Story — From the September 2012 issue

Batman and Robin have an altercation

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Want help with the menu, Pop?”

“I can read,” his father says. He no longer can, but it’s bright in their corner and he can look at the pictures even with his sunglasses on. Besides, Sanderson knows what he will order.

When the waiter comes with their iced teas, Pop says he’ll have the chopped steak, medium rare. “I want it pink but not red,” he says. “If it’s red, I’ll send it back.”

The waiter nods. “Your usual.”

Pop looks at him suspiciously.

“Green beans or coleslaw?”

Pop snorts. “You kidding? All those beans were dead. You couldn’t sell costume jewelry that year, let alone the real stuff.”

“He’ll have the slaw,” Sanderson says. “And I’ll have—”

All those beans were dead!” Pop says again, and gives the waiter an emphatic look.

The waiter merely nods and says, “They were dead,” before turning to Sanderson. “For you, sir?”

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lives in Maine and Florida. He is the author of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and two novels published in the past year, 11/22/63 and The Wind Through the Keyhole.

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