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"Ends"

a short story

* * *

The father lumbered forward, squinting in the afternoon glare. His fist stamped a dent in the flowered wall. He didn’t seem to notice.

She left us because of you, Dad! You ran her off with your drinking, and your temper, and you can’t keep a simple job—” the boy was backpedaling, at seventeen not yet a match for his father in a fight. “They’re going to know it was you that took the money from the cash drawer. What did you think would happen? Now you’ll be unemployed and arrested. How could you be so stupid?”

The boy sidestepped his father's charge, but only halfway. The older man’s momentum carried them both backwards, glancing off a wall, then onto the threadbare sofa. Clumsy, roaring, he landed a blow on his son’s temple and another on his rib cage. He didn’t stop to wonder why the boy wasn’t putting up more of a fight. So he just had time to be surprised when the gun, pulled from under a cushion, was placed between his eyes and fired.

* * *

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