Why Did They Leave You Alone?

C’mon kid. Spill.

You’ll have to say something sooner or later, those are my buddies over there, dredging that hole.

Where did your parents go? Did they run off and ditch you? Are they catching a plane or train or just hoofing it to Canada? Did they just step out for a smoke? Maybe they’re in the bathroom.

You gatta tell us sooner or later, we’ll know anyway. We got ways. We got computers. We’ll scan everything you ever touched. Find the blood that’s been washed away, the spit, the semen. You think a few bars of motel soap and some bleach will hide your identity? We’ll ask your DNA. And DNA don’t lie to us.

Was it Shelly? Surely it was her or Daisy or Mary or Carrie or Jill. One of these girls. Look kid, look. You can’t keep those eyes closed forever.

A lot of girls won’t stop for some stranger on the street. Too smart. They’ll stop for a kid though. They’ll stop to play tag or kiss booboos or say hi to a couple with a kid.

Were they really your parents? Pssh. Why am I even asking? Like I could trust your answer.

You ever been in there? It’s a long, cold drop. Used to service a mine, now it’s just for dopers. No respectable girl would be within a mile of this place.

Oh hey! You hear that? That’s Phil. Phil just found something.

Great guy, Phil. Sharp eyes.

Your knee hurt? I can get a bandaid. But we gotta get to the station for that, and to get to the station you have to talk.

Were they nice to you? That don’t mean a whole lot. Nice people don’t do this. Nice people don’t break up families and leave mothers up crying all night. Did they buy you pop and let you stay up? Lemme tell you kid, that may seem like love but it ain’t.

They’ve got the chain going. That means something’s big. Something down there.

Did you move around a lot? Hell, I did that when I was a kid too. I used to look up to my pops. When I grew up I realized he was a no-good shit. Drank. Fought. Got kicked out of places too many times. But I still loved the shit out of him until he hit my ma. Isn’t that funny? They’ve got you until that one thing, the one thing they do turns the tide, makes all the love into hate.

Well kid? What’s in there? The one thing?

It’s stuck. Looks like they can’t winch it up. Makes you sick to think about it.

Did they tell you it was all your fault? That’s a lie. That’s the god-damndest lie I ever—

Huh. Too heavy for the truck? That’s gotta be a first.

Look, kid, you aren’t helping nobody. You aren’t helping your folks, you aren’t helping those girls, and you aren’t helping your case any, I can tell you.

Randy, keep it down! I’m talking to the kid here!

Yeah, just a second.

NO, DON’T CALL FOR BACKUP. IT’S A TEENAGE GIRL FOR CHRISSAKES, HOW COULD IT—

Times running out. You hear that? That’s the hammer coming down.

Just open up.

Open up. Open—

…kid.

What the hell did they do to your tongue?

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