Once, a girl lived in a double-wide trailer on ranchland, beneath a wide white sky tumbled with clouds. The Prophet, a scowling crow of a man, presided over everyone and everything. When the girl wasn’t praying or busy with chores, she’d spin in meadows dancing with bees and dandelions, until Father called her name from the porch: “Agnes, back in the house.”
Unfamiliar shouts outside our bedroom door awaken me to the darkness. Heavy stomps approach. Beside me, Amy doesn’t move. I sit upright in bed as the door bursts open, splitting the wood along the doorframe.
Meryl screams from her bed. Someone flips on the the light. It’s two men, dressed in black: the God Squad.
“The air was cold and wet, and if you stood still for a moment the chilling damp would creep into your bones. I could tell the temperature was taking a deep dive, and the bright sky of the morning was a fond memory. It was an appropriate day to dump a body.”
““Wow,” I said, since it was all I could think of to say. “Wow. That’s some outfit.” When you’ve got a big guy wearing Lycra it doesn’t leave a whole lot to the imagination. I resisted the temptation to ask Eric to turn around.
“I don’t believe I could be convincing as a queen,” Eric said, “but I decided this sent such a mixed signal, almost anything was possible.” He fluttered his eyelashes at me. Eric was definitely enjoying this.
“Oh, yes,” I said, trying to find somewhere else to look. “