The Weight of the World
smiled at his bad joke.
    “ I
finished my Night Prowler.”
    “ Your
    “ It’s
an all-terrain go-kart I’ve been working on for a couple of years.
I built it from scratch. You can race it on mountains. I’m hoping
to take it somewhere for a good test drive this summer.”
    “ Oh,
that’s neat.” Devon was already looking over his shoulder for
Adam. Evan was very familiar with reading signs of disinterest.
    “ Well,
see you,” he said.
    “ Huh?”
    “ Good
luck finding your friend.”

wandered through the crowd with a fresh twenty-dollar bill crumpled
in his fist. He wasn’t really interested in the ferris wheel or
trying to win any prizes. Ferris wheels were only fun to ride with a
girl and the prizes were all useless crap.
this crowd he knew no one and nobody knew him. He examined the
occasional face, looking for someone he might recognize.
Hadley’s was the first face his eyes fell on that seemed as
disinterested in the fair as he was. The weedy teenager was propped
against the striped side of a food concession hut, flipping through a
menu on a cell phone and looking lost. He looked up and his gaze
caught Adam’s. He did an awful lot of staring, but Peter found that
he didn’t really like it when the eyes were on him.
    “ Can
I help you?” he asked, shoving his phone in his pocket.
    “ Sorry,”
Adam said. “You were just interesting.”
laughed bitterly. “Am I?”
    “ You’re
the only person here who doesn’t seem like he wants to be here.”
    “ I
was hoping to run into someone.”
    “ A
squinted. “A friend,” he said, ignoring the fact that Penelope
Davis was a girl and that Adam was spot on in pinpointing Peter’s
hopes. “Who are you?”
    “ Adam,”
he said. “I moved in next to Devon Valentine. Do you know her?”
    “ Peter,”
Peter introduced himself. “And yeah, I know Devon. Everyone does.”
    “ Her
family is nice,” Adam said, omitting any mention of the current
    “ There
you are,” said Devon as she found Adam through the crowd. She
stopped next to him and nodded to Peter. “I guess you two have
    “ Is
he a friend of yours?” Adam asked.
    “ We
were kind of kidnapped together this winter,” Peter supplied.
    “ Come
    “ Some
delusional psychopaths. It was in all of the papers. There were a
bunch of us.”
blue eyes were wide and wondering. The pair seemed incredibly casual
about being the victims of such a potentially scarring crime.
    “ Mom
texted. She wants me home so she can be sure I’m not with Frank.”
    “ It
was nice to meet you, Peter,” Adam said.
    “ Yeah,”
Peter replied.
turned his back and slipped into the crowd, ready to go home.

vacation was no excuse for June Herald to slack off. Keeping busy was
the easiest way to keep her mind off of her ex, Zach. It wasn't easy
to forget him when they met once a week for The Pantheon. She had to
look at his stupid face every Sunday afternoon.
had gotten the idea for the fundraiser from a news article back in
March. June had formed a group (she had borrowed members from student
council and Valerie Hess' virgin club) dedicated to buying Kindles
for the special needs students in the Miami school system.
had set up a booth just outside of the south gate to the fairgrounds.
She had built elaborate displays out of foam core and plastered them
with colorful stock images of multiracial children reading. Two
younger girls flanked the booth and handed neon fliers to people who
passed by. June stood close to the table, ready to pitch her plan to
anyone who approached.
fair had been mildly successful, so far. June had spoken with a
mother of a visually impaired child, who invited her to come speak at
her church. A few teachers from the district had signed up for her
email list, too.
was some time after nine when the trouble started. June was showing
her Kindle to a curious
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