The Hard-Place Boy

The Hard-Place Boy
February 2015
Fiction

Three-and-a-half-year-old Michael Murphy is a pain in the ass. He sure shouldn’t be invited to any more weddings; last one he kicked the man his mother married in the shins. All he does is piss and moan, and he won't eat anything his mother cooks. For the life of him, he can’t understand why his new grandmother would try to smother him with a pillow. Through it all, Michael is a fighter — he survives malnutrition and double pneumonia before his first day at a one-room schoolhouse on the Pinch in late 1950s Newfoundland. Then there’s a baseball bat, a hammer, a hatchet, some inconvenient fresh cow patties, a binge-drinking father and an ever-pregnant mother… The hard-place boy faces the same choice day after day: to buckle down and become a positive help to his family, or continue down a devilishly contrarian and obstructive path. Do you know any hard-place boys like him?

Author(s)

Tom Dalton

Tom Dalton

Tom Dalton is a writer, visual artist, householder and graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design. Tom is the father of two children, Emily and Kalale. Born in Newfoundland, Tom now lives in Toronto. The Hard-Place Boy is his first novel.