We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

Author:Quan Barry
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Published: 2020-03-02T16:00:00+00:00

What had Sue Yoon said earlier that night? We ride upon sticks and are there presently. Well, following a Town & Country, we definitely weren’t anywhere presently. Eventually we turned up a side street and climbed a steep upgrade before parking in a remote spot and getting out to do some reconnaissance. There were no other cars around, no people. It was also pretty obvious there was no party raging, but it was still pretty early, only a little after nine o’clock. We were at the very top of Gallows Hill next to an open field that looked bigger at night. Some of us had been there before. It was a place teens liked to gather to party. There were woods on the other side of the field that led down the hill. It was maybe a ten-minute walk all the way down through the forest to the bottom, where there was a playground and baseball field. If people were partying in the woods, they could be anywhere just off the trail.

“You guys wanna play Truth or Dare?” asked Blond Mark.

It was a weird thing for a college sophomore to say. It had already dawned on most of us that the Marks and Guy Whose Name We Didn’t Catch maybe weren’t the most debonair of college sophomores. The Town & Country alone should’ve been a tip-off. That and the right-side parts in their hair, which reeked of politicians or used-car salesmen.

Julie Minh and Brunet Mark were still in the Town & Country. Heather said Julie Minh was okay, that she wanted to be in there with him, that they were mostly just talking about their faiths. It turned out that in addition to cartons of eggs, the minivan was also loaded with pamphlets and brochures about the Good News. Talk about attracting what you are. Both the Claw and le Splotch sighed simultaneously at the idea of newly adult Julie Minh sitting in a perfectly good love machine chatting with an anatomically correct boy about the Resurrection.

“Let’s get this party started,” huffed the Claw.

We walked off a little ways to give the lovebirds some privacy. It was dark, but one of the Marks had a flashlight. We found a path in the trees and followed it down to a great stone outcropping, boulders scattered about. “Guys, I think this is Proctor’s Ledge,” said Heather Houston.

“What’s Proctor’s Ledge?” said Becca Bjelica. It was starting to feel as if we only kept her around to ask these obvious questions on behalf of the rest of us.

“Nobody knows for sure where on Gallows Hill the victims of the hysteria were hung,” said Heather. She pushed her glasses farther up her nose. If she pushed them up any further, they’d be all the way in her brain. “But some historians say it was right here.”

“Creepy,” said Abby Putnam. Still, the idea of bodies swinging from nearby trees didn’t stop her any from peeling a new banana.

We found space on the rocks and took a seat.


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