The Seventh Son

Seven sons was too many, and a girl could have helped smooth things. Ten years between the oldest and youngest. Ten years of hand-me-downs, rocks through windows, muddy sneakers and unsigned permission slips. After their father left, she kept the box around the house. With its crudely rendered front flap, it served as a reasonable disguise. She stapled straw hair to the top, and wrapped the middle with a torn blue dress.

When she dropped the box on their heads, her sons shrank down into feeble, trembling things. She longed for a daughter, who smelled sweet, like pineapples and cream.

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