I sat at the other end of the kitchen table. My hands were trembling and the dim morning light felt like it was filtered through a pink cloth. I was afraid to speak. The last few years Euart had become more distant, like a stranger. I didn’t know what to say to him without causing him to back away. But I tried:
There’s the tract of land, I said. And there’s The Handsome. I could sell it.
This place? he said, and laughed. It was a brittle sound, like a dry branch snapped by the wind. You couldn’t get a nickel for it. It’s old and it’s falling apart. I don’t think you could give it away. They would laugh at you at the bank. Don’t you know what people say behind your back?
He shook his head and splayed his fingers across the tablecloth.
And the land? It’s worthless. Nobody wants anything that belongs to the town drunk. Handsome’s dead, Dad, it just doesn’t know it yet. In another year or two it’ll be covered in dirt and paved over and no one will remember it was ever here.
But I could—
I’m sorry, he said. I thought maybe you’d clean yourself up.
Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome. Available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0
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