His stepfather wants him to toughen up. They go fishing a lot.
(from One Story, #119)
I go sit behind the steering wheel and look at the screen mounted there. It shows how deep the lake is below the boat, and the size of any fish passing below. I wonder if it would show a dead body, if there’s a picture programmed in it for that. See, son, a dad’ll say, tapping on the screen, that’s a child. We only need the small net.
When the kid’s not making snide remarks about the polluted man-made lake they go fishing on or his cruel stepfather, he’s carefully erasing numbers out of his math textbook. This was a fun one. Very sarcastic, very humorous. This Stroud guy gets good mileage out of shorter sentences, and breaks up the text with logical but unexplained chapter breaks.
One Story has an interview with Stroud here.