“So why did we have to come here?” I say.

“Because it’s family you haven’t seen in a long time, it’s on the way home, and it saves us a night in a hotel,” Shannon says.

I sigh. “Has Frank always been like this?”

“Yes,” Shannon says. “And until he got you transferred, you used to love him for it.”



“I liked him?”

Loved him,” she says. “Loved him so much you introduced him to your sister.”

“Don’t remind me,” I say, rubbing my temples. “God, if he beats me again...”

“Be careful,” Shannon says. “He almost got you with the remote.”

Earlier that night, Frank handed me the remote control and said “I’m going to bed. I bequeath control of the television unto you.”

At the last second, I caught on. I dropped the remote like it was on fire.

“He’s going to get you tomorrow, you know,” Shannon says.

“So you’re that sure, huh?”



“Because your life is fuller than his,” she says. “As the day goes on, you will get distracted with other things – the kids, seeing Kansas City, being on vacation, but he will not stop quietly devising a way to beat you.”

“Nice try,” I say. “That was a very polite way of telling me that I’m a loser. At least I’m not the one who has an oops baby.”

“A what?”

“An oops baby,” I say. “His other boys are 9 and 8 years old. Nobody plans a family like that.”

“Lucius is probably unplanned,” Shannon concedes. “It doesn’t make him any less a human being.”

“I didn’t say that,” I say.

“You implied it,” she says.

“Hey, I’m just concerned for poor Lucius, having to grow up only to eventually realize that his parents-”

“I’m going to do you a favor and keep you from finishing that sentence,” Shannon says.

“How much you want to bet I win?” I say.

“How much?” Shannon says. “It doesn’t matter. Your money is my money.”

“Ok, if I win, all I want from you is a simple I’m sorry I doubted you,” I say.

“And if Frank wins?”

“I’ll tell you that you were right all along to doubt me,” I say.

Shannon puts out her hand. We shake.


I sit up and slide off the bed.

“Where you going?”


I depart without a hint of what I’m planning to do. That’s how I know I’m serious.

I won’t even give her the chance to talk me out of it.


Travelling: Intro / Book Jacket, Chapter 1: Cribbagegate, Chapter 2: Two e-mails, Chapter 3: Pattern, Chapter 4: Shattered, Chapter 5: Hilarious Pee, Chapter 6: Suicide, Chapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers, Chapter 9: June, Chapter 10: 18 and oh no, Chapter 11: DNA, Chapter 12: Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Chapter 13: Tom Brady and the McGuffin, Chapter 14: Game 1, Chapter 15: Who the H is John Havlicek?, Chapters 16 - 17, Chapter 18: Game 2: Great White, Chapter 19: Pickle, Chapter 20: Marty McFly, Chapter 21 / 22: standard deviation, all the pretty flowers, Chapter 23: Game 3: Black Hills, Chapter 24: Twister, Chapter 25: Game 4, Chapter 26: Patriotic Agony, Chapter 27: Locusts, Chapter 28: skype, Chapter 29: Click, Chapter 30: Superman, Chapter 30: Ass Brunch Chapter 32: Mammoth, Chapter 33: Pathetic, Chapter 34: Purple and Gold, Chapter 35: Chowdah, Chapter 36: Mastermind, Chapter 37: m&m cookie dough, Chapter 38: taste, Chapter 39: Dance with the Devil, Chapter 40: Game 7, Chapter 41: 17 to 11, Chapter 42: One Mold, Chapter 43: Stink Smell, Chapter 44: Yarthies, Chapter 45: Oops baby, Chapter 46: Winnah

Labels: , ,

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Next part should be good...

Blogger zyth said...
i came here for ball, i stayed for the story. Great one so far and the plot thickens still

Blogger Wormboy said...
Get him to take the baby under some circumstances.