Her Father’s Ghost by Harrison Kim

Kathy’s Dad passed away in his own house, his last rattling breaths aided by the morphine his daughter poured down his ancient mouth.  He lived alone in the old place for decades.  Germs terrified him.  He secured the windows with plastic.  The air inside turned stale and rancid.  He roamed the neighborhood at night, searching for cans and bottles.  He filled the house with old lawnmowers, pieces of scrap metal, newspapers piled to the ceiling.  Kathy inherited this rotting, junk filled dwelling.  Over the next year, she and her husband Neil renovated.  All the plumbing and electric wiring renewed, a new shingle roof, restored walls and floors.  The father’s piles of tools and newspapers, old tiles and bottles all recycled, usurped by Kathy’s stuffed toys and hangers full of vintage and antique clothing, her hundreds of art books and coffee table volumes about Hollywood stars, her garbage bags and boxes packed with blankets.

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When People do Bad Things by James Hannan

8 am, Wednesday, and Chris waited for his mother. If only there was some way to stop her. Just because she had borne him nine long months, gotten up to him in the middle of the night in the years directly after, suffered his tantrums in the years after that, sent him off to school with a fresh packed lunch each and every day, saw to him as a teenager with his sullen silences and raging hormones, and helped him get a job and out into the world, she thought she could still intrude.

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