From a Distance
There are some things you learn best in calm, some in storm. Willa Cather
The way she saw it, some families were like well-tended parks,
with pretty daffodil borders and big, sprawling trees that offered
respite from the summer sun. Others and this she knew
firsthand were battlefields, bloody and dark, littered with shrapnel
and body parts.
She might only be seventeen, but Jolene Larsen already knew about war. She'd grown up in the midst of a marriage gone bad.
Valentine's Day was the worst. The mood at home was always precarious, but on this day, when the television ran ads for flowers and chocolates and red foil hearts, love became a weapon in her parents' careless hands. It started with their drinking, of course. Always. Glasses full of bourbon, refilled again and again. That was the beginning. Then came the screaming and the crying, the throwing of things. For years, Jolene ...
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The Steady Running of the Hour
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