Frank gestures to the Post-it Notes
decorating three walls of Phillip's cardboard box. "I know you
ain't wrote these yourself, 'cause I know you can't read and write."
Phillip hangs his head. His mother had
tried to teach him for four years, slapping him when the words he
tried so hard to fit into his brain refused to cooperate. In the end,
she'd turned him out, two months shy of nine. He's spent the better
part of the past eight years living in cardboard boxes. "The
words never stuck," Phillip says now, ashamed.
Frank scoots over to one of the walls
and begins reading. "Believe," he says, then snorts. "Why
you put these up here?"
"They're pretty," Phillip
says. "I like the pattern they make. I got the blues over there
and the yellows..."
"Proverbs 27:17. Like I got a
Bible on me to look that up." Frank glances at Phillip. "Who
"Evelyn McReedy." Phillip
Phillip shakes his head. "Every
day she stops outside and hands me a ten dollar bill wrapped inside
one of these notes."
"She sweet on you?" Frank
Phillip feels himself blush. "She
never looks at me."
"How you know her name then?"
"I heard her one day, sayin' it
into her phone. 'Evelyn McReedy, Attorney.'"
"What you do with the cash?"
"I don't care about the money. I
just like the notes."
"Can't eat notes," Franks
says. "How she dress?"
"Real nice," Phillip says.
Frank grins and yanks a note from the
wall. "Exhaust all possibilities," he reads.
"Put that back." Phillip
Frank stuffs the note into his pocket.
"Where you going?"
"I got to pay my attorney a
After Frank leaves, Phillip stares at
the blank space on the wall. What can he do? Frank is smarter.
Bigger. Faster. Frank can read. "Exhaust all possibilities,"
Phillip whispers. He backs out of his cardboard home and gives chase
Labels: fiction Trifecta Writing Challenge