Fiction: Starting Over

A fiction story. First of three installments.

| March 2009

Josh Marsh struggled for air in the judge’s stifling chambers. The judge’s lips moved, but Josh’s thoughts crowded out all other sounds. His faded blue eyes shifted to his granddaughter, Lacey. Now her lips moved. What was she saying?

“… and if he doesn’t want me, Judge, I don’t want him. I’ll be ten in November, and I can take care of myself just fine.”

Judge Walker held up his hand and said, “Lacey, I admire your spunk, but living on your own is not possible. If your grandfather won’t take you, I’ll have no choice but to make you a ward of the court.”

“I can cook and keep house,” Lacey said, then jabbed a thumb in Josh’s direction and added, “Better than him, I’ll bet. I helped Mother. It’s not hard.”

The judge sighed with a patronizing smile and said, “Lacey, honey, it’s just not going to happen. I’m sorry.”

“Your honor,” Josh said, as he straightened his usual slump and managed to catch up with the conversation. “It ain’t that I don’t want her. I love my granddaughter. Of course I do. But don’t you understand, I’m seventy-eight, and I’ve been batchin’ for nigh on twenty-two years. I don’t know nothin’ about little girls. Besides, I live in a small cabin, and I ain’t got much money.”

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