The First Drop of Rain

Her hometown was nothing more than a four-way stop on decaying asphalt. One corner ensured a family bread, milk and gas. If the Proctors needed more, they drove the fifteen miles to the county seat, complete with two traffic lights, a bank, the Goodwill , Piggly Wiggly and a public school. Kenzie took a right at a broken-down tomato cart, then a left past the Elliot's kudzu-laden trailer.

Two men hunched over the rusted corpse of a car hood. Ribs lined narrowed torsos , and grease splattered across their skin and onto threadbare jeans clinging to knobby hips. They moved in tandem, slowly rising like uncoiled snakes to watch Kenzie through squinty eyes as one flicked a toothpick toward her car. She nodded at them. Boys like these were as familiar as stray dogs and buzzards. All of them lined the red dirt roads of memory.1

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