When Donny said to meet by the juniper tree, I knew which one. There were dozens of gnarly old trees out there whittled and twisted by the wind, but only one we’d carved our initials on. Only one we’d swore oaths under.
My heart sank when I saw Carl was with him.
‘You need protection now, Donny?’ I called, trying to laugh, the sound drying in my throat.
Donny shrugged. ‘Carl was just passing by.’
I guess he was just passing by when that kid at the drugstore lost an eye. I knew the kid’s Mom. Nice lady.
‘You broke your promise,’ he said quietly.
‘You broke yours first.’ I stepped back, rocks rolling under my feet, tumbling down the ravine.
Carl reached into his pocket.
A deafening blast, the stink of cordite … For the drugstore kid’s Mom.
‘Let’s talk, Donny,’ I said.