Read the first half of a longish short story, The Little Guerilla Platoons:
Hank Fredericks fumed at the sour sonofabitch who lived on the other side of the cul-de-sac, in the house that sat above the rest of the neighborhood on a low hillock like a watchtower. There he was, picking his goddamn toes as he sat on his stoop, glowering at the cracks in his sidewalk like an irrationally grouchy three-toed sloth. All the while, not trimming his Japanese maple. Not spraying any weed-killer to keep the creeping jenny out of other people’s lawns. For that matter, not even mowing his lawn but once a month.
“The sour sonofabitch…” Hank said aloud.
His oldest daughter, home from college, came in from helping her mother in the Garden. Ellie was always good about that. Hank never cared for gardening, but he assisted when it needed doing. But Ellie had the knack for it, the true green thumb. So she came home once a month in the spring to help her mother.
“What is it now, Dad?” Ellie said, in a tone that was amused without being patronizing.
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Hank said. Ellie accepted that and poured herself a glass of lemonade from the fridge.
“Okay, Dad.” This time her tone did cross over into patronizing. Perhaps it was the extra “Dad.” It reminded one of talking to young children, so that they’d remember their names. But he didn’t want to lose his tempter at her. She hadn’t done anything wrong, and besides, young women enjoyed being patronizing with their fathers. It was a reminder of their new adulthood, and Hank didn’t feel like being reminded of that again. They grow up so fast, and when they’re done, you look at yourself, and realize you’re old.
He turned to face her. She was tall and skinny, an athlete like her mother. Scholarships and everything. Smart as a whip, and smart enough to know what she didn’t know, which was damn rare in the young. She stood a chance of actually getting educated at college instead of indoctrinated. It made him feel almost ashamed of the petty nonsense that had him so steamed.
“Is it the flagpole?” she asked.
Read the rest at https://tablo.io/ajpwriter/the-guerrilla-platoons