The House of Happy Mayhem - A book by Trent Zelazny(13)
Author:Trent Zelazny

    EventuallyJames slams his hands down on the table and says, “That’s it, I’moutta here,” and I hear his footsteps retreat from the kitchen. Idon’t hear the front door open but I hear it close and it closeshard. A moment passes and, harping on what’s happened, I hear Lisacry. In my mind I can see her hands covering her face, I can see herusing her palms to stifle screams. More than anything I want to stepout of the pantry and comfort her, tell her everything will be allright—but I know I can’t do that. I know that I have to get out. Maybe she’ll go out after him and then I can get out.

    Butshe sits there crying for a very long time, and my feet have gonenumb and I think, Hush, little angel. Everything will be all right.

    EventuallyI hear her get up. Her dainty footsteps, less dainty than before,retreat from the kitchen and then the front door closes again and asI step cautiously out of the pantry I hear her locking the place up. I give it a minute, peruse their CD collection and wait until her carpulls out of the driveway. After another minute has passed I make myway out of the house, locking it up behind me.


    Thenext day at the park the only person I recognize is the guy shootingbaskets. I want to tell him to go home to his wife and child, butknow it wouldn’t do any good and I might suffer a broken nose orjaw as a result. So I leave him be and sit on a rock and flitter thepages of a Tom Clancy book, which has a picture of a submarine on itand that’s all I know. I think about what the Louis L’Amour bookmust be like and I wonder if Mark Twain is really as great aseveryone says he is. I sit on a comfortable stone with a good viewthrough the trees and the chain-linked fence to the Cohan residence.

    I think abouthow my dad had beat me for shattering my bedroom window, calling me a“Little shit,” then look up and see Lisa walking down into thepark. Alone. She’s alone and James isn’t anywhere to be seen. She’s all alone and she doesn’t look happy and an idea crosses mymind.

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