Dad’s ignoring me as usual, but I guess that’s better than a slap on my face. Mother dries off the breakfast skillet, picks up a fussy Delma, and says, “Cono, yer goin’ te town this weekend te sleep over at Mamaw’s.”
“How come?” I ask.
“Aunt Marguerite and Aunt Eva are there. They wanna see ye.”
Well, I can see all the way down to the truth, and it feels like I’ve swallered a ratt’ler. Dad’s still mad that I’d bitten that toothbrush in two and doesn’t want me around. I don’t want to be around him either.
Still, I don’t want to go. I like Dad’s sisters well enough, but I want to stay here with baby Delma.
Mamaw, Dad’s mother, is the toughest grandma I know. It would be a whole lot easier if I just ran away and caught a train to somewhere else. As I sit on that idea like a chicken warming her eggs. I decide against it. Everybody says that the trains are filled with starving hobos on their way to California. They say they like to eat children under the age of twelve. I’m afraid they’d eat me too even though I’m little and skinny.
I guess I have to go.
Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper