Blow the House Down
“Blow the house down!” Tommy says. He’s in his pajamas, thin at the knees, too short. His ankles and wrists jut, pale angles. Her brother drops onto the couch beside Shelly, bounces up and down, his cropped hair sticking up every which way, mouth stretched wide.
Sounds good to her. She’s in. She doesn’t know what it means.
“Wait,” he says and goes into the kitchen.
The only light is the TV, flickering shadows on the walls.
He comes back with the carton of chocolate-covered malt balls, his cheeks gorged already.
“Here,” he says, but he holds the box up high, out of reach. “Jump.” His words slur with the candy in his mouth; a strand of chocolate-pocked saliva hangs suspended before it drops to the floor.