Brad Green

Owen stood there in boxers too big for him. Cancer makes some people assholes, his Mom had said. That's why we left. Owen looked at the rat and shook his head.
His father sighed. He went outside and came back in with a shovel. He shuffled toward the rat. The black eyes blinked, but the rat didn't move. Something was wrong with it, the breathing labored. His father hefted the shovel. Morning light slipped along the sharp curve of the blade. At that moment, with the shovel held high, Owen thought his father's hands looked strong. Tendons cabled his forearms. His father's eyes were closed, but just before he thrust, they opened and he looked straight at Owen as the shovel struck.