Rod Moody-Corbett holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick, and is currently working towards a PhD in English Literature at the University of Calgary. In 2011, he received a Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award for short fiction. His short story, “Parse,” was a finalist for this year’s CBC Canada Writes Short Story Prize, for which he also won the People’s Choice Award.
Slipping, Crash's Law
I answer the phone on the fourth or fifth ring. It’s Janice, who’s soon to be my father’s third ex-wife, not including my mother. I’ve met Janice twice. Once, when she and my father were married, and before that, about a year ago, when they were not. Janice wants to know how my father’s doing, only she doesn’t call him Charles, which is what I expect, but he. I’m not sure what to tell her. He hasn’t been home in three days and the dog, Janice’s red kerchief-wearing black lab, whose name right now escapes me, won’t eat.
How’s he doing?
Last I saw my father was Friday, slamming gin and tonics in my kitchen. My father mixing stiff ones into short coffee mugs with the steak knife he used to quarter half a lime. Waltzing out of the kitchen, his last words, spoken, not to me, but to the microwave clock under which I sat prodding an ice cube with my left pinky, had been something along the lines of: Drink up, there are sober children in Ethiopia.
My father, the philanthropist.
"He’s asleep," I lie.