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a deck of 52 cards

Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:01:28
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  "Ain't none of us getting out of this alive, honey," Dad said. It was an expression he used a lot, and now he seemed to find a special satisfaction in it.

  "What's fecal?" I asked.

  "Worse than this?" I asked.

  "They're all sort of weird," Lori said.

  One day Dad leaned over my bed and asked if the nurses and doctors were treating me okay. If they were not, he said, he would kick some asses. I told Dad how nice and friendly everyone was. "Well, of course they are," he said. "They know you're Rex Walls's daughter."When Mom wanted to know what it was the doctors and nurses were doing that was so nice, I told her about the chewing gum.

  "Are you sure this is okay?" I asked.

  * * *That Saturday, Brian and I were reading on the sofa bed when one of the windowpanes shattered and a rock landed on the floor. We ran to the door. Ernie and three of his friends were pedaling their bikes up and down Little Hobart Street, whooping madly. "Garbage! Garbage! Y'all are a bunch of garbage!"Brian went out on the porch. One of the kids hurled another rock that hit Brian in the head. He staggered back, then ran down the steps, but Ernie and his friends pedaled away, shrieking. Brian came back up the stairs, blood trickling down his cheek and onto his T-shirt and a pump knot already swelling up above his eyebrow. Ernie's gang returned a few minutes later, throwing stones and shouting that they had actually seen the pigsty where the Walls kids lived and that they were going to tell the whole school it was even worse than everyone said.

  I pushed open the door, jangling the bells hanging overhead. Becker's Jewel Box was a fancy store, the kind of place I never had occasion to go into, with a humming air conditioner and buzzing fluorescent lights. Locked glass display cases held rings and necklaces and brooches, and a few guitars and banjos hung on the pine-board-paneled walls to diversify the merchandise. Mr. Becker was leaning on the counter with his fingers interlocked. He had a stomach so big that his thin black belt reminded me of the equator circling the globe.


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