Quality Time Over the Holidays

Charles Holdefer

He'd drunk eleven pints. Now, with concentration, he pulled his coat over his shoulders. Buttoning could come later. He ventured one foot. Then another. He looked down and suddenly the floor moved and he fell.

"I'm OK!" he called.

He touched his knee and then his forehead. It seemed to be true.

He rolled onto his back and tried to center himself before attempting to stand again. A face loomed over him.

"Oh my, look at you," his mother said softly. She reached out and touched his cheek. "My sweetie, my baby boy!"

He squirmed. "Ma—come on. I'm trying to get up."

A bark of laughter startled him. He turned his head to the side and saw his father on the floor, too, lying on his back and grinning, his arms swimming toward the ceiling.

"Son!" he cried. "Chip off the old block!


About the Author

Charles Holdefer's work has appeared in the New England ReviewNorth American ReviewLowestoft Chronicle and other magazines. His next novel, Back in the Game, will be published in June 2012 by the Permanent Press.