From Claudia Smith’s “Stoplight“:
The new house wasn’t new, it was only new to us. There were water stains on the ceiling. Cracks in the walls crawled with giant cockroaches at night. The cockroaches were as big as the palms of my father’s hands. They looked like prehistoric creatures to me, and they frightened me, just as most things did in this unfamiliar place. The burnt orange shag carpet felt like something alive under my feet. It smelled wet and faintly obscene. “Cat piss,” my new big sister Lisa whispered to me.
I wasn’t supposed to call him Dad anymore. We all had to call him Father now.
“We’re going to be so happy,” Chris Ann told me. She was my father’s new wife.
“Cole Porter,” by John Haskell
“The Stranger” by Mary McCluskey