Eric Beeny

A boy came to the door.

He rang the bell.

It was real cold outside.

He wasn't wearing a hat.

He had bright red hair.

He wanted to shovel the walk for one dollar.

I thought about it, and said, "Sure."

"Come back when you're done."

I closed the door.

He started shoveling.

It was getting dark.

A dark grey car was parked on the wrong side of the street.

It was running, the windows all foggy.

I thought it might've been his mom, waiting.

I sat watching the boy shovel.

He did a real good job.

He worked hard, his breath clouding his face.

His mouth was like an exhaust pipe.

I felt bad he didn't have a hat.

I went to my room to get him a black skullie.

I got four dollars out of my wallet.

He finished and rang the bell.

I opened the door, leaned out the screen door.

It was real cold outside.

I was shivering.

I gave him the four dollars.

I reached my arm out, holding the hat.

"Here's a hat, if you want it," I said.

"I already got one," he said.

He patted his coat pocket, the lump in it.

He walked down the stairs and over to the next house.

The dark grey car parked across the street was gone.

Eric Beeny, 28, is the author of several unpublished novels, including "Broken Antennas," "Lepers and Mannequins" and "The Immortals Act Their Age." His poems and stories have appeared and/or are forthcoming in 5AM, 32 Poems, Clockwise Cat, Corduroy Mtn., Dogmatika, Elimae, HazMat Review, Indefinite Space, Main Street Rag, Nuthouse, Quercus Review, Thieves Jargon, and others. An e-chap of his poetry, "Satin Anvils," was published by Gold Wake Press. He lives in Buffalo, NY.