It Ain’t About Hooch


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I need to say something. Something to calm Brandon’s storm. “So Brandon. Remember that Possum Piss you forced me to swallow?”

“Shut up, Emma June.”

“Just saying. I wouldn’t have minded so bad if you’d poured what we’re selling down my throat. Best in the south.”

“Best in the south,” Scoot mutters.

Brandon’s black eyes coil like a snake as he stares at me. “Ain’t about hooch, stupid ass.”

Scooter makes a slow-go at standing up. He sticks his hand inside Knife Pocket. I get closer to him and whisper, “It’s okay, Scoot. We’re going home soon.”

Frank’s eyes go wide, his fists clenched at his sides. “I didn’t touch your sister, Brandon.”

“Yeah? And I trust you? You’re nothing but a gigolo from New Orleans.”

“Nah-Len’s,” Frank says.

I try not to laugh at Frank’s Seriousness. He’s never pronounced the town like that.

Brandon spits again. I want to tell him I know what he did to Carla. I can’t. I promised. But I never promised one thing.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket


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