I don’t want to answer any more of her all-the-time questions. So I ask, “Where’s Scooter?”
“Behind on his school work. No surprise there.” She laughs, but I know her son lagging behind in this world rubs blisters of worry under her skin. “He’s home with Leonard,” she continues. “I’ll swannee, my poor husband doesn’t have much hair left from the strands he pulls out trying to help Scooter.”
“Hmm,” I say, looking at Choppers.
Kids at school say Scooter’s grain elevator doesn’t reach the top of the silo. That he acts more like a six-year-old than a thirteen-year-old. They don’t know Scooter like I do. He might not be the brightest penny in the cash box, but I’ve known him all my life. He has more grain than most of the numbskulls in Holly Gap, Texas and Scooter’s worth more than the whole lot of them. Wherever Scoot skips, bounces or walks, goodness sprouts in the footsteps he leaves behind. Without Scooter, everything would grow dead.
Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket
Daily word prompt: Criticize
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