Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
THE RECKONING by Peter Bodo [Excerpt]

THE RECKONING by Peter Bodo [Excerpt]

Ratings: (0)|Views: 23|Likes:
Published by Diversion Books
The Reckoning
By Peter Bodo

Sunday
They were just west of Sentinel Butte, and bearing down on the Montana state line, when a rattling sound woke Billy Underwood. The boy had been asleep, scrunched up in the passenger-side corner of the narrow back seat of the Ford extended-cab pickup truck. Through the gap between the front seats the boy could see the right hand of the man driving, his father, Clay. His rusty-blond hair contrasted sharply with his weathered, ruddy skin, and the veins stood out
The Reckoning
By Peter Bodo

Sunday
They were just west of Sentinel Butte, and bearing down on the Montana state line, when a rattling sound woke Billy Underwood. The boy had been asleep, scrunched up in the passenger-side corner of the narrow back seat of the Ford extended-cab pickup truck. Through the gap between the front seats the boy could see the right hand of the man driving, his father, Clay. His rusty-blond hair contrasted sharply with his weathered, ruddy skin, and the veins stood out

More info:

Published by: Diversion Books on Jun 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

04/06/2014

pdf

text

original

 
 
 
 
The Reckoning 
 
By Peter Bodo
 
Sunday
 
They were just west of Sentinel Butte, and bearing down on the Montana state line, when arattling sound woke Billy Underwood. The boy had been asleep, scrunched up in the passenger-side corner of the narrow back seat of the Ford extended-cab pickup truck.Through the gap between the front seats the boy could see the right hand of the mandriving, his father, Clay. His rusty-blond hair contrasted sharply with his weathered, ruddy skin,and the veins stood out like blue cables on the top of his hand and bare forearm. Without looking,or taking his left hand off the wheel, Clay shook out some pills on the console, tossed them in hismouth, and took a long swig off the bottle of water in the cup holder. He lit a cigarette.The boy was still drowsy. He saw a lot of sky
 — 
it seemed to be all around him, so blue andclear and empty on this bright October morning that it hurt his eyes. The only mark on it was astraight white scar left by a jet long gone by, high overhead. From the side window across thetruck, he saw the Dakota plains flying by, a sea of rolling, short-grass prairie the color of straw,swelling and subsiding here and there, interrupted now and then by a giant, symmetrical soybeanor chickpea field that already had been harvested, leaving nothing but rows of stubble in black dirt. Far in the distance, Billy saw a cluster of gray structures
 — 
a small house, a barn, and awindmill that reminded him of a pinwheel.The boy thought about his tenth grade classmates back at school. They would be impressedto see him now, riding in the truck and seeing amazing things
 — 
so much land all in one place,things farther away than you can tell, with nothing between them at all. He had read about theold-time buffalo hunters and the bone collectors who followed them on the Great Plains, and thiswas almost exactly what he had seen in his imagination.
After a while, he guardedly asked, ―Whose truck is this?‖
 
―You so
und suspicious-
like,‖ Clay sighed. ―You expect I stold the truck?‖
 
The boy didn‘t know if his father was kidding or not. He didn‘t really know his father at all
and would have been hard put to recognize him in a convenience store. Billy lived with hismother, from whom his father had been estranged for many years. Clay had barged into therundown house the boy shared with his mother in the middle of the previous night to take Billy
 
 
away. He didn‘t remember much about it all, because it happened very fast an
d Billy had beenfast asleep. But here they were.
―You know what they say, boy. Don‘t judge a man before you done walked a mile in hisshoes.‖ Clay cracked the window and lit another cigarette. ―Boy, you sure can sleep. If they helda sleep rodeo you‘d win
 
yourself a buckle the size of a dinner plate.‖
 
―I never said you stole the truck.‖
 
―Well I appreciate that.‖ Clay picked up the amber plastic pill bottle and dropped it in hisshirt pocket. ―A friend loaned me the vehicle. Fella I once worked for by name of Cliff Hagan.‖
 
The name meant nothing to the boy. ―Where we going?‖
 
―Well, I almost give up on you ever askin‘.‖ Clay caught the boy‘s eyes in the rearviewmirror. ―Tell you what. Wiggle on up here an‘ ride shotgun. The ride‘ll go faster for both of us
if 
we talk.‖
 
The boy studied his father‘s profile. He was more gaunt than he would have pictured,leathery and etched with lines and crow‘s feet at the corners of piercing blue eyes that contrasted
with his curly, rusty-blond hair. He had a mustache that turned down a little on both sides of his
mouth. He didn‘t really look like a killer, and the boy wondered if that part was true. He had only
overheard his mother talking about it, but there were times when his mother said all kinds of crazy things.
―I got somethin‘ up here for you anyways. . . Seein‘ as this is your first elk hunt and all.‖
 
The boy wasn‘t sure he‘d heard right. An elk hunt? He loved fishing and hunting; after football, they were the things he cared most about. But all he‘d ever shot before
were squirrels
and a few hen turkeys he‘d snuck up on and ambushed with his friend Darren, who owned a real
.22 caliber rifle of his own. Darren would be impressed to know that Billy was going elk hunting,someplace far. If it were true.The boy pulled himself up and wriggled between the seats, to the front. The plains and skyspread before him seemed even more overwhelming from the passenger seat.
―See that there backpack layin‘ on the floor? Look inside.‖
 Billy looked at the bag. It was new; it had a slick camo pattern and lots of straps andplastic buckles.
―There ain‘t nothing gonna bite you in there. Go ahead.‖
 The boy unzipped the roomy main compartment and saw a pair of brand-
new boots. ―Arethese for me?‖
 
―You bet.‖
 Billy took out the hunting boots, one at a time. They were brand-new, and also camo. He
studied them. ―They‘re Rockys.‖
 
―You bet. Size eight.‖
 
―Thanks.‖
 The boots still had some tags dangling, and they were stuffed with paper.

Activity (2)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd