Lost and found.
That’s where Kathleen would go if this had happened at a big box store, her carelessness broadcast over the loudspeaker. Instead, she lost something precious in the snow, in deep, cold, silent snow. Beautiful, but impossible to search — unlike the hard floors and ordered aisles of housewares and sports equipment, toiletries and toys.
Emma was pissed off. She hadn’t seen him since he got out of jail after doing a weekender. He’d been huckled for theft and fighting with the security guard who caught him. She knew Sean’s logic only too well. Getting done for the theft was fair enough but the fighting was the guards fault for catching him.
I hate that eleventh step. It’s the darkest one. It always has been. I remember noticing it when I was around twelve years old but I couldn’t say anything, not to my parents.
I blamed them. I thought when they died it would leave me alone. It didn’t.
I’ve suffered that step for forty years now. But I don’t think I’ll need to for much longer.
Well here we are at week 272. We thought it best as week 271 was last week and using that again would just be pish.
The weeks are fair flying in. We’re nearly half a year in.
“Hi, is this Mark? Mark Chance from Deakins High School?”
Shane was sitting in front of his laptop. On the screen, an image of two young boys standing in the shade of a half-pipe, their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. A date, digitally imprinted in yellow, told Shane the photo was taken the spring of 2006. The boy on the right had a bloody chin and was smiling, pushing his cheeks up and squinting his brown eyes. His hair was black with brown roots and hung past his jaw. Red speckled his white Thrasher shirt. The other threw his head back in laughter, his half-black-half-bleached hair unkempt. This one wore black pants and a black The Clash tee.
“It’s Shane Lynch.”
Me and Ivaloo were honeymoonin’, a sure out shindig, shivaree and hellfortootin’ honeymoon time, and I’m Everett Musdane, along with some of our celebratin’ friends at a mountain motor court, on a grand flat spot in the Ozarks, being Lorded over by the midnight stars across the sky like bright sand pebbles flung out of a huge bucket. The small cabins, all with porches out front and parkin’ spaces out back, were arranged in a circle around a fireplace in a grassy court and celebratin’ area, with only one entrance to the grassy court for the owner’s vehicle for service stuff. The owner was Slim Slocum and the place was called Slocum’s Cozy Cabins and he one-time pitched for that St. Louie team.
Her name was Sandy and she lived in a small town everybody thought was rotten. A stench of decaying mashed beets permeated the stagnant local air because there was a sugar factory in the middle of the town and half its population was employed there, squashing sugar beets for a living, stinking up the atmosphere. You couldn’t escape from that foul smell, it haunted you like the ghost of somebody you murdered, day and night, ever since the mayor had thought it’d be a fabulous idea to have the sugar factory running twenty-four hours a day every day, to lower the unemployment levels that way and keep the revenue flowing in steadily.