With my favorite stuffed owl tucked under my arm, I rubbed sleep from my eye and looked up at an empty glass cabinet, its breakfront smudged with large fingerprints.
“Why are you in the basement again, Daddy?” I asked, tugging on his pant leg. “Do you miss your special soldier sword?”
“I don’t miss it,” he said.
He picked me up and kissed me, scratching my cheek with his whiskers. His breath smelled funny, and he was still wearing the tan suit he’d worn to a job interview the day before.
“Daddy, are you sad because you had to sell your special soldier sword? Are you sad because we’re poor now?”
“I’m not sad,” he said. “We’re not poor.” My father then explained to me why the sword was so important, but I was four at the time and just wanted to get him to go upstairs and eat Wheaties and watch Saturday morning cartoons with me like he used to before, so I don’t remember much of what he said. Something, I think, about his great-great grandfather and redcoats and revolution.
But what I do remember and remember quite clearly was what he did after he’d finished talking about the sword.
Still holding me close to his chest, my father took my stuffed owl, placed it gently behind the smudged glass cabinet, and shut the door.
“New history,” he said.
About the Author: Max Everhart is the author of the Eli Sharpe mystery series as well as All the Different Ways Love Can Feel, a short story collection. His work has appeared in Juked, Potomac Review, Shotgun Honey, and elsewhere. He lives in South Carolina.