I edited this story a bit a few weeks after I posted it, so some of the comments people made in response to the earlier version might not make sense to someone reading the story and comments for the first time.
Back Pocket Wishes
By Laura McHale Holland
Sparks fly from his eyes when he passes the herd of microphone waving media. “It’s a family matter,” he growls, brushing a matinee idol curl from his forehead. His sandpaper grip wrenches his wife’s rigid wrist. Shoulders hunched, she glares at her toenails, manicured to perfection that morning.
From the chauffeured Mercedes idling at the curb, the child—conceived atop a pile of coats in a back bedroom the night her parents met—watches them approach. Her tiny fingers fumble for back pocket wishes, the simple things she yearns for but dares not show, as dread, seeping from the floor boards, soaks her mary jane shoes.
All of the episodes in this series in the order in which they were posted follow: