Cover Photo: Cry for Help From Home by Padgett Powell

Cry for Help From Home

In his last hours he escaped the house and walked to the 7-Eleven and bought a lottery card.

My grandfather kept bees. I never saw him at this enterprise and do not know precisely how I know that he pursued it. I have had the urge to have bees myself but so far have not procured a single bee. My father was a gambler. I think that was his essence. In high school he hustled pool halls, in WWII he joined the Marines before being drafted, in life he struck out in entrepreneurial ventures and real-estate developments. In his last hours he escaped the house and walked to the 7-Eleven and bought a lottery card, got lost and tired on the way home, and was brought to the door by two women who wanted to know if they could keep him. They had found him sitting on their low garden wall, they found him charming, and they brought him home. I have never gambled on a thing in my life.


This story is taken from the collection  Cries for Help, Various, available now from Catapult


Padgett Powell is the author of six novels and three collections of stories, most recently CRIES FOR HELP, VARIOUS, published by Catapult. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's and The Paris Review. He lives in Gainesville, Florida.