Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction - Part 1 archive


William’s Day

After Luke Bettis left, William gathered all his things from the porch and went inside. He took a shower so he he wouldn't have to hear the phone if it rang again. He got out only after he had used all of the hot water. As he dressed he kept repeating "Goddamnit" under his breath, over and over again. Looking at himself in the mirror, same old blue ... +more+

October 23, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction

Not Much Of A Toy

"Was he at school yesterday?" "Yes." "The whole day?" "Um, yes." "When he left did he tell you or did you overhear him telling someone else where he was going?" "No." "Did he have friends in the class?" "Yes. A few. He was older. We held him back a year, so some of his friends were in the seventh grade. Even though it's not usually allowed, we let him spend his recesses with the older boys." "I see. ... +more+

October 20, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction,raw

They Did It All Before

"Welcome parents and students. Thank you for attending this last minute assembly. By now, most of you parents already know that we have lost one of our students..." Hernandez watched the Principal and Superintendent of Brenlee Elementary School District speak to the assembly without really listening to him. Mr. Yaeger's jaw tightened as he spoke, fighting a losing battle to seem together and steady against the pull of the bags ... +more+

October 18, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction,raw

Inside Gabriel’s Desk

It wasn't until lunchtime that Andrea Lawson, Gabriel's teacher, heard the rumors. Seventeen of the 632 children in Brenlee Elementary were absent from school that day and only two were unaccounted for by Vice Principal Schmidt who had called all of the families herself: Gabriel and a little girl in the second grade whose family was rumored to be living in the reservoir campground. Ms. Schmidt told the teachers to ... +more+

October 16, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction,raw

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 ... +more+

October 6, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction

Local Boy Murdered

The following selections appeared in The Brenlee News, first week of September, 1986. The article ran next to a three column photo of an old clapboard house captioned "Sneed home. Mr. Sneed found the boy's body in his orchard yesterday morning."

Brenlee, California -- The body of a 12 year old boy was found in a peach orchard on the northeast edge of town yesterday morning. Mr. Pickem Sneed, a local
... +more+

Winchester Kady

Win kept his eyes shut and his body still last night, but he never truly slept. His mind kept working over minor details from the office, the growing collection of nagging pings and bangs coming from his car engine, the money his daughters needed in order to be teenagers, the attention his house needed in order to remain a house, and fueling it all, the anticipation of the the next ... +more+

October 2, 2006 | Part 1,People,premature fiction

The Boy With Strong Hands

The first season he picked blackberries he was eight years old. He worked hard and talked little. He wanted the farmer to know he was serious and useful, not like most of the older, white kids who laughed and ate as many berries as they boxed. He decided to be like his older brothers who picked more berries, faster than anyone except the most diligent women whose hands seemed never ... +more+

September 29, 2006 | Part 1,People,premature fiction

Before The County Arrived

After Mr. Sneed goes inside, Hernandez takes a new package of yellow crime scene tape from his car and marks a large rectangle around the body, looping the tape around the thick branches of mature peach trees on one side of the dirt road and the green tips of the almond saplings on the other. Then he paces along the road opposite the body, trying to decipher the freshest tire ... +more+

September 27, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction

William’s Knot

He had returned to Brenlee, almost a year ago, to an ambulance and police car in front of his parent's house. On the porch, a young neighbor woman saw him and said, "Oh, she was so excited about you coming this week," burst into tears, and ran home. Inside, paramedics quickly and competently ripped open packages, drew meds, and inserted tubes and needles into his mother's body where it lay, ... +more+

September 25, 2006 | Part 1,premature fiction