I painted the boat with great focus, one stroke after another, when I heard someone behind me. I turned to see a three-foot tall towhead, covered in buckshot freckles, holding a bag of Doritos.

“Hi Riley,” I said.

“Hey, can I sail in your boat when it’s done?” Riley asked, watching me with a slack jaw.

“Hmm,” I said. “That depends.”

“On what?” he touched the wet paint leaving a little handprint in it.

“It depends on if I can have some of your chips,” I nodded toward the bag of Doritos in his hand. “Mister Sean’s a little famished.”

He shrugged his shoulders and handed the chips to me. I reached into the bag, took a handful, and shoved them into my mouth. They tasted moist and soggy.

He covered his mouth and started giggling.

“What?” I said with a mouthful. “What are you laughing at?”

“Your dog, Ellie Mae, she’s been eating out of that bag, she gots her drool all in it.”

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