Our father never took us camping because it reminded him of Korea, he said when we were five. So my sister Amy and I camped out beneath two lawn chairs and a blanket under a purple night sky with a thumbnail moon. We drank our coffee black because that’s the way our father drank it with his army buddies at the VFW hall. Amy told me she counted five barn swallows in the nest above the garage and that Billy Smith felt her up before Tuesday’s math class. I told my sister I wanted to be thin like Karen Carpenter, so I threw up Mom’s chicken and lost half my drink. Inside, our father drank beer until Mom helped him undress for bed, and she cried into blue bath towels. Underneath our makeshift tent, my sister and I laughed inside our small world and dreamed of the bigger one outside. Even fool’s gold is gold for some, Mom told me. My sister said I told you so.

Rebecca Buller is a native Oklahoman and a lover of the written word. She’s been published in the quarterly issue 84 of Burningword Literary Journal, October 2017, was awarded the Second Writing Prize in The Dream Quest One Writing Contest—Winter 2016-2017, and is a three-time award winner in the Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.