J Z Morrison Press on Smashwords
Copyright © 2011 by Jill Zeller
Cover art by http://depositphotos.com
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Dad was outside barbering his shrubs and raking leaves in tender piles. Since his daughter Iris, spawn of a woman he no longer loved, came to live with us, he spent more time in the garage polishing strangely shaped bits of wood.
That was where Dad was now as I watched TV for an hour before Madeline finally rose, her hair a wire mesh of day-old hairspray. Carrying a glass of juice, she stood next to me, smelling of deodorant. “Isn't Iris up yet? I bet she took off. I bet she got out of here and ditched you.”
Hot fear poured into me. How could I have been so stupid? Getting up from my chair I went down the hall, my slippers silent on the carpet, and stood before Iris’s bedroom.
Silence breathed through the hollow-core door. If she were up her radio would be chattering Little Stevie Wonder or James Brown. A hand squeezed my heart, a nauseating hand. She had run away again so she wouldn’t have to take me to the mall.