When Yellow Leaves

When Yellow Leaves

  Thursday From afar Boyd could see it like the patched gray quilt his grandmother used to cover him with, saying, Good night, sleep tight, wake up bright in the morning light, and do what’s right. She must have learned those rhymes before the Wars of Excision,...
The Freest Man Alive

The Freest Man Alive

    Chapter from High in the Streets   My whole life I’ve thought myself defective or at least peculiar. As a boy, I could do what the others did—with some effort I managed algebra, chemistry experiments, and reading Conrad. In this way I was not...
The Crowns

The Crowns

Kansas City, Missouri Hilary Crown Johnson hadn’t been home in a week. Instead, he chose to sleep at his apartment on campus, which was fine because I didn’t really want him back anyway. I enjoyed my morning cigarette while standing in a clutch of trees at the edge of...

Mercy Rule

Prologue The spring before my father came back I sprouted up to five-five in a hurry. The week after finishing seventh grade the growing pains kept me in bed for three days, but by Independence Day Felix and I were at the Mill Creek courts hustling preppy jocks from...