Steven wove a small scourge from the branches of a weeping willow and whipped his little sister while she searched the sidewalk on all fours for enough cigarette butts to resurrect a whole. It was Sunday morning. It was cold outside. They were waiting for the big white bus to arrive and take them to the Presbyterian Church. Karly picked up three-quarters of a Camel Light and handed it to Steven. He let her stand.
Karly thought about her father, how his life caved in on him at the bottom of a coal mine near Cobble Creek, and how things were never this bad before their mother signed them up for Sunday school and stopped coming out of the bedroom. She sat in the center of the fourth row on a cedar pew beside Mr. and Mrs. Salt, drawing pictures of pine trees on the back of her church program while the blood from her knees coagulated.