Read Beth Alvarado’s short story Just Family yesterday. It’s an intense read. Every second I was tense, waiting for things to explode and yet I loved how quietly, how poignantly it ended:

As Ellen looked at the sleepy faces of the children, at Grace and Amelia as they lifted their sleeping kids and murmured to them, It’s all right, sshh, it’s all right, she could see what Grace had always seen: there was no way they could give up on Tony. The feeling was, if the fabric of the family held together, they could somehow keep him among the living. But it wasn’t just for his sake. Grace wanted the family to stay whole for all of them, for the children. Like her mother, she believed in holding the family together at any cost. One tear, and she was afraid it would all begin to unravel.

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