More than a Bloody Moon


Dad is slumped over on me now; half of his weight is on my right side, my right arm under his. I walk him to his side of the bed hoping Mother won’t wake up and see how drunk he is, see the blood I didn’t get the chance to wipe off his face. He lies down and is out cold. He’s good for the night.

I go into my room and see Delma asleep on her bed. I lie down on mine and stare up at the ceiling. A dim light comes through my window. The half-moon pays me a visit, casts shadows of a kid named Cono who never could beat Hicks Boy.

Well, I guess Dad has met his own Hicks Boy.

I can’t believe I’m not jumping up and down, celebrating. I feel kinda sorry for him, my dad beaten by a cue stick. The same man who, to my knowledge, never lost a fight except for in the boxing ring with Shorty Houghton when I was three years old.

I also feel pretty good that I was there for him, did something for him that maybe he’ll remember. But it doesn’t really matter if he remembers. I will. For the first time, I felt useful to him.

I hear Mother scream. I snap back into the present, out of my daydream. Maybe she’s woken up, has seen blood on her sheets reflected in moonlight, seen the blood on Dad’s face.

I start to get up but the quiet has taken over. I think I might just go back to sleep but the silence only lasts for a moment.

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper by C. Dennis-Willingham

Image credit

via Dim

Published by

Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

Carolyn is the author of two published books – No Hill for a Stepper, 2001, and The Last Bordello, 2016. Her third novel, The Moonshine Thicket, is set in 1928 and is currently enduring a professional edit. When not on her laptop, she serves as a lap top for her grandchildren. She is a retired Early Childhood Specialist, a fitness boxer, artist, and a ball thrower for her ever-persistent mini Aussie. In addition to her blogging website,, you may find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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