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More by Craig Kee Strete
Cloudboy was old enough to want to be older. He was old enough to want all sorts of things. But he lived in a house where things of any kind were in short supply. He dreamed that they had a shiny new refrigerator with a light that worked and a handle that wasn't tied with string. He imagined it would be full of lots of good things to eat. He wished they had real store-bought furniture with soft cushions and all the legs it came with. Mostly they sat on old lawn furniture they found along the road on trash pickup day. It was uncomfortable to sit on but at least it was very colorful. His mother sometimes stuck her fingers in her ears when he wished and wanted all over the place. She knew you could wish all day long but little ever came of it except night. Even that didn't stop him from wishing and wanting. Every day he wished for something new. And nothing new ever seemed to come along. But one day in the old shack next to their home a new neighbor moved in. He was a tiny old man who walked with a stick and spoke in a loud voice because he couldn't hear very well. Everybody thought he was rich because he had not one but two new pickup trucks. Cloudboy and his pet lizard wandered outside in hopes of meeting him. His lizard, Sandbaby, sat on his shoulder with his tail curled down inside his shirt. Cloudboy had always wanted a dog. But dog food was expensive so that was out. His mother said Sandbaby could be a kind of dog that was good at catching flies. Flies came in the window for free. The old man was sitting on an old rusty fender that had lost its car long ago. He seemed to be waiting for Cloudboy to show up.
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