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The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony

The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony

Author:Gretchen Anthony
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Park Row Books
Published: 2020-06-01T16:48:59+00:00


* * *

Wouldn’t you know, Carter Allman was on Jack’s porch when he pulled into his driveway.

Carter was wearing a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off that said Check Your Girls Every Month in curlicue pink lettering, a breast cancer ribbon in the middle. It was either a handout from the Goodwill, or that kid had guts.

“Sandra Beals over at the daiquiri stand says she was walkin’ home past yer place last night and you were in here havin’ a fight with the devil hisself.”

He eyed the bandage on Jack’s wrist.

“That why yer bleedin’?”

“You’re not old enough to be hanging out at the daiquiri stand.” Tybee, and most of this part of Georgia, had a tradition of frozen daiquiri bars and open carry laws, meaning, you didn’t have to go anywhere in low country without a drink in your hand and a gun on your hip.

“Ain’t no crime if I don’ buy.”

He had him there. Jack pulled his tools from the truck with his good arm.

“Who were you fightin’ with, anyhow? Cap’n Slush says you avoidin’ Cap’n Ford like a scaredy lil’ kitten. But I said I never seen you run from anybody. So, which is it? You fightin’ with Cap’n Ford?”

Jack shooed past him, like always, and unlocked the door. He stopped at the threshold. The disaster on the other side was worse than he’d remembered it.

“Whoa—” said Carter, peering in from behind. “Sandra Beals ain’t tellin’ no lie.”

“Nope.” Wasn’t any point in denying the evidence.

Most of the wreckage fell along the northeast wall where two cement pillars stood like bookends, one at each end, drywall in the middle. Whoever built the place hadn’t bothered to plaster, just slathered the drywall with cheap yellow paint the color of mouse pee. Compared to that, the dreary gray of the pillars looked almost stylish.

For Jack, the cement also proved to be impressively destructive.

“Someone sucker punch you, Jack? That how you done yer place up so good?”

“You could say that.”

“Was it Cap’n Ford?”

“Nah. Not exactly.”

“Cap’n Slush?”

“Nope.”

“Randy Stripe from over at the Pig ’n’ Whistle?”

“Not him, either.”

“You sure? ’Cuz Randy got my brother Cal real good in the face one Fourth of July even though Cal said he weren’t payin’ him no mind. Randy’ll sucker punch you, all right.”

“Wasn’t Randy.”

“Well, who then? I’m sick o’ guessing.”

Jack brushed a few shards of glass away from the floor near the doorjamb with the toe of his boot. He hadn’t set foot in the apartment and already he felt tired enough to drop right down on the front lawn and sleep.

I thought I’d let you know that we’re going to do a bunch of TV interviews on Friday.

“You still looking to earn some money?” He didn’t even turn around, knowing without looking at the kid that Carter would take him up on what he was about to offer.

“What you got?”

“You know how to operate a VCR? Make sure it records and all that?”

“’Course.”

“You know where you can still buy a new tape? A blank one? To record on?”

“Sure.



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