Halfway House

Published in M/C Journal, volume 14, number 3 (2011)

Cars crest the rise behind the truck stop and drop cones of light over the highway. Ryan dunks his head under a tap. He rubs red dust from his pores and tries to drink some water, but it slides down his throat like a length of wire.

His older brother Josh fills their drink bottles. “Wanna get some chips or something?”

Ryan shakes his head. He’s sick of watching Josh’s pulpy tongue poke his broken tooth. Their dad never left visible marks before—Ryan used to wish for a cut or bruise, so someone at school could see it. He shivers and clutches his coat tight.

Read the whole story here.