from Perhaps the World Ends Here
The last time Noah left was last Christmas. As soon as he walked in the front door for the holidays, Amelie flung herself around him like she always did, and he’d spun her around as fast as always. He had hugged Mum tight and helped Pup with kindling for the fireplace, chatting vividly about his roommate’s behaviors with alcohol and women (as if he was any better) and playing cards with Elias and me.
My dad was fifteen when he burnt up the empty field behind the house he and my aunt grew up in. At one point, I think it was a pasture for the horses, but the last of them had died a few years prior. (Another story I’ve been told since childhood: when Snowball died, and my aunt cried and cried, and they buried him in the pasture where he’d grazed all his life, but they didn’t go deep enough, how the dogs dug him back up two days later, and my poor grandmother stepped out on the porch early that morning to find Snowball’s left leg splayed across the steps).So the field was overgrown. It was a hot, dry summer day. My dad, a poor kid in the middle of nowhere, too young to drive a car and too old to play with toys, was bored. He had a friend over.