Literary Classics Written by a Parent of Young Children

Photograph courtesy Max

Evening fell as the surviving men of Frank’s platoon arrived at the Allied beach, the last streaks of sunlight clinging to the horizon. “Men,” Captain Addington croaked, the bandage around his neck stained a deep red. “Today we said goodbye to our brothers, and now we say good night to the hell of this beach, good night to our pain, good night to defeat, good night to comb, good night brush, good night nobody, good night mush, and good night to the quiet old woman whispering hush.”

Annika was eight when we met. I remember the copper glint of her hair in the Italian summer light. “Nino!” she cried, as she chased her brother past Maestro Giuseppe’s house. “Wait for me!” If he had waited, if he had hesitated for an instant, he would be alive today, laughing, playing, and eating, eating, eating, apples and bananas.

Blotsky rolled off Rachel and lit a cigarette, her zaftig breasts still heaving with pleasure. “Oh, Blotsky,” she gasped. “You’re a terrific lover.” Blotsky stared at the cheap ceiling fan spinning as furiously and unrelentingly as his brilliant mind. He felt nothing. He hated himself. He hated his mother. Because she never let him watch the iPad at dinner.

Is this your pen?

It wasn’t. Eleanor knew of Jack and his reputation at Oxford for seducing bookish country girls like her.

No. Afraid not.



Do you want to read for exams in my dormitory?


Have you filled out your emergency contact form?

Afraid I haven’t.

Have you sent in your vaccination records and latest physical from your pediatrician?

Shit. Thought my husband would handle it.

Ah, you’re married.

’Course not. I’m eighteen. Never even been properly . . .

Eleanor blushed. She shrank into her cardigan.

Shame. If only you’d submitted the necessary forms.

Through the mist, King Alistair’s dragon soared into view above Gallatinee. Peasants and noblemen looked skyward, awestruck by the beast’s ferocious might. “My people!” the Golden King shouted to the crowd below. “I have returned a victor! I have slain the Silver Army, I have vanquished our greatest foe, and tonight we dine on butter noodles!” The people cheered. “And milk in the blue cup!” The cheering grew so loud the castle shook. ♦

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