TITLE: Red Lick
GENRE: YA Historical
Thorny Taylor crept through the dark, his body slick with sweat. He had to catch up to the others, and he had to do it quick, without notice. If he scared off the night’s prey, there would be no more chances for him. He could not fail again.
“Watch out, boys! He’s doublin’ back!
Thorny’s heart quickened. The chase was on. They were coming his way. He had a chance.
He crouched behind a large sycamore and melted into the sweltering dark. In the distance, a firefly blinked as though sending a signal. Thorny pulled his clothes from his sticky skin and peered around the tree.
Please, God. Let me catch him. Let it be me.
Brush crackled. Branches snapped. Voices rose from the silent depths, growing louder and louder. They were coming. All of them. Barreling toward him like a freight train, making no effort to be quiet. Thorny stood, ready to pounce.
A blur broke through the trees and Thorny sprang from the brush. Someone slammed into his chest and they both tumbled to the ground. Thorny shoved the body away then scrambled on top of it. He sat on the heaving chest and pressed his knees down on two flailing arms.
“Get off! Let me go!”
Thorny gazed down at the struggling body beneath him.
“Jesus,” he whispered.
It was Willie Brown. Little Willie Brown who wasn’t so little anymore. He stared into the black face, grateful for the hood that covered his own.