By Leah Holbrook Sackett
He wore a gray suit framed in his paneled trailer. His hair was white, and his glasses thick. What did the world look like through those lenses? How long would it take for them to ignite a fire? He chewed tobacco, and his cuffed, metal cane protruded from the armrest of his chair. He always had ice cream.
Grandpa Leo was only interested in my Dad. My Mom, little brother, and I waited for the visit to be over. His scant surroundings made me uncomfortable. I studied his eye movements and his line of questioning. He was still in love with my Grandma, his ex-wife, his second wife. I didn’t know about the first wife, yet. I didn’t know about the Uncle and cousins. I was too young, and the adults never breathed a word of it. Grandpa Leo was a man of layers. He was a sick man years before Bi-Polar was a common diagnosis. Beer was his medication. How could I know there was something deeper? A genetic code that writ a world only he and I would know. Standing in the shadow of a jungle, a little girl with a lion’s roar.
Leah Holbrook Sackett is a short story writer. Her first book, a collection of short stories, is scheduled for publication with REaDLips Press summer 2020. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the English Department and the Department of Communications and Media at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. This is also where she earned her B.A. in English and M.F.A. in creative writing.