Honor After Math

Backed into a corner

Jim Dutton
Genius in a Bottle

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Image generated using Midjourney, edited by Jim Dutton

“I didn’t think you’d show up,” Joe shouted to me.

I stumbled over the pitcher’s mound of the deserted ball field and slowly approached my old friend waiting for me in the outfield grass.

“I told you I’d meet you out here after algebra class,” I said.

“Yeah, but…“

Joe was paler than usual, and his eyes wider.

“I keep my word,” I said, sounding braver than I felt.

“Are you okay?” Joe asked.

“Yeah. You?”

He shrugged in response.

Joe and I had been best friends since third grade when his family moved to the tiny town where I grew up. He’d been my confidant and protector for most of that time. Even though I stood a few paces from him, he towered over me. He was an athlete, a lineman on the football team. I was a geek who weighed fifty pounds less than him. I could only hope the beating he was about to give me would be over quickly.

“Do we still have to do this, Joe?” I asked, my voice breaking slightly. “I mean, today of all days.”

“You know we do, Denz,” he said.

“But, why?”

“Honor,” was all he said.

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Jim Dutton
Genius in a Bottle

Writer, Musician, Carpenter, Inventor, Entrepreneur