A Flight of Storks and Angels by Robert Devereaux

By Robert Devereaux

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They’re off somewheres. ” Timothy tried to dissuade him, but Ward put Calvin’s nervousness down to embarrassment about his home life. He had heard that Calvin’s father, a guidance counselor at school, could, for all his dressing up in smart clothes, let slip some fairly crude remarks—more whispering at this stage than anything the kids let the teachers in on. With a son like Big Mike, who’d been held back twice and was maybe seventeen but in ninth grade, neither one of the parents was likely to be a prize.

Art Lockridge, June’s departed uncle, had built both treehouse and clubhouse. Early that morning, he brought June and her parents over for the unveiling. Ward begged his mom to let June stay for the party and they’d been the best of friends ever since. His love for her was perfect spirit, deep as the ocean, no lust at all. Ward gazed at the white rose. It would look great on her, a reflection of the white rose of her soul. “Come on,” said Ward, wrapping the rubber band around the box. Out the ornate door with its elfin carvings they went.

Mike’ll beat the crap out of me. I’m lower than shit anyway, leading a kid who used to be my friend into a trap. But like Mike says, it serves him right for getting on his bad side in the cafeteria and for spouting all that crap about guardian angels in sixth grade. Screw me for telling about that at dinner. But I thought it was weird and would train the spotlight on me for a change. Yeah, they got two minutes’ yuck-yuck out of it and went right back to ragging on everybody. Mike? He wore his mean look after dinner and pumped me for details.

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