A Father’s Will
Upon their father’s death, the inheritors assembled before his hearth, in which a fire had not been lit since the first of them had left for war while the others played and cried in their cribs. The mother felt what could only be called disappointment at his unwounded return, having hoped one of hers might become heir in his stead. Her wishes, however, were buried beside her as the executor, a stuffy and impersonal man seated in the father’s chair, announced with paternal authority that the whole estate was left to the one she always called Bastard. His siblings mourned.