Brotherly Love by Pete Dexter

By Pete Dexter

Left an orphan whilst the auto his father, a strong Philly union boss, is using careens uncontrolled, Peter Flood attempts to distance himself from the relations company whereas his cousin, Michael, enters the area of crime. Reprint. NYT.

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Grant had said. Believe what? That a person can come back. Emmet had set his boot down from his knee. Sipped his beer. Raised the opposite boot to the opposite knee. At last he said he didn’t know if he believed such a thing in any religious kind of way, if that’s what Grant was getting at, but he said his wife had been the one true thing of his life and when he looked out on this land and saw that bird setting atop it that way, well. He blew as if expelling smoke from his lungs. I believe a man is likely to surprise himself with what he believes.

On the wall at the foot of the stairs a vintage sunburst clock ticked prodigiously. As if sound was its only mode of timekeeping. The children began to talk to him. He listened and smiled and talked back and she remembered the little girl—her little girl—coming into her bed. The firm small body pushed against her. That heat, that smell like no other. “I’d better be going,” she said. ” He reached and touched her then, two fingertips, lightly to the bone of her wrist, and picked up his cell phone and showed it to her.

What happened? Nothing, Sean. We had an argument. What about? Grant shut the door and went around the wheelchair and sat on the bed. Nothing. Just an argument. She woke up that night clutching at him. It’s all right, he said, it’s all right. No, she said, her eyes bright in the dark. I was driving a dark road. Just me, and she came out of the trees, into my lights. She was naked and covered in dirt. Like she’d been buried alive. But she got out. Oh God. She got out and she was trying to come home.

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