Stacked

Chapter Sixteen

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The pain was in his knees, in his neck, and in his lower back. It was in his feet and in his fingers. He considered waving a stubby pinky toward his friend and pointing to a tiny crescent below the nail. See this? he would say. It's the only part of me that doesn't hurt.

The pain was inside him and out. It was in each crate, labeled, color coded and neatly stacked, forming a tall corridor encircling the nonliving room. It was in the books piled high on each step of the way up to treacherous bedrooms and bathrooms above. It was in piles of unsorted debris on chairs, the floor, and on the couch leaving only space enough for one small crowded nest where his daughter slept every night they stayed here stuck.

Page breaks in this preview do not coincide with the pagination of the published book

The pain was in his knees, in his neck, and in his lower back. It was in his feet and in his fingers. He considered waving a stubby pinky toward his friend and pointing to a tiny crescent below the nail. See this? he would say. It's the only part of me that doesn't hurt.

The pain was inside him and out. It was in each crate, labeled, color coded and neatly stacked, forming a tall corridor encircling the nonliving room. It was in the books piled high on each step of the way up to treacherous bedrooms and bathrooms above. It was in piles of unsorted debris on chairs, the floor, and on the couch leaving only space enough for one small crowded nest where his daughter slept every night they stayed here stuck.