Thomas Cooper

The boy had no idea why they moved to the faraway house up the street from his grandparents. Never got a chance to ask it happened so quickly. That first night, as ice-laden pine branches clacked in the sleet, he and his parents unpacked boxes. The boxes were marked with words like "devilpiss" and "animmalcar" and "gerainmo" in shaky black letters. They made it a game, guessing what was inside before ripping open the cardboard. His mother said, "What you get for hiring the cheapest movers." The boy thought his father was laughing until he saw the bright red gob in his handkerchief. The game ended then, though the boy still wondered how carrying boxes could weigh him down so.