Talking Story


Back in the kitchen, Kona opened the fridge, picked out a piece of raw onion from a plastic wrapped bowl, and ate it for luck, rolling the juice around with his tongue. He slipped the mango cobbler off a shelf and tossed the foil cover in the rubbish can. On second thought, he reached down into the trash and pushed the foil deeper, hiding it underneath the bloody meat trays and mango peels. He tiptoed down the hallway and set the cobbler on the floor inside his bedroom, hiding it from the den.

“Kona,” Mom called, “quit fooling around.”

From the hallway, Kona watched Mom turn another page; Dad watched the game.

“I’m  going to bed now,” he announced.

“Okay,” said Mom, not looking up. “Sweet dreams.”

“Yeah, Buddy, don’t let the bedbugs bite,” said Dad.

Dad looked away from the tv. Something…something…Dad couldn’t put his finger on it, but something was…

“G’night,” said Kona.

Nothing. The moment passed.

“G’night, Buddy,” said Dad turning back to the game.


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Excerpted from Sniff by Lehua Parker. Copyright © 2013 by Lehua Parker. Excerpted by permission of Lehua Parker, LLC and Lauele Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher or author.

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