Ike Dyson sittin’ on a schoolyard fence.
Benny Tulip comes walkin’ up and puts a flash of a rundown green and white trailer in Ike’s head—the one he’d seen in a couple of Polaroids.
Ike’s dad had to talk Ike’s mom into the til-we-have-a-family-to-save-money trailer cuz she swore she’d never be trailer trash.
Ike’s folks sold the trailer once Ike was conceived there and his mother swore she’d burn it down before she’d be there and be fertile. Ike’s folks sold the trailer to Benny’s folks who too just conceived a son.
Benny Tulip was raised in a trailer of disdain.
Benny got shot. Benny stole a car. Benny got taken from his folks. Benny got fostered with the weird smelly lady science teacher. Benny wore donated shoes we’d all already seen in the church clothing-drive bin. Benny got hardknocks.
Benny pushed Ike off that rail for all the horrors of his life.
Ike Dyson felt his head concave and convex as the concrete first dented then swelled his gourd.
Benny swears at everyone gathered to see that it was all a joke and, whether it is or it ain’t, Ike Dyson gets it.
Adam Van Winkle was born and raised in Texoma and currently resides with his wife and two dogs on a rural route in Southern Illinois. Van Winkle is founder and editor of Cowboy Jamboree Magazine, a bi-annual online rag dedicated to western and rural stories with rough edges. His short fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in places like Pithead Chapel, Dirty Chai, and The Vignette Review. Excerpts from his novel-in-progress, Abraham Anyhow, appear in Steel Toe Review and Crack the Spine. Van Winkle was named for the oldest Cartwright son on the television series Bonanza.