The Climax Forest

A Story

by Mary Morris

Karen didn’t want to invite him, but Andy did. “Pete drinks too much,” she said. She was standing at the stove, stirring a pot of fish stew.

But Andy insisted. “We can’t not invite him.”

“He’s a loose cannon.” Putting the wooden spoon to her lips, Karen grimaced and added more oregano. Then a pinch of salt. “I think this needs chili pepper.”

Andy shook his head. “He’s doing better. He’s been going to meetings. And, you know, the kids love his banana pancakes.”

“Then he can come for breakfast.” Karen laid the spoon down and turned toward her husband. “Do you remember the last time?”

Of course Andy did. How could he forget? They’d all gone to Woodstock for the day, and they were driving home on the interstate. Pete was asleep in the back, and the kids were too, when suddenly Pete woke up. “Where am I? How’d I get here?”

He was shouting and Andy, who was driving, told him to calm down. “Pete, you’re with us. Take it easy.”

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