Page 33 - WTP Vol.VII #3
P. 33

 ing, he’d already gotten tan from running with his shirt off, but now his skin was milky white, his veins branching out like thin, blue visible roots. He was still muscled, but to what end?
“I just want to say something to her,” Mr. Keegan said.
He was about to give in to the numbness sapping his spirit, when the other kids showed up.
“I know you’re a teacher,” Frank said, “but if you get out of the car, I’m going to knock you out. I know what’s been going on, so go home to your wife and baby.”
The dead ones.
Instead of responding, Mr. Keegan climbed out of the car and staggered like a sleepwalker in Patti’s direc- tion. He wore tan shorts, brown flip-flops, and a tight Under Armour T-shirt. He looked stronger than Frank had remembered, so Frank knew it wouldn’t be easy to bring him down.
“I know you,” Frank Rizzo said to the man sitting ner- vously in his car.
“I told you to stay in the car,” Frank said. But Mr. Keegan didn’t seem to hear him.
The figure squirmed. It was James Keegan, who taught history to juniors and seniors at Frank’s old high school.
Frank grabbed him by the arm. He understood why girls thought Mr. Keegan was hot, but now he looked like he hadn’t slept in a week. His eyes were tired and bloodshot, and he appeared somewhat dazed.
“Calm down, Frank,” the teacher said. “Kids are watching.”
But Frank had no intention of calming down. “You should’ve stayed home, Mr. Keegan, instead of track-
“There’s something wrong with her,” Mr. Keegan said, pointing to Patti, as she spun pointlessly in circles.
“Alex Youngblood was as surprised as anyone that someone was
holding a vigil for him.”
“Yeah, she’s crazy.”
“You don’t understand,” Mr. Keegan said. “I want to help her.”
“Then get back in the car.”
By now, kids were looking at them.
“You really want this, Mr. Keegan?” Frank said, trying to give the teacher one more chance.
 ing down Patti like some horny pit bull.”
“I just need to talk to her,” Mr. Keegan said.
“Then call her later. This stupid vigil’s almost over,
“I’m here for the vigil,” Mr. Keegan said, as if that proved his good intentions.
But Mr. Keegan kept walking, so Frank had no choice
“Then why’re you hiding in your car. Patti already told you to get lost.” Frank looked around, finally locat-
ing his sister. She was standing in the middle of Alex Youngblood’s lawn, the wind catching her flimsy white dress, threatening to hoist her into the sky. She was spinning in circles, a beautiful pale whirling der- vish. Was she just attracting attention to herself again, or was this some nutty ritual to bring Alex back from the dead?
but to tackle him.
Alex Youngblood!
Why the fuss over that asshole?
It was Campbell McVeigh’s idea to go to the vigil. His father had told him he could take three six-packs, as long as he and his friends were “discreet” and drank them in the woods beforehand. After all, his father and his friends had done things like that, so what was the harm, and his father knew the Youngbloods well, es- pecially Alex. Alex would’ve liked his friends to mourn
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