USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

An Hour of Light and other stories

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
An Hour of Light and other stories
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Cochran, Andrew
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Fiction
War
Chicago
Florida
Wisconsin
Dissertations, Academic -- English -- Masters -- USF
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: I wrote the stories collected here while attending USF, between August 2004 and April 2006.The narrator of "An Hour of Light" is a prisoner biding his time in the darkness of solitary confinement. He maintains his sanity by playing a simple game. He throws a paper clip off into the dark, and then he feels around in the dark for it. As he searches, he imagines he is someone else. By playing this simple game, he tries to keep alive his hope for freedom.An eight-year-old boy named Mark narrates "Moving," a long short story about how he and his father have fallen on rough times after moving to Tampa from Chicago. "My Father's Name" and "Closed" are short-shorts. The first is about a boy who determines to erase his father from his life, and the second is told by a young man who is notified that one of his childhood friends was killed in Iraq. "Dad's UFO Alarm" is somewhat based on my Grampa Andy, who really did invent a UFO, and one time it really did go off. This science fiction tale is also one of my first attempts at adolescent literature."How the Lusty Wolf Was Loosed Again" is a reworked fairy tale and a satire targeting the legal system's leniency on child predators. The wolf tells this story.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Andrew Cochran.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 101 pages.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001790531
oclc - 144651842
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0001509
usfldc handle - e14.1509
System ID:
SFS0025827:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam Ka
controlfield tag 001 001790531
003 fts
005 20070620111118.0
006 m||||e|||d||||||||
007 cr mnu|||uuuuu
008 070620s2006 flu sbm 000 1 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E14-SFE0001509
040
FHM
c FHM
035
(OCoLC)144651842
049
FHMM
090
PR83 (ONLINE)
1 100
Cochran, Andrew.
3 245
An Hour of Light and other stories
h [electronic resource] /
by Andrew Cochran.
260
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
2006.
520
ABSTRACT: I wrote the stories collected here while attending USF, between August 2004 and April 2006.The narrator of "An Hour of Light" is a prisoner biding his time in the darkness of solitary confinement. He maintains his sanity by playing a simple game. He throws a paper clip off into the dark, and then he feels around in the dark for it. As he searches, he imagines he is someone else. By playing this simple game, he tries to keep alive his hope for freedom.An eight-year-old boy named Mark narrates "Moving," a long short story about how he and his father have fallen on rough times after moving to Tampa from Chicago. "My Father's Name" and "Closed" are short-shorts. The first is about a boy who determines to erase his father from his life, and the second is told by a young man who is notified that one of his childhood friends was killed in Iraq. "Dad's UFO Alarm" is somewhat based on my Grampa Andy, who really did invent a UFO, and one time it really did go off. This science fiction tale is also one of my first attempts at adolescent literature."How the Lusty Wolf Was Loosed Again" is a reworked fairy tale and a satire targeting the legal system's leniency on child predators. The wolf tells this story.
502
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
504
Includes bibliographical references.
516
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
538
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
500
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 101 pages.
590
Adviser: John Fleming, Ph.D.
653
Fiction.
War.
Chicago.
Florida.
Wisconsin.
690
Dissertations, Academic
z USF
x English
Masters.
773
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 0 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?e14.1509



PAGE 1

A n H o ur o f L i g ht a nd O t he r S t o r i e s b y A nd r e w C o c hr a n A t he s i s s ub m i t t e d i n p a r t i a l f ul f i l l m e nt o f t he r e q ui r e m e nt s f o r t he d e g r e e o f M a s t e r o f A r t s D e p a r t m e nt o f E ng l i s h C o l l e g e o f A r t s a nd S c i e nc e s U ni v e r s i t y o f S o ut h F l o r i d a M a j o r P r o f e s s o r : J o hn F l e m i ng P h. D R i t a C i r e s i M F A J o e M o x l e y P h. D D a t e o f A p p r o v a l : A p r i l 2 0 0 6 K e y w o r d s : F i c t i o n, W a r C hi c a g o F l o r i d a W i s c o ns i n C o p y r i g ht A p r i l 2 0 0 6 A nd r e w C o c hr a n

PAGE 2

i T a b l e o f C o nt e nt s A n H o ur o f L i g ht a nd O t he r S t o r i e s A b s t r a c t i i I nt r o d uc t i o n 1 M o v i ng 1 2 C l o s e d 4 2 A n H o ur o f L i g ht 4 5 G a m e s 7 0 D a d s U F O A l a r m 7 4 H o w t he L us t y W o l f W a s L o o s e d A g a i n. A nd A g a i n. 9 1

PAGE 3

i i A n H o ur o f L i g ht a nd O t he r S t o r i e s A nd r e w G e o r g e C o c hr a n A B S T R A C T I w r o t e t he s t o r i e s c o l l e c t e d he r e w hi l e a t t e nd i ng U S F b e t w e e n A ug us t 2 0 0 4 a nd A p r i l 2 0 0 6 T he na r r a t o r o f A n H o ur o f L i g ht i s a p r i s o ne r b i d i ng h i s t i m e i n t he d a r k ne s s o f s o l i t a r y c o nf i ne m e nt H e m a i nt a i ns hi s s a ni t y b y p l a y i ng a s i m p l e g a m e H e t hr o w s a p a p e r c l i p o f f i nt o t he d a r k a nd t he n he f e e l s a r o und i n t he d a r k f o r i t A s he s e a r c he s he i m a g i ne s he i s s o m e o ne e l s e B y p l a y i ng t hi s s i m p l e g a m e he t r i e s t o k e e p a l i v e hi s ho p e f o r f r e e d o m A n e i g ht y e a r o l d b o y na m e d M a r k na r r a t e s M o v i ng a l o ng s ho r t s t o r y a b o ut ho w he a nd hi s f a t he r ha v e f a l l e n o n r o ug h t i m e s a f t e r m o v i ng t o T a m p a f r o m C hi c a g o M y F a t he r s N a m e a nd C l o s e d a r e s ho r t s ho r t s T he f i r s t i s a b o ut a b o y w h o d e t e r m i ne s t o e r a s e hi s f a t he r f r o m hi s l i f e a nd t he s e c o nd i s t o l d b y a y o ung m a n w ho i s n o t i f i e d t ha t o ne o f hi s c hi l d ho o d f r i e nd s w a s k i l l e d i n I r a q D a d s U F O A l a r m i s s o m e w ha t b a s e d o n m y G r a m p a A nd y w ho r e a l l y d i d i nv e nt a U F O a nd o ne t i m e i t r e a l l y d i d g o o f f T hi s s c i e n c e f i c t i o n t a l e i s a l s o o ne o f m y f i r s t a t t e m p t s a t a d o l e s c e nt l i t e r a t ur e H o w t he L us t y W o l f W a s L o o s e d A g a i n i s a r e w o r k e d f a i r y t a l e a nd a s a t i r e t a r g e t i ng t he l e g a l s y s t e m s l e ni e nc y o n c h i l d p r e d a t o r s T he w o l f t e l l s t hi s s t o r y

PAGE 4

1 I nt r o d uc t i o n I ha v e a l w a y s b e e n e nc ha nt e d b y g r e a t s t o r i e s W he n I w a s y o ung I w o u l d o p e n a b o o k a nd s l e ut h t he f o g g y s t r e e t s o f L o nd o n w i t h S he r l o c k H o l m e s a nd D r W a t s o n, t o ur t he C ho c o l a t e F a c t o r y w i t h W i l l y W o nk a o r v e nt ur e w i t h B i l b o B a g g i ns o ut o f t h e S hi r e a nd i nt o t he w i l d e r r e a l m s o f M i d d l e E a r t h. A nd I ha d a s t r o ng d e s i r e t o l i v e g r e a t s t o r i e s I n t he s a nd b o x i n o ur b a c k y a r d I w a g e d g a l a c t i c b a t t l e s w i t h m y S t a r W a r s f i g ur i ne s o f L u k e S k y w a l k e r D a r t h V a d e r H a n S o l o l e g i o ns o f w hi t e a r m o r e d s t o r m t r o o p e r s a nd ho s t s o f a l i e ns I w i s he d t he r e w a s a no t he r w o r l d b e s i d e s t hi s o ne a N a r ni a o r N e v e r l a nd a nd t ha t s o m e d a y w he n I l e a s t e x p e c t e d i t I w o ul d c o m e up o n s o m e o ne o r s o m e t hi ng a P e t e r P a n o r a n a nc i e nt w a r d r o b e t ha t c o ul d b r i ng m e t o a r e a l m b e y o nd m y i m a g i n i ng I d i s c o v e r e d w r i t i ng I ha v e a l w a y s w a nt e d t o t e l l s t o r i e s a nd f o r a l o ng t i m e t he y w e r e a w k w a r d A t e i g ht I s t a r t e d a s t o r y a b o ut a b o y na m e d J i m w ho

PAGE 5

2 w a s a c ur i o u s c o m b i na t i o n o f m y s e l f a nd t he c o o l p unk y C hi c a g o B e a r s q ua r t e r b a c k J i m M c M a ho n. J i m w o r e s ha d e s a nd w a s t he s t a r o f hi s t o w n s m i d g e t f o o t b a l l l e a g ue a nd w i t h e v e r y t o uc hd o w n he s c o r e d t he s t a d i um e r up t e d I ne v e r a c c o unt e d f o r ho w a m i d g e t f o o t b a l l t e a m g o t f und i n g f o r a s t a d i um D ur i ng s t ud y ha l l s i n s i x t h g r a d e N i c k J e ns e n a nd I c o a ut ho r e d s e v e r a l t a l e s c hr o ni c l i ng t he t r i b ul a t i o ns o f a m i s s ha p e n k i d na m e d B uf o r d w h o e nj o y e d d r i nk i ng c a s t o r o i l a nd w a s p r o ne t o s ud d e n, v i o l e nt c o nni p t i o n f i t s a nd v o m i t i n g s p e l l s W e ha nd e d t he s e ho r r i b l e l i t t l e s t o r i e s t o o ur t e a c he r f o r e x t r a c r e d i t I ho p e s he t hr e w t he m r i g ht i n t he w a s t e b a s k e t T w o y e a r s l a t e r I m a d e m y ne x t a t t e m p t a t f i c t i o n, a f us i o n o f S t a r W a r s a nd L o r d o f t he R i ng s r e c o unt i ng t he t a l e s o f t w o s m ug g l e r s m uc h l i k e H a n S o l o a nd C he w b a c c a r o a d t r i p p i n g i n a s t e a m p o w e r e d w a g o n a r o und a n a r c ha i c w o r l d m uc h l i k e M i d d l e E a r t h. D ur i ng hi g h s c ho o l I b e c a m e i nt e r e s t e d i n m us i c e s p e c i a l l y l y r i c s a nd I f i l l e d no t e b o o k s w i t h l y r i c a l p o e m s I f e l l i n l o v e no t o nl y w i t h t he s o und s o f w o r d s b ut a l s o w i t h t he v o i c e s o f c e r t a i n s i ng e r s I w a s s t r uc k b y ho w w e l l t he y k ne w t he i r v o i c e s ho w t he i r o w n v o i c e s c o ul d b e t he o nl y o ne s t o c o nv e y t he s t o r i e s t he i r l y r i c s t o l d a nd h o w t he y c o ul d a c hi e v e a v a s t r a ng e o f t he m a t i c t o ne s S m o k e y R o b i ns o n s M o t o w n s o ng s w e r e c a t c hy a nd y e t f ul l o f p a t ho s J o hn F o g a r t y p e nne d s o ng s t ha t w e r e a s s l i c k a s a ny p o p t une b ut t he y w e r e a l s o d r i v e n b y

PAGE 6

3 a n ur g e nt s o c i a l c o ns c i o us ne s s J i m M o r r i s o n s l y r i c s w e r e d a r k a nd f i l l e d w i t h p h i l o s o p hy s ur r e a l i s m a nd a n a w a r e ne s s a s k e e n a s J a c k K e r o u a c s f o r t he A m e r i c a n s c e ne E d d i e V e d d e r s v o i c e w a s s o f t a nd a l m o s t m o t he r l y i n s o n g s l i k e E l d e r l y W o m a n, a nd t he n, i n s o n g s l i k e D o t he E v o l ut i o n, w a s s na r l i n g a nd r a g g e d I w r o t e e v e r y ni g ht b e f o r e f a l l i ng a s l e e p I n t he no t e b o o k s t ha t p i l e d up b e n e a t h m y b e d I c ul t i v a t e d m y l o v e f o r l a ng ua g e f o r i t s s o un d s a nd h o w w o r d s c o ul d b e s t r ung t o g e t he r a nd e s p e c i a l l y f o r ho w w o r d s c o ul d m a g i c a l l y c a p t ur e a m o o d a s c e ne o r a p e r s o n. I n c o l l e g e I d e c i d e d t o m a j o r i n l i t e r a t u r e b e c a us e I l o v e d t o r e a d a nd w hi l e s t ud y i n g I a g a i n f e l t c o m p e l l e d t o w r i t e B ut no w I ne e d e d t o c r e a t e s o m e t hi ng m o r e d e e p a nd c o m p l e x t ha n t he s ho r t p o e m s I ha d b e e n w r i t i n g s o m e t hi ng a s f unny a nd p o i g na nt a s C a t c h 2 2 s o m e t hi ng a s e nc ha nt i ng a s T he H o b b i t I c o nt i nue d t o w r i t e b ut I d i d n t k no w a ny o ne e l s e w h o w r o t e a nd w a s n t c o nf i d e nt e no ug h t o s ho w m y w o r k t o a ny o ne T he s um m e r b e f o r e m y s e ni o r y e a r I w r o t e s e v e r a l m o r e s t o r i e s s e t i n a n i m a g i na r y c i t y c a l l e d P e b l i s b ut f e e l i ng l i k e no t hi ng I w r o t e w a s a s g o o d a s a ny t hi ng I r e a d I a b a n d o ne d t he m T he n, m y s e ni o r y e a r I t o o k a c r e a t i v e w r i t i ng w o r k s ho p w i t h C hr i s t i a n M i c he ne r T he w o r k s ho p w a s a n a m a z i n g d i s c o v e r y ; t he r e w a s a n e nt i r e r o o m f ul o f p e o p l e w ho w r o t e a nd t he y a l s o w a nt e d t o

PAGE 7

4 r e a d w ha t I w r o t e I l e a r ne d t he v a l ue o f b e i ng i nv o l v e d i n a c o m m un i t y o f w r i t e r s a nd o f ha v i ng o t he r s e v a l ua t i ng m y w o r k D r M i c he ne r a l s o s t r e s s e d r e v i s i o n, a nd t ha t s e m e s t e r I w r o t e S o c k S p r i t e s a nd D a nd e l i o ns t h e f i r s t s t o r y t ha t I e v e r f e l t t ha t I t r ul y f i ni s he d I t b e g a n a s a s t o r y a b o ut a b us i ne s s m a n g e t t i ng d r e s s e d t o g o t o w o r k a nd he s l a t e b e c a us e he c a n t f i nd o ne o f hi s b l a c k d r e s s s o c k s A s I w r o t e I r e a l i z e d t he m a n s s o c k w a s s t o l e n b y a s o c k s p r i t e A nd t hi s s o c k s p r i t e w a s s e l l i n g t he s o c k s he s t o l e b a c k t o t he i r m a nuf a c t ur e r s s o t he y c o ul d r e p a c k a g e a nd r e s e l l t he m W r i t i ng t he s t o r y ha d s ud d e n l y b e c o m e a n a d v e nt ur e a n e x p l o r a t i o n. B ut t he b i g g e s t d i s c o v e r y I m a d e w a s no t a ny o f t he p l o t t w i s t s o r a ny o f t he d e t a i l s I f o und I c o u l d a d d b ut t he na r r a t o r s v o i c e A n e a r l y r e v i s i o n I m a d e w a s t o c ha n g e t he p o i nt o f v i e w f r o m t hi r d p e r s o n t o f i r s t I ne e d e d a v o i c e a nd I f o un d J e r r y S e i nf e l d s I b e g a n w r i t i n g t he w a y hi s v o i c e s o und e d i m a g i ne d ho w he w o u l d r e a c t t o a f a nt a s t i c c r e a t ur e a p p e a r i ng i n hi s a p a r t m e nt a nd I l e t hi m t e l l t he s t o r y I d i d n t na m e t he na r r a t o r J e r r y S e i nf e l d o f c o ur s e no b o d y ne e d e d t o k no w b ut I l e a r ne d t ha t v o i c e i s t he s t o r y t e l l e r s m e d i um I a m f a s c i na t e d w i t h p e o p l e s v o i c e s b y ho w p e o p l e t e l l t he i r s t o r i e s a nd ho w t he y s e e t he w o r l d a nd ho w t he y i nt e r p r e t w ha t t he y s e e A nd s o I w a s n t s ur p r i s e d w h e n p ut t i ng t hi s c o l l e c t i o n t o g e t he r I r e a l i z e d t ha t e v e r y s t o r y i s t o l d f r o m t he f i r s t p e r s o n p o i nt o f v i e w F o r

PAGE 8

5 m e w r i t i ng i s m uc h l i k e a c t i ng t he s t o r y i s a d r a m a t i c m o no l o g ue i n w hi c h I a s s um e a c ha r a c t e r s i d e nt i t y i nha b i t hi s o r he r m i n d a nd b o d y f o r a w hi l e a nd t e l l t ha t c ha r a c t e r s t a l e I d i s a p p e a r p ut o n a c o s t um e a nd a m a s k a nd s u d d e n l y I m f r e e t o s p e a k A l l t he w r i t e r s w ho ha v e i nf l ue nc e d m e t he m o s t a r e m a s t e r s o f v o i c e O ne o f t he s e m a s t e r s i s S a nd r a C i s ne r o s C hi l d na r r a t o r s c a n b e v e r y i nt r i g ui ng b e c a u s e o f t he i r p e r s p e c t i v e b ut r e nd e r i ng t hi s p e r s p e c t i v e r e a l i s t i c a l l y i s w ha t m a k e s a f f e c t i ng a c hi l d s v o i c e s o d i f f i c ul t S a nd r a C i s ne r o s f r e q ue nt l y ha s us e d c hi l d na r r a t o r s t o p r o d uc e w o n d e r f ul s t o r i e s T hr o u g h t he a d o l e s c e nt na r r a t o r o f E l e v e n, C i s ne r o s c a p t ur e s t he p a i n o f b e i ng s t uc k b e t w e e n c hi l d h o o d a nd a d ul t ho o d a nd t he t hi r t e e n y e a r o l d g i r l o f O ne H o l y N i g ht p r e g na nt b y a m a n w ho s he c o m e s t o l e a r n i s a m ur d e r e r t r i e s t o f o r m a c o n c e p t i o n o f l o v e w hi l e c o nf r o nt e d b y a r e a l i t y m o r e a w f ul t ha n m o s t a d ul t s e v e r ha v e t o f a c e S i m i l a r l y t he na r r a t o r o f m y s t o r y M o v i ng i s a f o ur t h g r a d e r na m e d M a r k w ho ha s j us t m o v e d w i t h hi s f a t he r f r o m C hi c a g o t o T a m p a M a r k s f a t he r i s a t o nc e hi s g ua r d i a n a ng e l a nd h i s g r e a t e s t t hr e a t hi s f a t he r d i d n t f i nd t he w o r k t he e x p e c t e d a nd ha s ha d t o r e s o r t t o w o r k i ng f o r a d r ug d e a l e r A nd r e D ub us i s a no t he r m a s t e r o f v o i c e A F a t he r s S t o r y i s t o uc hi ng a n d b e a ut i f ul e v e n t ho ug h no a c t i o n o c c ur s unt i l t he f i na l f e w p a g e s ; t he s t o r y s p o w e r c o m e s f r o m t he v o i c e o f i t s na r r a t o r L uk e

PAGE 9

6 R i p l e y D ub us ha s a f a i t h i n t he v o i c e s o f hi s c ha r a c t e r s a nd a l l o w s t he m t o r um i na t e M o s t o f m y A n H o ur o f L i g ht i s t he r um i na t i o n o f t he na r r a t o r M i t c h, a p r i s o ne r i n s o l i t a r y c o nf i ne m e nt N o t m uc h ha p p e ns i n t he ho l e a s y o u m i g h t i m a g i ne b ut M i t c h s i nne r l i f e i s r i c h e no ug h t ha t I ho p e t he s t o r y he t e l l s d o e s s uc c e e d i n c ha r m i ng t he r e a d e r I r e a d R a y B r a d b ur y w he ne v e r w r i t i ng d o e s n t f e e l i ng f un. B r a d b ur y s s e nt e nc e s r un a nd l e a p a nd t um b l e a nd c l i m b a n d d i v e T he y r e c a l l t he s p r a w l i ng l i ne s o f W a l t W hi t m a n, a n d t he i r e ne r g y i s t ha t o f a n a ut ho r i n l o v e w i t h s t o r y t e l l i ng i t s e l f a s w e l l a s w i t h t he w o r l d B r a d b ur y s l i ng u i s t i c i ng e n ui t y m us t a r i s e f r o m hi s l o v e o f w r i t i ng v e r y f e w w r i t e r s c a n m a k e w o r d s d o w ha t B r a d b ur y m a k e s t he m d o T he j o y B r a d b ur y f i nd s i n w r i t i n g b e t o k e ns a f a s c i na t i o n w i t h t he w o r l d t ha t I b e l i e v e a w r i t e r m us t ha v e a w r i t e r a t t e n t i v e t o t he w o r l d ne v e r n e e d s t o s e e k i ns p i r a t i o n. I ns p i r a t i o n c a n b e f o un d a ny w he r e i n a ny t hi ng a nd i n a ny o ne I ho p e t he s t o r i e s I v e c o l l e c t e d he r e d e m o ns t r a t e a j o y i n w r i t i ng a nd a f a s c i na t i o n w i t h t he w o r l d D ur i ng m y f i r s t y e a r a t U S F a l s o m y f i r s t y e a r i n T a m p a I w a s l i v i ng i n a r o ug h ne i g hb o r ho o d k no w n l o c a l l y a s S ui t c a s e C i t y b e c a us e o f a l l t he v a g r a nt s p a s s i ng t hr o ug h. O ne d a y I s a w a m a n w i t h l o n g ha i r r i d i ng h i s b i c y c l e a nd g ui d i ng a c hi l d r e n s b i c y c l e a l o ng

PAGE 10

7 b y t he ha nd l e b a r s H e c a m e t o a s c ho o l b us s t o p w he r e c hi l d r e n w e r e c r o w d i n g o ut o f t he b us a n d hi s s o n c a m e t o h i m I w o nd e r e d w h y t he b o y a nd hi s f a t he r ha d c o m e t o S ui t c a s e C i t y w ha t t he b o y t ho ug ht w he n he s a w hi s f a t he r w a i t i ng t h e r e w i t h t he b i k e s a nd s o o n I w a s w r i t i ng w ha t b e c a m e M o v i ng A n H o ur o f L i g ht a r o s e f r o m b o t h s o m e g o o d g o s s i p a nd t he c l a us t r o p ho b i c c o n d i t i o n und e r w hi c h t he s t o r y i t s e l f w a s w r i t t e n. M y f r i e nd o nc e t o l d m e a b o ut a t o p c o l l e g e f o o t b a l l p r o s p e c t he k ne w w ho ha d b e e n t hr o w n i n p r i s o n f o r s e l l i ng d r ug s T hi s g uy w a s hug e a n d b e c a us e o f h i s s i z e t he o t he r p r i s o ne r s d i d n o t l e a v e hi m a l o ne b u t i ns t e a d t r i e d t o r e c r ui t hi m f o r t h e i r g a ng s H e c o nt i nua l l y b r us he d t he m o f f b ut w he n o ne o f t he g a ng m e m b e r s a s s a ul t e d hi m he p o und e d h i s a t t a c k e r a nd w a s t hr o w n i n s o l i t a r y c o nf i ne m e nt H e ha d t o s p e nd a m o nt h i n a s m a l l l i g ht l e s s c e l l a nd he c l a i m e d t o o w e t he p r e s e r v a t i o n o f hi s s a n i t y e nt i r e l y t o a p a p e r c l i p he ha d f o und H e p l a y e d a g a m e w he r e he d f l i c k t he p a p e r c l i p o f f i nt o t he d a r k a nd s e a r c h f o r i t a nd t hi s g a m e w a s e no ug h t o o c c up y hi s m i n d a nd k e e p t he d a r k ne s s f r o m d r i v i ng hi m c r a z y I f o und i t e a s y t o a s s um e t h e m i nd s e t o f a p r i s o ne r i n s o l i t a r y c o nf i ne m e nt I w r o t e t he f i r s t d r a f t o f A n H o ur o f L i g ht w hi l e i m p r i s o n e d i n m y a p a r t m e nt f o r t hr e e d a y s t w o d a y s w i t ho ut p o w e r d ur i ng H ur r i c a ne C ha r l i e M o p i ng a r o un d i n t he d a r k w hi l e t he w i nd s w hi p p e d r a i n a g a i ns t t he w i n d o w s a n d t he

PAGE 11

8 f o r t y d o l l a r s a l m o n f i l l e t i n m y f r e e z e r t ha w e d a nd t ur ne d I f o und m y g r o w i ng c l a us t r o p h o b i a a n a d e q u a t e i m p e t us t o t e l l t he s t o r y o f a p r i s o ne r s t uc k i n t he ho l e f o r t hi r t y d a y s T he s ho r t s ho r t G a m e s o nc e w a s o nl y t he b e g i nn i ng o f w ha t I f i r s t i nt e nd e d t o b e a m u c h l o ng e r s t o r y w hi c h I e v e nt ua l l y a b a nd o ne d H o w e v e r r e a d i ng i t o v e r m uc h l a t e r I d i s c o v e r e d t ha t t he f i r s t t w o p a g e s c o nt a i ne d a c o m p l e t e s t o r y I g o t t he i d e a f o r G a m e s f r o m a n E S P N b i o g r a p hy o n f o o t b a l l s t a r R a y L e w i s A p p a r e nt l y L e w i s f a t he r w ho ha d b e e n a n a m a z i ng hi g h s c h o o l a t hl e t e a nd he l d a l l s o r t s o f s c h o o l r e c o r d s l e f t t he f a m i l y w he n L e w i s w a s y o un g L e w i s ha t e d hi s f a t he r a nd v o w e d t ha t b y t he t i m e he g r a d ua t e d f r o m t ha t hi g h s c ho o l he w o u l d ha v e b r o k e n a l l hi s f a t he r s r e c o r d s a nd L e w i s d i d I w o nd e r e d a t t he i nt e ns i t y a nd t he p ur i t y o f t he s p i t e he m us t ha v e ha d f o r hi s f a t he r a nd i n w r i t i n g G a m e s I w a s c a p t i v a t e d b y t he i nt e ns i t y o f t he na r r a t o r s v o i c e T he na r r a t o r i s o f c o ur s e no t m e a nt t o b e R a y L e w i s b ut r a t he r a c ha r a c t e r e ng ul f e d i n t he e m o t i o na l i nt e ns i t y I i m a g i ne d b e l o ng e d t o s o m e o ne w a nt i ng t o e r a s e a l l h i s f a t he r s r e c o r d s C l o s e d i s a b o ut w a r w hi c h i s a b o ut y o ung p e o p l e d y i n g T he c ha r a c t e r o f J a y G a r r i t s v e r y c l o s e l y r e s e m b l e s a b o y I g r e w up w i t h, a b o y w ho d i d j o i n t he M a r i ne s b ut w a s ne v e r s t a t i o ne d i n I r a q I t s t r uc k m e o ne d a y w ha t he a r i ng t he d e a t h o f a s o l d i e r I k ne w w o u l d b e l i k e

PAGE 12

9 a n d s ud d e n l y w a r d i d n t s e e m a t a l l w o r t h l o s i n g t he b o y I g r e w up w i t h, t he b o y w ho r e a l l y d i d d o e v e r y t hi ng f i r s t a nd r e a l l y c o u l d n t b e t a c k l e d o n t he f o o t b a l l f i e l d a n d w ho r e a l l y d i d ha v e a s m i l e t ha t c ha r m e d t e a c he r s f r i e nd s a nd g i r l s L o s i ng h i m t o a w a r o f s uc h v a g ue p ur p o s e s e e m e d a p o s s i b i l i t y o f s uc h s e ns e l e s s h o r r o r t ha t I c o ul d n t s t a nd i t I d w a nt t he c a s k e t t o b e c l o s e d T he i d e a f o r D a d s U F O A l a r m c a m e f r o m f a m i l y hi s t o r y M y G r a m p a A nd y w a s a p i l o t w i t h a f a s c i na t i o n w i t h t i nk e r i ng j us t l i k e t he na r r a t o r s f a t he r G r a m p a A nd y d i d c l a i m t o ha v e s e e n U F O s w h i l e f l y i ng he r e c o r d e d t he m i n h i s f l i g ht l o g s a nd he r e a l l y d i d b ui l d a n a l a r m m e a nt t o d e t e c t U F O s T he s e t t i ng t he ho us e i n D e P e r e W i s c o ns i n, a n d t he s no w y b a c k y a r d w i t h t he b i g b l a c k w a l nut t r e e i s w he r e I g r e w up H o w t he L us t y W o l f W a s L o o s e d A g a i n i s a n a t t e m p t a t s a t i r e T he s t o r y i s t he L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d t a l e t o l d f r o m t he p o i nt o f v i e w o f t he W o l f a n d i t t a r g e t s t he l e g a l s y s t e m s l e ni e nc y o n c hi l d p r e d a t o r s W he n I w a t c h t he e v e ni ng ne w s I a m o f t e n s ho c k e d a nd s i c k e ne d b y t he num b e r o f t he s e c r i m e s o ne i s t o o m a ny a nd y e t s o m a ny o c c ur I n f a c t a f r i e nd a n d I w e r e r e s e a r c hi ng t he s a f e t y o f ne i g hb o r ho o d s w e w e r e c o ns i d e r i ng m o v i n g t o a nd w e w e r e s ho c k e d t ha t s i x s e x o f f e nd e r s l i v e d i n t he f i r s t z i p c o d e w e r e s e a r c he d B ut t he s e c o nd z i p c o d e m i g ht ha v e b e e n H e l l i t s e l f i t w a s o v e r r un w i t h

PAGE 13

10 ni ne t y ni ne s e x o f f e nd e r s S a d l y i t s e e m s t ha t m o s t c h i l d m ur d e r s a r e c o m m i t t e d b y p e r v e r t s w ho ha v e a l r e a d y b e e n c o nv i c t e d o f m o l e s t a t i o n o r a s i m i l a r c ha r g e W hy a r e n t t h e s e p e o p l e b e i n g m o ni t o r e d m o r e c l o s e l y ? W hy a r e t he y f r e e i n t he f i r s t p l a c e ? T ho ug h no t y e t a s t i g ht a nd p o l i s he d a s t he o t he r s t o r i e s he r e D a d s U F O A l a r m a nd H o w t he L us t y W o l f W a s L o o s e d r e p r e s e n t ne w d i r e c t i o ns m y f i c t i o n i s t a k i n g M y r e c e n t s t o r i e s ha v e d e p a r t e d f r o m r e a l i s t i c m o d e s o f s t o r y t e l l i n g W ha t ha p p e ns w he n a b o y s f a t he r i s o b s e s s e d w i t h b ui l d i ng a U F O A l a r m a nd t he b o y s m o t he r d i s a p p r o v e s o f he r hus b a n d s o b s e s s i o n? C a n I a s t he a ut ho r l e a v e a c o w o n t he r o o f o f a s c ho o l w i t ho ut p r o v i d i ng a s a t i s f a c t o r y e x p l a na t i o n o f h o w t he c o w g o t u p t he r e i n t he f i r s t p l a c e ? U S l i t e r a t ur e ha s b e e n d o m i na t e d t o o l o n g a nd t o o s e v e r e l y b y no t i o ns t ha t g r e a t f i c t i o n m us t no t b e t o o m a g i c a l t o o hu m o r o u s t o o a b s u r d o r t o o o ut r a g e o us H o w e v e r I b e l i e v e t ha t t he c r i t e r i a f o r l i t e r a r y g r e a t ne s s s ho ul d b e no t hi ng m o r e a nd no t hi ng l e s s t ha n t ha t t he s t o r y i t s e l f b e g r e a t T he p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f s t o r y t e l l i n g m us t b e e x p l o r e d p o s s i b i l i t y i s o ne o f s t o r y t e l l i ng s g r e a t e s t t hr i l l s A s t o r y s ho ul d b e a n e x p l o r a t i o n f o r b o t h i t s t e l l e r a nd i t s a ud i e nc e a nd I w i l l ne v e r t i r e o f e x p l o r i ng m y a r t M y g r e a t e s t w r i t e r l y f e a r i s no t t ha t s o m e d a y I l l f i n d m y s e l f w i t ho ut a ny i d e a s b ut r a t he r t ha t I w o n t a c t ua l i z e t he b e s t o f a l l

PAGE 14

11 t ho s e s t o r i e s a nd a l l t ho s e c ha r a c t e r s l o ung i ng a r o und i n m y he a d R i g ht no w t he r e s a g i r l w a i t i ng a t t he g a t e o f t he s t a d i um t o g e t t he a ut o g r a p h o f a b a s e b a l l p l a y e r f o r he r b r o t he r A nd t he r e s a n o l d m a n i n W i n o na M i nne s o t a w ho w a nt s m o r e t ha n a ny t hi ng t o l i v e t o b e t he o l d e s t m a n e a r t h I ho p e y o u e nj o y t hi s c o l l e c t i o n o f s t o r i e s I ha v e a no t he r o ne t o w r i t e

PAGE 15

12 M o v i ng M a r i a na a nd I a l w a y s s i t i n f r o nt o n t he b us r i d e ho m e f r o m s c ho o l s o w e c a n g e t o ut f i r s t a h e a d o f a l l t he p us hi n g S he s m y b e s t f r i e nd he r e i n T a m p a W e w e r e t he o nl y ne w s t ud e nt s i n o ur f o ur t h g r a d e c l a s s t hi s y e a r a nd e v e r y o ne e l s e a l r e a d y ha d t he i r f r i e nd s B e c a us e o ur na m e s S a nt i a g o a n d S e b e c k a r e c l o s e a l p ha b e t i c a l l y w e s i t ne x t t o e a c h o t he r i n c l a s s a n d w e r e a l w a y s p a i r e d t o g e t he r f o r f i e l d t r i p s a nd p a r t ne r w o r k S he m o v e d he r e f r o m M i a m i a nd I c a m e f r o m C hi c a g o w he r e I w e nt t o L o ur d e s E l e m e nt a r y N o w I m a t M ul l e r G r a d e S c ho o l I t ne v e r s no w s he r e i t s a l w a y s s um m e r D e c e m b e r s t a r t s t o m o r r o w a nd e v e r y t hi ng i s a s g r e e n a s J ul y T he r e a r e p a l m t r e e s he r e a nd w hi t e d i r t t ha t l o o k s l i k e c ha l k d us t L i t t l e b r o w n l i z a r d s s k i t t e r a r o und t he s i d e w a l k s a n d o n t he w a l l s A nd t he r e a r e g a t o r s he r e t o o A hug e o ne l i v e s i n t he r e t e n t i o n p o nd b e hi nd M r P a t e l l o s ho us e w he r e w e v e b e e n l i v i ng s i n c e w e g o t d o w n

PAGE 16

13 he r e i n A ug us t b e f o r e s c ho o l s t a r t e d M r P a t e l l o s a y s t he g a t o r s t w e l v e f e e t l o ng b ut D a d s a y s i t s o nl y ni ne D a d s e e s i t t he m o s t b e c a us e he s a l w a y s g o i n g t hr o ug h t he ho l e i n t he f e nc e t o t he t hi c k l i t t l e p a t c h o f j ung l e b y t he p o nd w he r e M r P a t e l l o ha s hi s s ha c k w hi c h he c a l l s h i s k i t c he n o r hi s l a b P e o p l e c a l l hi m o n t he p ho ne a nd he g i v e s a p a c k a g e t o D a d a nd t e l l s h i m t o t a k e i t t o a c e r t a i n p e r s o n. D a d s t uf f s t he p a c k a g e a l w a y s a b r o w n p a p e r l un c h b a g t i g ht l y r o l l e d i nt o hi s g r a y b a c k p a c k t he n r i d e s a s f a s t a s he c a n t o w ho e v e r c a l l e d M r P a t e l l o i n t he f i r s t p l a c e I d o n t t a l k a b o ut a ny o f t hi s t o a ny o ne b e c a us e I k no w I c a n t D a d t o l d m e i f I d i d he c o ul d g e t i n l o t s o f t r o ub l e H e c o u l d g o t o p r i s o n, a nd t he n I w o u l d n t ha v e a m o t he r o r a f a t he r M y t e a c he r M i s s H i l l a s k e d m e w ha t D a d d i d f o r a j o b a nd I t o l d he r he c a d d i e s I f e l t b a d a b o ut l y i ng b ut t hi s i s s e r i o us A m a n ha s t o k e e p s e c r e t s A nd D a d p r o m i s e d he w o ul d n t d o t hi s j o b a ny l o ng e r t ha n he ha s t o W e m o v e d b e c a us e D a d t ho ug ht he c o ul d c a d d y he r e d ur i ng t he w i nt e r l i k e he d o e s i n C hi c a g o d u r i ng t he w a r m m o nt hs B ut w he n w e g o t d o w n he r e D a d w e nt t o t he g o l f c o ur s e a nd l e a r ne d t ha t t he g uy w ho w a s s u p p o s e d t o b e h i s b o s s w a s g o ne T he ne w b o s s t o l d D a d he ha d e no ug h c a d d i e s a nd D a d c a m e ho m e l o o k i ng t i r e d a nd d i s a p p o i nt e d w a l k i ng t he b l ue S c hw i nn M r P a t e l l o l e nt hi m a nd l a t e r g a v e hi m W e w e r e a l r e a d y s t a y i ng a t M r P a t e l l o s a nd I r e m e m b e r

PAGE 17

14 t h a t ni g ht D a d s t a y e d up r e a l l y l a t e t a l k i ng w i t h M r P a t e l l o a t t he k i t c he n t a b l e I w a s i n b e d i n t he r o o m w he r e I s l e e p I g e t m y o w n r o o m he r e t ho ug h i t s no t m u c h b i g g e r t ha n m y b e d a nd I t r i e d t o he a r w ha t t he y w e r e s a y i ng I t s o und e d l i k e M r P a t e l l o w a s t r y i ng t o m a k e D a d f e e l b e t t e r a nd he w a s t r y i ng t o c o nv i nc e D a d t o s t a y a nd w o r k f o r hi m I f e l l a s l e e p b ut D a d e v e nt ua l l y s a i d y e s b e c a us e he r e w e a r e s t i l l i n T a m p a l i v i ng a t M r P a t e l l o s I s t a r t c o ug hi ng a n d M a r i a na d i g s t hr o ug h he r b a c k p a c k a nd b r i ng s o ut a n o p e ne d b a g o f c o u g h d r o p s H e r e M a r k s he s a y s I g a v e y o u t hi s c o ug h, s o I s h o ul d g i v e y o u t he m e d i c i ne S he s e t s t he b a g o n m y l a p I t e l l he r t ha nk s T a k e o ne no w s he s a y s L a t e r I s a y I c o v e r m y m o ut h a nd c o u g h a g a i n. B o y s he s a y s p o k i ng m e i n t he s i d e w he r e i t t i c k l e s c a us i n g m e t o y e l p D o n t b e s t ub b o r n! W e l a ug h a nd I unw r a p a c o ug h d r o p T he b us c hug s d o w n F o w l e r A v e nue p a s t t he f l e a m a r k e t a nd t he g a s s t a t i o ns a nd t he f a s t f o o d p l a c e s M a r i a na a nd I s t o p t a l k i ng a b o ut t he ne w b us d r i v e r s p ur p l e p i g t a i l s p u l l o ur b a c k p a c k s o n, s t a nd up a nd e d g e i nt o t he a i s l e T he d r i v e r g l a nc e s up i n he r m i r r o r a nd s e e s us o ut o f o ur s e a t s b ut s he d o e s n t ho l l e r S he s t i r e d o ut f o r

PAGE 18

15 t he d a y T he b us t ur ns o nt o 1 5 t h A v e nu e a nd huf f s up t o t he s t o p T he d o o r o p e ns a nd M a r i a na a nd I hu r r y d o w n t he s t e p s o nt o t he g r a s s M a r i a na s a y s b y e a nd I s a y I l l s e e he r t o m o r r o w S he r uns t o he r m o m a p r e t t y M e x i c a n l a d y w i t h r o und c he e k s l a r g e r e d l i p s a nd ha i r t ha t s s hi ny a nd b l a c k l i k e M a r i a na s I l o o k a r o und f o r D a d a nd s e e hi m w a v i ng H e s w a i t i ng f o r m e a s us ua l s i t t i ng o n h i s b l ue S c hw i nn a nd ho l d i ng m y b i k e up b y t he s e a t H i s l o n g s a nd y ha i r ha ng s d o w n f r o m b e ne a t h t he W hi t e S o x ha t M o m a nd I b o ug ht h i m f o r hi s b i r t hd a y t w o y e a r s a g o E v e r y a f t e r no o n he r i d e s he r e s t e e r i ng m y b i k e b y t he ha nd l e b a r r i g ht a l o ng s i d e hi s S o m e t i m e s o ur s c ho o l b u s p a s s e s hi m r i d i ng t o t he s t o p a nd I o p e n t he w i nd o w a nd y e l l he l l o t o hi m H e y L i t t l e M a n, D a d s a y s H e t a k e s hi s ha nd o f f t he s e a t o f m y b i k e a nd I g r a b t he ha nd l e b a r s G o o d d a y ? A w e s o m e I s a y I g o t t w o ho m e r s i n k i c k b a l l D a d f i d g e t s w i t h t he b l a c k t a p e he p ut o n hi s g r i p s l a s t ni g ht I t s unr a v e l i ng a l r e a d y H e s a l w a y s f i x i ng hi s b i k e Y o u s m e l l l i k e c o u g h d r o p s he s a y s Y o u s i c k ? G o t a c o ug h. S ho ul d w e s t o p o n t he w a y ho m e a nd g e t s o m e R o b i t us s i n? I l l b e f i ne

PAGE 19

16 Y o u k no w b e s t he s a y s Y o u r e t he m a n, L i t t l e M a n. B ut l e t m e k no w i f y o u c ha n g e y o ur m i n d H e s c a l l e d m e L i t t l e M a n s i nc e M o m d i e d a l m o s t a y e a r a g o H e s a i d t ha t w i t h M o m g o ne I d ha v e t o b e a m a n e v e n t ho ug h I m s t i l l a b o y O ne t hi ng t hi s m e a ns i s t ha t I ha v e t o b e a l o ne a l o t w a t c h T V a l o ne r e a d a l o ne p l a y a l o ne e a t a l o ne S o m e e v e ni ng s w he n D a d s o f f o n h i s b i k e m a k i ng d e l i v e r i e s f o r M r P a t e l l o I f i x s up p e r f o r m y s e l f B e i ng a m a n, I c a n t j us t s t uf f m y s e l f w i t h i c e c r e a m o r t ha w e d s hr i m p o r w ha t e v e r I w a nt N o I t r y t o e a t w ha t l l k e e p m e he a l t hy t ho ug h i f w e d o ha v e s o m e t hi ng he a l t hy t ha t I r e a l l y ha t e l i k e g r e e n b e a ns I f i nd a w a y t o d u m p i t i n t he g a r b a g e w he n D a d s n o t l o o k i ng I a l w a y s d r i nk a t a l l g l a s s o f m i l k w i t h e v e r y m e a l t o m a k e m y b o ne s s t r o n g M e n ha v e t o t a k e c a r e o f t he m s e l v e s T he s un s ho t a nd a l l t he c a r s s t i r up t he s a nd i n t he s t r e e t D a d l e t s m e r i d e i n f r o nt unt i l w e r e a c h t he c o r ne r a t 1 3 1 s t w he r e he t a k e s t he l e a d s o he c a n d e c i d e w he n i t s s a f e t o c r o s s H e s a y s he l i k e s g o i n g a t m y p a c e t ho ug h w e b o t h k no w he c o ul d r i d e m uc h f a s t e r A l l d a y he r i d e s f o r M r P a t e l l o a nd M r P a t e l l o w a nt s hi m t o r i d e f a s t s o he c a n m a k e a l o t o f d e l i v e r i e s R i d i n g a l l d a y i n t he s un t ha t s w hy D a d s f a c e i s d a r k a s a b a s e b a l l g l o v e N o w w he n he s m i l e s hi s t e e t h l o o k w hi t e a s ne w s n o w w hi c h r e m i nd s m e o f o ne t hi ng I r e a l l y m i s s a b o ut C hi c a g o t he w i nt e r I m i s s p l a y i n g t a c k l e f o o t b a l l w i t h W i l l i e

PAGE 20

17 a nd M i c ha e l a nd t he o t he r b o y s W e d w e a r o ur c o a t s a nd s no w p a nt s a nd ha t s a nd g l o v e s a nd w i t h a l l t ha t p a d d i ng o n w e c o ul d h i t e a c h o t he r a s ha r d a s w e w a nt e d a nd no t g e t hur t W i l l i e w a s t he b i g g e s t k i d i n t hi r d g r a d e a nd I w a s o ne o f t he f e w k i d s w ho c o ul d t a c k l e hi m I c o ul d c a r r y a p i l e o f k i d s t o o D a d a nd I c o a s t d o w n t he s i d e w a l k w hi c h i s a l i t t l e d o w nhi l l he r e a l o ng t he f e nc e t ha t s ur r o und s t he r e t e n t i o n p o nd w he r e t he g a t o r l i v e s I v e o nl y b e e n t hr o ug h t he ho l e i n t he f e nc e o nc e D a d w a nt e d m e t o w a l k w i t h hi m t hr o ug h t he l i t t l e j ung l e b a c k t he r e j us t s o I k ne w w ha t i t l o o k e d l i k e a nd w o u l d n t g e t c ur i o us a nd g o b a c k t he r e o n m y o w n. H e b r o u g ht m e d o w n a na r r o w p a t h p us he d t hr o ug h t he b us he s a nd t r e e s t o M r P a t e l l o s s ha c k w hi c h I ne v e r e v e n g o t c l o s e t o b ut c o ul d s m e l l I t w a s a s ha r p s m e l l t ha t s t ung m y no s e T he r e w e r e e m p t y p o p b o t t l e s a l l o v e r i n t he g r a s s D a d t o l d m e ne v e r t o g o b a c k t he r e I d o n t w a nt y o u d r o w ni ng i n t he p o nd he s a i d I d o n t w a nt y o u g e t t i ng e a t e n b y t ha t g a t o r A nd I d o n t w a nt y o u g o i ng a ny w he r e n e a r t ha t s ha c k E v e r W e s l o w d o w n a s w e ne a r M r P a t e l l o s d r i v e w a y w hi c h l o o k s l i k e a g r a v e l p a t h l e a d i n g i nt o a j ung l e b e c a us e s o m a ny t a l l b us h y t r e e s c r o w d hi s y a r d a nd M r P a t e l l o i s s t a nd i ng t he r e s m o k i ng D a d o nc e t e a s e d M r P a t e l l o t ha t hi s y a r d ha s n t c ha ng e d s i nc e t he C i v i l W a r

PAGE 21

18 H e y g uy s M r P a t e l l o s a y s f l i c k i ng hi s c i g a r e t t e i nt o t he b us he s H e s m o o t he s hi s s l i c k b l a c k ha i r H e s ni c e e no ug h, b ut he s e e m s o l d e r t ha n he i s b e c a us e h i s f a c e i s b o ny a nd hi s v o i c e s o un d s d r y f r o m s m o k i n g t o o m uc h. G o o d d a y a t s c h o o l L i t t l e M a n? G o o d I s a y L i k e t he r e s t H e c a l l s m e L i t t l e M a n, t o o b ut he c a l l s m e M a r k w he n he s s e r i o us a nd i s n t t r y i ng t o b e m y b u d d y I c o a s t i n a b i g c i r c l e a r o und D a d a nd M r P a t e l l o Y o u e x c i t e d t o g o b a c k t o C h i c a g o ? M r P a t e l l o a s k s I s q ue e z e t he b r a k e s a nd s t o p m y b i k e I l o o k a t D a d H e f r o w ns a l i t t l e a s t ho ug h t o s a y he s s o r r y t h e n he l o o k s a t M r P a t e l l o A l D a d s a y s I ha v e n t t o l d hi m y e t M r P a t e l l o s e y e b r o w s l i f t a n d hi s f o r e he a d w r i nk l e s O h, he s a y s S o r r y R i t c hi e I a p o l o g i z e W e r e m o v i ng b a c k t o C hi c a g o ? I a s k I t f e e l s l i k e a r a b b i t s r unni ng i n m y b e l l y I w a nt t o g o b a c k s e e W i l l i e a nd M i c ha e l p l a y t a c k l e f o o t b a l l i n t he s no w a n d b i k e a r o und a f t e r d a r k a nd p l a y d i ng d o ng d i t c h. Y e a h, L i t t l e M a n, w e a r e D a d s a y s H e g l a nc e s a t M r P a t e l l o I v e m a d e e no ug h m o ne y t o m o v e us b a c k I w o n t e v e n ha v e t o w o r k t i l l c a d d y i n g s t a r t s up i n t he s p r i n g F r i d a y ni g ht a f t e r s up p e r w e l l g e t o n t he G r e y ho und W ha t d o y o u t hi nk ?

PAGE 22

19 I l o v e i t I s a y I l i f t m y f r o nt t i r e a nd l e t i t b o unc e o n t he g r o und I l l s e e T o m m y a nd M i c h a e l a g a i n. I l l g o b a c k t o L o ur d e s M a y b e I l l b e i n M r L e w i s s c l a s s M a y b e D a d s a y s I ho p e w e c a n g e t y o u b a c k i nt o L o ur d e s W ha t ? D a d s ha k e s hi s he a d I c a n t p r o m i s e w e c a n g e t y o u i nt o L o ur d e s a g a i n, L i t t l e M a n. I ha d n t t ho ug ht o f i t y e t H e s hr ug s hi s s ho ul d e r s I l l c a l l t o m o r r o w I ha v e t o g o b a c k t o L o ur d e s I s a y I l l c a l l t o m o r r o w m o r ni ng L i t t l e M a n. T he r e s a n e d g e i n hi s v o i c e a nd t ha t s a s f a r a s I p us h i t I f I ha r p o n D a d a f t e r he r e p e a t s hi m s e l f I us ua l l y g e t s p a nk e d N o t t ha t s p a nk i ng s e v e n hur t a ny m o r e b ut t he y m a k e m e w a nt t o b e a l o ne f o r a w hi l e s i t i n t he b a c k y a r d unt i l I c a n t t hi nk a ny m o r e a nd I ha v e t o g e t up a nd l o o k f o r t r e e f r o g s s t i c k i ng t o t he d o w ns p o ut s o r g o t o m y b e d r o o m a n d l o o k a t m y b a s e b a l l c a r d s M e n g e t a ng r y a nd I g ue s s m e n g e t p uni s he d t o o H e y R i t c hi e M r P a t e l l o s a y s a s he p ut s a ne w c i g a r e t t e b e t w e e n hi s l i p s R e m e m b e r w e r e a l l y ha v e t o p us h t he r e s t o f i t b e f o r e y o u g o D a d p r e s s e s h i s l i p s t o g e t he r a nd no d s N o p r o b l e m A l he s a y s W e l l g e t i t d o ne I a m t he f a s t e s t t hi ng o n t w o w he e l s

PAGE 23

20 M r P a t e l l o l a ug hs a n d l i g ht s t he c i g a r e t t e G o o d he s a y s G o o d D a d a nd I p e d a l up t he d r i v e w a y w hi c h t ur ns r i g ht b e hi n d t he t hi c k b us he s a nd t r e e s t ha t hi d e M r P a t e l l o s p l a c e f r o m F l e t c he r A v e nue T he y a r d s a l l g r e e n a nd s ha d o w s W e l e a n t he b i k e s a g a i ns t t he r us t e d o ut C o r v e t t e a nd w a l k t o t he f r o nt d o o r T he g a r a g e i s o p e n a s us ua l c r a m m e d f ul l o f b i k e s M r P a t e l l o r uns a us e d b i k e b us i ne s s he d o e s n t s e l l t he m t o p e o p l e he j us t f i x e s up o l d b e a t up b i k e s a nd s e l l s t he m t o b i k e s t o r e s I d o n t t hi nk he e nj o y s i t m uc h b e c a us e he ne v e r w o r k s v e r y ha r d a t i t I w o n t m i s s T a m p a I t e l l D a d A t a l l ? he a s k s A i n t t he r e s o m e t hi ng y o u l l m i s s ? M a y b e t he t r e e f r o g s a nd t he p a l m t r e e s I s a y A nd t he g a t o r s W ha t a b o ut M r P a t e l l o ? D a d a s k s W ha t a b o ut M a r y A nna ? Y e a h, I l l m i s s t he m I s a y T ho ug h no t M r P a t e l l o ne a r l y a s m uc h a s M a r i a na D a d a l w a y s s a y s M a r y A nna I d o n t t hi nk he c a n s a y M a r i a na M a r i a na M y s t o m a c h s i nk s I l l b e l e a v i ng M a r i a na he r e a l o ne W ho w i l l s he p l a y w i t h a t r e c e s s ? W ho w i l l s h e e a t l unc h w i t h? H o w w i l l I t e l l he r I m l e a v i n g ?

PAGE 24

21 F o r s up p e r D a d a nd I e a t ho t d o g s s l i c e d up a nd m i x e d i n m a c a r o ni a n d c he e s e g r e e n b e a ns a nd r i c e a nd I ha v e a t a l l g l a s s o f m i l k H o t d o g s i n m a c a r o ni a n d c he e s e M o m m a d e t ha t a l l t he t i m e W e d o t he d i s he s D a d w a s hi ng a nd m e d r y i ng a nd p ut t i ng a w a y a nd w e b i k e d o w n t o t he e m p t y l o t o n 1 3 1 s t t o p l a y b a s e b a l l I c a r r y t he g l o v e D a d b o u g ht m e f o r m y b i r t hd a y l a s t J une a nd he c a r r i e s hi s g l o v e a nd t he b a t H e t i e s a c r a t e t o hi s ha nd l e b a r s a nd w e f i l l i t w i t h b a s e b a l l s w e f o und ne a r t he d i a m o nd s a t t he uni v e r s i t y a nd w e t a k e o f f A l w a y s a t t hi s t i m e a l l t he b l a c k b i r d s i n t o w n f l o c k t o 1 3 1 s t a nd s i t o n t he p o w e r l i ne s T he r e m us t b e t ho us a nd s o f t he m I d o n t k no w w hy t he y g a t h e r l i k e t hi s l i k e t he y r e w a i t i ng f o r s o m e t hi n g O ne f l a p s i t s w i ng s a no t he r p o k e s i t s b e a k i nt o i t s f e a t he r s P e o p l e w a l k a nd b i k e o n t he s i d e w a l k a nd c a r s j a m t he s t r e e t a nd a b o v e o n t he p o w e r l i ne s t he b l a c k b i r d s w a i t a nd w a t c h, v e r y q ui e t l y I t s l i k e t he y k no w s o m e t hi ng b i g w i l l ha p p e n r i g ht h e r e s o m e d a y t he y r e j us t no t s ur e w he n. T he y l l b e he r e B ut I w o n t * A f t e r w e g e t ho m e D a d c ut s up s o m e a p p l e s a nd s p r i nk l e s c i nna m o n o n t he m W e e a t a t t he d i nne r t a b l e a nd w a t c h E v e r y b o d y L o v e s R a y m o nd

PAGE 25

22 M r P a t e l l o c o m e s i nt o t he k i t c he n a nd t e l l s D a d t he r e s a d e l i v e r y I t s l a t e s o a s D a d s g e t t i ng r e a d y t o g o o ut I t e l l hi m g o o d ni g ht a nd I g o t o m y r o o m I t ur n t he l a m p o n, a n d a l i z a r d o n t he w a l l s k i t t e r s b e hi nd t he d r e s s e r I r e a c h und e r m y b e d a nd p ul l o ut m y A d i d a s b o x t ha t s f ul l o f b a s e b a l l c a r d s a nd I s o r t t he m i n s t a c k s b y p o s i t i o n, a nd s t a r t m a k i ng t e a m s I m i s s m y o l d s c ho o l L o ur d e s E l e m e nt a r y I t w a s a d a r k b r i c k b ui l d i ng t ha t a l w a y s l o o k e d w e t w i t h r o w s o f c l o u d y o l d w i n d o w s I k ne w e v e r y c r a c k o f t he b l a c k t o p p l a y g r o und A t o ne e nd w e r e t he b a s k e t b a l l ho o p s w i t h c ha i n ne t s t ha t r a ng e v e r y t i m e y o u m a d e a s ho t a nd a t t he o t he r e nd w a s a s t r i p o f g r a s s w he r e t he j a ni t o r s he a p e d l e a v e s i n a ut um n a nd t he p l o w s p i l e d s no w i n w i nt e r W i l l i e a nd M i c ha e l a nd I us e d t o j um p i n t he l e a v e s a nd p l a y K i ng o f t he M o unt a i n o n t he s no w hi l l M y f a m i l y w e nt t o m a s s a t L o ur d e s S u nd a y m o r ni ng s D a d m a d e s ur e I d p ut o n m y ni c e c l o t he s t he n he d d r e s s i n t he b e d r o o m w hi l e M o m g o t r e a d y i n t he b a t hr o o m S und a y w a s h e r d a y t o d r e s s ni c e s he w o r e he r f l o w e r d r e s s e s a nd ny l o ns a nd s h e p ut o n p e r f um e t ha t f o l l o w e d he r t he r e s t o f t he d a y a nd a f t e r s he hug g e d m e t ha t s m e l l w o u l d s t a y w i t h m e a w hi l e s o f t a nd w a r m M r s C o s t e l l o m y s e c o n d g r a d e t e a c he r t o l d us t ha t o ur s c ho o l a nd p a r i s h w e r e na m e d a f t e r a c h ur c h i n F r a nc e T he V i r g i n M a r y a p p e a r e d t o a g i r l na m e d B e r na d e t t e w ho d b e e n w a l k i ng b y t he r i v e r

PAGE 26

23 w i t h t w o o f he r f r i e nd s g a t he r i ng w o o d M a r y t o l d B e r na d e t t e a c hur c h m us t b e b ui l t o n t ha t s p o t B e r na d e t t e d ug i n t he d i r t w i t h he r ha nd s a nd w a t e r b ub b l e d up f r o m t he g r o und unt i l t he r e w a s a p o o l N o w t he r e s a hug e c hur c h t he r e a nd p e o p l e f r o m a l l o v e r t he w o r l d g o t he r e t o b e he a l e d b y t he w a t e r i n B e r na d e t t e s s p r i ng P e o p l e w i t h c a nc e r p e o p l e w h o c a n t w a l k p e o p l e w ho j us t f e e l s i c k i ns i d e a l l o f t he m g e t he a l e d b y t he w a t e r a t L o ur d e s W e c o ul d n t ha v e t a k e n M o m t o L o ur d e s e v e n i f w e d ha d t he m o ne y S he d i e d t o o s ud d e n l y A n a ne ur y s m I he a r d t he d o c t o r t e l l D a d I v e g o t t he b a s e b a l l c a r d s o r g a ni z e d i nt o ni ne t e a m s M o s t o f t he s e a r e m a d e up o f g uy s w ho i n r e a l l i f e p l a y o n d i f f e r e nt t e a m s b ut o ne t e a m i s a l l W h i t e S o x D a d a nd I l o v e t he W hi t e S o x t hi s s um m e r I w a t c he d a l m o s t e v e r y W hi t e S o x g a m e t ha t w a s o n W G N e v e n a f t e r w e m o v e d d o w n he r e i n A ug u s t D a d us ua l l y w a t c he d w i t h m e w h e n he w a s n t m a k i ng a d e l i v e r y D a d p l a y e d b a s e b a l l w he n he w a s i n hi g h s c ho o l H e b r o k e t he s t o l e n b a s e s r e c o r d i n I l l i n o i s he ha s t he ne w s p a p e r a r t i c l e f r a m e d T he he a d l i ne s h o ut s S E B E C K S T E A L S 5 3 r d S E T S S T A T E M A R K a nd t he r e s a p ho t o o f D a d h i s f a c e y o ung a nd s m o o t h, a nd he s s m i l i ng a nd ho l d i ng a b a s e o v e r hi s he a d O n e v e ni ng s he d o e s n t ha v e m a ny d e l i v e r i e s f o r M r P a t e l l o w e p l a y c a t c h, o r he p i t c he s t o m e a n d I b a t J us t d o n t hi t a t t he ho us e M r P a t e l l o a l w a y s ho l l e r s w he n he s e e s us a nd D a d w i nk s a nd t hr o w s m e

PAGE 27

24 a p i t c h. S o m e t i m e s w e b i k e t o t he e m p t y l o t o n 1 3 1 s t a nd p l a y a n d w e g o b y M a r i a na s a p a r t m e nt a nd b r i ng he r a l o ng S he s f a s t a nd s he c a n t hr o w b ut s he c a n t hi t v e r y w e l l I ha v e t o w a i t w hi l e D a d p i t c he s t o he r o v e r a nd o v e r a g a i n, s o m e t i m e s t e n p i t c he s b e f o r e s he g e t s t he b a t o n t he b a l l B ut i s s he f a s t A t r e c e s s w e r un r a c e s a nd p l a y t a g a nd M a r i a na a nd I a r e t he f a s t e s t t ho ug h s he s e v e n a l i t t l e f a s t e r t ha n I a m T he r e s a s o f t k no c k o n t he d o o r D a d s k no c k a nd I s a y c o m e o n i n. H e o p e ns t he d o o r a nd he s w e a r i ng hi s b l ue f l a nne l a nd i s ho l d i ng a l i t t l e p l a s t i c m e d i c i ne c up f ul l o f R o b i t us s i n. H e y L i t t l e M a n, he s a y s i t s p r e t t y c o l d o ut t he r e t o ni g ht N o t C hi c a g o c o l d b ut y o u s ho ul d w e a r a s w e a t s hi r t t o m o r r o w m o r ni ng I g o t y o u t hi s S t o o p i ng d o w n a l i t t l e he c a r e f ul l y ha nd s m e t he l i t t l e c up o f r e d c o ug h m e d i c i ne I d o n t t hi nk I ne e d t hi s I t e l l h i m Y o u s ho ul d t a k e i t he s a y s k ne e l i ng b y t he s i d e o f m y b e d Y o u k e p t c o ug hi ng w he n I w a s p i t c hi ng t o y o u. I t m e s s e d up m y t hr o w i ng r hy t hm O k a y I l l t a k e i t I s a y I d r i nk t he m e d i c i ne a nd he t a k e s t he e m p t y c up H e g l a nc e s o v e r t he b a s e b a l l c a r d s s p r e a d o ut o v e r t he s he e t H e p i c k s up t he s t a c k o f W hi t e S o x p l a y e r s a nd l o o k s a t t he t o p c a r d a nd

PAGE 28

25 g r i ns O ur p o o r W h i t e S o x he s a y s a nd c he c k s o ut a f e w o f t he c a r d s b e f o r e s e t t i ng t he s t a c k d o w n. I t s p r a y e r t i m e no w I f o l d m y ha nd s a nd l o o k d o w n a t t he m s o m y e y e s d o n t w a nd e r a nd l o o k a t t he c a r d s s p r e a d o ut o n m y b e d D a d s a y s i t s d i s r e s p e c t f ul t o G o d t o t hi nk a b o ut a ny t hi ng e l s e w hi l e y o ur p r a y i ng e x c e p t t he p r a y e r i t s e l f a nd i f he s e e s m e l o o k i ng a t s o m e t hi ng e l s e he m a k e s m e s t a r t t he p r a y e r o v e r D a d p r a y s f o r M o m i n he a v e n a nd f o r a s a f e d a y t o m o r r o w I p r a y f o r M o m t o o a nd f o r a f un d a y a t s c ho o l W e m a k e t he s i g n o f t he c r o s s a nd s a y A m e n. D a d hug s m e a nd s a y s g o o d n i g ht d o n t s t a y up t o o l o n g t he n he r i s e s a nd s l i p s o ut t he d o o r I t s t o ug h t o k e e p m y e y e s o p e n a nd I c a n b a r e l y s e e I s t a c k t he c a r d s i n t he A d i d a s b o x a nd s l i d e i t b a c k und e r t he b e d I r e a c h up t o t ur n o f f t he l a m p a nd t he l i z a r d w hi c h ha d c r e p t o ut f r o m b e h i nd t he d r e s s e r a s I w a s r e a d i ng s c u r r i e s t o i t s hi d i ng s p o t a g a i n. * T hur s d a y a f t e r s c ho o l M a r i a na c o m e s b a c k t o M r P a t e l l o s w i t h m e a nd D a d s o s he a n d I c a n s p e nd m y l a s t d a y he r e t o g e t he r Y e s t e r d a y m o r ni ng o n t he b us I t o l d he r I d b e m o v i ng b a c k t o C hi c a g o o n F r i d a y S he d i d n t s a y a ny t hi ng S he t ur ne d he r he a d t o t he w i nd o w s o I c o ul d n t s e e he r f a c e a nd I t ho ug ht s he m i g ht b e t r y i ng no t t o c r y I w a s g o i n g t o a s k i f s he w a s a l r i g ht b ut t he n s he s a i d W e r e

PAGE 29

26 m o v i ng t o o N o t unt i l s u m m e r b ut w e a r e m o v i ng T o M i a m i W e l l l i v e w i t h m y a unt a nd m y c o u s i ns S he g l a nc e d d o w n a t he r s ho e s t he n up a t m e I l l m i s s y o u, s h e s a i d T he t hr e e o f us g e t b a c k t o M r P a t e l l o s a n d D a d a s k s M a r i a na a nd I i f w e w a nt a n a f t e r s c ho o l s na c k o r d o w e no t w a nt c hi c k e n nug g e t s ? I v e t o l d D a d ho w M a r i a na a nd I t hi nk t he y r e t h e b e s t ho t l unc h. W he n s c h o o l p ut s o ut t he m o nt hl y l unc h s c he d ul e s w e a l w a y s l o o k f o r t he c hi c k e n nug g e t d a y s D a d s t r y i ng t o m a k e t hi s a f t e r no o n s p e c i a l a nd a s he t ur ns o n t he o v e n a nd p ul l s t he c h i c k e n nug g e t s o ut o f t he f r e e z e r I f e e l p r o ud H e p o ur s us e a c h a c u p o f c he r r y K o o l A i d S o r r y M a r y A nna he s a y s g i v i ng he r a c up T he r e a i n t a p o und o f s ug a r m i x e d i n t he r e i f t ha t s ho w y o u l i k e i t T ha t s ho w L i t t l e M a n he r e m a k e s i t M a r i a na g i g g l e s a s s he l i f t s t he c up t o he r m o ut h. D a d t ur ns o n t he l i t t l e c o unt e r T V a nd w e w a t c h S p o n g e b o b S q ua r e P a nt s W e l a ug h a t S p o n g e b o b a nd S q ui d w a r d a nd G a r y t he S na i l a nd D a d w o nd e r s o ut l o ud w hy c a r t o o ns a r e n t a s f unny no w a d a y s a s t he y us e d t o b e M a r i a na a nd I no w w e a r i ng b r i g ht r e d K o o l A i d m u s t a c he s a r g ue l o u d l y D a d t e a s e s us unt i l w e g e t hi m t o w a t c h S p o ng e b o b a nd t he n he s t a r t s l a ug hi ng t o o B e f o r e t he e p i s o d e e nd s w e v e e a c h ha d a f e w c up s o f K o o l A i d a nd t he c hi c k e n nug g e t s

PAGE 30

27 a r e r e a d y D a d t a k e s t he m o ut o f t he o v e n a nd p ut s t he m o n p l a t e s T he y r e g o o d t ho ug h no t q u i t e t he s a m e a s t he s c ho o l s M a r i a na s e e m s t o l i k e t he m t ho ug h s he e a t s a s m a ny a s I d o M r P a t e l l o c o m e s i n f r o m t he g a r a g e a nd t e l l s D a d he j us t g o t a c a l l f o r a d e l i v e r y F o r F r a nc o na he s a y s t a l k i ng o v e r t he T V D a d f r o w ns H e p i c k s up t he r e m o t e c o nt r o l a nd t ur ns t he v o l um e d o w n. T ha t s o n t he o t he r s i d e o f t o w n, he s a y s C a n i t w a i t t i l l a f t e r e i g ht ? I t o l d M a r y A nna s m o t he r I d ha v e he r b a c k a t e i g ht M r P a t e l l o no t i c e s M a r i a na H e s m i l e s a n d w a v e s H i t he r e h e s a y s i n hi s b ud d y b ud d y v o i c e H e t ur ns t o D a d I t w o ul d b e b e s t i f y o u g e t i t t o hi m no w he s o und s c r a nk y I c a n w a t c h t he k i d s D a d s hr ug s S o r r y k i d s he s a y s I g o t t a w o r k M r P a t e l l o w i l l w a t c h y o u g uy s t i l l I g e t b a c k L i s t e n t o hi m a l r i g ht ? H e g e t s up a nd t a k e s hi s b a c k p a c k o f f t he c o unt e r H e p ul l s h i s f l a nne l o ut o f t he b a c k p a c k a nd p ut s i t o n. T he y l l b e f i ne R i t c hi e M r P a t e l l o s a y s T ha nk s f o r d o i n g t hi s I l l g o o ut b a c k a nd g e t i t I l l m e e t y o u o ut f r o nt H e t e l l s M a r i a na a nd m e t ha t he l l b e i n t he g a r a g e i f w e ne e d a ny t hi n g D a d t a k e s a w a t e r b o t t l e f r o m t he c up b o a r d f i l l s i t a t t he f a uc e t a nd t uc k s i t i nt o a w e b b e d p o c k e t o n t he o ut s i d e o f t he b a c k p a c k I r e a l l y a m s o r r y g uy s he s a y s I l l b e b a c k t o m a k e us s o m e s u p p e r

PAGE 31

28 H e s c r e w s t he c a p o n t he b o t t l e a nd t ur ns t o us O r s ho ul d I j us t p i c k s o m e t hi ng u p f o r us ? W ha t d o y o u g uy s w a nt ? P i z z a ? C he e s e b ur g e r s ? P i z z a w e s ho ut W e d o n t e v e n ha v e t o l o o k a t e a c h o t he r D a d a s k s us w ha t w e w a nt o n o ur p i z z a p ut s o n hi s b a c k p a c k a nd s a y s b y e S o r r y m y d a d c a n t s a y y o ur na m e r i g ht I s a y O h, i t s o k a y M a r i a na s a y s I t hi nk i t s c ut e Y o u t hi nk m y d a d s c ut e ? I a s k I d o no t Y o u r e s t r a ng e S hut up S he s i p s he r K o o l A i d S he l o o k s a t m e o v e r t he c up he r d a r k e y e s f l a s hi ng a nd I q u i c k l y g l a nc e a w a y a t t he T V A no t he r e p i s o d e o f S p o n g e b o b c o m e s o n, a nd M a r i a na s i t s t he r e s w i ng i ng he r l e g s a n d l i c k i ng he r K o o l A i d m u s t a c he T he r e s a c o m m e r c i a l a nd I t hi nk W e c a n t j us t w a t c h T V. I t s o ur l a s t d a y t o g e t he r Y o u k no w t ha t p o nd w e w a l k p a s t o n o u r w a y he r e ? I a s k M a r i a na l o o k s a t m e a nd n o d s T he r e s a hug e g a t o r i n t he r e M r P a t e l l o s a y s i t s t w e l v e f e e t l o ng W e s ho ul d g o s e e i t up c l o s e H o w d o w e g e t t he r e ? T hr o ug h t he f e nc e o ut b a c k I s a y T he r e s a b i g ho l e w e c a n c l i m b t hr o ug h. I d o n t t e l l he r I m no t a l l o w e d t o g o b a c k t he r e

PAGE 32

29 M a r i a na l a ug hs b ut he r e y e s a r e b i g l i k e s he s a l i t t l e s c a r e d I t w o n t e a t us w i l l i t ? N o I s a y M y d a d g o e s b a c k t he r e a l l t he t i m e H e s a y s i t j us t s i t s i n t he w a t e r M a r i a na no d s a nd he r b l a c k ha i r s l i p s up a nd d o w n he r s ho ul d e r s O k a y s he s a y s W e s l i d e o f f o ur c ha i r s a nd I l e a d t he w a y i nt o t he g a r a g e M a r i a na s t a nd s b e hi nd m e a nd g a z e s a r o und a t t he he a p s o f b i k e s M r P a t e l l o s t a nd s w i t h a c i g a r e t t e ha ng i ng f r o m t he c o r ne r o f hi s m o u t h a nd s t a r e s a t a n o l d y e l l o w S c hw i nn s e t up s i d e d o w n o n i t s s e a t a nd ha nd l e b a r s B l a c k g r e a s e s t r e a k s hi s a r m s W ha t s up ? he s a y s W e r e g o nna hunt t r e e f r o g s o ut b a c k I s a y A l r i g ht he s a y s H e p us he s a p e d a l a nd w a t c he s t he b a c k w he e l s p i n. L e a v e a f e w T he y e a t t he m o s q ui t o e s M a r i a na f o l l o w s m e t o t he b a c k y a r d a nd I t a k e us d o w n t he p a t h t o t he ho l e i n t he f e nc e W e p us h t hr o ug h b us he s a n d t he y s c r a t c h us w i t h t he i r b r a nc he s H o w f a r ? M a r i a na a s k s N o t f a r I s a y I ho p e t he g a t o r s o u t I t hi nk I v e o nl y s e e n i t f r o m f a r a w a y f r o m o ut s i d e t he f e nc e a l o ng 1 3 1 s t S t r e e t A nd o nl y i t s e y e s a nd no s e w e r e v i s i b l e b a r e l y o ut o f t he w a t e r

PAGE 33

30 W e c o m e t o t he f e nc e a nd I s l i p t ho ug h i t f i r s t t ur ni ng s i d e w a y s s o m y s hi r t d o e s n t s na g a nd M a r i a na f o l l o w s B r a nc he s a n d b us h e s p us h o v e r i nt o t he t r a i l t r a m p l e d i n t he l o ng g r a s s a n d a s w e w a l k d o w n t he p a t h l i t t l e l i z a r d s r un i n t o t he w e e d s J us t a r o und t ha t t ur n, I s a y p o i nt i n g a he a d a nd w e l l b e a b l e t o s e e t he p o n d W e p a s s M r P a t e l l o s s ha c k w hi c h i s s m a l l a nd m a d e o ut o f s he e t m e t a l I t l o o k s l i k e a f o r t k i d s w o u l d b ui l d A l l s o r t s o f e m p t y p l a s t i c b o t t l e s l i e a r o und a n d t he r e s t ha t s ha r p a w f ul s m e l l W ha t s t ha t ? M a r i a na a s k s p o i n t i ng M r P a t e l l o s s ha c k I s a y S he s c r unc he s he r no s e I t s t i nk s W e w a l k a r o und a no t he r c ur v e i n t he p a t h a nd c o m e t o a l i t t l e g r a s s y a r e a b y t he p o nd w hi c h l o o k s s o m uc h b i g g e r c l o s e up W e w a l k o ut o n a b i g c e m e nt d r a i na g e p i p e t ha t s t i c k s o ut i nt o t he w a t e r T he r e s r o o m e no ug h f o r t he b o t h o f us t o b a l a nc e a nd w e l o o k o u t o v e r t he p o nd e x p e c t i ng t o s e e t he g a t o r a ny m o m e nt B ut i t s no t a ny w he r e i n t he m i d d l e a nd no t a l o ng t he s ho r e I s t he g a t o r a l w a y s t hi s ha r d t o s e e ? M a r i a na a s k s I v e o nl y s e e n i t a f e w t i m e s I s a y I t s o ut t he r e w e j us t c a n t s e e i t S he l o o k s o v e r he r s ho ul d e r a t t he g r a s s b e hi nd u s D o g a t o r s e v e r c o m e o n l a nd ?

PAGE 34

31 I d o n t a ns w e r b e c a us e I d o n t k n o w a nd i t g e t s s o q u i e t t ha t f r o m t he d i s t a nc e c o m e t he s o un d s o f c a r s a nd s o m e w he r e f a r a w a y a he a v y t r uc k g r o w l s t o g a i n s p e e d T hr e e t a l l w hi t e b i r d s w a d e a l o n g t he o p p o s i t e s ho r e O ne s e e s s o m e t hi ng a nd s e nd s i t s l o n g b e a k i nt o t he w a t e r l i k e a s p e a r a nd i t c o m e s up w i t h a s h i ny w r i g g l i ng f i s h. I o p e n m y m o ut h t o a s k M a r i a na i f s he s e e s i t b ut b e hi n d us a n a n g r y v o i c e y e l l s o ut I t s D a d D a m m i t M a r k he ho l l e r s I t ur n a nd s e e hi m s t o m p i ng t o w a r d s m e a nd f o r a m o m e nt I s e e hi m l i k e I m l o o k i ng d o w n a t hi m f r o m a hi g h p l a c e l i k e a t r e e o r a s e c o nd s t o r y w i nd o w H i s b l ue f l a nne l s w i ng s l o o s e l y o n h i s b o d y a nd I r e a l i z e ho w m uc h w e i g ht he s l o s t s i nc e w e m o v e d d o w n he r e w e i g ht l o s t b i k i n g a l l d a y e v e r y d a y f o r m o nt hs H e s s ud d e nl y c l o s e a n d I s e e hi s i s f a c e i s r e d H i s v o i c e i s a ng r y I t o l d y o u ne v e r t o c o m e b a c k he r e H e s e t s a f o o t o n t he p i p e a nd g r a b s m e b y t he s hi r t H e y a nk s m e o nt o t he g r a s s a nd t o s s e s m e N o t a s ha r d a s he c a n, b ut e no u g h s o I s t um b l e I f i nd m y b a l a nc e a nd s t a nd t he r e f e e l i ng s m a l l t he ne c k o f m y s hi r t s t r e t c he d o ut s o i t ha ng s o v e r m y s ho ul d e r W ha t t he he l l a r e y o u t hi nk i ng c o m i n g b a c k he r e ? D a d s a y s H e g l a nc e s a t M a r i a na w ho s s t i l l s t a nd i ng o n t he p i p e l o o k i n g d o w n

PAGE 35

32 s o he r e y e s l o o k s hut H e l o o k s b a c k a t m e D i d y o u e v e n t hi nk a b o ut M a r y A nna ? D i d y o u t e l l he r ho w d a ng e r o us i t i s b a c k he r e ? I t o l d he r a b o ut t h e g a t o r I s a y I t s no t a b o ut t he d a m n g a t o r he r o a r s Y o u k no w t ha t H i s e y e s a r e l a r g e a nd t he m us c l e s i n hi s ne c k a r e f l e x e d I w a nt t o t e l l hi m I w a s j us t t r y i ng t o d o s o m e t hi ng f un w i t h M a r i a na s o m e t hi ng a d v e nt ur o us I w a nt t o s a y I k no w I w a s w r o ng I m s o r r y I w a nt t o s a y i t s a l r i g ht w e r e a l l o k a y a r e n t w e B ut I s a y no t hi ng M y t hr o a t s t i g ht I d c r y b ut M a r i a na s he r e a nd I w o n t l e t hi m e m b a r r a s s m e S o r r y M a r y A nna he s a y s N o w l e t s w a l k b a c k M a r k w e t a k i ng M a r y A nna ho m e a nd y o u r e g o i ng r i g ht t o b e d I s t a r t d o w n t he p a t h. M a r i a na s f e e t s w i s h t he g r a s s b e hi nd m e M y e y e s s t i ng a nd I t r y t o k e e p i t i n, b ut a f e w t i m e s m y c he s t he a v e s a nd I t a k e i n a q ui c k b r e a t h, a nd I k no w s he he a r s i t * I w a k e up e a r l y a nd l i e i n t he d a r k M y e y e s f e e l p uf f y l i k e I v e j us t b e e n c r y i ng t ho ug h i t w a s l a s t ni g ht t ha t I c r i e d b e f o r e I w e n t t o s l e e p M y he a d w a s he a v y o n t he p i l l o w a n d I l e t t e a r s l e a k f r o m m y e y e s w hi c h b ur ne d a nd I t ho ug h t a b o ut D a d e m b a r r a s s i ng m e a nd a b o ut M a r i a na s t a nd i ng t he r e a s D a d y e l l e d a t m e a b o ut ho w t o m o r r o w w o u l d b e m y l a s t d a y w i t h M a r i a na a nd I t ho ug ht a b o u t

PAGE 36

33 M o m F o r s o m e r e a s o n, t ha t m o r ni ng s he d i e d I w o k e up e a r l y v e r y e a r l y M y w i nd o w w a s s t i l l b l a c k F r o s t w a s o n t he g l a s s T hr o u g h t he w a l l f r o m m y p a r e nt s b e d r o o m I he a r d s o m e o ne t a l k i n g s o f t l y I g o t o ut o f b e d a n d o p e ne d t he i r d o o r a nd t he b e d s i d e l a m p w a s o n. D a d w a s s i t t i ng u p ho l d i n g M o m w h o l o o k e d l i k e s he w a s a s l e e p b ut w i t h he r m o ut h o p e n, a nd he w a s t a l k i ng o n t he p ho ne H i s v o i c e w a s s ha k y a nd w he n he g l a nc e d up a nd s a w m e he c o ul d n t s p e a k f o r a s e c o nd a n d c l o s e d h i s e y e s H e m o t i o ne d f o r m e t o c o m e t o hi m a n d he w hi s p e r e d M o m s no t w e l l a nd I s a t ne x t t o hi m a nd he l d he r t o o D a d a n d I w a i t i ng i n s i l e nc e f o r t he a m b ul a nc e a nd t he n s i t t i n g t o g e t he r o n t he c o uc h w hi l e t he m e d i c s w o r k e d o n M o m t he m l i f t i ng he r o nt o t he s t r e t c he r t he a m b ul a nc e l e a v i ng l i g ht s f l a s hi n g a nd s i r e ns l o u d i n t he m o r n i ng no w i t a l l s e e m s t o ha v e ha p p e ne d v e r y f a s t A t t he ho s p i t a l D a d a nd I s t a y e d b y M o m a l l d a y b ut s he ne v e r w o k e up T he y ha d f a s t e ne d a c l e a r p l a s t i c m a s k t o he r f a c e a nd a m a c hi ne b y t he b e d m a d e a s m a l l c r us hi ng s o und e v e r y t i m e s he b r e a t he d H e r e y e s w e r e s hut N o t s hut i n s l e e p b ut f a l l e n s hut T ha t ni g ht t he d o c t o r t o o k D a d i nt o t h e ha l l w a y a nd a f e w m i nut e s l a t e r D a d c a m e i n a nd t o l d m e t he y c o ul d n t he l p M o m s he w o u l d ne v e r w a k e up a nd he p ut hi s a r m a r o und m e H e c r i e d t he n. H e w a s q ui e t a nd l e t t he t e a r s r o l l d o w n h i s f a c e T ha t s ho w a m a n s h o ul d c r y Q ui e t l y

PAGE 37

34 W e s a t b y he r b e d f o r a n ho ur a n d t o l d he r ho w m uc h w e l o v e d he r a nd a l l t he t hi ng s w e l o v e d a b o ut he r t he n D a d w e nt o ut a nd c a m e b a c k i n w i t h t he d o c t o r a nd t w o nur s e s F a t he r H e nne s s y w ho d s a t w i t h us m o s t o f t he d a y s a i d a p r a y e r w e t h e n r e p e a t e d a nd a nur s e t ur ne d o f f t he m a c hi ne M o m s t a y e d s t i l l e y e s c l o s e d L a s t ni g ht a s I l a y o n m y b e d i n t he d a r k r e m e m b e r i ng a l l t hi s D a d o p e ne d m y b e d r o o m d o o r a n d I f e l t a l i t t l e b a nd o f l i g ht f a l l a c r o s s m y he a d a nd he w hi s p e r e d m y n a m e I d i d n t a ns w e r hi m I p r e t e nd e d t o s l e e p a nd he c l o s e d t he d o o r D a d k no c k s s o f t l y m y b e d r o o m d o o r a nd s a y s t o c o m e e a t b r e a k f a s t I d r a g m y s e l f i nt o t he k i t c he n a nd p o ur a b o w l o f C he e r i o s a nd a g l a s s o f o r a ng e j ui c e D a d j o k e s t ha t I l o o k l i k e a z o m b i e w ho j us t c r a w l e d o ut o f t he g r a v e I i g no r e hi m a nd a c t t o o t i r e d t o l a ug h, b ut r i g ht a w a y I w i s h I ha d b e c a us e D a d d o e s n t s a y a n y t hi ng e l s e a nd w e e a t o ur c e r e a l i n s i l e nc e Y e s t e r d a y a f t e r D a d f o und us M a r i a na a nd I s a t i n t he b a c k y a r d a nd w a i t e d f o r d i nne r p i z z a D a d ha d o r d e r e d f r o m B r uno s S he t r i e d t o c he e r m e up b y t e l l i ng m e f un ny s t o r i e s a b o ut t i m e s s he d g o t t e n i n t r o ub l e I w a s n t ha p p y b ut I a c t e d l i k e I w a s a n d s m i l e d b e c a us e I d i d n t w a nt t o r ui n o ur l a s t ni g ht t o g e t he r A f t e r w e w a l k e d he r ho m e D a d a nd I w e r e o n o ur w a y b a c k a nd he l o o k e d l i k e he w a nt e d t o s a y

PAGE 38

35 s o m e t hi ng b ut c o ul d n t H e f i na l l y t o l d m e h i s b i k e ha d g o t t e n a f l a t t i r e o n hi s w a y t o m a k e t he d e l i v e r y a nd he j us t d e c i d e d t o m a k e i t t o m o r r o w a nd w a l k e d hi s b i k e ho m e T ha t s w hy he d c o m e b a c k s o e a r l y a nd c a ug ht us I c o u l d t e l l h e s t i l l ha d n t s a i d w ha t he w a nt e d t o s a y a nd w e w a l k e d t he r e s t o f t h e w a y ho m e i n s i l e nc e H e s q u i e t l i k e t ha t no w a s he f i ni s he s h i s c e r e a l a nd p u s he s hi s c ha i r a w a y f r o m t he t a b l e a nd t ur ns o n t he T V T he w e a t he r m a n s a y s i t s c o l d o ut t he r e D a d s a y s B r i ng a s w e a t s hi r t I f i ni s h m y c e r e a l a nd s e t m y b o w l i n t he s i nk a nd i n m y r o o m a s I s e a r c h m y d r e s s e r d r a w e r s f o r m y s w e a t s hi r t I r e m e m b e r t he d r e a m I ha d l a s t ni g ht D a d a nd I ha d g o t t e n b a c k t o C hi c a g o a n d w e r e w a l k i ng up t he s t a i r s t o o ur o l d a p a r t m e nt T he n M o m o p e ne d t he d o o r S he w a s s m i l i ng a nd he r c he e k s w e r e r o und a nd s m o o t h a nd f l us he d p i nk t he w a y t he y g o t w he n s he w a s he a l t hy a nd w e d b e e n w a l k i ng o n a w hi t e w i nt e r d a y S o m e ho w I k ne w s he w o u l d n t b e t he r e w he n I w o k e up b ut I y e l l e d M o m a nd r a n up t he s t e p s t o he r a ny w a y A f l o c k o f p i g e o ns t o o k o f f f l y i ng i n m y c he s t I w a s s o ha p p y S o ha p p y t e a r s r a n d o w n m y f a c e I hug g e d M o m a nd s q ue e z e d he r s o t i g ht l y m y a r m s hur t B e hi nd m e I f e l t D a d w a s s m i l i ng T he p i g e o ns f l y i ng i n m y c he s t a l l t ur ne d a t o n c e f o r t he s k y t h e w a y t h e y d o w he n y o u r un a t t he m a nd s c a r e t he m B ut y o u r e s o ha p p y y o u r e r unni ng

PAGE 39

36 a nd y o u r e s o ha p p y t o s e e t he m f l y i ng m a y b e b e c a u s e y o u c a n t f l y y o ur s e l f D a d a n d I g e t t he b i k e s o ut o f t h e g a r a g e a nd w e r i d e t o t he b us s t o p I t s a c t ua l l y c o l d I c a n s e e m y b r e a t h a nd I m g l a d f o r t he s w e a t e r he r e m i nd e d m e t o b r i ng A c r o w d o f k i d s s t a nd s t he r e w a i t i ng a nd I s e e M a r i a na I g i v e D a d t he ha nd l e b a r o f m y b i k e t e l l hi m t o ha v e a g o o d d a y a nd w a l k o v e r t o he r S he s m i l e s a nd w a v e s j um p i ng u p a nd d o w n a f e w t i m e s T hi s i s m y l a s t d a y a t M ul l e r G r a d e S c ho o l * J us t t hi s l a s t d e l i v e r y M r P a t e l l o t e l l s D a d F o r C hr i s t s s a k e i t s o n y o ur w a y t o t he b us a ny w a y D a d w a nt s t o l e a v e i n t w e nt y m i n ut e s a nd i s g e t t i ng i m p a t i e nt w i t h M r P a t e l l o w ho s h o und i n g D a d w hi l e w e f i n i s h p a c k i ng H e s t uf f s a f o l d e d p a i r o f b l ue j e a ns i nt o a d uf f l e b a g a nd z i p s i t s hut W e v e p a c k e d a l l o ur t hi ng s i n s u i t c a s e s a nd t r a v e l b a g s a nd p i l e d t he m n e a r t he f r o nt d o o r I m s t i l l m a d a t D a d f o r e m b a r r a s s i n g m e a nd I w a nt t o m o v e a r o und l i k e a s l ug b ut w e ne e d t o g e t m o v i ng a nd a m a n w o ul d n t m e s s t hi ng s up no w N o s a y s D a d I t o l d y o u I m f i ni s he d I d o n t ha v e t i m e H e d i s a p p e a r s i nt o h i s b e d r o o m a nd c o m e s o ut w i t h t he hug e b l ue c o m f o r t e r he a nd M o m us e d t o s l e e p w i t h.

PAGE 40

37 C o m e o n R i t c hi e M r P a t e l l o p ut s a ha nd t o hi s f o r e he a d l i k e i t a c he s Y o u g o t t he t i m e I t s f o r P hi l I t s b i g D a d l a y s t he c o m f o r t e r i n a s ui t c a s e o n t o p o f hi s c l o t he s c l o s e s i t a nd s na p s t he c l a s p s C a n t d o i t D a d s a y s P a y m e s o w e c a n g e t t he he l l o ut o f he r e M r P a t e l l o t a k e s a f e w s t e p s a w a y a nd s w e a r s H e s w e a r s a g a i n a nd t ur ns t o D a d Y o u v e b e e n g o o d t o m e R i t c hi e he s a y s Y o u v e w o r k e d ha r d B ut t hi s i s a b i g d e l i v e r y I v e d o ne a l o t f o r y o u. Y o u g o t t a d o i t D a d s t r a i g ht e ns up a n d l o o k s M r P a t e l l o i n t he f a c e I m g r a t e f ul A l I a m B ut w e ha v e t o b e o n t ha t b us s o o n. P a y m e p l e a s e a nd w e l l b e o n o ur w a y D a m m i t M r P a t e l l o y e l l s I t s p r a c t i c a l l y o n y o ur w a y H i s f a c e i s r e d a nd v e i ns b ul g e o n hi s ne c k H e us e s b o t h ha nd s t o s m o o t h hi s ha i r b a c k I w o n t p a y y o u i f y o u d o n t m a k e t hi s d e l i v e r y D a d l o o k s d e a d i nt o M r P a t e l l o s e y e s T he y g l a r e a t e a c h o t he r b ut D a d t ur ns a w a y f i r s t H e b e nd s d o w n a nd s na p s a n o t he r s ui t c a s e s hut O k a y he s a y s G i v e i t t o m e I l l d r o p i t o f f o n o ur w a y t o t he b us D a d s a y s l o o k i ng M r P a t e l l o r i g ht i n t he e y e i f y o u g i v e m e t he m o ne y no w

PAGE 41

38 M r P a t e l l o r e t ur ns D a d s s t a r e b l i nk s b e f o r e D a d d o e s a nd l o o k s a w a y O k a y R i t c hi e M r P a t e l l o s a y s A l r i g ht Y o u g o t i t A nd he w a l k s o ut t he b a c k d o o r D a d g l a nc e s a t m e H e s b l us h i ng b ut no t l i k e he s m a d o r e m b a r r a s s e d H e j us t w a nt s t o g o H e l o o k s up a t t he c e i l i n g s t r e t c hi ng hi s ne c k G o c he c k y o ur r o o m L i t t l e M a n, he s a y s M a k e s ur e y o u g o t e v e r y t hi ng B e f a s t I r un t o m y r o o m a nd l o o k a r o und q ui c k l y I c he c k und e r t he b e d a nd t ha nk G o d I d o b e c a us e m y b a s e b a l l b a t s t he r e l y i ng i n t he d us t W ho k no w s h o w l o ng i t w o u l d ha v e s t a y e d t he r e i f I d f o r g o t t e n i t ? I d i g m y ha nd a r o und i n m y p o c k e t t o m a k e s ur e I ha v e n t l o s t t he r o s a r y w i t h w o o d e n b e a d s t ha t M a r i a na g a v e m e t hi s m o r ni n g a s a g o i n g a w a y p r e s e nt I t w a s a s p e c i a l r o s a r y o ne f r o m M e x i c o S he a l s o g a v e m e a W hi t e S o x no t e b o o k w i t h he r a d d r e s s a nd he r p ho n e num b e r a nd he r m o m s e m a i l a d d r e s s w r i t t e n i n t he c o v e r I f e e l b a d I d i d n t g e t a g o i n g a w a y p r e s e nt f o r he r b ut I p r o m i s e d he r I w i l l w he n I g e t t o C hi c a g o a nd I l l m a i l i t t o he r T hi s a f t e r no o n, w he n M a r i a na a nd I g o t o ut o f t he s c ho o l b us D a d w a s t he r e a s us ua l w a i t i ng w i t h m y b i k e a nd he w a s t a l k i ng w i t h M a r i a na s m o m T he y w e r e t a l k i ng i n t ha t e a s y w a y a d ul t s d o e v e n w he n t he y d o n t k no w e a c h o t he r v e r y w e l l a nd I w o nd e r e d ho w n i c e i t w o ul d b e t o ha v e M a r i a na s m o t he r a s a m o m S he s v e r y p r e t t y a nd

PAGE 42

39 k i nd a nd I k no w M a r i a na d o e s n t ha v e a f a t he r W he n w e w e r e s a y i ng o ur g o o d b y e s a t t he b us s t o p M a r i a na s m o t he r s m i l e d a t m e a n d b e nt d o w n t o hug m e H e r a r m s w e i g he d s o f t o n m y s ho u l d e r s a n d he r c he e k p r e s s e d a g a i ns t m y ne c k a nd m a d e i t t i ng l e T he ne c k o f he r s hi r t c a m e d o w n a nd s h o w e d t he s m o o t h s ha d o w y s p a c e b e t w e e n he r b r e a s t s I q ui c k l y l o o k e d up a n d m y e y e l a s he s t a ng l e d i n he r ha i r E v e n a f t e r s he l e t g o o f m e a n d s t o o d up he r p e r f um e s t a y e d i n m y l ung s f o r a f e w b r e a t hs S he k i s s e d m e o n t he t o p o f m y he a d a nd s a i d i n he r p r e t t y a c c e nt T ha n k y o u, M a r k T ha n k s f o r b e i ng m y d a ug ht e r s f r i e nd M a r i a na a nd I hug g e d a n d s he a d d e d a k i s s o n m y c he e k I w a s a l m o s t s ur p r i s e d m y f a c e d i d n t g o r e d I j us t s m i l e d b a c k a t he r i n w a y t ha t f e l t b e t t e r t ha n s a y i ng t ha nk y o u. I ha v e t o s e e he r a g a i n. I hur r y b a c k t o t he f r o nt d o o r w he r e M r P a t e l l o s ha nd i ng D a d a n e nv e l o p e a nd t he g r a y d e l i v e r y b a c k p a c k D a d o p e ns t he e nv e l o p e f l a p a nd m o r e m o n e y t ha n I v e e v e r s e e n b ul g e s o ut H e c l o s e s t h e e nv e l o p e a nd s t uf f s i t i n hi s j e a ns P i c k up a s m uc h o f t hi s l ug g a g e a s y o u c a n, L i t t l e M a n, he s a y s I l l c a r r y t he r e s t I p ut o n m y b a c k p a c k ha ng a d u f f l e b a g o n m y l e f t s h o ul d e r a nd m y g y m b a g o n m y r i g ht p i c k up t he s m a l l e r s ui t c a s e w i t h o ne ha nd a nd ho l d m y b a t i n t he o t he r D a d g e t s t he r e s t w hi c h i s a l o t I a s k

PAGE 43

40 hi m i f he w a nt s m e t o c a r r y a ny t hi ng e l s e N o he s a y s y o u r e c a r r y i ng e no ug h. M r P a t e l l o o p e ns t he d o o r f o r us H a v e a g o o d t r i p y o u g uy s he s a y s H i s ne c k i s s t i l l r e d b ut he s s m i l i n g H e d o e s n t s a y C a l l m e w he n y o u g e t t he r e o r a ny t hi ng l i k e t ha t H e l o o k s d o w n a t m e K e e p s l ug g i n L i t t l e M a n. I w i l l I s a y T ha nk s f o r ha v i ng us H e l o o k s b a c k up a t D a d I l l b e c a l l i ng P h i l t o m a k e s ur e e v e r y t hi ng g e t s t he r e o k a y A l i s a l l D a d s a y s H e no d s a n d w a l k s o ut s i d e I f o l l o w a nd b e hi nd m e t he d o o r s l a p s s hut W e i g he d d o w n w i t h a l l t he b a g s a nd s ui t c a s e s D a d s b o o t s c r unc h t he g r a v e l a nd l i t t l e r o c k s p o p un d e r hi s f e e t C a n y o u c a r r y i t a l l ? he a s k s Y e a h, I s a y I s e t d o w n t he s ui t c a s e t o g e t a b e t t e r g r i p o n t he ha nd l e t he n hur r y t o c a t c h up W e w a l k d o w n t he c ur v e o f t he d r i v e w a y t o a p o i nt w he r e t he t r e e s a nd b us he s hi d e M r P a t e l l o s p l a c e b e hi nd u s a nd F l e t c he r A v e nue i n f r o nt o f us a nd D a d s t o p s H e l e t s a l l t he l ug g a g e d r o p t o t he g r o und a nd he s l i p s t he g r a y b a c k p a c k o f f h i s s h o ul d e r s H e ho l d s i t i n hi s r i g ht ha nd a n d s m i l e s a t m e F uc k t a k i ng c ha nc e s L i t t l e M a n, he s a y s W e g o t o ur m o ne y H e he a v e s t he b a c k p a c k i nt o t he

PAGE 44

41 b us he s a nd i t d i s a p p e a r s i n a l l t ha t g r e e n. F o r s o m e r e a s o n D a d s s w e a r i ng i s r e a l l y f unny a nd w e l a ug h d o w n F l e t c he r t ur n d o w n 2 2 n d S t r e e t a g a i n o n 1 3 1 s t a nd he a d d o w n t o t he c o r ne r w he r e w e l l c a t c h t he b us t o t he G r e y ho und s t a t i o n. D a d p l a y p unc he s m e i n t he s ho ul d e r a nd a s k s m e ho w t he b i g k i s s f r o m M a r i a na w a s N o w I b l us h, b ut I s m i l e t o o I t s t he f i r s t t i m e w e v e l a ug he d t o g e t he r i n o v e r a d a y w hi c h i s s i l l y t o t hi nk o f a s b e i ng a r e a l l y l o ng t i m e b ut i t w a s S up p e r t i m e s unl i g ht f l a s he s o n t h e l i ne s o f w hi z z i ng c a r s a nd I c a n f e e l t he he a t r i s i ng f r o m t he c e m e nt T he b l a c k b i r d s ha v e s t a r t e d s w a r m i ng t o t he p o w e r l i ne s a g a i n, a nd w a y up i n t he s k y t he r e s a f l o c k o f g e e s e f l y i ng i n v f o r m a t i o n. A t L o ur d e s w e l e a r ne d ho w t he s t r o ng e s t g o o s e a l w a y s f l i e s i n f r o nt a nd ne v e r p ul l s a w a y f r o m t h e o t he r s T he s e g e e s e ha v e f l o w n d o w n he r e f r o m s o m e w he r e f a r no r t h, m a y b e f a r t he r no r t h t ha n C hi c a g o m a y b e e v e n f r o m C hi c a g o i t s e l f I t c o ul d b e s e e i ng t he m f e e l s l i k e g e t t i ng a he l l o

PAGE 45

42 C l o s e d D o n c a l l e d m e y e s t e r d a y w hi l e I w a s s t uc k i n r us h ho ur t r a f f i c o n I 2 7 5 i n T a m p a H e c a l l s m e e v e r y t i m e s o m e t hi n g ha p p e ns i n D e P e r e t he s m a l l W i s c o n s i n t o w n w he r e w e g r e w up p l a y i ng t a c k l e f o o t b a l l i n s no w a nd f i s h i ng w a l l e y e s o ut o f t he F o x R i v e r o n s t i c k y s um m e r ni g ht s D o n s ne w s t hi s t i m e : J a y G a r r i t s w a s k i l l e d i n I r a q I d i d n t e v e n k no w he w a s o v e r t he r e I s a i d I t o o k m y ha nd o f f t he w he e l a nd r ub b e d m y b r o w S un ha m m e r e d o f f t he c a r a he a d o f m e W ha t ha p p e ne d ? H e w a s o n p a t r o l i n B a g h d a d D o n s a i d M i d d l e o f t he d a y S ni p e r s o p e ne d f i r e a nd J a y w a s s ho t i n t he s t o m a c h. H e b l e d t o d e a t h. U nb e l i e v a b l e T he c a r a he a d o f m e r o l l e d t w o f e e t f o r w a r d I l e t m i ne i nc h u p A he a d t he s k y s t r e t c h e d t o a s unny ha z e b ut i n t he r e a r v i e w m i r r o r hi g h c l o ud s w e r e c o m i ng i n l i k e c r um b l i n g w hi t e f o r t r e s s e s

PAGE 46

43 Y e a h, m i d d l e o f t he d a y D o n s a i d H e s t he f i r s t o f o ur hi g h s c ho o l c l a s s t o d i e I s ho o k m y he a d S a d a c h i e v e m e nt I r e m e m b e r e d w he n w e w e r e t e n a nd a f t e r s c ho o l a l l t he b o y s i n o ur c l a s s p l a y e d f o o t b a l l i n t he f i e l d a t L e g i o n P a r k t he ne a r b y g r o v e o f o a k s t i ng e d c i nna m o n i n t he a ut um n a i r a nd I r e m e m b e r e d ho w J a y r a n t he f a s t e s t a nd hi t t he ha r d e s t A nd w he n he ha d t he b a l l he c o ul d n t b e t a c k l e d t hr e e o f us w o ul d ha n g o n hi m a t o nc e s t r a i ni ng t o p ul l hi m d o w n, b ut he k e p t hi s b a l a nc e a n d p um p e d hi s l e g s unt i l he b r o k e f r e e a nd r a c e d a w a y d o w nf i e l d N o w he w a s t he f i r s t o f us t o d i e H e d b e e n t he f i r s t t o d o e v e r y t hi ng F i r s t t o s m o k e a c i g a r e t t e a n d f i r s t t o g e t d r unk F i r s t t o s ho o t a d e e r a n e i g ht p o i nt e r a nd t he f i r s t o f us t o p l a y v a r s i t y f o o t b a l l und e r t he l i g ht s F r o m t he s t a nd s w e w a t c he d hi m r un t hr o ug h w a r m up s w i t h t he b i g g e r up p e r c l a s s m e n, hi s w h i t e uni f o r m g l e a m i n g i n t he c h i l l e d b l a c k ni g ht A nd J a y w a s t he f i r s t o f us t o ha v e s e x F r e s hm a n y e a r o f hi g h s c ho o l he s l e p t w i t h M a g g i e W i l c o x c r o w ne d M a y Q ue e n t h e p r e v i o us s p r i ng M a g g i e w e a l l l o v e d d ur i n g j uni o r hi g h i n t ha t s e c r e t b o y i s h w a y S he d g o ne o n t o t he C a t ho l i c h i g h s c ho o l w hi l e t he r e s t o f us w e nt t o t he p ub l i c o ne b ut J a y d a t e d he r i nt o f r e s hm a n y e a r O ne ni g ht a f t e r a p a r t y he b r o ug ht he r b a c k t o hi s d a d s p l a c e b e h i nd A r t a nd E r m a s T a v e r n. H i s

PAGE 47

44 d a d w a s e l k hunt i ng i n C o l o r a d o a nd J a y d i d w ha t w e a l l p r a y e d w e d g e t t o d o e v e r y t i m e o ur p a r e nt s l e f t f o r a f e w d a y s H e w e nt a l l t he w a y w i t h M a g g i e r i g ht o n t he d r a b o l i v e c o uc h w he r e t he ne x t a f t e r no o n D o n a nd I s a t a s J a y t o l d u s hi s t a l e W e l e a ne d f o r w a r d a nd l i s t e ne d t o hi m a s t ho ug h he w e r e a n e x p l o r e r j us t r e t ur ne d f r o m s o m e p l a c e o f f a b l e I w a nt e d m y e y e s t o s hi ne l i k e J a y s w i t h t ha t e x c i t e m e nt ; a nd hi s s m i l e s o c ha r m i n g i t c ha r m e d t e a c he r s e v e n a s t he y s c o l d e d a n d w a s c e r t a i nl y w ha t M a g g i e s a w w he n s he s a i d t o he r s e l f Y e s H i s d a d e x p e c t s t he b o d y b a c k he r e e a r l y n e x t w e e k D o n s a i d T he f une r a l s t he f o l l o w i ng S a t ur d a y T he c a r a he a d r o l l e d f o r w a r d a nd s t o p p e d I t s b um p e r f l a s he d i n t he s un. I p us he d t he b r a k e a l i t t l e ha r d e r I l l b e t he r e I s a i d L e t s g o t o g e t he r W e e x c ha ng e d g o o d b y e s a nd I t o s s e d m y p ho ne o nt o t he p a s s e ng e r s e a t I r e c a l l e d J a y s f a c e w he n he t o l d us a b o ut m a k i n g l o v e t o M a g g i e hi s c he e k s f l us he d l i k e he d j us t c o m e i n f r o m a b l i z z a r d hi s b l ue e y e s s m o k y a nd b r i g ht a nd I ho p e d h i s c a s k e t w o ul d b e c l o s e d

PAGE 48

45 A n H o ur o f L i g ht G e ne r a l P a t t o n, t h e p r i s o n l i b r a r i a n, v i s i t e d m e i n t he i nf i r m a r y a f t e r m y f i g ht w i t h T e r r e nc e I t o l d G e ne r a l P a t t o n t he y d b e t hr o w i ng m e i nt o s o l i t a r y a nd he f r o w ne d a nd s ho o k hi s s n o w y he a d H i s p i t y s ur p r i s e d m e he s a ha r d m a n, d o i n g t i m e f o r s ho o t i n g hi s w i f e a nd he r l o v e r t he d a y h e r e t ur ne d f r o m t he G ul f a nd f o und t he m f u c k i n g i n hi s b e d H e l o o k e d u p a t m e a nd s a i d Y o u k no w w ha t t he y r e d o i ng t o y o u, M i t c h? T he y r e c r a m m i ng G o l i a t h i nt o a f u c k i ng s h o e b o x N o w I m i n t he c e l l I t h i nk i t w o u l d b e a s ho e b o x f o r a m a n ha l f m y s i z e I c a n s t a nd i n t he c e nt e r s p r e a d m y a r m s a nd t o uc h t he o p p o s i t e w a l l s a t t he s a m e t i m e T he d o o r i s m e t a l e i g ht i n c he s t hi c k a nd no t e v e n l i g ht g e t s t hr o ug h t he c r a c k b e ne a t h i t N o l i g ht a t a l l i n t hi s c e l l j us t d a r k ne s s I c o ul d b e a m i l e und e r g r o und T ha t s w hy t he y c a l l i t t he ho l e

PAGE 49

46 T he y t hr e w m e i n t he ho l e f o r t hi r t y d a y s I ha v e no i d e a ho w m uc h t i m e I ha v e l e f t Y o u d t hi n k I w o ul d a n d t ha t I w o ul d r e m e m b e r ho w m a ny t i m e s I v e g o t t e n t o s h uf f l e a r o und i n t he d u s t o f t he p r i s o n y a r d f o r m y d a i l y f r e e ho ur t ha t I w o ul d ha v e b e e n a b l e t o k e e p t r a c k o f t he d a y s b ut I ha v e n t M a y b e t he r e w a s a t i m e w he n I p l a nne d o n c o unt i ng m a y b e a s t he y w e r e ha ul i ng m e i n he r e I v e l o ng s i nc e f o r g o t t e n o r c a r e d I j us t w a nt o ut Y o u l o s e y o ur s e ns e o f t i m e d ur i n g t he f i r s t t w e nt y t h r e e ho ur s Y o u r e i n t he d a r k d o i ng p u s h up s j o g g i n g i n p l a c e s i ng i ng t hi nk i ng o f w o m e n a n d f uc k i ng w a i t i ng s l e e p i ng w a k i ng a n d w a i t i n g a g a i n a nd y o u t hi nk t ha t f i f t e e n ho ur s p a s s e d Y o u d o m o r e p us h up s a n d r un ha r d e r t i l l y o u r e s o a k e d i n s w e a t t he n y o u l a y d o w n t o s l e e p Y o u s hi v e r a s y o ur b o d y c o o l s d o w n a nd y o ur w e t c o v e r a l l s g e t c o l d Y o u t hi nk t e n m o r e ho ur s m us t ha v e p a s s e d b ut t he g ua r d s s t i l l ha v e n t o p e ne d t h e d o o r H a v e t he y f o r g o t t e n y o u? A r e t he y f uc k i ng w i t h y o u? Y o u c r y c r y a nd f a l l s i l e nt B ut y o u c a n t s l e e p Y o u w a i t B l a nk a s t he d a r k T he n, s o m e t i m e a s l i t o f y e l l o w l i g ht a p p e a r s i n t he d a r k A t r a y c o m e s s l i d i n g t hr o ug h t he s l o t p us he d b y a n uns e e n ha nd a nd i s f o l l o w e d b y a t o ne l e s s v o i c e : M e a l T he y d o n t e v e n s a y b r e a k f a s t o r l unc h o r d i nne r T he y d o n t w a nt y o u t o k no w t he t i m e T ho s e f i r s t f e w d a y s i n t he d a r k I s a ng a nd s a ng I s a n g e v e r y t hi ng I k ne w N i ne I nc h N a i l s t o C a t S t e v e ns A n y t hi ng F i r s t

PAGE 50

47 s o ng s t ha t r e m i nd e d m e o f p e o p l e a nd p l a c e s a nd d o i n g c e r t a i n t hi ng s ; t he s o ng s w e p l a y e d b e f o r e o ur f o o t b a l l g a m e s i n h i g h s c ho o l a nd t ho s e w e p l a y e d b e f o r e g a m e s a n d d ur i ng p a r t i e s m y o nl y y e a r a t W i s c o ns i n M a d i s o n. S w e e t B a b y J a m e s w hi c h I d m e m o r i z e d w h e n I w a s t w o a nd m y p a r e nt s ha d m e s i ng f o r t he i r f r i e nd s A nd t he n I s a ng a ny t hi ng I c o ul d r e m e m b e r a ny t hi ng a t a l l E v e n s o ng s I ha t e d M y v o i c e ha d t o f i l l t he d a r k A nd t he n I w a s e m p t y N o t a s o n g i ns i d e m e I s a t d o w n a n d w e p t M y w e e p i ng g r e w f i e r c e a nd I r o s e a nd s t r uc k a t t he d a r k I s t r uc k t he s t e e l w a l l s a n d f i r e c r a c k e r s w e nt o f f i n m y f i s t s s t i l l b u s t e d up f r o m m y f i g ht w i t h T e r r e nc e I w e p t t i l l I ha d no m o r e t e a r s M y b r e a t h w a s d r y i n m y t hr o a t l i k e w i nd i n a ne w s p a p e r s t uc k t o t he s t r e e t T he d a r k w a s a b s o r b i ng m e a nd I s a nk t o t he f l o o r T he d a r k w a s he a v y a nd I c o ul d n t b r e a t he I t w a s l i k e t he t i m e I w a s k no c k e d o ut d ur i ng a g a m e i n M a d i s o n. I w a s a f r e s hm a n a nd a l l t he a c t i o n I s a w w a s o n s p e c i a l t e a m s W e k i c k e d o f f a nd o n a d e a d s p r i nt I k no c k e d t he k i c k r e t ur n e r o ut o f hi s c l e a t s a nd t he b a l l c a m e l o o s e I d o v e o n i t a nd a d o z e n p l a y e r s d o v e o n t o p o f m e T he w e i g ht p r e s s e d d o w n o n m e t he b a l l w a s und e r m y s t o m a c h. T he r e w a s a r us hi n g i n m y he a d a nd I c a m e t o w i t h a r e f e r e e t ug g i ng m y s ho ul d e r p a d a nd b l o w i ng h i s w h i s t l e H e t hr e w hi s ha nd o ut a nd y e l l e d D e f e ns e

PAGE 51

48 r e c o v e r s B a d g e r b a l l a nd t he s t a d i um r o a r e d B e i n g i n t he ho l e w a s l i k e ne v e r c o m i ng t o B ut t he n I f o und t he p a p e r c l i p I s a t i n t he c o r ne r f o r I d o n t k no w ho w l o ng I s t r e t c he d m y l e g s a nd f e l t t he f l o o r s o I c o ul d l i e o n m y b e l l y I p ut ha nd d o w n a n d s o m e t hi ng t i ny p r i c k e d m y p a l m I s t r ug g l e d t o p i n c h t he o b j e c t o f f t he f l o o r a nd w he n I d i d I r ub b e d i t a nd f e l t i t w i t h m y f i ng e r t i p s A p a p e r c l i p A m a z i ng S o l o ng I ha d s p e n t i n t hi s t i ny s p a c e a n d I ha d n t c o m e up o n i t s o o ne r H o w ha d i t g o t t e n t he r e ? A w o nd e r I d f o und i t a t a l l A nd i t s t o uc h s o b e r e d m e f r o m d e s p a i r s o m e ho w b y ho l d i n g t hi s o t he r o b j e c t a g a i n I f e l t s o l i d l i k e I ha d m a t e r i a l i z e d S t i l l t r a p p e d b ut s e p a r a t e f r o m t he d a r k a nd v e r y s o l i d V e r y r e a l F i r s t I b e nt a nd t w i s t e d t he p a p e r c l i p i nt o d i f f e r e nt s ha p e s A c o r k s c r e w a r i ng a f i s h i ng ho o k a nd a p e r f e c t l y s t r a i g ht l i ne a s ur p r i s i ng l y d i f f i c u l t t hi ng t o d o B ut no w a l l I d o w i t h t he p a p e r c l i p i s p l a y t he G a m e T he d a r k a l w a y s t hr e a t e ns t o d r o w n m e b ut t he G a m e k e e p s m e b r e a t hi ng T he G a m e i s s i m p l e A l l I d o i s f l i p t he p a p e r c l i p o f f i nt o t he d a r k a s ha r d a s I c a n, t he n I t r y t o f i nd i t A s I s e a r c h, I r o l e p l a y I m i g ht p r e t e nd t he f o o t b a l l s b e e n f um b l e d a n d I d i v e a r o und i n m y c e l l g r a s p i ng a t t he d a r k a s t a r d e f e ns i v e e nd i n t he z a ni e s t s c r a m b l e i n f o o t b a l l hi s t o r y H e l l i t s t he S up e r B o w l a nd i f I r e c o v e r t he b a l l

PAGE 52

49 I m t he he r o b e c a us e m y t e a m s d o w n a t o uc h d o w n a n d w e ne e d t he b a l l b a c k t o s c o r e T he G a m e i s a l l I ne e d t o k e e p f r o m g o i ng c r a z y M y o ne y e a r a t M a d i s o n I ha d a h i s t o r y p r o f e s s o r w ho t o l d o ur c l a s s a b o ut a n A m e r i c a n P O W i n V i e t na m T he y t o r t ur e d hi m b y s t a nd i ng h i m i n f r o nt o f a b l a nk w hi t e w a l l a n d m a k i n g hi m s t a r e a t i t f o r d a y s s t r a i g ht T hi s k i nd o f t o r t ur e b r o k e m a ny s o l d i e r s b ut no t t hi s g uy W hi l e he s t a r e d a t t ha t w a l l he i m a g i ne d t he ho us e he d b ui l d w he n he r e t ur ne d ho m e e v e r y t i l e a nd f l o o r b o a r d e v e r y b r us h s t r o k e a nd ha m m e r s w i ng d o w n t o t he l a s t na i l E i g ht e e n m o nt hs t he y s t o o d hi m i n f r o nt o f t ha t w a l l b e f o r e A m e r i c a n s o l d i e r s s t o r m e d t he c a m p a nd r e s c ue d h i m T he s o l d i e r r e t ur ne d ho m e a nd b ui l t t he ho us e w i t ho ut a b l ue p r i nt A f r i e nd a s k e d hi m h o w he c o u l d b u i l d t he ho us e w i t ho ut l o o k i ng a t a ny p l a ns w ha t s o e v e r a nd t he s o l d i e r s a i d t ha t d ur i ng hi s e nt i r e c a p t i v i t y he ha d n t b e e n l i v i ng i n a p r i s o n c a m p i n t he V i e t na m j ung l e b ut i n t he ho us e he w a s b ui l d i n g no w T he m i nd p r o v i d e s e s c a p e I f y o u c a n l i v e a nd p l a y a r o und i n y o ur he a d y o u w o n t b e a b s o r b e d b y t he b l a nk w hi t e ne s s t he e m p t y d a r k ne s s T he y r ui ne d m y l i f e w he n t he y b us t e d m e T he y t hr e w m e i n p r i s o n t o s e r v e m o r e t i m e t ha n t h e r a p i s t w ho w a s s e nt e nc e d r i g ht

PAGE 53

50 b e f o r e m e I w a s n t k i l l i ng p e o p l e I w a s n t r a p i n g w o m e n. I s o l d d r ug s t o g uy s w ho s o l d t he m t o t he i r f r i e nd s I t w a s f o r p a r t i e s F o r f un. B ut t he y d i d n t r ui n m e f o r g o o d I s t i l l ha v e a ho p e A f e w w e e k s b e f o r e t he y na i l e d m e I hi d s o m e m o ne y A l o t o f m o ne y T he y k ne w i t t o o T he y g r i l l e d m e a nd r o u g he d m e up b ut t he y c o ul d n t m a k e m e t a l k T ha t s w hy t he y p us he d t o g e t t he ha r s he s t s e nt e n c e f o r m e T he y g o t t he j ud g e t o t a c k o n t he e x t r a t w o y e a r s b ut t he y d i d n t g e t m y m o ne y B ut i t s s t i l l hi d d e n o ut t he r e a nd s o m e d a y a w hi l e a f t e r t he y v e f r e e d m e t w o y e a r s m a y b e t hr e e a nd I v e b e e n w o r k i ng s o m e s hi t j o b b e c a us e o f m y r e c o r d I l l g e t t ha t m o ne y a nd f l y s t r a i g ht t o M e x i c o o r T ha i l a nd o r o ne o f t ho s e o t he r p l a c e s w he r e I v e he a r d a n A m e r i c a n w i t h a b i t o f m o ne y c a n l i v e l i k e a k i ng B ut f i r s t I m us t s ur v i v e t he ho l e T ha t i s w hy I ne e d t he p a p e r c l i p * A y e l l o w s l i t o f l i g ht a p p e a r s a nd a t r a y o f f o o d s l i d e s t hr o ug h t he s l o t i n t he d o o r T he r e y o u g o b i g g uy a v o i c e s a y s t hr o ug h t he s l o t S a m e m us hy s hi t I s a y t ha nk y o u a nd t a k e t h e t r a y T he y e l l o w s l i t d i s a p p e a r s a nd a g a i n I m i n t o t a l d a r k T he v o i c e w a s B e nny s B e nny a l w a y s c a l l s m e b i g g uy H e s t he o nl y g ua r d w ho s a y s a ny t hi n g t o m e o t he r t ha n o ne a nd t w o w o r d

PAGE 54

51 o r d e r s Y o u c a n t e l l he s a f o o t b a l l g uy Y o u s e e hi s t hi c k a r m s hi s g ut a nd hi s g o a t e e a nd y o u k no w t ha t o n w e e k e nd s i n f a l l a nd e a r l y w i nt e r he a nd hi s b ud d i e s s i t o n t he c o uc h, d r i nk b e e r a nd w a t c h t he G r e e n B a y P a c k e r s H e k no w s w ho I a m o r r a t he r he k no w s m e a s a no t he r k i d w ho l o s t hi s b i g t i m e f o o t b a l l s c ho l a r s h i p t he n f uc k e d up a nd l a nd e d hi m s e l f i n p r i s o n. M i t c h K r e s s o nc e a d e f e ns i v e e nd f o r t he W i s c o ns i n B a d g e r s no w a j a i l b i r d B e nny s o m e t i m e s e s c o r t s m e o ut s i d e f o r m y ho ur i n t he p r i s o n y a r d a nd he f i l l s m e i n o n e v e r y t hi ng t ha t s ha p p e ni ng i n t h e N F L I a c t l i k e I m i nt e r e s t e d b ut r e a l l y I d o n t g i v e a d a m n a b o ut f o o t b a l l a ny m o r e S o m e t i m e s I w o nd e r i f I e v e r d i d I m g i v e n l i t t l e t i m e t o e a t s o I e a t f a s t C o l d p o t a t o w e d g e s a p p l e s l i c e s g l ue y c hi c k e n s o up I ha v e t o d r i nk f r o m t he b o w l b e c a u s e I m no t a l l o w e d ut e ns i l s T he p o r t i o ns s e e m l a r g e r t ho ug h. B e nny m us t ha v e t o l d t he c o o k s ho w b i g I a m l i k e he s a i d he w o u l d I f i ni s h a nd t he s l o t o p e ns a g a i n. T r a y b i g g uy I p us h t he t r a y t hr o ug h t he s l o t w hi c h t he n d i s a p p e a r s a g a i n d r e nc hi n g m y c e l l i n b l a c k I d o t w o hund r e d p us h up s t he n p l a y T he G a m e I f l i p t he p a p e r c l i p ha r d o v e r m y he a d I t t i nk s o f f t he w a l l s a nd I b e g i n m y s e a r c h, s c r a b b l i n g o n t he f l o o r I m a c o w b o y a w a i t i ng e x e c ut i o n i n a l i g ht l e s s un d e r g r o und c e l l i n a M e x i c a n j a i l s e a r c hi ng t he d us t f o r a ha i r p i n I c a n us e t o p i c k t he l o c k A b e a ut i f u l y o ung

PAGE 55

52 w o m a n w i t h b l a c k ha i r g a v e m e t he ha i r p i n. T he s he r i f f a nd h i s d e p ut i e s b r o k e i nt o o ur ho t e l r o o m a nd t o r e m e f r o m he r a r m s T h e y m a r c he d m e t hr o ug h t o w n t o t he j a i l a nd m y l o v e r r a n d o w n t he s t r e e t a nd c a ug ht up w i t h us S he k i s s e d m e ha r d a nd t he d e p ut i e s p ul l e d he r a w a y b ut no t b e f o r e s he d p us he d t he ha i r p i n i nt o m y m o ut h w i t h he r t o ng ue S he s t o o d i n t he s t r e e t l o o k i ng s o b r a v e a nd w a t c he d m e d r a g g e d a w a y I no d d e d a t he r a nd s he s m i l e d T he y t hr e w m e i nt o t hi s c e l l a n d t he ha i r p i n f e l l o ut o f m y m o ut h w he n I hi t t he g r o und I t s he r e s o m e w he r e M y f i r s t d a y i n p r i s o n I d e c i d e d t o k e e p t o m y s e l f a nd a v o i d a ny t r o ub l e I d b i d e m y t i m e q ui e t l y g e t o ut e a r l y o n g o o d b e ha v i o r a nd e v e nt ua l l y r e t r i e v e t he m o ne y I d hi d d e n a nd t a k e o f f F o r t he f i r s t t i m e i n m y l i f e I t o o k t o w e i g ht l i f t i ng s e r i o u s l y a nd i n m y c e l l I r e a d w e s t e r ns G e ne r a l P a t t o n no t i c e d ho w m uc h I w a s r e a d i n g a nd s o m e ho w he g o t m e a j o b i n t he l i b r a r y c a t a l o g ui n g ne w b o o k s a n d r e p a i r i ng o l d o ne s A nd s o I s p e nt d a y s w i t ho ut s a y i ng m o r e t ha n a f e w w o r d s t o a ny o ne b ut G e ne r a l P a t t o n a nd t he g uy s w e a t e l unc h w i t h. T he y w e r e o l d e r g uy s i n f o r s m a l l c r i m e s l i k e m i ne G e ne r a l P a t t o n i nt r o d uc e d t he m t o m e T o ny f r o m C hi c a g o i n f o r r unni ng a b i k e s t e a l i ng r i n g a nd J o ha n, w h o s e t f i r e t o hi s c a r a n d t r i e d t o g e t t he i ns ur a nc e m o ne y W e a t e i n t he c o r ne r o f t he c a f e t e r i a a w a y f r o m t he r uc k us I l o o k e d f o r w a r d t o e a t i ng w i t h t ho s e g uy s W e c o ul d e a t

PAGE 56

53 c a s ua l l y w i t h e a c h o t he r a t o t he r t a b l e s I ha d t o k e e p m y a r m c u r l e d a r o und m y p l a t e a nd w a t c h t he g uy s a r o und m e s o t he y d i d n t s na t c h m y f o o d I w o ul d ha v e s t a y e d o ut o f t r o ub l e b ut I m s o b i g t he r e a r e g a ng s i n he r e a nd t he y r e c o ns t a nt l y r e c r ui t i ng t he t o ug h e s t l o o k i ng ne w p r i s o ne r s A s m a l l e r g uy w a n t i ng t o g o a b o ut d o i n g hi s o w n t hi ng c o ul d ha v e d o ne s o i n p e a c e b ut no t a g uy l i k e m e R i g ht a w a y I w a s c o ur t e d b y s e v e r a l o f t he g a ng l e a d e r s a nd e v e r y t i m e I d r e s p e c t f ul l y d e c l i ne a n d w a l k a w a y O ne g a ng l e a d e r na m e d T e r r e nc e a b i k e r f r o m M i l w a uk e e w a nt e d m e i n hi s g a ng r e a l l y b a d W he ne v e r h e s a w m e i n t he m e s s ha l l i n t he g y m i n t he p r i s o n y a r d he m a d e i t a p o i nt t o g r e e t m e a nd l e t m e k no w I w a s w e l c o m e i n hi s c r e w I d s a y t ha nk s a nd t e l l hi m I d t h i nk a b o ut i t T hr e e m o nt hs w e nt b y a nd I s t i l l w a s n t i n a g a n g T e r r e nc e f o und m e i n t he l i b r a r y H e w a l k e d i nt o t he r o o m w he r e I s a t c a t a l o g u i ng b o o k s o ne o f hi s g uy s b e hi nd h i m A b i g b r a w ny g uy c a l l e d B a p t i s t T hi s t i m e I c o ul d t e l l s o m e t hi ng w a s d i f f e r e nt T e r r e nc e w a s n t s m i l i n g H e p ut hi s f i s t s k n uc k l e s d o w n o n t he t a b l e a nd l e a ne d c l o s e unt i l o ur no s e s w e r e a l m o s t t o uc hi ng Y o u j o i ni ng u s ? he a s k e d I d i d n t e v e n a ns w e r

PAGE 57

54 I s w ung m y f o r e a r m t hr o ug h hi s f a c e H e f e l l t o t he f l o o r a nd I up s e t t h e t a b l e a nd p us he d i t d o w n o v e r hi m B o o k s f l e w e v e r y w h e r e B a p t i s t l ung e d o v e r t he t a b l e a nd p ut m e i n a b e a r hug H e t r i e d t o p ul l m e t o t he g r o und b ut I k ne e d hi m b e t w e e n t he l e g s a nd he d r o p p e d t o hi s k ne e s W e g r a p p l e d t o t he f l o o r a nd I g o t o n t o p o f hi m p unc he d h i s f a c e a f e w t i m e s a nd he w a s o ut c o l d H i s f o r e he a d w a s s p l i t o p e n a nd b l o o d r a n f r o m hi s n o s e T e r r e nc e ha d p us he d t he t a b l e o f f hi m s e l f a nd w a s g e t t i ng t o h i s f e e t I t a c k l e d hi m a nd he y e l l e d s t r a i ni ng a g a i ns t m e a nd h i s e y e s w o r k e d a r o und i n t he i r s o c k e t s I p i nne d h i m a nd p unc he d h i m A n a ng e r I d ne v e r k no w n t o o k c o nt r o l o f m y b o d y E v e n w he n I w a s p l a y i ng f o o t b a l l I ha d ne v e r b e e n p o s s e s s e d b y a f ur y l i k e t ha t M a y b e I w a s a ng r y w i t h t he c o p s w ho b us t e d m e a nd t o o k m y t hi ng s o r w i t h t he p r o s e c ut i ng a t t o r ne y s w ho w e nt f o r m y t hr o a t M a y b e i t w a s t he g ua r d s p a r a d i ng a r o und w i t h t he i r c o l d e y e s a nd b a r k i ng l i k e D o b e r m a ns M a y b e i t w a s L a w r e n c e a nd m a y b e he s t o o d f o r t he c o ns t a nt t hr e a t I f e l t f r o m t he o t he r p r i s o ne r s M a y b e I w a s s i c k o f ne v e r s p e a k i ng a nd a l w a y s d a y d r e a m i ng M a y b e m o r e t ha n a ny t h i ng I w a s a ng r y w i t h m y s e l f I p unc he d L a w r e nc e w i t h m y r i g h t f i s t unt i l I c o ul d n t f e e l i t a ny m o r e t he n I s t a r t e d s w i ng i n g m y l e f t H e l o s t c o n s c i o us ne s s a nd

PAGE 58

55 hi s ne c k w e nt l i m p a nd hi t t i n g hi s he a d a r o und w a s l i k e b e a t i ng s o m e t hi ng d e a d H i s f a c e w a s t ur ni ng d a r k p ur p l e und e r t he b l o o d B l ue s ui t e d g ua r d s f l o o d e d t hr o ug h t he d o o r T he y t hr e w m e o n t he g r o und a nd p us he d m e o nt o m y b e l l y I l e t m y s e l f g o s l a c k a s a r a g d o l l a s t ho u g h I d i d n t c a r e a ny m o r e a nd w a s d e l i v e r i ng m y s e l f t o w ha t e v e r t he y w a nt e d t o d o w i t h m e T he y t hr e w m e i n a ho l d i ng c e l l w he r e I s a t f o r t w o o r t hr e e ho ur s r e s t i ng m y ha nd s w hi c h w e r e s w o l l e n a nd t hr o b b i ng i n m y l a p A s t r a ng e c a l m c a m e o v e r m e a nd I d o n t r e c a l l t hi nk i n g a b o ut m uc h e l s e b e s i d e s ho w a f t e r f i ni s hi ng m y s e nt e nc e I c o ul d b i k e s o ut h t o M e x i c o d o w n t hr o ug h C e nt r a l A m e r i c a a nd r o und i n S o ut h A m e r i c a o n t he P a n A m hi g hw a y t hr o ug h r a i n f o r e s t s c r o s s i n g d e s e r t s a nd c l i m b i ng u p m o unt a i n r o a d s a n d ho w I c o ul d l o s e m y s e l f i n t he e nd l e s s p e d a l i ng W he n t he g ua r d s w e r e s a t i s f i e d I w a s c a l m t he y b r o ug ht m e t o t he i nf i r m a r y t o ha v e t he d o c t o r l o o k a t m y ha nd s H e s a i d t he r e w a s o nl y s o m e s p r a i n i ng a m i r a c l e e x p l a i ne d b y t he t hi c k ne s s o f m y ha nd s a nd he w r a p p e d t he m up w i t h i c e H e s a i d I s h o ul d s t a y i n t he i nf i r m a r y f o r t w o o r t hr e e d a y s b e f o r e g o i ng i nt o s o l i t a r y c o nf i ne m e nt I t w a s t he f i r s t I he a r d t he y w e r e t o s s i ng m e i n t he ho l e K e e p i c e o n y o ur ha nd s a nd d o n t us e t he m t o o m uc h, he s a i d H e c l a p p e d a f o l d e r s hut a nd t uc k e d i t b e ne a t h hi s a r m H a v e y o u e v e r b e e n i n t he ho l e b e f o r e ? h e a s k e d

PAGE 59

56 I s ho o k m y he a d I ho p e f o r y o ur s a k e t hi s i s t he l a s t t i m e y o u g o i n, he s a i d I ho p e t ho s e ha nd s he a l w e l l T hi s w a s t he f i r s t o f m a ny o m i no u s t hi ng s a b o ut t he ho l e t ha t w e r e s a i d t o m e o v e r t he ne x t f e w d a y s T he nur s e s t he g ua r d s o t he r p r i s o ne r s i n t he i nf i r m a r y a l l w a r ne d m e a b o ut t he ho l e E v e n G e n e r a l P a t t o n, w ho k e p t c o m i n g t o t he i nf i r m a r y c o m p l a i n i ng t ha t he f e l t l i k e he ha d ne e d l e s i n hi s s i nus e s a nd f e a r e d he w a s c o m i ng d o w n w i t h G ul f W a r S y nd r o m e g a v e m e hi s s o l e m n w a r ni ng : J us t c o m e o ut o f t he r e t he s a m e m a n y o u a r e T ha t s y o ur o ne g o a l I s e e n t he ho l e f uc k a l o t o f g uy s i n t he he a d D o n t l e t i t c ha ng e y o u, M i t c h. Y o u r e a g o o d k i d T he g ua r d s g a v e m e a l e t t e r f r o m p r i s o n o f f i c i a l s t e l l i ng m e I w o ul d b e i n t he ho l e f o r a m o nt h, b ut I d i d n t k no w a t t he t i m e w ha t a m o nt h i n t he ho l e r e a l l y i s A m o nt h i n t he ho l e s e e m s l i k e a n e nd l e s s e m p t y b l a c k ne s s a s l e e p l e s s n i g ht t ha t ne v e r e nd s O ne m o nt h, I ha d t ho ug ht B i g d e a l I l l j us t w a i t i t o ut W ha t I d i d n t k no w t he n i s t ha t w hi l e y o u c a n w a i t i n t he d a r k f o r a f e w ho ur s y o u c a n t w a i t t hi r t y d a y s B ut I ha v e t he G a m e t o p a s s t he c r e e p i ng ho ur s I v e he e d e d G e ne r a l P a t t o n s w a r ni ng I l l b e t he s a m e m a n w he n I g e t o ut *

PAGE 60

57 I f i nd t he p a p e r c l i p ne a r t he c e nt e r o f m y c e l l P r o b a b l y I v e b e e n p us hi ng i t a r o und w i t h m y f e e t a s I t ur n a nd t ur n o n m y ha n d s a nd k ne e s I t m us t t a k e m e f i v e m i nut e s j us t t o p i c k i t o f f t he s m o o t h t i l e I t o s s i t o f f i nt o t he d a r k a g a i n a nd g e t a f t e r i t T hi s t i m e I m H a r r i s o n F o r d i n T he F u g i t i v e a nd I m s e a r c hi ng f o r t he m a n w ho k i l l e d m y w i f e a nd f r a m e d m e f o r t he m ur d e r I w a nt t o f i nd a g i r l w he n I g e t o ut o f p r i s o n. S o m e t i m e s I t hi nk a b o ut t he g i r l s I w a s f uc k i n g a r o u nd w i t h. A m y O B r i a n, b l e a c h b l o nd e a nd s o t i ny s he c o ul d b a r e l y g e t he r a r m s a r o und m e A nd B r e nd a H a y e s a l m o s t t o o p l u m p b ut a l l t he s w e e t e r f o r i t t h e w a y f r ui t t a s t e s s w e e t e s t a s i t s g e t t i ng t o o r i p e N e v e r c o ul d s a y no t o he r I w i s h s he w a s he r e no w W ha t k i nd o f g i r l w i l l w a nt m e w he n I g e t o ut ? I d l i k e a ni c e q ui e t g i r l w ho d o e s n t k no w a ny t hi ng b a d b ut w o u l d a g i r l l i k e t ha t ha v e m e ? H e l l no S a m e o l d s o ng A m y a nd B r e nd a a r e k i nd a nd ha v e t he i r he a d s o n s t r a i g ht b u t t he y r e t o o ne a r m y o l d l i f e I w o n t g e t i nv o l v e d w i t h t ha t a g a i n. M o s t l i k e l y I l l b e l o ne l y f o r a w hi l e a nd I l l ha v e t o t o ug h i t o ut unt i l I c a n g e t m y m o ne y a nd f l y t o t ha t f o r e i g n p l a c e w he r e I c a n s t a r t f r e s h, a nd m a y b e e v e n f i nd a w o m a n w ho w o n t ha v e t o k no w a b o ut a l l t hi s T he d o o r s t a r t s c l a nk i ng o p e n a n d s e nd s s h o c k w a v e s t hr o ug h m y b o d y I ha v e n t f o und t he p a p e r c l i p y e t

PAGE 61

58 F r a nt i c a l l y I s e a r c h t he f l o o r w i t h m y p a l m s T he d o o r s w i ng s a w a y a nd i n t he l i g ht I g l a n c e a r o und m y c e l l I d o n t s e e i t C l e a ni ng d a y o ne v o i c e s a y s I t s B e nny H e y w ha t t he he l l a r e y o u d o i ng M i t c h? H e s f l i p p i ng s a y s a no t he r a nd I f e e l b i g ha nd s g r a b m y c o l l a r a nd y a nk m e b a c k w a r d s T hr e e g ua r d s a r e o n m e a nd I t r y t o f i g ht t he m b ut t he y s ub d ue m e q ui c k l y T he y f l i p m e o v e r o nt o m y b e l l y a nd t he b ul l i s h g ua r d w i t h t he s ha v e d he a d s ho v e s hi s k ne e i nt o m y b a c k a nd j a m s m y w r i s t s i nt o c uf f s I s t o p s t r ug g l i ng M a y b e t he y w o n t e v e n s e e t he p a p e r c l i p a nd I c a n r e c o v e r i t w he n t he y t hr o w m e b a c k i n he r e B ut m a y b e t he y w o n t t hr o w m e b a c k i n he r e T ha t s i t b i g g uy B e nny s a y s i nt o m y e a r C hi l l o ut T he g ua r d w i t h t he s ha v e d he a d s t a nd s up a nd t e l l s B e nny a nd t he o t he r g uy t o g e t m e o n m y f e e t W ha t s t hi s ? he a s k s H e b e nd s d o w n a nd p i c k s up t he p a p e r c l i p H e i ns p e c t s i t c l o s e l y t ur ni ng i t o v e r i n hi s f i ng e r s a f e w t i m e s H e p ut s hi s f a c e r e a l l y c l o s e t o m i ne a nd a s k s T hi s y o ur s ? I t s b e e n b e nt up a l o t I f l a i l a nd k i c k a nd B e nny a nd t he o t he r g ua r d s l a m m e a g a i n s t t he c e l l w a l l C hi l l b i g g uy s a y s B e nny

PAGE 62

59 T he o ne w i t h t he s ha v e d he a d l a ug hs H e g e t s i n m y f a c e a g a i n. L i t t l e d r o p s o f s w e a t d o t hi s n o s e a nd f o r e he a d W ha t w e r e y o u g o nna d o w i t h t h i s ? he a s k s S o m e t hi ng s t up i d ? L a y o f f T a y l o r B e nny s a y s T a y l o r c huc k l e s I m n o t a f r a i d o f t hi s g i a nt m o t he r f uc k e r I g a t he r a l l m y s t r e ng t h a nd l a s h o ut w i t h m y r i g ht f o o t M y k i c k p o und s T a y l o r i n t he g ut a nd he g o e s d o w n y e l l i ng I s l i p f r o m t he ha nd s o f t he g ua r d s I s w i n g m y b o und f i s t s a nd s ho v e B e nny b ut t he o t he r c l o b b e r s m e i n t he s m a l l o f t he b a c k a nd I g o d o w n. * I w a k e i n t he d a r k o f a no t he r s o l i t a r y c o nf i ne m e nt c e l l a d i f f e r e nt o ne M y he a d b e a t s l i k e a he a r t p um p i ng p a i n. A ny p o s i t i o n I ho l d m y he a d r e a l l y hur t s b ut r e s t i ng i t o n t he g r o un d hur t s t he l e a s t I l i e b a c k a nd l e t m y m i nd g o b l a nk I a b s o r b t he d a r k ne s s a nd l e t t i m e p a s s T he p a i n i s s t i l l t he r e b ut i t d o e s n t p o und o n l y a c he s T i m e p a s s e s a nd t he d o o r s w i n g s o p e n. T he p r i s o n a d m i ni s t r a t o r s t a nd s i n t he l i g ht f l a nk e d b y f o u r g ua r d s I v e ne v e r s e e n hi m t hi s c l o s e H e s s i l v e r ha i r e d a nd hi s b r o a d f r a m e f i l l s h i s d a r k s ui t G e t hi m o n hi s f e e t he t e l l s t he g ua r d s H e s q u i e t f o r a m o m e nt H e f l e x e s a nd r e l a x e s hi s j a w m us c l e s a nd I c a n t e l l he s w o r k i ng hi m s e l f i nt o a f ur y M i t c h K r e s s he s a y s I w i l l n o t ha v e

PAGE 63

60 p r i s o ne r s a t t a c k i ng m y g ua r d s T ho s e m e n w e r e m o v i ng y o u t o c l e a n y o ur c e l l a nd y o u w e nt b e r s e r k o n t he m Y o u g o t a no t he r t hi r t y d a y s i n t he ho l e D o y o u k no w h o w l o n g t ha t i s ? D o y o u k no w h o w l o ng y o u v e b e e n i n t he ho l e unt i l no w ? he a s k s I s hud d e r S ud d e n l y I m t e r r i f i e d t o k no w S i x d a y s he ho l l e r s M y he a d d r o p s a nd t e a r s p o ur f r o m m y e y e s l i k e s t o r m r a i n d o w n a w i nd s h i e l d O n l y s i x d a y s T ha t s r i g ht he s a y s C r y Y o u v e o nl y b e e n i n t he r e f o r s i x f uc k i ng d a y s N o w y o u ha v e f i f t y f o ur t o g o T o s s hi m b a c k i n t he r e he t e l l s t he g ua r d s a nd he s t a l k s o ut o f t he c e l l T he y d r a g m e i n a nd s e t m e d o w n a nd s hut t he s t e e l d o o r I s i t i n t he d a r k M y t e a r s s t o p I s w e a r a nd c ur s e e v e r y t hi ng I g e t d o w n o n t he f l o o r a nd d o p us h up s P us h u p s p u s h up s s i t u p s s i t up s m o r e p us h u p s I s t a nd a nd s t a r t r unni ng i n p l a c e I l l r un t he w ho l e f uc k i ng t i m e I m i n he r e I t hi nk T he w ho l e f uc k i ng t i m e W he n I g e t o ut I l l r un m a r a t ho ns I r un ha r d e r a s i f i t w i l l m a k e t i m e g o f a s t e r I t w o n t M a r a t ho ns I r un ha r d e r a nd ha r d e r unt i l m y he a r t ha m m e r s a w a y i n m y c he s t a nd m y he a d t hr o b s I c o l l a p s e o n t he f l o o r M y b o d y q ua k e s a nd t ho u g h I b e g i n t o c r y no t e a r s c o m e A r o und m e t he d a r k ne s s s e e m s s o l i d a nd he a v y a nd I f e e l i t c r u s hi ng m e I c a n t b r e a t he

PAGE 64

61 H e r e s a g a m e I c a n p l a y : I m a m a n i n a c e l l A s m a l l l i g ht l e s s c e l l A nd I w o n t b e g e t t i ng o ut f o r a l o ng l o ng t i m e I c r y m y s e l f t o s l e e p I d r e a m o f a s ha d o w f i l l e d c o r r i d o r s t r e t c hi ng o n a nd o n w i t h no e nd * H e a v y c l a nk s w a k e m e T he s t e e l d o o r o p e ns a nd B e nny s t a nd s t he r e ho l d i ng ha nd c uf f s G e t up b i g g uy he s a y s Y o u g o t y o ur ho ur i n t he y a r d I s t r ug g l e t o m y f e e t M y b o d y f e e l s l i k e a b i g b r ui s e T he p um m e l i ng t he g ua r d s g a v e m e i s s i nk i ng t hr o ug h m y m us c l e s t o m y b o ne s B e nny s l a p s t he c uf f s o n m y w r i s t s a nd I l a b o r d o w n t he c o r r i d o r s a nd o ut i nt o t he p r i s o n y a r d I s i t d o w n b y t he f a r w a l l a nd l e a n m y b a c k a g a i n s t i t T he a ut um n s un i s w e a k I k no w b ut i t s t i l l b ur ns m y e y e s I s t a r e a t m y b o o t s a nd t he d i r t a nd e v e r y no w t h e n I m a k e m y s e l f l o o k up a t t he s k y o v e r t h e w a l l B ut r i g ht a w a y I f i nd m y s e l f s t a r i ng a t t he g r o und a g a i n. B e nny w a l k s o v e r a nd l o o k s d o w n a t m e hi s ha nd o n hi s b i l l y c l ub H e y b i g g uy he s a y s D o n t w o r r y I t ha p p e ns t o a l l t he g uy s t he y t h r o w i n t he r e I d o n t k no w w ha t i t s l i k e i n t he ho l e b ut I s e e

PAGE 65

62 g uy s g o i n a nd c o m e o ut I t m u s t s e e m l i k e i t l l ne v e r e nd B ut i t w i l l I t ha s t o T ha nk s I s a y H e g l a nc e s a r o un d a s t ho ug h t o m a k e s ur e no b o d y s w i t hi n e a r s ho t t he n he l e a ns f o r w a r d I k no w y o ur c a s e he s a y s Y o u g o t a s t a s h o f m o ne y o ut t he r e G i v e m e a c ut I l l g e t y o u o ut o f t ha t s e c o nd m o nt h i n t he h o l e I c a n d o i t he s a y s I v e d o ne i t b e f o r e T he a d m i ni s t r a t o r s m y b r o t he r i n l a w I t e l l hi m y o u r e r e a l l y a g o o d g uy a nd y o u d o n t d e s e r v e i t J us t t e l l m e w he r e t ha t m o ne y i s A l l I w a nt i s ha l f a nd I l l p ut t he r e s t o f i t a w a y f o r y o u s o i t l l b e s a f e unt i l y o u g e t o ut H o w a b o ut t ha t ? I t ur n a nd l o o k a w a y up a t t he s k y o v e r t he w a l l N o t y o u t o o B e n ny I t hi nk N o t y o u t o o I s m i l e B ut o f c o ur s e A ut um n ha s c r i s p e d t he a i r F o o t b a l l w e a t he r I l l d o i t I s a y I f y o u t r y t o g e t m y t i m e i n t he ho l e r e d uc e d l i k e y o u s a y y o u w i l l A nd I a d d i f y o u g e t m e b a c k m y p a p e r c l i p f i r s t W ha t ? he a s k s W ha t t he h e l l y o u t a l k i ng a b o ut ? T he p a p e r c l i p t ha t w a s i n t he c e l l w he n I f l i p p e d I s a y T ha t g ua r d w i t h t he s ha v e d he a d t o o k i t W ha t t he he l l y o u w a nt w i t h a p a p e r c l i p ? he a s k s

PAGE 66

63 T o p a s s t he t i m e i n t he r e I s a y P l a y g a m e s w i t h i t I ne e d t o p l a y g a m e s B e nny I c a n t j us t s i t i n t he r e a nd t hi nk Y o u r e no t g o i ng t o m a k e a ny t r o ub l e w i t h i t ? he a s k s T r y a ny t hi ng s t up i d ? I ha v e t o b e c e r t a i n. I t s j us t a p a p e r c l i p H e s t r o k e s hi s g o a t e e a nd t hi nk s A l r i g ht he s a y s T a y l o r t he b a l d g ua r d he t o o k i t ? Y e a h. O k a y he s a y s I l l t a k e c a r e o f i t H e t ur ns t o w a l k a w a y b ut I r a i s e m y ha nd a nd he s t o p s I k no w t ha t p a p e r c l i p B e nny a nd I l l k no w i f y o u b r i ng m e a d i f f e r e nt o ne T ha t p a p e r c l i p m e a ns a l o t o f m o ne y t o y o u. B e nny no d s S ur e t hi ng b i g g uy he s a y s I l l f i nd i t H e y B e nn y H a v e I r e a l l y b e e n i n t he ho l e f o r o nl y s i x d a y s ? H e p a us e s a p uz z l e d e x p r e s s i o n o n hi s f a c e Y e a h, b i g g uy he s a y s S i x d a y s T he P a c k e r s ha v e o nl y p l a y e d o ne g a m e s i nc e y o u w e nt i n. I t o l d y o u a l l a b o ut i t I t o l d y o u a b o ut t he i r g a m e t ha t s c o m i ng u p o n M o nd a y ni g ht A g a i ns t t he B e a r s I t o l d y o u r e m e m b e r ? I s ha k e m y he a d a nd l o o k a t t he d i r t I ha d n t b e e n l i s t e ni ng *

PAGE 67

64 T he y b r i ng m e b a c k t o m y c e l l a n d I s i t a g a i ns t o ne o f t he w a l l s a nd w a i t a nd t hi nk I t l o o k s l i k e I l l b e t e l l i ng B e nny w he r e m y m o ne y s hi d d e n, a nd n o w I c a n t c o unt o n s e e i ng a ny o f i t e v e r a g a i n. T ha t ho p e i s d e a d E v e r s i nc e t he y f i r s t b r o ug ht m e t o p r i s o n a l l I t ho ug ht a b o ut w a s g e t t i ng o ut a nd n o w I m t r a d i ng e v e r y t hi ng I ha v e l e f t o n t he o ut s i d e j us t t o g e t o ut o f t he ho l e B ut i t s no us e w o r r y i ng I c a n ho p e y o u d o n t ne e d a ny t hi ng f o r t ha t M a y b e ho p e i s o n l y d e l us i o n t ha t s o m e t i m e s c o m e s t r ue b ut a t l e a s t I c a n p a i nt b i g d r e a m s w i t h ho p e D r e a m s o f g e t t i ng o ut o f p r i s o n a n d g e t t i ng s o m e k i nd o f j o b t ha t w i l l l e t m e l i v e c o m f o r t a b l y m a y b e a j o b p ut t i ng u p d r y w a l l l i k e m y c o us i n i n S t P a ul M a y b e he c a n e v e n g e t m e a j o b a nd w e c o ul d p l a y b a r l e a g ue f o o t b a l l a nd s o f t b a l l a nd ha ng o ut o n w e e k e nd s a nd w a t c h t he V i k i ng s g a m e s a nd t he P a c k e r s g a m e s I d f i nd a g i r l f r i e nd a nd s he d b e w i t h us w he n w e g r i l l o ut o r g o n o r t h t o a c a b i n t o f i s h a nd p i c ni c M y c o us i n a nd I c o u l d d e e r hunt t o g e t he r l i k e w e d i d w he n w e w e r e y o ung e r e x c e p t w e w o ul d n t ha v e t o s ne a k b e e r s t o t he t r e e s t a nd s a ny m o r e A nd m y g i r l f r i e nd a nd I c o ul d l i e o n t he c o uc h o n b l a c k w i nt e r e v e ni ng s a nd l i s t e n t o t he s no w l a y e r i ng o ut s i d e a nd ho w c a l m a n d s i m p l e t ha t m o r ni ng i s a f t e r t he s no w f a l l w he n t he s un s hi ne s d o w n o n e v e r y t hi ng a nd e v e r y t hi ng i s w hi t e s t i l l a nd s i l e nt a nd v e r y v e r y w hi t e

PAGE 68

65 I d e e p l y i nha l e t he b l a c k a i r a nd s i g h. A no t he r b i g d r e a m M y l a ug ht e r f i l l s t he c e l l w i t h i t s e c ho e s A b i g d r e a m t ha t c o ul d ne v e r ha p p e n. I c o ul d l i v e i n t hi s d r e a m no w b ut w he n I m o n t he o ut s i d e c o u l d I b ui l d i t l i k e I c o u l d a h o us e w i t h m y t w o ha nd s ? N o B ut m a y b e t ha t i s ho p e M a y b e ho p e i s s o m e t hi n g w i l d W i l d b e c a us e t he r e i s no r e a s o n f o r b e l i e v i ng w ha t y o u w a nt w i l l c o m e t r ue W a s n t t ha t s o l d i e r s d r e a m w i l d ? H o w c o u l d h e b u i l d a n e nt i r e ho u s e i n hi s m i nd w he n he ha d a b s o l ut e l y no r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e he w o ul d e v e r e s c a p e ? A ny w a y m y m o ne y i s a s g o o d a s g o ne a nd a l l t he d r e a m s I b ui l t w i t h i t a r e r ui ne d I l l s e a r c h t he d a r k f o r ne w o ne s * A f e w m us hy m e a l s a n d l i f e t i m e s o f d a r k t i m e l a t e r B e nny a nd t w o o t he r g ua r d s b r i ng m e o ut t o t he p r i s o n y a r d a g a i n. B e nny g l a nc e s a t m e a nd I k no w he w a nt s t o t a l k A s w e w a l k t hr o ug h t he c o r r i d o r s he c ha t s a b o ut f o o t b a l l l i k e us ua l T he P a c k e r s p l a y t he B e a r s o n M o nd a y ni g ht a t S o l d i e r F i e l d t he V i k i ng s l o s t t o t he L i o ns a n d d o I t hi nk B r e t t F a v r e s s t i l l t he b e s t q ua r t e r b a c k i n t he g a m e ?

PAGE 69

66 T he y o p e n t he d o o r t o t he y a r d a nd I s t e p o ut s i d e s q u i nt i ng i n t he w e a k e ni ng a ut um n s un, s t i l l t o o s t r o ng f o r m y l i g ht s t a r v e d e y e s T he c o o l a i r f e e l s g o o d o n m y f a c e I s huf f l e a r o und t he w a l l t o t he o t he r e nd o f t he y a r d l e t t i ng m y e y e s a d j us t a nd I p r e t e nd t o s t ud y t he s k y a b o v e t h e w a l l unt i l B e nn y a p p r o a c he s T he o t he r g ua r d s s t a nd o ut o f e a r s ho t a nd ha v e t he i r o w n c o nv e r s a t i o n g o i ng B e nny a nd I t a l k f o o t b a l l f o r a f e w m i nut e s a n y w a y j us t t o k e e p up a c a s ua l a p p e a r a nc e T he n he s a y s I g o t y o ur p a p e r c l i p I l l j us t p ut i t o n y o ur ne x t t r a y o f f o o d un d e r t he c up Y o u v e r i f y i t s y o ur s t o m o r r o w y o u t e l l m e w he r e t he m o ne y i s a nd a f t e r w o r k t o m o r r o w I l l c a l l m y unc l e a nd t e l l h i m w ha t a g o o d g uy y o u a r e a nd g e t y o u o ut o f t hi r t y d a y s o f ho l e t i m e I no d S o und s g o o d t o m e B ut w he t he r I t e l l y o u, I s a y s t i l l d e p e nd s o n w he t he r o r no t I g e t t he p a p e r c l i p I ha d b e f o r e I t s y o ur s he s a y s I w a nt t o k no w H o w d i d y o u g e t i t ? Y o u w o n t l i k e t hi s he s a y s b ut I l l t e l l y o u t he t r ut h. I ha d t o t a l k t o B a l d y t o g e t i t I p r o m i s e d hi m a q ua r t e r o f t he m o ne y T he p a p e r c l i p w a s s t i l l i n t he w a s t e b a s k e t b y hi s d e s k I k no w t ha t s l a s he s y o ur c hunk i n ha l f a g a i n, b ut r e m e m b e r i t l l b e s a f e a nd w a i t i ng f o r y o u. A nd y o u w o n t ha v e t o s p e nd a n e x t r a t hi r t y d a y s i n t he ho l e I t s no t a b a d d e a l

PAGE 70

67 N o t a b a d d e a l I s a y I f y o u h o l d u p y o ur e nd o f t he b a r g a i n. I l o o k up a g a i n a t t h e s k y a b o v e t he w a l l O nl y b l ue s k y a nd c l o ud s up t he r e no t a t r e e b r a nc h p e a k i ng o v e r t he w a l l o r a b i r d f l y i ng b y * M y ho ur i n t he y a r d e nd s a nd t he g ua r d s e s c o r t m e b a c k t o m y c e l l T he s t e e l d o o r c l a nk s s hut a nd I w a i t f o r m y ne x t m e a l a nd ho p e f ul l y m y p a p e r c l i p S t r a ng e a s i t s e e m s I m a b i t w o und up l i k e I m g e t t i ng r e a d y t o p l a y a f o o t b a l l g a m e o r l i k e I m a hi g h s c ho o l k i d w a i t i n g f o r m y p r o m d a t e I s t o o d up t he g i r l I w a s s up p o s e d t o g o t o p r o m w i t h. L a na F e r r o n. P o o r g i r l S he p r o b a b l y w a i t e d a t t ha t b i g w i n d o w i n t he f r o nt o f he r ho us e i n he r d r e s s a nd he r b l o nd ha i r d o ne u p d r o o p i ng he r s ho ul d e r s a l i t t l e m o r e a s e a c h m i nut e p a s s e d l i k e a f l o w e r t ha t s b e e n p i c k e d a nd l e f t o n t he g r o und I h e a r d s he c a l l e d he r f r i e nd s a t a r e s t a ur a nt a nd t h e y g o t he r a nd t o o k he r o ut a ny w a y S he ne v e r s a i d hi t o m e a g a i n, o r e v e n l o o k e d a t m e w i t ho ut l o o k i ng t hr o ug h m e l i k e I w a s e m p t y a i r C a n t b l a m e he r I d i d n t e v e n m a k e t ha t d a nc e M y f r i e nd s a nd I g o t o ur ha nd s o n t h r e e c a s e s o f b e e r a nd w e d r o v e o ut t o a p a r k i n t he c o unt r y a nd d r a nk a nd s m o k e d p o t b y t he w a t e r f a l l W e ha d p l a nne d t o g o t o t he d a n c e b ut a l l o f us g o t t o o d r unk t o d r i v e

PAGE 71

68 a nd p a s s e d o ut i n t he b a c k o f t he t r uc k M e m o r i e s P o o r L a na S he d l o v e t o s e e m e s i t t i ng i n he r e T he r e s a c l a nk a nd t he y e l l o w s l i t o f l i g ht a p p e a r s F o o d b i g g uy I t s B e nny H o p e y o u l i k e i t I t a k e t he t r a y a nd t he y e l l o w s l i t d i s a p p e a r s I s i t d o w n a n d r e s t i t o n m y l a p M y ha nd s s ha k e I l i f t t he c up a nd f e e l a r o und b e ne a t h i t I c a n t e x p e c t B e nny a nd B a l d y t o l e a v e m e a ny o f m y m o ne y ; I m no t c o unt i ng o n i t a ny w a y H e l l I c a n t b e s ur e B e nny w i l l g e t m e r e l i e v e d o f m y s e c o n d m o nt h i n t he ho l e A nd I d o n t c a r e i t i s m y p a p e r c l i p M y f i ng e r t i p s f i nd t he p a p e r c l i p a nd f e e l t he f a m i l i a r w i r e b o d y t he c r i c k ne a r t he t i p t ha t I c o ul d ne v e r s m o o t h. I c a n p l a y T he G a m e a g a i n. I d o n t e v e n e a t I f l i c k t he p a p e r c l i p i nt o t he d a r k a nd g o a f t e r i t o n m y k ne e s s huf f l i ng m y ha nd s o v e r t he f l o o r I m a p r i s o ne r b e i ng e s c o r t e d b y t w o g ua r d s t o t he p r i s o n g a t e a f t e r y e a r s b e hi nd t he f e nc e s t he w a l l s a nd t he b a r s I t s J a nua r y a nd t he c o l d a i r p r i c k l e s m y s k i n. I c a n s e e m y b r e a t h. T he ne w c l o t he s m y p a r e nt s s e nt m e f o r t hi s o c c a s i o n f i t p e r f e c t l y a nd I v e b e e n w o r k i ng o ut f o r m o nt hs a nd f e e l a s g o o d a s I d i d i n m y p l a y i n g d a y s W e r e a c h t he g a t e a nd t he g ua r d s s i g na l t o t he g a t e k e e p e r a n o l d m a n i n a b o o t h s i t t i ng b a c k i n hi s c ha i r a n d r e a d i ng a b o o k H e l e a ns f o r w a r d hi t s a b ut t o n, a nd w a v e s a t m e o r a t t he g ua r d s I d o n t k no w b ut I

PAGE 72

69 s m i l e T he g a t e p a r t s a nd t he o ut s i d e w o r l d o p e ns b e f o r e m e E v e r y t hi ng s und e r s no w c l e a n a nd q ui e t A nd ne w

PAGE 73

70 G a m e s T he s um m e r a f t e r e i g ht h g r a d e I s c o r e d t w e nt y t w o p o i nt s i n a s um m e r l e a g ue b a s k e t b a l l g a m e a t t he hi g h s c ho o l I ha d ne v e r s c o r e d t ha t m uc h i n a g a m e b e f o r e a nd m y f a t he r hi s s m i l e s ha r p c o ng r a t ul a t e d m e w i t h a s l a p o n t he b a c k I s a i d t ha nk y o u. I ne v e r k ne w w ha t t o s a y t o hi m I t w a s t he f i r s t t i m e t ha t s um m e r he ha d s e e n m e p l a y a nd hi s p r e s e nc e w a s m o r e t ha n a l a r m i n g s i nc e he ha d n t c o m e ho m e t he ni g ht b e f o r e H e s t i l l w o r e hi s n i c e w hi t e s h i r t c r e a s e d d o w n t he f r o nt f r o m b e i ng s l e p t i n, a nd he s m e l l e d l i k e s t a l e s m o k e B ut he w a s i n hi g h s p i r i t s ; he a s k e d m y m o t he r t o w a i t i n t he g y m w i t h m y t w o y e a r o l d b r o t he r C r a i g a nd he l e d m e t hr o ug h t h e g r e e n t i l e ha l l w a y s o f t he hi g h s c ho o l t o t he ha l l o f f a m e C he a p l i g ht i n g g l i nt e d o f f t he g o l d c ur v e s o f t he t r o p hi e s a nd g l o w e d f a i nt l y o n t he j e r s e y s t ha t hung p r e s e r v e d b e hi nd g l a s s T he y o ung f a c e s o f

PAGE 74

71 a t hl e t e s l o ng g o ne w e r e m e m o r i a l i z e d i n p i c t ur e f r a m e s hi g h o n t h e w a l l s ; o ne o f t he m w a s m y f a t he r i n hi s b a s k e t b a l l un i f o r m H i s f a c e w a s s o f t e r a nd s h i ny a nd hi s s m i l e m a g ni f i c e nt b r o a d b ut uns t r a i n e d a s t ho ug h i t c a m e e f f o r t l e s s l y t o hi s m o ut h. A nd hi s na m e w a s e ng r a v e d i n s e v e nt e e n r e c o r d p l a q ue s f o r f o o t b a l l b a s e b a l l a n d b a s k e t b a l l T he m a n s t o o d a d m i r i ng hi s a c hi e v e m e nt s K e e p p l a y i ng l i k e y o u d i d t o d a y he s a i d a nd s o m e d a y y o u m i g ht g e t a r e c o r d o f m i ne f o r y o ur s e l f I s a i d no t hi ng M a y b e w ha t h e d s a i d w a s e nc o ur a g e m e nt I t o o k i t a s a b o a s t a c ha l l e ng e I n t he g l a s s c a s e t he d a r k s ha p e o f m y f a t he r w a s r e f l e c t e d ne x t t o m i ne B e s i d e m y l a nk y a d o l e s c e nt f r a m e hi s l o o m e d t hi c k a nd t a l l b ul l i s h. O ne w e e k l a t e r a f t e r a no t he r no c t ur na l m e l e e w i t h m y m o t he r he w a s g o ne A nd o ne w e e k l a t e r I p l a y e d a no t he r s um m e r l e a g ue g a m e w i t ho ut hi m w a t c h i ng w i t h a n i nt e ns i t y i ns p i r e d b y t he s o und s o f a d o o r s w i f t l y c l o s i n g a nd m y m o t h e r s m uf f l e d s o b b i ng I s e i z e d e v e r y s ho t t ha t b o unc e d o f f t he r i m I t a p p e d a nd t o r e t he b a l l f r o m o p p o ne nt ha nd s A n d e v e r y t i m e I s ho t I s e nt t he b a l l s l i t he r i ng t hr o ug h t he ne t T he g a m e w a s m i ne I s c o r e d t hi r t y s e v e n p o i nt s

PAGE 75

72 A f t e r w e s ho o k ha nd s w i t h t he o t he r t e a m I l e f t t he g y m a nd w e nt t hr o ug h t he g r e e n t i l e ha l l w a y s t o t he ha l l o f f a m e H o l d i ng a b a s k e t b a l l a g a i ns t m y s i d e I a g a i n s t o o d i n f r o nt o f t he p l a q ue s a n d g l o w e r e d a t t he p ho t o g r a p h o f m y f a t he r s y o ung f a c e B r a nd e d o n m y m i nd w a s t he i m a g e o f m y m o t he r s c a r l e t e y e d a nd f i na l l y b r o k e n, s i t t i ng a t t he d i ni n g r o o m t a b l e w i t h C r a i g i n he r l a p a nd ho l d i ng a n e m p t i e d g l a s s o f w i ne a nd I p r o m i s e d m y s e l f t ha t b y t he t i m e I g r a d ua t e d f r o m t ha t hi g h s c ho o l m y f a t he r s na m e w o ul d n o t r e m a i n o n a s i n g l e p l a q ue A l o ne i n t he e m p t y ha l l w a y I a n s w e r e d m y f a t he r s b o a s t : N o D a d I w i l l ha v e a l l y o ur r e c o r d s I w i l l e r a s e y o ur na m e S o m e t i m e s a f t e r g a m e s a f t e r I h a d s ho w e r e d a nd d r e s s e d I d s i t i n t he l o c k e r r o o m l o n g a f t e r m y t e a m m a t e s ha d l e f t t a l k i ng a b o ut g e t t i ng a b i t e t o e a t s o m e w he r e t he w i n o r l o s s a l r e a d y f o r g o t t e n. I d s o o n f e e l he w a s t he r e w i t h m e a m o ng t he d a r k e ne d l o c k e r s t he d a nk s m e l l o f g y m s ho e s a nd s w e a t y j e r s e y s t h e ha ng i ng hum i d i t y f r o m t he s ho w e r s I d t a k e o f f m y d r e s s s h o e s m y k ha k i p a nt s a nd m y s hi r t a nd t i e a nd I d p ut o n m y p r a c t i c e un i f o r m a nd m y g y m s ho e s I d g e t a b a s k e t b a l l o ut o f t he e q ui p m e nt r o o m a n d g o o ut t o t he d a r k e ne d e m p t y g y m a nd I d p r e t e nd t o p l a y hi m W e ne v e r p l a y e d t o a s c o r e

PAGE 76

73 T he g a m e s w e nt o n f o r e v e r a nd I d t i r e a nd l e a v e b e f o r e t he y w e r e f i ni s he d

PAGE 77

74 D a d s U F O A l a r m D ur i ng t ha t f r o z e n b l ue J a nua r y D a d b u i l t t he U F O A l a r m he w a s s o b us y i n t he g a r a g e t ha t he e v e n d i d n t c o m e i n s i d e f o r m e a l s H e a l w a y s g o t t ha t w a y w he n he w a s w o r k i ng o n s o m e i d e a M o m ha d t o s e nd m e o ut t hr e e o r f o ur t i m e s t o t e l l hi m s up p e r w a s r e a d y I d k e e p m y b o o t s a n d ha t o n s o t ha t w he n D a d s t i l l ha d n t c o m e i n I d j us t ha v e t o p ut o n m y c o a t t o s l u s h a c r o s s t he b a c k y a r d t hr o ug h t he s no w t o t he g a r a g e a nd e v e n t he n h e s o m e t i m e s a s k e d m e t o j us t b r i n g a p l a t e o ut t o hi m I d g o b a c k i n t o M o m S he d m ut t e r W ha t e v e r f i x hi m a p l a t e a nd s e nd m e b a c k o ut M o m a nd I s p e nt t ho s e s up p e r s a l o ne t a l k i ng S he c o ul d t a l k a b o ut m y f r i e nd s b e c a us e s he k ne w t he m f r o m f e e d i ng t he m d i nn e r a l l t he t i m e a nd a b o ut ho w b a s k e t b a l l w a s g o i ng f o r m e s he d b e e n t o a l l m y g a m e s a nd D a d b e t w e e n b e i ng g o ne f l y i n g a nd w o r k i ng o n hi s z a ny p r o j e c t s ha d n t m a d e a s i n g l e o ne I c o ul d t a l k t o he r a b o ut w ha t

PAGE 78

75 s he w a s p l a nn i ng f o r he r g a r d e n i n t he s p r i ng a nd h o w he r b o t a ny c l a s s e s a t t he c o l l e g e w e r e g o i ng T he m e a l w o u l d p a s s p l e a s a nt l y f o r a w hi l e b ut D a d s e m p t y c ha i r s a t t he r e a nd no w a nd t he n t he c o nv e r s a t i o n l a p s e d i nt o s i l e nc e a t hi r d p e r s o n s ho u l d ha v e b e e n t he r e t o f i l l M o m w o ul d t ur n he r he a d a nd g l a n c e o u t t he w i nd o w a t t he g a r a g e a c r o s s t he s no w y y a r d a t t he l i g ht b ul b a b o v e t he g a r a g e d o o r g l o w i ng c o l d a nd s i l v e r I d i d n t l i k e D a d s no t e a t i ng w i t h us t ho ug h I w o ul d n t ha v e s a i d s o o ut l o ud I t w a s n t t he f e a r o f d i s a p p o i nt i n g hi m t ha t k e p t m e f r o m c o nf r o nt i n g hi m N o I b e l i e v e i t w a s m y f e a r o f s ho w i n g D a d hi m s e l f o f d i s a p p o i nt i ng h i m i n h i m s e l f Y o u s e e i t w o u l d n t ha v e o c c ur r e d t o hi m t ha t w he n he w a s w o r k i ng o ut i n t he g a r a g e w hi l e M o m a nd I a t e s up p e r i ns i d e he w a s a s f a r a w a y f r o m ho m e a s he w a s w he n he w a s g o ne f o r f o ur d a y s f l y i ng p a p e r p r o d uc t s a r o un d t he c o unt r y H e w a s j us t i n t he g a r a g e d o i ng w ha t he e nj o y e d m o s t t i nk e r i ng H e w a s l i k e a c hi l d H e d s ho w M o m a nd m e hi s ne w e s t i nv e nt i o n, a m e c ha ni c a l m o us e f o r t he ne i g hb o r s c a t t o c ha s e o r a b i r d f e e d e r t ha t g a v e a n e l e c t r i c a l s ho c k t o a ny t hi ng he a v i e r t ha n a b l ue j a y a nd M o m a nd I w o u l d n o d a n d s m i l e a nd a s k q ue s t i o ns a n d l e t hi m e x p l a i n hi s c r e a t i o n. O ne o f t ho s e l o ne l y s up p e r s M o m a nd I w e r e l o o k i ng o ut t he k i t c he n w i nd o w w he n t he g a r a g e d o o r b ur s t o p e n. D a d r a n o ut ho l d i ng

PAGE 79

76 a s p a r k i ng a nd s m o k i n g p i e c e o f m a c hi ne r y a nd he he a v e d i t i nt o t he s no w b a nk a l o ng s i d e t he d r i v e w a y a nd t he m a c hi ne r y e r up t e d i n f l a m e s D a d hur r i e d i nt o t he g a r a g e a nd c a m e b a c k o ut w i t h a f i r e e x t i ng ui s he r H e s p r a y e d unt i l t he f i r e w a s o ut a nd t he n, f e e l i ng us w a t c hi ng hi m f r o m t he k i t c he n w i nd o w l o o k e d up a n d s m i l e d s he e p i s hl y H e d i s a p p e a r e d i nt o t he g a r a g e a g a i n, a nd M o m a nd I l a ug he d f r o m o ur b e l l i e s W he n I f i r s t m e t hi m s he s a i d w i p i n g a w i s p o f ha i r b e h i nd he r e a r he w a s f l y i ng W a r t ho g s i n S a n D i e g o H e d c o m e i nt o t he c a f w he r e I w a i t r e s s e d S o m e t i m e s h e c a m e i n w i t h h i s c o c k y p i l o t b ud d i e s w e g o t a l o t o f t he m b ut o f t e n he j us t c a m e i n b y hi m s e l f H e d ha v e b o o k s w i t h h i m a e r o n a ut i c s s t u d i e s a nd s t uf f l i k e t ha t b ut he w o ul d n t e v e n o p e n t he m H e d j us t t a l k t o m e H e r e y e s s p a r k l e d a nd he r v o i c e g l i t t e r e d I t w a s l i k e he b r o ug ht s o m e o f t he s k y d o w n w i t h hi m s he c o nt i nue d I t c l ung t o hi m l i k e a c o l o g ne T he w a y he t ho ug ht t he w a y he t a l k e d y o u k no w ho w he c a n t a l k w he n he s i m p a s s i o ne d a b o ut s o m e i d e a A nd t he w a y he c o ns i d e r e d e v e r y t hi ng I s a i d t ur ni ng e v e r y o ne o f m y w o r d s o v e r i n hi s m i n d i t w a s a l l h i g h. S k y hi g h. I w a nt e d hi m t o t a k e m e up t he r e w i t h hi m

PAGE 80

77 S he s i g he d he r e x c i t e m e nt d e f l a t i ng a nd s he s e t he r e l b o w o n t he t a b l e a nd ne s t l e d he r c hi n i n he r ha nd I t hi nk t he s k y s hi s na t i v e c o unt r y * A t t ha t t i m e he w a s f l y i ng p a p e r p r o d uc t s f o r a c a r g o a i r l i ne o ut o f G r e e n B a y H e w o ul d b e g o ne f o r f o ur o r f i v e d a y s a t a s t r e t c h, b ut t o M o m s d i s m a y he s p e nt m o s t o f hi s t i m e a t ho m e i n t he g a r a g e t i nk e r i ng O ur ho us e w a s f i l l e d w i t h s uc h o d d m a c h i ne s o f h i s a s t h e v o i c e a c t i v a t e d b r e a d m a k e r a nd t he c l o c k t ha t t o l d y o u t he t i m e i n t he v o i c e o f E l v i s P r e s l e y F r o m D a d s c r e a t i v e o ut b ur s t o f t ur ni ng a p p l i a nc e s r e m o t e c o nt r o l w e ha d r e m o t e c o nt r o l t he r m o s t a t s ni g ht l i g ht s a nd v a c uum c l e a ne r s H e e v e n t ho ug ht a b o ut i ns t a l l i n g t r a c k i ng d e v i c e s i n a l l r e m o t e c o nt r o l s s o w e d ne v e r l o s e t he m b ut he ne v e r a c t ua l i z e d t ha t i d e a N e i g hb o r ho o d k i d s b r o ug ht hi m o l d N i nt e nd o s a nd A t a r i s b ut t he y us ua l l y s a t a r o und f o r a f e w m o nt hs b e f o r e D a d g o t t o t he m D a d o f t e n m e nt i o ne d t ha t he d s e e n s o m e U F O s w hi l e he w a s f l y i ng f o r t he A i r F o r c e a nd o v e r t he y e a r s he a m a s s e d e v e r y b o o k o n U F O s e v e r w r i t t e n. S o m e t i m e s b e f o r e g o i ng t o b e d he d s e t up hi s t e l e s c o p e i n t he b a c k y a r d o s t e ns i b l y t o s t a r g a z e B ut I k ne w he w a s s e a r c hi ng f o r U F O s a nd s o d i d M o m O ne ni g ht e a r l y t ha t D e c e m b e r he c a m e ho m e f r o m a c r o s s c o un t r y f l i g ht c l a i m i ng t ha t o v e r M o nt a na

PAGE 81

78 he d s e e n a c i g a r s ha p e d U F O b i g g e r t ha n t he S e a r s T o w e r a nd t he ne x t f o ur w e e k s he s a t i n t he g a r a g e w hi c h he us e d a s hi s w o r k s ho p a nd p o ur e d d a y a nd ni g ht o v e r hi s U F O b o o k s T he n he s e t a s i d e h i s o t he r w a c k y p r o j e c t s a nd s p e nt n e a r l y t w o m o nt hs b ui l d i ng t he U F O A l a r m T he c r i s p S und a y m o r ni ng i n J a n ua r y D a d f i ni s he d i t he hus t l e d M o m a nd m e o ut t he b a c k d o o r w hi l e he j a b b e r e d o n a b o ut ho w he d c a r e f ul l y r e s e a r c he d a l l t he a t m o s p he r i c p he no m e na t ha t o c c ur d u r i ng t he t y p i c a l U F O s i g ht i n g T he w a l k w a y t ha t w e nt a c r o s s t he b a c k y a r d f r o m t he ho us e t o t he g a r a g e ha d n t b e e n s ho v e l e d a nd w e ha d t o s l o s h t hr o ug h t he s no w a s D a d e x p l a i ne d ho w he d p r o g r a m m e d t hi s U F O A l a r m t o g o o f f w he ne v e r i t d e t e c t e d t he r i g ht c o nd i t i o ns M o m f e l l b e hi n d s l o w i n g t o z i p p e r he r c o a t T ha t s g r e a t ho ne y s he s a i d W i l l i t g o o f f w he n t he d i s hw a s he r s f i x e d t o o ? Y e a h, I s a i d I m s i c k o f d o i ng t he d i s he s b y ha nd S o r r y D a d s a i d I l l g e t t o i t t o ni g ht B ut r i g ht no w I w a nt t o s ho w y o u t hi s H e o p e ne d t he g a r a g e d o o r I ns i d e o n t he c o nc r e t e f l o o r s a t t he U F O A l a r m I t w a s t he s i z e o f a c o f f e e t a b l e a j um b l e d m a s s o f g a d g e t r y t ub e s a nd w i r i ng a n d s e ns o r s a nd g a u g e s D a d p o i nt e d o ut t he s p e c i a l G e i g e r C o unt e r he d b o ug ht o f f a n e ng i ne e r f r i e nd a t t he

PAGE 82

79 P o i nt B e a c h N uc l e a r P o w e r P l a nt o n L a k e M i c hi g a n, a n d a n o l d f i r e t r uc k a l a r m he f o und a t t he D e P e r e F i r e S t a t i o n i n a b o x o f o l d d i s c a r d e d i t e m s S o w ha t d o y o u t hi nk ? he s a i d C o o l I s a i d a nd I k ne l t d o w n f o r a c l o s e r l o o k B e hi nd m e M o m m ut t e r e d s o m e t hi ng a b o ut t he d i s hw a s he r D a d s p e nt t he r e s t o f t he d a y m o unt i ng t he U F O A l a r m o n t he r o o f o f t he g a r a g e I t f i r s t w e nt o f f t w o w e e k s l a t e r T he f i r e s i r e n b l a r e d i n t he m i d d l e o f a b l a nk w i nt e r ni g ht I w o k e t o t he no i s e r a t t l i ng t he f r o s t o f f m y b e d r o o m w i nd o w a nd I t hr e w m y q ui l t t o t he f l o o r a nd d a s he d i nt o t he ha l l D a d w a s o n t he s t a i r s a n d I f o l l o w e d hi m d o w n t o t he b a c k d o o r W e y a nk e d o n o ur b o o t s a n d hur r i e d o ut i nt o t he f r e e z i ng ni g ht b o t h o f us s t i l l i n o ur b o x e r s M o m w a s b e h i nd us ho l d i ng he r c o a t s hut o v e r he r ni g ht g o w n, p l e a d i n g w i t h us i n a v o i c e t he ne i g h b o r s w o ul d n t he a r t o j us t g o b a c k t o b e d B ut l i g ht s a l r e a d y g l o w e d i n t he w i nd o w s o f t he V a n D y c k s ho u s e o n o ne s i d e o f t he y a r d a nd t he P e t e r s o n t he o t he r D a d s hut o f f t he a l a r m a nd I he l p e d hi m ha u l hi s t e l e s c o p e o ut o f t he g a r a g e a n d s e t i t up i n t he s no w M o m s t o o d s hi v e r i ng a nd w a t c he d us I d ne v e r s e e n he r l o o k s o t i r e d S l e e p p uf f e d a r o und he r e y e s m a k i ng t he m s e e m s m a l l a n d

PAGE 83

80 d a r k a nd he r b r e a t h s t r e a m e d f r o m he r no s t r i l s a n d s l o w l y v a ni s he d i n t he ni g ht S he s i g he d B r i a n A m a z i ng D a d s a i d H e s w i v e l e d t he t e l e s c o p e a nd a ng l e d i t s k y w a r d I t w o r k s T hi s i s a m a z i ng N o ho ne y M o m s a i d I t s l a t e D a d p e e r e d i nt o t he e y e ho l e a nd s t a r t e d a d j us t i ng o ne o f t he k no b s C o m e i ns i d e M o m s a i d C o m e t o b e d J e r e m y ha s s c ho o l i n t he m o r ni ng a nd y o u ha v e t o f l y t o i l e t p a p e r t o A k r o n. H o ne y D a d s a i d p l e a d i ng t he r e m i g ht b e a U F O u p t he r e r i g ht no w W e c a n t p a s s t hi s up W ha t w i l l J e r e m y r e m e m b e r i n f i f t e e n y e a r s g o i ng t o b e d s o he c a n g e t up e a r l y f o r s c ho o l o r s p e nd i ng a f e w ho ur s i n t he m i d d l e o f t he ni g ht t o l o o k f o r a U F O ? M o m s i g he d a nd he r b r e a t h s t e a m e d o v e r he r f a c e a nd d i s a p p e a r e d S he l o o k e d a t m e h e r j a w s e t a nd s he s ho o k he r he a d I s hr ug g e d a p o l o g e t i c a l l y L o o k i ng f o r a U F O I s a i d a n d I l o o k e d up a t t he s k y M o m w e nt i ns i d e a nd g o t o ur c o a t s a nd b r o ug ht t he m t o us a nd s he s t o o d b e hi nd D a d a nd m e w h i l e w e s c a nne d t he s t a r s m a t t e r e d s k y f o r f o r t y f i v e m i nut e s b e f o r e s uc c um b i ng t o t he b i t e o f t he c o l d D a d a nd I t o o k d o w n t he t e l e s c o p e a nd p ut i t i n t he g a r a g e a nd M o m

PAGE 84

81 f o l l o w e d us i nt o t he ho us e a nd s h ut t he d o o r w e a r i l y l i k e a d a y c a r e t e a c he r a f t e r t he k i d s ha v e c o m e i n f r o m r e c e s s * D a d w o k e m e e a r l y s o w e c o ul d w a t c h t he f i v e o c l o c k ne w s f o r r e p o r t s o f U F O s i g ht i n g s T he r e w a s n t a ny t hi ng a b o ut f l y i n g s a uc e r s b ut t he r e w e r e s t o r i e s o f w e i r d h a p p e ni ng s a l l o v e r G r e e n B a y A l l t he g r a s s o n L a m b e a u F i e l d ha d w i t he r e d o v e r ni g ht t o t he d i s m a y o f P a c k e r f a ns w ho w e r e a nt i c i p a t i n g t ha t S und a y s g a m e a g a i ns t t he a r c h r i v a l C hi c a g o B e a r s A nd T i m T he D o ug h B o y T o m a c he k t he r e g i o na l l y f a m o us b o x e r a l w a y s o n t he v e r g e o f s uc c e s s b ut t o o p u f f y t o a c hi e v e i t w o k e up i n hi s b e d w i t h hi s ha nd s i n a p a i r o f s o l i d g o l d g l o v e s A nd a c he f f r o m M i nne a p o l i s w o n e i g ht y t ho us a nd p l a y i ng b l a c k j a c k a t t he O ne i d a C a s i no t he n o ne s t e p o ut t he d o o r d r o p p e d d e a d f r o m a he a r t a t t a c k W i t h e v e r y s t r a ng e ne w s i t e m D a d s ho o k hi s he a d a nd p um p e d hi s f i s t t he w a y m o s t d a d s d o w he n t he i r f o o t b a l l t e a m s c o r e s a t o uc hd o w n. A l m o s t g o t i t he s a i d I m s ur e w e j us t m i s s e d i t A nd M o m w ho ha d j u s t w a l k e d i nt o t he k i t c he n l o o k i n g l i k e s he d ne v e r s l e p t g r o a ne d a nd b e g a n m a k i ng a p o t o f c o f f e e B ut t he s c e ne a t H o l y A ng e l s M i d d l e S c ho o l w he n M o m d r o p p e d m e o f f t ha t m o r ni ng w a s t he o d d e s t o f a l l A c r o w d o f s t ud e nt s ha d m a s s e d i n f r o nt o f t he b ui l d i ng a n d w e r e g a z i ng up t hr e e s t o r i e s a t a b e f ud d l e d he i f e r p e e r i ng o v e r t he e d g e o f t he r o o f I t t ur ne d o ut t o b e

PAGE 85

82 a H o l s t e i n na m e d B o nn i e t ha t b e l o ng e d t o a F a r m e r V a nd e r z a nd e n. F a r m e r V a nd e r z a nd e n l i v e d e i g ht m i l e s o ut i n t he c o unt r y a nd l a t e r he s w o r e t o T he D e P e r e J o ur na l t ha t he d p a t t e d p o o r B o nn i e o n t he he a d w he n he l o c k e d a l l t he c o w s u p t he ni g ht b e f o r e M o m r o l l e d d o w n he r w i nd o w a nd s ho ut e d a t a he f t y k i d d a w d l i ng a r o un d b e hi n d t he c r o w d H e y M a t t M a t t h e w W ha t s g o i ng o n? T he he f t y k i d t ur ne d a r o und H e y M r s C o s t e l l o M a t t s a i d T he j a ni t o r s c a n t g e t t ha t c o w d o w n i t w o n t f i t t hr o ug h t he d o o r t ha t o p e ns o nt o t he r o o f I n f a c t M r H a r r i s s a y s he ha s no f r i c k i n i d e a ho w i t c o u l d v e g o t t e n up t he r e i n t he f i r s t p l a c e T ha nk s M a t t M o m c a l l e d A nd w a t c h y o ur m o ut h I l l t e l l y o ur m o t he r S he r o l l e d d o w n he r w i nd o w a nd r ub b e d he r f o r e he a d w i t h t he he e l o f he r p a l m Y o u s e e M o m I c r i e d p o i nt i n g up a t t he c o w H o w d o y o u e x p l a i n t hi s ? Y o u c a n t D a d s a y s une x p l a i ne d t hi ng s l i k e t hi s a l w a y s ha p p e n w he n a U F O s b e e n s i g ht e d H e l l f l i p w he n he he a r s a b o ut t hi s M o m r o l l e d he r e y e s a nd y a w ne d Y o u r e a s c r a z y a s he i s G e t t o c l a s s A n d d o n t g a w k a t t ha t d a m n c o w *

PAGE 86

83 M o m p i c k e d m e up f r o m b a s k e t b a l l p r a c t i c e a nd o n t he r i d e ho m e s he d i d n t a s k m e t he us ua l q ue s t i o ns a b o ut ho w m y d a y w e nt a nd ho w b a s k e t b a l l w a s g o i ng a n d w e r e t he r e a ny s c ho o l d a n c e s c o m i ng up N o he r ha i r w a s a l i t t l e m us s e d a n d he r e y e s t i r e d a n d I k ne w s he w a s s t i l l f e e l i ng t he l a c k o f s l e e p A nd s he w a s a s q ui e t a s I us ua l l y w a s a nd t hi s t i m e I w a s t he o ne p r o b i n g f o r a ns w e r s I t w a s e a s y s he w a s a b i t m o r e f o r t hc o m i ng t ha n I u s ua l l y w a s H o w d y o ur c l a s s e s g o t o d a y M o m ? S hi t t y s he s a i d F o r m y b o t a n y l a b w e ha d t o i d e nt i f y s e e d s und e r a m i c r o s c o p e a nd I w a s s o t i r e d m y e y e s c r o s s e d W e r e y o u t i r e d t o d a y ? W e r e y o u t i r e d d ur i ng b a s k e t b a l l p r a c t i c e ? A l i t t l e I s a i d W e r e y o u t i r e d d ur i n g c l a s s t o o ? C o ul d y o u p a y a t t e nt i o n? Y e a h, I s a i d I d i d f e e l l i k e t ur ni ng i n e a r l y t ho ug h I d i d n t s a y a ny t hi ng Y o u k no w M a r y V a n D y c k c a l l e d a nd s a i d D i c k ha d a b a s e b a l l b a t o ut a nd w a s r e a d y t o g o o ut s i d e a nd b a s h w ha t e v e r w a s m a k i ng t he r a c k e t A nd I ha d t o t e l l he r i t w a s o ne o f y o ur f a t he r s p r o j e c t s Y o ur f a t he r s he s a i d a nd s he m ut t e r e d a c ur s e H e s g o t t o unho o k t ha t f r i c k i n U F O A l a r m P r o b a b l y j us t a p l a ne o r a s a t e l l i t e s e t i t o f f B ut w ha t a b o ut a l l t he c r a z y t hi n g s t ha t ha p p e ne d t o d a y ? C r a z y t hi ng s ha p p e n e v e r y d a y M o m s a i d

PAGE 87

84 S he c r a nk e d t he w he e l a nd t he V o l v o d i d a ha r d l e f t i nt o o ur a l l e y T he f o r c e p r e s s e d m e a g a i n s t t he d o o r M o m I s a i d c l ut c h i ng m y g y m b a g D r i v e l i k e a no r m a l p e r s o n. S he p ul l e d t he c a r i nt o o ur d r i v e w a y a nd c ut t he e ng i ne b ut no t t he l i g ht s T he y l i t up t he b a c k o f o ur ho us e A l l t he w i nd o w s w e r e d a r k M o m s a t t he r e w i t h he r ha n d s o n t he w he e l a nd s t a r e d s t r a i g ht a he a d Y o u k no w he d i d n t e v e n f i x t he d i s hw a s he r r i g ht ? s he s a i d H e p ul l e d i t a p a r t y e s t e r d a y a f t e r s up p e r p i e c e b y p i e c e I t s t i l l d i d n t w o r k t o d a y a nd y o u k no w w hy ? A c a p o f f a m i l k j ug w a s s t uc k i n t he s p i nn i ng s p r a y e r t hi ng A c a p o f f a m i l k j ug I t w a s i n p l a i n s i g ht H o w d i d he n o t s e e i t ? T ha t ni g ht t he U F O A l a r m w e nt o f f a g a i n. D a d w a s g o ne a nd w o ul d n t b e ho m e t i l l t he w e e k e n d s o t hi s t i m e w he n I d a s he d o ut o f m y r o o m I m e t M o m i n t he ha l l w a y S he c l ut c he d he r r o b e a r o und he r t hr o a t a nd s a i d he r v o i c e t hr o a t y a nd r a g g e d L e t s g o s hut t he d a m n t hi ng o f f I s t a r t e d l i k e I w a s g o i ng t o r un o ut s i d e i n m y b o x e r s a g a i n, b ut s he p ut a ha nd o n m y c he s t Y o u r e g e t t i ng d r e s s e d f i r s t A j a c k e t a nd a ha t a nd g l o v e s A nd p a nt s

PAGE 88

85 I w a s o ut t he d o o r f i r s t w hi l e M o m w a s s t i l l g e t t i ng he r c o a t o n, a nd I w e nt i n t he g a r a g e a nd s hu t o f f t he a l a r m M o m w a s s t a n d i n g o ut o n t he w a l k w a y w he n I b r o ug ht t he t e l e s c o p e o ut R e a l l y ? s he a s k e d F o r D a d I s a i d unf o l d i n g t he l e g s o f t he t r i p o d H e s g o i ng t o ha t e i t w he n he l e a r ns he m i s s e d t hi s o p p o r t uni t y M o m s ho o k he r he a d O k a y s h e s a i d Y o u c a n l o o k f o r U F O s I m g o i ng t o b e d I w o nd e r w ha t s t r a ng e t hi ng s w i l l ha p p e n t o n i g ht I s a i d a s s he w a s w a l k i ng t o t he ho us e S he l a ug he d a nd k e p t w a l k i n g h e r f e e t c r unc hi ng t he s no w I d i d n t s e e a ny U F O s b ut I g o t up e a r l y t o w a t c h t he ne w s ho p i n g t ha t s o m e o ne ha d s e e n a U F O o r t ha t s o m e t hi ng s t r a ng e ha d ha p p e ne d B ut no t hi ng ha d T he ne w s d i d t he w e a t he r s p o r t s f a r m r e p o r t s t he n m o r e w e a t h e r M o m c a m e i nt o t he k i t c he n a nd s t a r t e d t he c o f f e e m a k e r A ny s t r a ng e ne w s ? s he s a i d N o t r e a l l y Y o u s t i l l b e l i e v e i n U F O s ? s he a s k e d Y o u ha v e n t s e e n o ne a nd no o ne e l s e ha s e i t he r I d i d n t a ns w e r I g o t up a n d p o u r e d m y s e l f a no t he r b o w l o f c o r nf l a k e s w i s h i ng I c o ul d s l e e p f o r a f e w m o r e ho ur s M o m ha d a p o i nt

PAGE 89

86 I t w e nt o f f a g a i n t he ne x t ni g ht M o m a nd I w e nt o ut s i d e a nd w e w e r e s i l e nt a s w e t r ud g e d t he s no w y w a l k w a y t o t he g a r a g e L i g ht s w e r e o n i n t he V a n D y c k ho us e T he b l a r i ng s i r e n f i l l e d t he ni g ht a nd m y he a d a nd I t ho ug ht a b o ut ho w I d p l a y e d l i k e a d o g d ur i ng b a s k e t b a l l p r a c t i c e C o a c h D e M a t t o ha d no t i c e d a f t e r I t hr e w a p a s s o ut o f b o und s he b a r k e d o ut t ha t I ne e d e d t o q ui t s l e e p w a l k i n g F r o m t he V a n D y c k s c a m e t he s o und o f a w i nd o w b e i n g ha r s hl y p ul l e d up a nd t he n M r V a n D y c k ho l l e r e d a b o v e t he d i n o f t he a l a r m S hut t ha t d a m n t hi ng o f f W e a r e M o m y e l l e d b a c k G o t o b e d T he w i nd o w w a s s l a m m e d s hut I w e nt i nt o t he g a r a g e t o t ur n t he a l a r m o f f a n d M o m f o l l o w e d m e I m unho o k i ng t ha t t hi ng m y s e l f s he s a i d a f t e r I f l i p p e d t he R E S E T s w i t c h. S he w e nt t o t he l a d d e r a nd s t a r t e d t a k i ng i t o f f t he w a l l I m t a k i ng i t d o w n. W ha t ? I s a i d Y o u c a n t I t s D a d s b i g p r o j e c t I c a n t ha v e t ha t t hi ng g o i ng o f f i n t he m i d d l e o f t he ni g ht e v e r y f r i c k i n ni g ht s he s a i d I l l ne v e r s l e e p Y o u l l b e t o o t i r e d t o d o w e l l i n s c ho o l a n d y o ur d a d w o ul d o n l y g e t m o r e o b s e s s e d S he he a v e d t he l a d d e r up o f f t he f l o o r a nd c h a r g e d uns t e a d i l y t o w a r d s t he d o o r w a y Y e a h, s he s a i d I m t a k i ng i t d o w n r i g ht no w

PAGE 90

87 M o m w a i t I s a i d a s s he b a ng e d t he l a d d e r a g a i ns t t he d o o r f r a m e Y o u c a n t t a k e i t d o w n i t s D a d s B ut i t s m y g a r a g e t o o s he s a i d A nd i t s m y ho us e t o o A nd I m t he o ne w ho s l e e p s he r e e v e r y ni g ht A nd I m t he o ne w ho f i x e s t he g o d d a m n d i s hw a s he r T he l a d d e r s l i p p e d f r o m he r g r a s p a nd c l a ng e d o n t he f l o o r S he b e nt d o w n a nd he f t e d t he l a d d e r up a g a i n. H e l p m e g e t t hi s o ut t he d o o r w i l l y o u? s he s a i d S he w a s s e r i o us a b o ut t hi s W ha t w o ul d D a d d o i f he s a w h i s ne w e s t g r e a t e s t i nv e nt i o n i n a b r o k e n he a p o n t he c ur b l e f t f o r t he g a r b a g e m e n? W ha t w o u l d he d o w he n he l e a r ne d M o m ha d c huc k e d i t t he r e ? I c o ul d n t i m a g i ne I m s ur e he d ne v e r t ho ug ht a b o ut a ny o ne no t l i k i ng h i s i nv e nt i o ns l e t a l o ne d e s p i s i ng t he m H e w a s s o e nt hr a l l e d b y t he m a g i c he s a w i n hi s c r e a t i o ns t ha t i t w o u l d ne v e r ha v e o c c u r r e d t o hi m I t m i g ht c r us h hi m M o m y o u c a n t d o t hi s I s a i d D a d w o r k e d s o ha r d o n i t I m d o i ng i t s he s a i d S he d m a ne uv e r e d t he l a d d e r t hr o ug h t he d o o r a nd s l o w l y m o v i ng i t o ut s i d e J us t w a i t a m i nut e I s a i d I v e g o t a b e t t e r i d e a S he s e t t he l a d d e r d o w n. W ha t ? s he s a i d e x a s p e r a t e d he r b r e a t h s w i r l i ng a r o un d he r l i k e a s t o r m W e c o ul d s a b o t a g e i t I s a i d

PAGE 91

88 S he s t o o d l o o k i n g a t m e S he b l i n k e d B ut m a y b e t ha t w o n t w o r k I d s a i d H e s b o und t o c he c k e v e r y t hi ng H e l l f i nd t he p r o b l e m e v e nt ua l l y B ut M o m ha d n t he a r d a ny t hi ng I d s a i d a f t e r s a b o t a g e S he ha d a s t r a ng e l o o k i n he r e y e s l i k e s he w a s ha v i ng a p r o p he t i c v i s i o n o r a n e p i p ha ny a l o o k m uc h l i k e t he o ne D a d g o t w he n he w a s s t r uc k w i t h s o m e c r a z y i d e a T he b e l l i n t he f i r e a l a r m M o m s a i d v o i c e w i s p y a s he r b r e a t h. H e d ne v e r l o o k t he r e H e d ne v e r t hi nk o f t ha t I t w o ul d n t o c c ur t o hi m I t s e e m e d l i k e p r e s c i e nc e b ut r e a l l y i t w a s t he k no w l e d g e o f a w o m a n w ho c o m p l e t e l y und e r s t o o d t he w o r k i ng s o f he r hus b a nd s m i nd M a ny t i m e s s he d w i t ne s s e d hi m w o r k i ng t o p e r f e c t s o m e i nv e nt i o n, a nd s he d o b s e r v e d a l l t he f a i l ur e s o f hi s i m a g i na t i o n, t he s ho r t c o m i n g s o f hi s i nt r i c a t e l y p l o t t e d p l a ns a nd t he l a z i ne s s he g o t a b o ut a p r o j e c t o nc e t he i ni t i a l c r e a t i v e f r e n z y w a ne d S he und e r s t o o d ho w D a d c o ul d b e a g e ni us b ut s t i l l t a k e t he d i s hw a s he r a p a r t p i e c e b y p i e c e w he n t he p r o b l e m w a s j us t a l i t t l e m i l k j ug c a p S he k ne w D a d w o ul d ne v e r s us p e c t t he f i r e a l a r m I k ne w i t t o o M o m a r e y o u s ur e w e s ho ul d

PAGE 92

89 J e r e m y M o m s a i d i f t hi s t hi n g k e e p s g o i ng o f f a n d he d o e s n t s p o t a ny U F O s w i t h hi s t e l e s c o p e w ha t s ne x t ? D o e s he s l e e p o ut a t t he a i r f i e l d s o he c a n ho p i n a p l a ne i n t he m i d d l e o f t he ni g ht a nd c ha s e s ha d o w s a r o und t he s k y ? I f t hi s t hi ng ne v e r g o e s o f f a g a i n, y o ur d a d w o n t w o nd e r a ny m o r e H e m i g ht t hi nk t he r e w a s o nl y o ne U F O O r m a y b e he l l t hi nk t ha t t he a l a r m s g o i ng o f f w a s j us t a f l uk e B ut he w o n t b e o b s e s s e d M o m g a v e m e a p l e a d i ng l o o k A v e r y w e a r y p l e a d i ng w o r k I no d d e d O k a y I s a i d O k a y * T he U F O A l a r m r e m a i ne d o n t o p o f t he g a r a g e f o r e l e v e n y e a r s unt i l i t w a s t o r c he d b y a b o l t o f l i g ht ni ng d ur i n g a v i o l e nt a ut um n t hund e r s t o r m I t w e nt o f f o nl y t he t hr e e t i m e s D a d ne v e r f i g ur e d o ut w hy b ut o c c a s i o na l l y he d s a y d ur i ng s up p e r o r a c a r r i d e s o m e w he r e I g o t t a c he c k t he U F O A l a r m a g a i n. S o m e t hi ng m us t ha v e m e s s e d up t ha t f i r s t t i m e i t w e nt o f f M a y b e t he a l a r m s ho o k s o m e t hi ng l o o s e i ns i d e T he n he d c huc k l e I g o t t ha t s i r e n o f f a f i r e t r uc k y o u k no w H e d s i t up o n t he r o o f s c a nni n g t he U F O A l a r m s o i nt e ns e l y t ha t f r o m t he g r o und he l o o k e d l i k e he w a s j us t s i t t i ng u p t he r e w i t h hi s no s e p r e s s e d t o i t H e d t i g ht e n a s c r e w he r e t ug o n a w i r e t he r e t e s t t h e G e i g e r C o unt e r B ut i n t he e nd he a l w a y s c a m e

PAGE 93

90 b a c k d o w n, s ha k i n g hi s he a d I t s ho ul d w o r k he d s a y M a y b e t he r e ha s n t b e e n a U F O i n t ha t l o ng I d o n t k no w D a d w o u l d g o i nt o t he b a t hr o o m t o w a s h up a nd M o m w o u l d g l a nc e a t m e S he d s m i l e a nd w i nk I d s m i l e b a c k ha l f he a r t e d l y ho p i ng t ha t m a y b e a t ho us a nd U F O s ha d p a s s e d o v e r o ur ho us e

PAGE 94

91 H o w t he L us t y W o l f W a s L o o s e d A g a i n. A nd A g a i n. O n a n a f t e r no o n t hr e e m o nt hs i nt o m y s e nt e nc e t he o l d f o r e s t r a ng e r c a m e a nd o p e ne d m y c a g e d o o r I n t ha t t i r e d v o i c e o f h i s h e s a i d a s he d s a i d t o m e s e v e r a l t i m e s b e f o r e O ut y o u g o W o l f A n d d o n t m a ul a ny m o r e l i t t l e g i r l s I d b e e n i m p r i s o ne d f o r m a ul i n g s e v e r a l y o ung g i r l s y o u s e e b ut l uc k y f o r m e t he f o r e s t s p r i s o n n o w ne e d e d m o r e c a g e s p a c e f o r c r e a t ur e s w ho d b e e n c a ug ht e m b e z z l i ng s e l l i ng d r ug s o r c o m m i t t i ng o t he r no nv i o l e nt c r i m e s a nd a g a i n I w a s b e i n g s e t f r e e I t s e e m s I v e b e e n i n a nd o ut o f t he f o r e s t p r i s o n m o s t o f m y l i f e T he f o r e s t r a ng e r o p e ns m y c a g e d o o r a nd s a y s o ut y o u g o a n d a s I s a unt e r b a c k i nt o t he w o o d s I t e l l m y s e l f T hi s i s t he l a s t t i m e W o l f Y o u w o n t b e s t up i d e no ug h t o g e t t hr o w n b a c k i n t he r e a g a i n A nd I t r y t o l o s e m y s e l f i n t he f o r e s t I r o a m t hr o ug h t he t hi c k und e r g r o w t h a nd a l o n g t he b a nk s o f w o o d l a nd s t r e a m s hunt i ng r a b b i t s a n d s q u i r r e l s p r o p e r

PAGE 95

92 na t ur a l p r e y ; b ut s o o n I m s t a l k i n g m y o l d p a t hs s a l i v a s o a k i ng t h e f ur a t t he e d g e s o f m y m o ut h. I t a l w a y s ha p p e ns t he s a m e I g e t t hi s hung e r I m us t a ns w e r a hung e r f o r a l i t t l e g i r l a l i t t l e s w e e t i e Y o u s e e a t s uc h t i m e s t he t a s t e o f c hi l d f l e s h m a s t e r s m e t he s e ns a t i o n o f m y j a w s c o l l a p s i ng o n s o f t s k i n a nd m y t e e t h s l i c i n g ho t t e nd e r f l e s h o c c up i e s m y m i nd l i k e a p r e d a t o r a s s um e s t he d a r k ne s s o f s ha d o w a nd l ur k s i n t he ni g ht T ha t s a m e d a y I w a s s e t f r e e y e t a g a i n, I a m b us he d a y o un g g i r l o n a l o ne l y f o r e s t p a t h. I d r a g g e d he r i nt o t he d e e p w o o d s a nd f e a s t e d o n he r f l e s h, l e a v i ng b e hi nd o nl y a c r um p l e d e m p t y l i t t l e d r e s s I ne v e r he a r d a ny t hi ng a b o ut t ha t g i r l n o t o n t he ne w s o r i n t he p a p e r s a nd I m s ur e t he r e w a s ne v e r m uc h o f a n i n v e s t i g a t i o n s he ha d d a r k s k i n, a nd t he r e ne v e r i s m uc h o f a n i nv e s t i g a t i o n w i t h d a r k e r g i r l s M a y b e I s ho ul d ha v e s t uc k t o d a r k e r g i r l s B ut t he ne x t d a y I s p i e d a c a p t i v a t i ng l i t t l e b l o n d e g i r l s k i p p i ng d o w n t he f o r e s t p a t h a l o ne D r o o l d r i p p e d f r o m m y j a w s a n d i m m e d i a t e l y I w a s s e i z e d b y a d e e p i ns a t i a b l e hung e r a l w a y s a nd f o r e v e r I w o ul d w a nt he r S he c a r r i e d a b a s k e t a r o und he r a r m a nd t he ho o d o f he r r e d r i d i ng c o a t w a s d r a w n o v e r he r h e a d H e r l o ng g o l d e n b r a i d s hung d o w n a g a i ns t he r c he s t he r b l ue e y e s s p a r k l e d l i k e c hi p s o f i c e H o w d e l i c a t e s he w a s A nd s o y o un g a nd s o s m a l l a n d ho w e a s y t o p l uc k

PAGE 96

93 I l ung e d o ut o nt o t he p a t h a nd c r o uc he d s l a v e r i ng b e f o r e t ha t t i ny b e a ut i f ul ny m p h. D r o o l hung f r o m m y j a w s i n w h i t e s t r i ng s b ut I d i d n t d e v o ur t he l i t t l e s w e e t i e j us t t h e n N o b e f o r e I e a t I l i k e t o p l a y w i t h m y f o o d L i t t l e g i r l I s a i d w ha t i s y o ur na m e ? S he s hi e d a w a y a nd c l ut c he d he r b a s k e t M y h e a r t s i c k e ne d S he w a s s c a r e d o f m e a s t ho ug h I w e r e s o m e m o ns t e r L i t t l e g i r l I s a i d m y v o i c e n o w s o f t a s r a b b i t f ur Y o ur ha i r i s s o y e l l o w y e l l o w a s t he s un! S he p e e k e d o ut f r o m und e r t he h o o d N o w t e l l m e l i t t l e g i r l w i t h t he s un y e l l o w ha i r w ha t i s y o ur na m e ? L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d s he s a i d S he s t a m m e r e d w he n s he s p o k e a nd I r e a l i z e d t he r i c hne s s o f he r na m e s a k e o nl y a g i r l w i t h ho r s e s w o ul d ha v e a r i d i ng c o a t a nd o n l y a w e a l t hy m a n c o ul d g i v e hi s l i t t l e d a ug ht e r ho r s e s I ha d p i c k e d a g o ur m e t m o r s e l S uc h a p r e t t y na m e I s a i d A nd p l e a s e t e l l m e L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d w he r e a r e y o u g o i n g o n t hi s f o r e s t p a t h a l o ne ? T o m y g r a nd m o t he r s ho us e S h e s s i c k i n b e d a nd I m b r i ng i n g h e r s o m e c h i c k e n s o up m y m o t he r m a d e I c l a p p e d m y p a w s i n d e l i g ht H o w ni c e o f y o u t o c a r e f o r y o ur g r a nd m o t he r s o

PAGE 97

94 H e r b l ue e y e s s p a r k l e d A nd w he r e i s y o ur g r a nd m o t he r s ho us e m y s w e e t ? I s a i d I p r a y i t s no t f a r m a ny d a r k t hi ng s l ur k i n t he f o r e s t a nd I d a r e s a y y o u s ho ul d n t v e nt ur e t o o f a r b y y o ur s e l f I t s no t f a r s he s a i d I v e a l r e a d y c o m e o v e r t he r i v e r a nd no w I m a l m o s t t h r o ug h t he w o o d s I t s ho ul d b e j us t a he a d E x c e l l e nt I s a i d S uc h a g o o d s w e e t y o ung g i r l y o u a r e t o b r i n g y o ur s i c k g r a nd m o t he r c hi c k e n s o up I r i s k e d a k i s s o n t he t o p o f he r he a d r i g ht o n t he ho o d a n d a s h i v e r t hr i l l e d t hr o ug h m y b o d y N o w hur r y G o o n! G e t t ha t s o up t o y o ur g r a nd m o t he r I p a t t e d he r o n t he b o t t o m t o s e n d he r o n he r w a y a nd I s t o o d f o r a m o m e nt a nd w a t c he d he r s k i p he r t i ny s ho e s d a nc i ng t he he m o f he r d r e s s d r o p p i ng a n d l i f t i ng N o w a s I s a i d I l i k e t o p l a y w i t h m y f o o d a n d f o r t hi s s w e e t i e I ha d i n m i nd a m o s t e x c i t i n g g a m e i nd e e d Q ui c k l y t hr o ug h t he f o r e s t I b o un d e d t ho ug h m y s t o m a c h s na r l e d w i t h hung e r T he o l d l a d y s ho us e w a s n t f a r a nd I a r r i v e d t he r e i n m i nut e s I l e a p t t hr o ug h a n o p e n w i nd o w a nd f o und t he o l d l a d y i n b e d t he s he e t s d r a w n up t o he r c hi n. G r a nd m o t he r I s a i d b o w i ng s l i g ht l y b e f o r e I p o unc e d up o n he r I d i d n o t d e v o ur he r t he n b e c a us e o f c o ur s e I d i d n t w a nt t o s p o i l m y a p p e t i t e f o r t he s w e e t s o s o o n t o a r r i v e s o I t i e d g r a nny up w i t h s o m e

PAGE 98

95 y a r n t ha t w a s l y i ng a r o und a nd s t uf f e d he r i n t he c l o s e t I us e d t o b e i n ho m e he a l t h c a r e y o u k no w I t o o k o ne o f t he o l d w o m a n s l a c y b o nne t s p ut o n o ne o f he r ni g ht g o w ns a n d I s l i p p e d i nt o t he b e d t o w a i t f o r L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d S ho r t l y t he r e w a s a l i g ht k no c k k no c k o n t he d o o r C o m e o n i n, I c a l l e d i n a ni c e g r a nny v o i c e T he d o o r o p e ne d a n d i n s t e p p e d L i t t l e R e d R i d i n g H o o d S he s hut t he d o o r b e hi nd he r a nd s he p ul l e d he r ho o d b a c k M y s w e e t T he b r i g ht y e l l o w ha i r t he b l ue o f he r e y e s t he s o f t ne s s o f he r c he e k s M y l i m b s t r e m b l e d a nd m y m o ut h w a t e r e d H e r e y e s f e l l o n m e a nd a s t r a ng e e x p r e s s i o n c a m e t o he r f a c e H e l l o G r a nd m o t he r s he s a i d Y o u d o n t l o o k s o w e l l A n d y o u r e s hi v e r i ng A r e y o u f e e l i ng b e t t e r a t a l l ? I a m s hi v e r i ng I s q ue a k e d I a m s o c o l d W o u l d y o u b e s o k i nd a s t o s e t t ha t b a s k e t b y t he s t o v e a nd c o m e i nt o b e d w i t h m e t o w a r m m e up ? T he y o ung d a r l i ng c r i ng e d a n d I f e l t a s ha m e d t ha t m y a p p e a r a nc e d i s g u s t e d he r S he s e t t he b a s k e t b y t he s t o v e I c o ul d g e t s o m e o n e t o s t a r t a f i r e i n t he f i r e p l a c e s he o f f e r e d P l e a s e I c r i e d C l i m b i nt o b e d w i t h m e P l e a s e c o m e w a r m y o ur p o o r s hi v e r i ng g r a nd m o t he r S he s m i l e d b ut a s o ur l o o k w a s b e hi nd i t S he w a s t hi nk i n g O k a y s he s a i d a t l a s t a nd a t i c k l e o f d e l i g ht s w e p t o v e r m e

PAGE 99

96 T ha nk y o u, m y d e a r e s t s m a l l e s t s w e e t i e I s a i d A s s he g o t und e r t he c o v e r s s he g l a nc e d a t m y f a c e M y g r a nd m o t he r s he s a i d ho w ha i r y y o ur f a c e i s O l d w o m e n o f t e n g r o w f a c i a l ha i r I s a i d I t s o ne o f t he b a ne s o f a g i ng A n d ho w l o n g y o ur no s e i s N o s e s a nd o t he r c a r t i l a g i n o us a p p e nd a g e s ne v e r d o s t o p g r o w i n g I s a i d I s t ha t w hy y o ur e a r s a r e s o b i g t o o ? Y e s I s hi f t e d m y b o d y a l i t t l e unt i l m y s i d e p r e s s e d a g a i n s t he r s T he t o uc h o f he r w a s e l e c t r i c A nd w ha t i s t hi s ? L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d a s k e d S he s o un d e d w o r r i e d a nd a l i t t l e s us p i c i o us A t a i l ? G r a nd m o t he r y o u v e ne v e r ha d a t a i l M y j a w s w e r e w e t w i t h d r o o l P ul l o n m y t a i l I s a i d S he he s i t a t e d b ut b y t hi s t i m e I d ha d e no ug h b ui l d u p I s na r l e d P ul l o n i t S he d i d a nd I t ho ug ht Y e s Y e s W ha t a w o r l d t ha t l e t s m e p l a y g a m e s w i t h s u c h y o ung l i t t l e s w e e t i e s a nd t he n t a s t e t he i r f l e s h! A nd j us t t he n t he d o o r s w ung o p e n a nd t he r e s t o o d t he o l d f o r e s t r a ng e r H e l o o k e d a t R e d R i d i ng H o o d t he n a t m e a nd hi s g r a y e y e s

PAGE 100

97 w e nt w i d e w i t h a ng e r W o l f he c r i e d W ha t t he he l l a r e y o u d o i n g he r e ? I d l i k e t o k no w t he s a m e t hi ng a b o ut y o ur s e l f I s a i d H e d r a g g e d m e o ut o f t he b e d h e w a s o l d b ut he s t i l l ha d s t r e ng t h a nd s l a p p e d m e i n c uf f s I a m t he p a r a m o ur o f t he o l d w o m a n w ho l i v e s he r e h e s a i d H e he l d m e d o w n a g a i ns t t he f l o o r W he r e i s s he no w ? I d o n t k no w I s a i d H e y a nk e d m y e a r I t hi nk s he s t e p p e d o ut T he p o l i c e f o und he r l a t e r S he w a s m ut t e r i ng s o m e t hi ng a b o ut f i r s t o v e r m e d i c a t i n g a nd b e d s o r e s a nd n o w b e a t i ng s T he p o l i c e b r o ug ht h e r t o a nur s i ng ho m e w he r e s he w a s s ur e t o g e t he r m e d s b e d s o r e s a nd b e a t i ng s N o w t ha t I w a s s ub d ue d t he r a ng e r w e nt t o L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d a nd l i f t e d he r f r o m t he b e d S he w a s s t i f f w i t h s ho c k A r e y o u o k a y m y d a r l i ng ? he s a i d H e p a t t e d he r b a c k W ha t d i d t ha t na s t y W o l f d o t o y o u? T he l i t t l e g i r l t o l d h i m w ha t ha p p e ne d a nd t he n t he r a ng e r t ur n e d t o m e I s t ha t w ha t ha p p e ne d ? L i t t l e R e d R i d i n g H o o d g l a nc e d a t m e a nd t he ho r r o r i n he r e y e s m a d e m e s i c k P r e t t y m uc h, I s a i d T he r a ng e r k ne w m y M O H e d b us t e d m e a d o z e n t i m e s b e f o r e a nd he k ne w m y b e ha v i o r p a t t e r ns a s w e l l a s I d i d

PAGE 101

98 P e r v e r t he s a i d t o m e Y o u r e g o i n g b a c k t o p r i s o n. A n d y o u, p o o r c h i l d he s a i d t o L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d a r e g o i ng h o m e t o y o ur m o t he r A g a i n t he r a ng e r l o c k e d m e i n a c a g e t o w a i t f o r m y t r i a l L u c k y f o r m e I ha d n t d e v o ur e d t he l i t t l e g i r l o r t he ne w s s t a t i o ns w o ul d ha v e c a l l e d f o r m y e x e c ut i o n. T he y w e r e o ut r a g e d a s i t w a s m y v i c t i m b e i ng a l i t t l e b l o nd e b l ue e y e d g i r l a n d no t o ne o f t he d a r k e r o ne s I us ua l l y p r e y o n. Y e a h I t ho ug ht a s I w a t c he d t he ne w s m a y b e I r e a l l y f uc k e d up t hi s t i m e M a y b e I w o n t b e o n t he o t he r s i d e o f t he s e b a r s f o r y e a r s S hi t a nd I l l ha v e t o g o w i t ho ut a ny l i t t l e s w e e t i e s f o r s o s o l o n g M y t r i a l w a s a f e w w e e k s l a t e r I p l e d no c o nt e s t t o t he c ha r g e o f m a ul i n g a y o ung g i r l T he e v i d e n c e c o ul d n t b e r e f ut e d I d i d n t e v e n b o t he r t o g e t a l a w y e r T he j ud g e w a s a n o c t o g e na r i a n i n s p e c t a c l e s w i t h l e ns e s l i k e d i n ne r p l a t t e r s a nd he ha d t he e m b a r r a s s i ng ha b i t o f a d d r e s s i ng i na ni m a t e o b j e c t s A f t e r I e nt e r e d m y p l e a he t ur ne d h i s b l a nk b l i nd m o us e f a c e t o t he c o a t r a c k b y t he w i nd o w a nd s a i d S o w ha t s e nt e nc e d o e s t he p r o s e c ut i o n r e c o m m e nd ? T he p r o s e c ut i ng a t t o r ne y s w e r e a s e ns i b l e b ut f r us t r a t e d m a n a nd w o m a n, a nd w he n t he j ud g e a d d r e s s e d t he c o a t r a c k t he m a n s l a p p e d hi s ha nd t o h i s f a c e a nd t he w o m a n s ho o k he r he a d W e r e o v e r he r e y o ur ho no r s he s a i d

PAGE 102

99 O h y e s t he j ud g e s a i d S o r r y H e t ur ne d t he o t he r w a y a nd l o o k e d a t t he b a i l i f f T he j ud g e s q ui nt e d a nd a d j us t e d hi s s p e c t a c l e s I b e g y o ur p a r d o n, M a a m I t ho u g ht t he r e w e r e t w o o f y o u. T he c o ur t r o o m r e s o und e d w i t h g r o a ns o ne o f t he m m y o w n. T he b a i l i f f s e y e b r o w w e nt up T he m a l e p r o s e c ut o r m a d e a g e s t ur e t o hi s c o l l e a g ue t o j us t g o a he a d a ny w a y T hi s w o l f i s a s i c k p e r v e r t s he s a i d I c o ul d n t ha v e a g r e e d m o r e H e ha s b e e n p r e v i o us l y c o nv i c t e d s he c o nt i nue d o f m a u l i ng y o ung g i r l s s e v e n t i m e s A l s o t r ue S ur e l y b y no w he ha s p r o v e n hi m s e l f i n c a p a b l e o f r e ha b i l i t a t i o n, a nd i f i t w e r e a n o p t i o n w e w o ul d s ug g e s t t ha t he no t b e r e l e a s e d b a c k i nt o t he f o r e s t e v e r a g a i n. T ha t w o ul d m a k e s e ns e A s i t i s s he s a i d he s ho ul d r e c e i v e t he ha r s he s t p e na l t y a s w e t he p r o s e c ut i o n, r e c o m m e nd D e f i ni t e l y T he j ud g e g a z e f i x e d o n t he b a i l i f f no d d e d h i s h o a r y he a d S ur e l y he s a i d H e k e p t no d d i n g a s t ho ug h he ha d n t b e e n l i s t e n i ng b ut a ny w a y w a s t r y i ng t o r e m e m b e r w ha t ha d b e e n s a i d T he s e nt e nc e I

PAGE 103

100 s ha l l g i v e t o t hi s w o l f i s H i s v o i c e t r a i l e d o f f a n d he he l d h i s m o u t h o p e n. H i s c hi n q u i v e r e d I m s t i l l s ur p r i s e d he s a i d t o t he b a i l i f f I t ho ug ht t he r e w e r e t w o o f y o u! T he m a l e p r o s e c ut o r t hr e w hi s a r m s i n t he a i r a nd c r i e d T he s e nt e nc e y o ur ho no r P l e a s e O h, y e s t he j ud g e s a i d I s e nt e nc e t hi s w o l f w h o c o m m i t t e d s uc h a d i s g us t i ng a nd r e p r e he ns i b l e c r i m e a g a i ns t a n i nno c e nt d e f e ns e l e s s c hi l d t o s i x t y d a y s o f i m p r i s o nm e nt H e r a i s e d hi s g a v e l a nd b r o ug ht i t d o w n o n h i s g l a s s o f w a t e r I t s ha t t e r e d a nd t he r e w a s a s p l a s h o f w a t e r a nd g l a s s s ha r d s f l e w a l l a b o ut T he b a i l i f f c l o s e d h i s e y e s a nd s ho o k hi s he a d T he p r o s e c ut i ng a t t o r ne y s d i s g u s t e d s na p p e d t he i r b r i e f c a s e s s h ut a nd s t o r m e d o ut o f t he c o ur t r o o m T w o o f f i c e r s s l a p p e d m e i n c uf f s a nd t he y l e d m e b a c k t o t he f o r e s t p r i s o n a nd m y o l d c a g e T he r a ng e r w a s w a i t i ng I n y o u g o he s a i d S i x t y d a y s T w o w ho l e m o nt hs B ut a s l uc k a nd t he j us t i c e s y s t e m w o ul d ha v e i t I w a s o ut a g a i n i n t w o w e e k s T he r a ng e r c a m e t o m y c a g e c a r r y i ng a s c r a w ny m a l e c a t a l m o s t s t i l l a k i t t e n, b y t he s c r uf f o f t he ne c k Y o u r e d a m n l uc k y W o l f t he r a ng e r s a i d W e ne e d y o ur c a g e s p a c e f o r t hi s a b o m i na b l e a ni m a l H e s a i d a ni m a l w i t h g r e a t d i s t a s t e

PAGE 104

101 H e unl o c k e d a nd o p e ne d m y c a g e a nd I s l i nk e d o ut T e a r s w e l l e d i n t he c a t s e y e s a nd t he r a ng e r t o s s e d hi m i n a nd s l a m m e d t he d o o r s hut T he c a t c r a w l e d i nt o a b a c k c o r ne r P a r d o n m e I s a i d t o t he r a ng e r b ut w ha t c r i m e d i d t hi s f i l t hy v e r m i n p e r p e t r a t e ? H e w a s s e l l i n g t he N i p t he r a ng e r s a i d T he N i p ? I a s k e d C a t ni p s a i d t he r a ng e r H e w a s s e l l i ng i t t o a l l t he ne i g hb o r ho o d k i t t e ns a nd t he y w e r e g e t t i ng a l l s i l l y o n i t G o o d t hi ng w e g o t t hi s g uy o f f t he f o r e s t p a t hs w e c a n t ha v e s i l l y k i t t e ns T he g o o d g uy s e a r n a no t he r v i c t o r y i n t he W a r o n D r u g s T he c a t ni p d e a l e r c o w e r e d b e h i nd t he b a r s a nd I t ha nk e d m y l uc k y s t a r s t he r e w a s no w a r o n c hi l d m a ul i n g p e r v e r t s I t o l d t he r a ng e r I d b e s e e i ng hi m s o o n, a nd a s I w a l k e d b a c k i nt o t he f o r e s t t ha t o l d s t i r r i ng s t a r t e d i n m y b e l l y a nd m y m o ut h b e g a n f i l l i ng w i t h s a l i v a M a y b e I d r un i nt o L i t t l e R e d R i d i ng H o o d a g a i n, o r a no t he r y o ung g i r l l i k e he r