The Kids of Rock Hill
Something was wrong with the kids. We all knew it. But fear clogged our throats; we couldn’t say what we wanted. And even if we had it wouldn’t have mattered. By the time we realized what was taking place it was too late to stop it.
Jamie Wells down the street had been the first to notice. She rang me on the phone and jibber-jabbered about it for at least an hour before I told her to take a Xanax and calm down. She insisted I come over.
When I got to her house the front door hung wide open. I quietly stepped inside. “Hello?”
“I’m in here.”
Jamie sat in the kitchen burning through a pack of cigarettes like Marty Feldman on a bender.
I drove us there in her car; she was in no condition to be behind the wheel.
“Look,” Jamie said, pointing over the edge of the steep drop-off.
I stumbled back, hands flying over my mouth. Seeing Tommy’s body at the bottom of that giant scar on the Earth was the worst thing I’d ever seen, but not for long.
Brad Coleson came running toward us. I figured he’d heard the news and came to see what happened. He ran clear off the edge and left a splatter of blood right next to Tommy.
I stared down that hole in disbelief.
The sound of a marching army came thundering from down the street.
Thousands of children were coming in our direction.