Juan del Llano

Things were going well enough for Juan del Llano. The passing of his mother, maddened and dangerous in her final years, had smoothed him out and changed his face a little. He used the modest cash from his inheritance to pay off credit cards and spent freely on his needs until the fear of running [...]

His wife took one look at it and said, “You’re a screwball!” The appellation from darkest Iowa in the ’50s was a primal zinger, and he felt it. Why couldn’t she have landed on “visionary,” he pouted?—albeit in a manly way. It was one of the most manly things he’d ever done, in fact, renting [...]

By late afternoon, it was 45 °F colder than 24 hours before. Soon there were four inches of wet snow bending down the trees. After supper, the lights went out. Juan’s mother was dying in Tucson. It was just another day on the frontier. * * * There was more snow than Juan del Llano [...]

It was a sharp, disgusting late winter day. Juan del Llano stared through the window at bare tree branches waving in the wind: heavy, dull clouds had eaten the mountaintops, leaving nothing for him. The next thing you know, it’ll start snowing, he thought to himself, and of course it did. For the next 20 [...]

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