Breaking Point Stories

Last month’s theme was “breaking point,” which seemed apt for the hot days of August when the world seemed to be on the verge of, well, breaking. Readers posted their stories to Facebook, and we picked out a couple that made us break.

The Mullet Made Me Do It

I flashed $30,000 cash.

“I wanna test-drive that Cutlass Sierra.”

He was tall. Zitty. Tight jaw. Recent high school tight end. Lean muscles under pink button-down shirt. Faggy black tie.

His mullet cinched it. (“I’m robbing him.”)

… He said, “I gotta drive it off the lot for insurance purposes.”

We pulled into a bank parking lot. He got out. I pretended to, but quickly closed my door and slid over to the driver’s seat.

I automatically locked the doors. Floored it.

He banged on the trunk for fifty yards.

Think I was wrong. He’d probably been a linebacker.

Joe Loya is an essayist, playwright, and contributing editor at the Pacific News Service. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, the Washington Post, and other national newspapers. His memoir, The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, was published by HarperCollins.

Algebraic Solutions

Amelia glared at Joey. He smirked. His black hair stuck up and mustard stained his T-shirt. Seventh grade algebra followed lunch. Joey Canto followed Amelia Canfield in the alphabet. Only mid-September, she was stuck with him seated behind her. Mr. Birch droned on about polynomials. Amelia resumed note taking. Tap. Joey’s right foot, size 10 Reebok, knocked her chair leg. Furious, Amelia whirled and jammed her number two pencil into Joey’s arm. Embedded, the lead point broke. He muffled a cry, and then Joey’s foot retreated under his desk for the balance of the school year. Problem solved.

Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. Published in Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Off the Coast, Orange Room Review, and River Poets Journal, she also has stories and poems in Shine magazine, Magnapoets, Up the Staircase, and Silver Boomer anthologies. Joanne is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.

Photo credit: Susanna Celso, Chris Blakeley

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