Of course as seventeen year olds, we thought we were being quiet as the five of us grabbed the watermelons from the patch he had in his front yard. Giggling drunk and high, we stumbled over the rows to the panel van, juggling as many of the melons as we were able to carry each trip. Then the house lights blazed through the open windows, the screen door slammed open banging against the house, and he exploded onto the porch raging. We scattered like rats. “What the hell,” he screamed as if an evangelical preacher come Sunday morning condemning all sinners. Not waiting for the expected shot gun blast to rend the air, we leapt without grace over the rows of watermelons, scrambling into the van that idled nearby. Nate hit the gas before we were completely in. The van’s doors flapped open like mouths panting. We all screamed for our lives, as watermelons rolled out the back to thud like dead bodies onto the moonlit summer street.

(January 15, 2022)

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