Another Way to View a River

Hearing Angie and Mal bitching at each other finally motivated Henry out of the bungalow to go look for work.  Knocking over little stores wasn’t his career ambition.  Garage work as a mechanic would be fine, Henry told every car repair place on the strip, pointing to his ’73 Pontiac GTO with the 400 cube V8 he’d customized.

He was singing the song Angie had crooned in bed when he got home that night, happy that a shop on Hyde Park Boulevard agreed to take him on.  Probation, the big guy at the garage called it, like he was being tested.  That was okay.  Henry was good with cars.  Angie could learn to cook from Mal and they’d have a normal life.  A family.

First thing he saw when his eyes adjusted to the dim living room was Big Mal laying back in his chair with blood running down his forehead.  Mal’s cane — also bloody — was on the floor.

Henry turned on some lights, examined Mal by poking his finger into his father’s cold cheek, then saw the paper on the end table — a letter written by Angie.

“Henry,” she wrote in capital letters, “by the time you read this I will be outta here.  I know you don’t think much of me cuz of those things I done.

Well, goddammit to hell, I never said I was perfect.  You always called me predickable as a hog.  Okay.  I like easy money.  A girl’s gotta have some fun and all you and your old man ever do is bitch.





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