over her piano keyboard, or when he was a baby, eating imaginary ice cream with his mother in a rusty-red back yard, with iron-tasting dirt all over his face. === …

Handing Off

“I’m on my way,” is all Drin says when she makes the call, and he shows up within twenty minutes. “Sweetheart, I came back,” he says, striding into the room. “Can Emma sit with us?” Emma’s sure she can feel Dance moving around under the sagging springs, but she sits …

Unlikely Triggers

Emma points at the computer monitor. “See, this queen-sized one has an iron frame, the legs are about two and a half feet long–” “No, no,” Dance says, “we don’t need–” “Yes you do need another bed,” Emma says. “Drin needs it for his back. Stop making selfish excuses. Don’t …