How Bad Could They Be?

Malachi ashed his Lucky Strike then decided to leave it there in the glass dish he’d brought; you couldn’t smoke in a Texas diner.

“You know,” Malachi looked away and thumbed a torn corner of orange leatherette on the back of their booth, “I was lighting cigarettes for two years before I ever smoked one?” He turned his attention back to Karen. “Ever tell you that?”

Karen shook her head small because she was being quiet and trying to ken his screen. A smoke screen, she thought; she almost laughed aloud.

“Suppose not. You probably can’t imagine me as a kid.”

She smiled and let go part of her stored up laugh. “No. Not really.”

“My great grandfather had a stroke when I was seven, or there abouts. That summer when I was out of school and my mom was working at the cleaners she’d leave me with him. Myrtle, his second wife—we never called her great grandma—was already dead. My grandparents, his son, lived in the house next door.

[one of the points of his story—why he smokes—is because even though he heard the warnings that smoking was bad for you he saw his stroked great grandfather smoking and never die because of it, so he figured it was safer than anyone said it was]

216 words on day 895