By Phillip Sterling
Short encounters with the soreness and triumphs of characters dwelling in northern Michigan via Phillip Sterling.
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Short encounters with the ache and triumphs of characters dwelling in northern Michigan by means of Phillip Sterling.
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Additional resources for In Which Brief Stories Are Told
He smelled like puke and urine, but he was smiling. Then oﬀ he marches, and I stopped playing to watch. He looked like he needed a good meal and a shave—his face had a kind of scruﬀy gauntness to it—but he was marching and playing his trombone with an enthusiasm I’d never seen before. He was really enjoying himself. I’d played for ﬁve years by then. But I knew at that moment that I was done with it. It would never be anything more than a high school memory. I just didn’t have the talent.
After school, Jamie would bring her assignments home. Jamie. Generous Jamie. Jamie, the jolly giant. Yes, all right. Jamie the jolly giant jumps. Jamie the jolly giant jumps . . giraﬀes. She giggled. Jamie the jolly giant jumps giraﬀes and juggles jam. She’d have to remember that one. Jamie was so lucky. She had Mrs. McLain this year. Marvelous Mrs. McLain. Lynnette missed Mrs. McLain, her favorite teacher, missed her ﬁfth-grade classmates. The year before, when she had gotten so sick that she’d had to stay at U of M, every week the kids in Mrs.
She hadn’t felt well. For the ﬁrst time in weeks, her nose bled that afternoon. She must have wiped it with her hand and then brushed the wall while she slept. The wall was dull with blood when she awoke. And her joints seemed stiﬀer, more painful than usual. But that was then. Lynnette loves her mother. No. That would never do. Lynnette loves Lynn, her only mother. The mother who left her. So a nap after lunch. Then Jamie would be home. But today she didn’t much feel like doing lessons. Maybe they’d watch that kids’ show on cable instead, the one where the point was to get as messy as you could.