Monday, July 8, 2013


I pushed the spindly bramble aside. Thorns stung my hands. The air smelled sweet and earthy, rotting berries mixed with dirt and green leaves.

"We going the right way?" I asked.

"Sure," Linsell said. He flashed a thumbs up and grinned. "No worries, boss."

Linsell only had about half his teeth. He lost them as a teenager, and his parents couldn't afford to get them replaced. He wore the gaps as a badge of pride, each wide smile a tacit challenge for someone, anyone to make something of it. I first met him when we were freshmen, and he had just beaten up some kid for giving him shit about his face, as he called it.

"Whatever," I said. The early summer humidity jumped off of the vines like it wanted to choke us. Beads of sweat streaked down my forehead and down my glasses.

"Trust me man. It'll be worth it."

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