TITLE: The Monster Waves
GENRE: Adult Literary Fiction (Family Saga)
WE LOST MY LITTLE BROTHER on the day before Christmas.
Bud had been playing with his toys just after breakfast, there in the living room of our small house. And then he wasn’t.
No one knew if he’d wandered away or was taken by somebody, whether he was snatched violently or ran laughing to someone who smiled and held out a Hershey bar. He was only 4, but he wasn’t a shy kid. There was no way to know the exact circumstances.
SINCE IT WAS CHRISTMAS, that day in 1940, I didn’t have to go to school. About an hour later than usual, I poked a foot out of covers, just a small gesture before fully committing to verticality. And already, something was off. The room temperature was comfortable, almost too warm. We lived in Euclid, a suburb of Cleveland hard against the shore of Lake Erie. Late in December, you could count on winter’s full conceit, icicles, snow, the kind of cold that bit lips, froze the snot in your nose, sent your pecker and balls into deep hiding. Our house, old like all the ones around it, had a basement furnace, boxy and solid as a freight engine. The heat managed to reach the main level pretty well, but the second-floor bedrooms were another story. On school mornings, when I had to be up by 6:30, it wasn’t all that rare to see my breath, steaming white like Seabiscuit’s stamping in the gate at Pimlico.