Eight days left until the release date for Permanent Damage. Ten stories. A teaser every day for each story to whet your appetite, give you a hint of the plot and the feel of them.
Today, we see what happens on the playground when the adults aren’t around . . . .
THE LESSONS LEARNED AND THE DAMAGE DONE
He didn’t need to check if the kid was breathing, or if his heart was beating. He was dead. He could feel that much from here.
The other kid who was standing there — Trevor didn’t know his name, either, but he thought it was one of Sam’s friends — he picked up something heavy. A brick. Brick red, blood red. “Sam was chasing him,” this kid said. “Found a brick and threw it at him.”
“I hit his head,” Sam wailed. Trevor flinched at the sound — it seemed fundamentally wrong. “I hit him in the fucking head and he just went down.”
“Did you tell a teacher? Did anyone?”
Sam stared at him. “Are you fucking crazy?”
Trevor shrugged, his hands in his pockets. It made him feel weirdly fearless, seeing Sam like this. “Why tell me?” he asked.
The other kid said, “Justin says you can fix it.”
Trevor made himself laugh. “What?” he said.
Justin nodded glumly. “I told them about the dog.”
You told — ” He stopped. Looked at the other two kids. “You believed him?”
“Can you fix it?” Sam asked.
Trevor kneeled down next to the dead boy. Everyone else took a step back. Maybe they didn’t want to think about how close they were standing. Or maybe they were scared. Not of the dead boy. Of Trevor.
“I don’t know,” Trevor said. “I’ve never done a person.”
“You gotta try,” Sam said. “If you don’t, I swear to God I’ll — ”
Trevor looked up at him. “You’ll do what?” he said.
“Nothing. I just — please, can you do it? Please?”
“If I do,” Trevor said, “you never touch me again. Got it?” He hoped it sounded tough.
“Sure. Sure, whatever, anything.”
Trevor held his hands out over the dead kid, palms down. He jerked them away, as if he’d touched a hot stove burner. He sighed, rubbed them together, tried again.
“I can’t believe you told them about the fucking dog,” Trevor said.
“Permanent Damage” — Available Oct 1, 2012. Pre-order now!previous post: “Permanent Damage” Teaser Two: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW | next post: “Permanent Damage” Teaser Four: THE LEAK