The Sin Eater's Confession
Ilsa J. Bick
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
People in Merit, Wisconsin, always said Jimmy was . . . you know. But people said all sorts of stupid stuff. Nobody really knew anything. Nobody really knew Jimmy.
I guess you could say I knew Jimmy as well as anyone (which was not very well). I knew what scared him. And I knew he had dreams even if I didn't understand them. Even if he nearly ruined my life to pursue them.
Jimmy's dead now, and I definitely know that better than anyone. I know about blood and bone and how bodies decompose. I know about shadows and stones and hatchets. I know what a last cry for help sounds like. I know what blood looks like on my own hands.
What I don't know is if I can trust my own eyes. I don't know who threw the stone. Who swung the hatchet? Who are the shadows? What do the living owe the dead?
scrubs and stood. “Everything will work out just fine.” _____________ The next day was Sunday. The one good thing was that my dad was on first shift that weekend, which meant he was gone all day. Mom didn’t try talking to me, and Mallory was out with her friends, so it was quiet around the house. I tried studying, but that was a complete bust. I kept thinking about how I never wanted to see Jimmy again. Then I’d get this maniac urge to go over to the Langes and maybe smack him around myself. I
other kids looked at me, I didn’t feel so strange. At the T, Parker and the other guys peeled off to the right for English while I went left toward my first-period Russian history class. I was maybe two steps along when someone said, “Hey.” I turned. Now, this wasn’t the first time Brooke had ever talked to me during the year, but she’d never gone out of her way to hang out either. No, wait, that wasn’t right. Last June, she’d called a couple days before end-of-the-year exams and asked if I
Jesus. Maybe there was more there than feeling sorry for him. Here I’d gone out of my way to be nice, teach him things, to try to make things right for him at home. So did that mean I was in love with him? Could you be gay and not know it? I didn’t even know anyone I could ask about that. The couple Google searches I did suggested that I should kind of just know, but reading down the checklists made me a little queasy. The one thing that kept popping up, though, was that if I hadn’t had, like, a
paid for my purchases, took the key and my change, went back to my truck, grabbed my sweatshirt, and then went around back to the men’s room. The men’s room was cold and reeked of the sour ammonia tang of urine and old farts. A lone fixture in the ceiling bled thin yellow light, and I could see the black carcasses of dead flies trapped in the bowl. The floor was grimy yellow and white tile. The toilet seat was up, and a ring of brown stained the underside, rim, and bowl. There was something wrong
there was a concession stand and I gimped over and bought an energy drink. Got it down without bringing it back up. Then I went home. My mom was still at the table, only she’d changed out of her robe and into jeans, and the kitchen smelled like soup. She looked up from the Sunday crossword. “How was the run?” “Okay,” I said. “I’m going to take a shower and then I got homework. Uh . . . did Dad . . . have they found . . .” 151 She shook her head. “I don’t know. He was taking a nap when the