Shy Boy

To be published in late May 2020 by Mannison Press in its anthology “Little Boy Lost”

He heard the snow turn to freezing rain at four o’clock, rattling against the window, but decided to doze a little longer, not wanting to waken the girl on the other side of the driveway. Her bedroom, like his, overlooked the drive, and she opened her window four or five inches for fresh air even on a snowy January night. So despite Papa’s advice, he rolled over for another forty winks.

“This machine will blow away six or eight inches of dry fluffy snow in half an hour,” Papa said yesterday afternoon as he went over with Shy Boy how to operate the snow blower. “But snow that’s been sleeted or rained on for an hour or two gets heavy, and that will be a different story.” So he’d agreed to set an alarm for five a.m., but get up earlier if he heard the weather change the way the forecaster predicted.

Mama hadn’t been sure he should run the snowblower all by himself. State law, she reminded Papa at dinner, said people younger than eighteen couldn’t be employed to run power equipment. “If you pay him forty dollars to have the driveway and sidewalk clear by the time you get up in the morning, aren’t you employing him?”

. . . . . .

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