Into Battle

Your dad pats your shoulder heavily as he mentally prepares himself to send you into hopeless battle. “Well, kiddo. I’ll meet you at the Subway.” He hurries away with shoulders hunched and you wonder if you’ll ever see him again. You look back out into the insanity before you once more and draw a deep breath, summoning up a vision of your mother for strength. You can do this. You are too fantastic.

But where to begin?

The shop is organized like a maze, designed to drag you in and never let you go until every penny has been sucked from your clammy fingers. You clench your crumpled dollars deep in your pocket. Beside you is a rack of books. They’re even on sale for five dollars each. Your mom’s literate. She might like a book. And it’s a gift, it’s not like it’d be a retreat. Not really.

You don’t have time for this cattle stampede. You decide on the book, wondering why the guy on the cover isn’t wearing a shirt.

You’re better than this. You head into the heart of darkness to get your bearings in the center of the store.


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