Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction

No One Could Help Him

Mr. Sneed’s grand­son, Trot, iden­ti­fied the boy as Gabriel Velasquez, the youngest broth­er of Jose Velasquez, a man who had worked for him every­day for the past three years. He lied to Hernandez and told him he did­n’t know where the par­ents lived. Truth was, they had no papers and lived on his father’s land.

You know, Trot we have to talk to them if we’re gonna have any chance of catch­ing who­ev­er did this.”

After see­ing the boy, Trot had kept his back to Hernandez and the coun­ty inves­ti­ga­tors busy­ing them­selves over the boy’s body. He answered him loud­ly, clip­ping off his words over his shoul­der. “I told you. They’re not around. They would­n’t know any­one around here any­way. Talk to Jose.”

Sure.” Hernandez wrote some­thing in his note­book and looked at the back of Trot’s head. “You know what obstruct­ing jus­tice is?”

Oh, this is bull­shit. A lit­tle boy’s dead and you’re comin’ after me.”

No. No, you’re not help­ing me.”

Trot turned back to him, weep­ing tears hoard­ed away in 40 years of terse emo­tion­al dis­tance from all those he knew and loved. He was a man who could no longer find secu­ri­ty in the con­straints of shame. “And you know I can’t, Eddie. You know that.”

Hernandez whis­pered, “yeah.”

Gimme a minute. Jose’s gonna be here soon.” Trot Sneed spit into the tilled dirt and then turned to walk deep­er into the peach orchard.