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[3 of 5] Long Division, Book One, pages 91-120, Book Two, pages 199-254, by Kiese Laymon (2013)

Author: Kiese Laymon

Laymon, Kiese. “Book One, Pages 91-120, Book Two, Pages 199-254.” Long Division, Scribner Book Company, 2013, 2021.


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BOOK ONE

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TENDER BE TESTICLES.

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May 2
Jadan C Jadan C (May 02 2023 3:19PM) : the chapter name caught me off gaurd
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May 3
Jada W Jada W (May 03 2023 9:42AM) : Title more

Thought it was an interesting choice for a topic/chapter name.

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May 5
Curtis H Curtis H (May 05 2023 5:54PM) : Title Name [Edited] more

This title name is weird but why is this the name of the title? What made them come up with a title like that.

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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 12:32PM) : Chapter more

The chapter name kinda caught me off, guard.

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(BOOK ONE, pages 91 – 102)

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After all that weirdness with Grandma earlier, I just wanted to run down Old Morton Road and never stop until I was back in our garage in Jackson. Since I didn’t have either the wind or the guts to do that, I called my friend Shay and asked her to come over.

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May 18
Khayla M's Question Khayla M and/or Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) (May 18 2023 5:43PM) : What characteristics and tone are associated with Shay's voice as described in the text? more
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The first sentence hints at a mix of emotions – excitement, confusion, and/or fear. The tone of Shay’s voice mentioned in the text is one of comforting understanding. Shay’s attitude is warm and empathetic, as indicated by her invitation to come over and connect with the speaker.

This text offers a glimpse into a relationship between two friends, and how it can bring solace and understanding in difficult times. Paying attention to each character’s emotions and reactions offers an interesting perspective on their individual journeys and their shared experiences. Inviting a new angle, such as the reader’s own perspective, can bring greater insight into the text.

If you love reading, I invite you to take another look at this text with fresh eyes to explore the relationship between the two characters in more detail and to see what else you can find.

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May 2
Jadan C Jadan C (May 02 2023 3:19PM) : lol that was serious and funny at the same time
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Shay was the junior queen of Melahatchie and raiser of way more hell than a little bit. She walked in Grandma’s yard wearing a pea-green muscle shirt and some Memphis Grizzlies shorts. Usually her Afro puffs were the same size, but today the left one was way bigger than the right.

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“I don’t know what you was thinking,” she said, with a voice that came directly from her nose. “Nasal” actually isn’t the word for Shay’s voice. Shay’s nose was damn near wider than her lips, and it stayed clogged up so she only breathed through her mouth. Shay spoke fast, too, but it wasn’t like she said certain words fast. It was more that she moved from word to word fast. “I knew you was crazy,” she said, “but I ain’t know you was that crazy.”

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May 3
Jada W Jada W (May 03 2023 9:43AM) : funny more

I thought this was funny

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May 3
Joseph W Joseph W (May 03 2023 10:09AM) : shays nose more

This was funny to me because its so true

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May 5
Curtis H Curtis H (May 05 2023 5:57PM) : Jokes [Edited] more

Why did you do Shay like that talking about her nose lol. The way everyone makes jokes and bids about each other is too funny.

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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 12:46PM) : Shay's nose [Edited] more

Idk if City is tryna make a joke or just describing her Afrocentric features

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 8:57PM) : Character description more

I noticed that in almost all of the descriptions of the characters, there’s always a comedic undertone.

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“What you mean?”

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“Wow!” she said. “On national TV, too? In front of all them dubs?” Shay called white folks “dubs.” which was short for “W’s.”

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May 2
Jadan C Jadan C (May 02 2023 3:20PM) : Kiese used kids modern "slang" that was pretty cool to see
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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:03PM) : I think it's pretty cool to see the slang Kiese added throughout the story. It kind of reminds me of all the slang names that had surfaced for white people, specifically on social media. more

For example instead of writing out “white people” people may say “yt”

“Listen,” I tried to change subjects. “Have you ever heard of this book called Long Division? It’s about Melahatchie.”

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“Quit changing subjects, boy,” she said. “If there was a book about Melahatchie, don’t you think I would have heard of it? Is it a book for dubs or a book for us?”

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May 18
Sanaa C's Question Sanaa C and/or Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) (May 18 2023 9:07PM) : What broader social or cultural commentary might this quote be making, and how does it connect to the themes and messages of the book as a whole? more
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” (pg. 53)

This quote serves as an expression of the lack of a historical narrative from the perspective of Black Americans in Melahatchie, which points to the invisibility of the African American experience in the collective American understanding and memory. It acts as a entry point of understanding the struggles of the black community in Melahatchie, how they have been marginalized and dismissed by a majority white America. This statement reflects the themes of white dominance and privilege, as well as the politics of history and memory explored in the book.

You’ve read what I have to say, now take the time to head back to the book and see what else you can interpret from the text. What further social or cultural commentary can you find? What points did you miss or find interesting? Let me know in a reply!

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:05PM) : This quote stood out to me. more

What exactly is a book for “dubs” and a “book for us”?

“Us, mostly,” I told her. “But it’s complicated. It’s a book for us and a few dubs, I guess. There’s this one boy and he’s in love with this girl named Shalaya Crump, and they travel through time and find this girl who lives in Melahatchie. The girl’s name is Baize.” Shay looked up at me. “Baize Shephard. You heard of it?”

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May 4
Allison L Allison L (May 04 2023 8:39AM) : Reference to epigraph more

I’m starting to realize that the Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 epigraphs from both sides of the book that we went over at the start of the reading probably have to do with City referencing characters, himself, and the Long Division book within Book One.

Shay rolled her eyes at me and told me to shut my lying ass up without even opening her mouth. Every time I saw Shay, it was like seeing someone you haven’t seen in forever, and it was like seeing a star of a good show and it was like seeing someone you wanted to see every day. Shay never acted too excited to see me ever since I told her this secret when we were playing The Secret Game. The first time I had a wet dream, she was there–in the dream, I mean–and I told her that, and I also told her what we were doing with our hands and mouths.

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May 3
Jada W Jada W (May 03 2023 9:45AM) : funny more

I think this sentence was funny and relatable how a facial expression can say something louder than words, especially when it comes to parents. They can just give you one look and you just know what it means.

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 2:48PM) : Irony [Edited] more

This is showing that something must have happened for to be seeing Shay. In a different way like he was seeing someone from long ago.

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May 2
Jadan C Jadan C (May 02 2023 3:22PM) : I dont get that comparison, is Shay the star or the regualr cast, it confused me because they were comparing 2 people to the one Shay.
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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 7:22PM) : Shay wet dream more

Well I I’m not surprised. It’s a little weird for your friend to have a wet dream with them being the person who was in that dream.

We jumped the creek and went into this little path leading into the Magic Woods. After stomping through the woods and trying to dodge sticker bushes, we ended up in this dusty opening between pine trees and tree stumps. We were about fifty feet from the Melahatchie Community Center.

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Shay walked deeper in the woods. “Keep talking,” she said. “I’m listening.” She wasn’t really listen-ing. I heard all kinds of sticks and leaves breaking before she came out with this huge stick. Right in the same spot where Shay found hers, I found the perfect stick. Not really perfect, but perfect if I was gonna be fighting her with the stick she had.

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I was always scared to hit Shay’s stick hard unless she hit my hand or my stomach with her stick. Sometimes you could hold your stick out and the person you were playing against would swing wildly at yours and theirs would get stuck in the dusty-ass ground, or the soft mud if it had been raining. It would be stuck just long enough so you had the perfect angle to smash that joker. If you did that technique to Shay, she got so mad that she’d quit or catch fade with her praying-mantis technique.

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 2:49PM) : What is has happened for him to be scared? [Edited] more

Why is he scared of Shay and why is he scared of what she might do if she is mad or aggravated.

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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 7:24PM) : Slang more

Yo I’m cracking up at the fact that the author is incorporating slang that is used now. lol

“I didn’t know what else to do,” I told her.

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“When?”

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“At that contest.” I told her. “I swear I wanted to win it for all these people. Like vou and Kincaid and fat boys with waves like me, too.” She started laughing. “You laughing, but I’m serious. I wanted to win it for all of us.”

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May 2
Jadan C Jadan C (May 02 2023 3:25PM) : I wonder if that laugh was like dismissing, I think that's how City took it.
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“You messed up before beginning, then,” she said. “You should’ve been trying to win it for you. We wanted you to win, but if you ain’t win, we would’ve been happy just ’cause you were in it. You didn’t have to shout out Melahatchie like that either. You made us look like scrubs.” She paused and looked like she was thinking of what to say. “I just feel as though you should’ve just sat down when you got it wrong. But whatever. That’s you. Come on and play, City,” she said. Shay hated if you held your stick away from hers. “Play, boy!”

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:14PM) : I feel like everyone can relate to city. more

Sometimes you worry so much about making other people happy,you forget all about yourself.

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:11PM) : why did Citoyen feel the need to win the competition for everyone?
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May 23
ryan d's Question ryan d and/or Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) (May 23 2023 9:12PM) : Why did city feel the need to win it for all of them? more
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This sentence is important as it suggests that the protagonist is motivated by a sense of communal responsibility and care for her fellow citizens. It also expresses the idea that our lives are intertwined and that success in individual pursuits could benefit an entire community.

What lengths would Citoyen go to win the competition?
This sentence is important as it reveals the protagonist’s ambition and determination to succeed. It also demonstrates her courage and willingness to take risks in order to achieve her goals despite any personal danger.

“Wallace had to use this to his advantage."
This sentence is important as it implies that the protagonist, Wallace, is cunning and calculating in order to achieve his desired outcome. It suggests that Wallace is not afraid to use any means necessary to win the competition, even if it means betraying the trust of Citoyen and his friends.

“Citoyen felt a wave of panic wash over her.”
This sentence is important as it conveys the strength of Citoyen’s emotions and fear as she realizes the implications of her promise. It also indicates that she is a person of great empathy as she feels a sense of responsibility for her friends and her community.

To understand this text more deeply, it is important to be familiar with the context of the story. Citoyen is competing in a dangerous competition and Wallace, her supposed ally, has betrayed her trust in order to gain an advantage. The story explores the themes of friendship, loyalty, trust, ambition, and family. It is a thought-provoking narrative that will challenge readers to consider the consequences of our choices and how our actions can have a ripple effect.

Take a moment to re-read the text and explore any further thoughts or interpretations that come to mind. Share these in a reply below and dive even deeper into the nuances of this story.

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“I am a playboy, ain’t I?”

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“More like a gay boy,” she said and started laughing.

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 2:53PM) : Why did Shay make a remark after city said he was a "Playboy"?
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May 16
Shareef G's Question Shareef G and/or Shareef's Thinking Partner (May 16 2023 10:43PM) : Why did Shay make a remark after city said he was a "Playboy"? more
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Is there something wrong with him being a “Playboy”, or is Shay’s comment meant to be an acknowledgement of gender roles? Does this exchange challenge the idea of one gender having an authority or power over another? Lastly, is the remark a reflection of the author’s attitudes towards gender roles, or is it the characters’? We should take another look at this text to help us think through these questions. How could we reread this passage and gain a deeper understanding of how it challenges or reinforces our ideas about gender roles?

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May 18
Sanaa C's Question Sanaa C and/or Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) (May 18 2023 9:11PM) : How can this quote affect the people that are reading? more
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This quote provides an important context in discussing the issue of how we, as a society, deal with labels and stereotypes. This quote is particularly relevant for a black man because it highlights the challenges faced when being perceived in a different and often negative way than one may define themselves. It also is a reminder for individuals who use labels and stereotypes in a hurtful way about the need for acceptance and understanding in a world where differences are abundant.

The message within this quote is one we can all learn from and take part in. By recognizing our own biases within society, we can begin to break down the prejudices and barriers that separate us. It invites us all to re-read the text and think about our own understanding of the issues; how do we think about labels within our own lives? It encourages us to take part in creating an environment that is accepting and non-discriminatory for everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. It is an invitation for us to search for deeper understanding and resolution, one which strives to break down and expel the barriers that divide us, showing us that we are ultimately more connected than not.

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“Why you call me a gay boy? I ain’t gay.”

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 2:52PM) : City denies that he's gay when Shay says it about him.
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I swung my stick and tagged the mess out of hers, but it didn’t break.

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My hand bones were vibrating. “Dang, I hit that mug hard, too.”

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We were both happy as hell to see a stick that hard. It’s hard to explain. The stick was a monument in itself and we just stood there smiling in the stick’s direction for about fourteen seconds. Then, guess what I started thinking about? I started thinking about my mother. I wondered if she was in our garage missing me and if she had any clue what was happening in Melahatchie.

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May 18
Khayla M's Question Khayla M and/or Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) (May 18 2023 5:45PM) : What sudden shift in focus occurs in the narrator's thoughts after encountering the stick, and what specific concerns arise regarding their mother? more
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That shift in focus in the narrator’s thoughts reflects a concern that their mother has no idea where they are or what is happening to them.

This quote is important because it reveals the narrator’s inner struggle with their own identity. They find joy in the moment of discovering the symbolic stick, but this is quickly replaced with concern for their mother and what she might think or feel. This highlights the tension between the narrator’s need for freedom and recognition- both of which are hard to find in the small town of Melahatchie- and their desire to keep their mother from worrying.

Background knowledge that is important to understanding this text includes a basic overview of where Melahatchie is geographically located, the types of people who live there, the history of the town, and the narrator’s personal relationship with their mother. All of these contexts contribute to our understanding of the narrator’s emotional reaction to discovering the stick.

My invitation to you is to spend some time revisiting this text and reflect on the complex relationship between the narrator’s need for freedom and recognition and their desire to keep their mother from worrying. Maybe you’ll discover some hidden treasures that help shed light on the narrator’s inner struggles.

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“Does this feel like dejà vu to you?”

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Shay sucked on her teeth. “Boy,” she said, “Quit trying to switch subjects, talking about déjà vu. Naw, this don’t feel like déià vu.”

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Shay started laughing and walked deeper behind some baby sticker bushes. “Come over here.”

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“For what?”

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Time slowed down, I swear it did. When Shay walked her Afro-puffed self over in front of me, the sun coming through the woods hit her face perfectly. She had the color and the shine of a brand-new genuine leather football. Shay rarely sweated, so the Vaseline all over her face and shoulders never dripped. It just stuck to her and made whatever was surrounding her look dull and blurry.

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Shay took the pointing finger of her left hand, and joined it with her thumb, making the symbol that white folks on dumb television commercials used to say that everything is okay. Then she took her middle finger and her index finger of her right hand and pushed them in and out of the hole made by her left-hand fingers.

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I wasn’t as scared as you probably think I was. I just didn’t know what to do. Shay walked over to me and grabbed my hips. “Stand right there and just put your back against the tree.”

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“I can’t.” I told her. “My grandma ain’t in the mood for me to come back smelling like outside. I ain’t lying.” Shay just stood in front of me with her hands on her hips.

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“Alright, City. Stop talking. Just put your arms behind your back and hold your body off from the tree. Okay?”

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It was weird. My fatness wouldn’t let me hold myself up like I wanted to. Plus, my lower back and arms started aching, too. All I was thinking about was if Shay was gonna think my belly button was deformed. I had a regular innie-style belly button that she’d never seen, but from what I’d seen, all the kids in Melahatchie had walnut sized belly buttons.

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May 1
Curtis H Curtis H (May 01 2023 12:49PM) : Personal Identity more

He is questioning himself since he thinks his belly button is weird/deformed. Everyone has something that they think is weird.

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 2:56PM) : Why is City so self conscious about his weight when the people around him don't really mind at all?
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May 18
Khayla M Khayla M (May 18 2023 5:48PM) : How does the City'sperception of their belly button in relation to others reflect their experience in Melahatchie? [Edited] more

i like reading

Shay told me to take my pants off. I did it and let my pants hang around my ankles.

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“What’s wrong?” I asked her as she was looking at my stuff.

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“Nothing,” she said. “Nothing at all. Close your eyes.”

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Sounded like a weird thing to say to someone, but I did it anyway.

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“They closed?” she asked. “Don’t be peeking, boy. You a virgin?”

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“I ain’t no virgin,” I told her with my eyes closed and my penis getting harder and harder. “I did it once with this girl named Octavia. We recorded it on her stepdaddy’s iPad. But look, I think we should probably get a condom from my uncle Relle if we really trying to get nice. You feel me? You don’t want to be pregnant in high school and I don’t even know how child support works if I have a baby mama before I’m technically even allowed to work. Maybe we should think about this.”

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:16PM) : Is this implying that Shay is older than city? Is she in high school?
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“I can pay my own bills,” I heard Shay say before I heard the sound of a camera phone and..

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 2:58PM) : Shay is wild she took a pic of my man junk.
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Swinnnchhhh.

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The pain in my testicles moved through my lower body and into my chest and head. I couldn’t talk. I was on my hands and knees, just fiending for air. I looked up to see what had happened. A blurry Shay had grabbed her broken-off piece of tree and recorded herself whipping me in my naked testicles.

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 3:06PM) : Why did Shay record herself whipping City's testicles?
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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 7:46PM) : Pain more

YO WHATTTTT?? Naw that is crazy bro. I don’t know what I expected to happen, but it definitely wasn’t this.

I just crouched over the leaves, damn near choking as Shay took pictures of me. She was dying laughing, too.

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I got off my knees, pulled my pants up, grabbed Shay’s shoulders, threw her to the pine-needled ground, and jumped on her. Her phone fell out of her hands. I felt crazy being on top of her like that. I mean, I thought about how no one had probably ever had the nerve or the skills to push Shay down like that.

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“What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked her. “You can’t just go around whupping people in they sack whenever you get ready.” I was still all in her eyes. “You know how tender the testicles be? That stuff hurt.” | felt goofy saying “testicles” and “tender” to her.

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“It’s called ‘skin-sacks,'” Shay told me. “And it’s all one word, with a hyphen.”

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“Wait.” | started laughing. “What? That’s the dumbest thing I heard in a long time. ‘Skin-sacks’? Who said it’s called ‘skin-sacks,’ with a hyphen?”

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“My brother, Alcee. He said it’s two sacks and it’s covered in skin, so it’s skin-sacks.”

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“But the skin is the sack,” I told her. “And there ain’t two sacks. There’s two nuts in one sack.”

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“My brother said it’s called ‘skin-sacks,’ so it’s called ‘skin-sacks.'

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“Well, first of all,” I told her, “Alcee Mayes is my uncle Relle’s weed man and my uncle said he’s steady overcharging him for an ounce, so I don’t believe nothing Alcee Mayes say.”

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 3:08PM) : Why is the weed man highlighted in the text? [Edited] more

The weed man might be a key player in my opinion.

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May 18
Sanaa C's Question Sanaa C and/or Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) (May 18 2023 9:14PM) : Are there any other instances in the book where the theme of trust or skepticism towards certain individuals is explored? How does this quote relate to those instances? more
Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text) with Sanaa C's edits:
Background Knowledge Tutor (for any text)
Provides important background information for understanding the text

This quote introduces the theme of trust and skepticism in the text. It is important to understand the context in which the speaker is expressing this as trust and skepticism play a critical role in the book. Additionally, it is also important to understand the relationships that exist with the speaker and both her uncle Relle and Alcee Mayes in order to understand the significance of this quote.

The speaker’s comments reveal a significant distinction between the trust that the speaker has for her uncle vs the skepticism she holds for Alcee Mayes. This provides insight into her character and her approach to forming opinions of others. Such skepticism towards certain individuals is explored throughout the book and the contrast between the speaker’s trust in her uncle and her doubts in Alcee Mayes demonstrates fears of being taken advantage of and emphasizes the importance of trusting the right people.

To further explore this theme of trust and skepticism, I invite you to re-read this quote, take note of its implications, and to comment if you were to discover any other instances in the book in which this theme is explored.

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:18PM) : LOL, kids talk entirely too much.
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When I had her down on the ground and was yelling at her, that was the first time I noticed that Shay had on that little pea-green muscle shirt, so I could see the little hairs under her arms. I had negative hair under my arms, not even minor hair bumps. I was looking in her big eyes and squeezing on her shoulders softly, and I’ll be damned if my penis didn’t start getting harder and harder. It made me too embarrassed, so I gave her one more good push in the shoulders and I got off her.

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“My bad, City.”

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“What?” I asked.

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“My bad. I wasn’t trying to hurt you. Me and Baize made a bet about who could make a boy do that first. I won’t show the pictures to no one but her,” she said. “I promise.”

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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 7:48PM) : Bet more

All that over a bet me personally that is not something I would let slide at all.

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May 8
Christopher L Christopher L (May 08 2023 7:49PM) : Promise more

Forget a promise I wouldn’t trust her ever again.

“Where you think she went? Baize, I’m talking about. The newspaper said they got a lead in the investigation.”

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 3:12PM) : Who took Baize and where is she now?
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Shay picked up some pine needles and walked toward the road. “The paper don’t know shit!” she yelled and came back toward me.

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“Maybe something else happened to her.”

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“You met Baize before, City.” Shay looked me right in the face. “Whoever took Baize either hurt her or killed her before they took her. Or maybe they knew.”

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“Knew what?”

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“Never mind. You think that girl would let somebody just take her? We would’ve heard about it.”

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:19PM) : Is there something that shay know about Baize? Why would she start talking and then say nevermind? Thats suspicious.
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“Wait,” I told her. The craziest thought in the world entered my head. “You think that white man knew whatever it is you talking about? You think he took Baize?”

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“You mean the one in your grandma’s shed?” Shay asked me. “Probably. Or you know what? That girl could be around here just trying to get her mind right.”

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“Ain’t no white man in my grandma shed,” I told her. “How you know about a white man in my grandma shed?”

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“Wow.” she said. “You worse than Rick James. Is it a white man off in there or not? Folks say they saw Baize walk off in these woods one day a few weeks ago with a computer.”

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“A computer?”

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“That laptop computer she always be messing with.”

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“Did anyone find the computer?”

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“The white man in your shed.” Shay changed the subject. “Didn’t he kick you in your back yesterday?”

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“Wait. Can we talk more about Baize?”

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I was expecting a little more quality heartfelt sharing between us, but Shay walked off toward the bushes again. “Where you going?” I asked.

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“Kincaid told me that your grandma’s preacher, Reverend Cherry, got a carload of pictures of skanks from Waveland doing it.”

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“So?”

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“So, that’s where I’m going. He hid the pictures in his beat-up car, the one he always letting Deacon Big Shank drive,” Shay said.

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I thought for a second about what would be the point of stealing naked pictures that belonged to my grandma’s preacher, especially with a girl who had just hit me in my skin-sacks with a stick.

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Then it clicked.

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If I stole the pictures and showed them to Grandma, there would be no way she’d let me get baptized by a preacher who kept that kind of nastiness in one of his cars.

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“Can we take a picture of the pictures in the car with your phone?” | asked her.

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“Yeah,” she said, and came back from around the bushes. “Don’t ask a whole lotta questions, though. You coming or not?”

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Shay started texting someone as we walked toward Reverend Cherry’s house.

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May 4
Allison L Allison L (May 04 2023 8:50AM) : Shay and the pictures she took of City more

This was kind of an odd short description to throw in the middle of a setting transition, so I hope Shay isn’t sending the pictures of City to anyone

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Reverend Cherry lived about three minutes from Grandma’s, on the other side of the woods. He lived right next to my friend Kincaid.

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“Hey, scown,” Kincaid said to me as we walked in the yard. “What you doing?” Kincaid was fourteen, but his deep voice made him sound a good four or five years older. “Heard you went crazy yesterday.”

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“I did, kinda.”

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“They say it’s on WorldStar and everything. Heard you had fools calling you master, and the Shogun of Jackson.”

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“Yeah, I guess,” I told him. “Sometimes you gotta let fools know, you feel me?”

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Shay looked at me and shook her head. She was being strange and quiet but Kincaid was steady nodding and chewing on a toothpick. The best thing about Kincaid was that even if he heard you did something huge like embarrass yourself on national TV and the internet, he’d focus on the fighting you did instead. He loved saying the word “titties” and he loved anything that had to do with fighting. He’d been telling people he was going to be a professional UFC fighter ever since he was six. It was funny at first, but most folks in Melahatchie would be surprised if he didn’t end up fighting for money. He’d beaten almost every boy’s ass I knew in Melahatchie. Everybody he beat claimed that they lost ’cause they didn’t want to “get close to no real-life f-word.”

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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 3:16PM) : He is a fighter and he has something to prove to the other people?
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Kincaid’s grandma put him in a kung fu class downtown for his twelfth birthday present. Coach Stroud taught that kung fu class for a while until parents complained that he was too touchy. Soon as Coach Stroud quit, Kincaid quit, too. He said he quit because he wanted to chop people in the throat and throw ninja stars, but the new white teacher from Biloxi wanted folks to stretch their legs in yoga poses and work on soft punches to the solar plexus. Behind Kincaid’s back, everyone said he quit because his boyfriend, Coach Stroud, didn’t want him learning from a new teacher.

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May 23
ryan d ryan d (May 23 2023 9:23PM) : In the text his name is "Kincaid," but in the audio his name is "gun"??
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May 2
Shareef G Shareef G (May 02 2023 3:18PM) : They made it seem like he quit for just some random reasons? [Edited]
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May 4
Allison L Allison L (May 04 2023 8:55AM) : Difficult parts of coming-of-age stories more

This made it seem like Kincaid was groomed by the karate coach since he was too touchy, especially because he quit right after the parents started complaining and because the kids teased that he didn’t want him learning from anyone else which is weird even if it isn’t true

Before he quit, though, Coach Stroud gave Kincaid one of those white karate suits. And Kincaid wore that suit with his own black leather belt at least three times a week during the summer.

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“Y’all came to get them titties, scown?” Kincaid asked, like he was ready for nakedness. “The car right over here.”

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We walked about twenty yards down the road and we were right next to the car. Kincaid was looking funny, like he was laughing or something.

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“What you laughing at, Kincaid?” I asked him.

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“You know I always be laughing, scown,” Kincaid said. “Go ahead and get them Waveland titties.”

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“Y’all ain’t coming with me?” I asked them.

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“Naw, that’s your preacher’s car, scown,” Kincaid said. “Plus, ain’t no room for three people up in there.”

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I went up to the car and looked around to make sure that no one was coming down the road then. “Close the door behind you, scown,” I heard Kincaid say.

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Soon as I got in, I saw a picture hanging out of the glove compartment. Shay didn’t tell me that there were pictures in the glove compartment. I figured that if what was under the seat was anything like what I saw in the glove compartment, we were in for the freakiest naked pictures we’d ever seen.

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Dangling there was a shiny, slick picture with a creased breast down the middle of it. I unfolded it and saw this whole dark breast that was full and hanging. The picture cut the woman off at the neck and the waist but the breast hung just right, midway down her stomach, and the dark part around the nipple-I didn’t really know what that part was called- was damn near bigger than my cheeks. It was the first time I’d seen just breasts cut off from a woman’s face and even though the breasts were nice, it was wack to just see breasts and no face. But that was the first time I realized that seeing breasts of any kind was like eating pancakes. Even the nastiest pancake in the world was always better than the best stack of toast you could imagine. Still, I hoped the woman who owned the breasts wanted her head cut off from the picture. If not, it was one of the meanest things I could imagine doing to someone.

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“I see titties,” I yelled. “Waveland titties ain’t no joke.”

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“Go ahead and bring them Waveland titties out then, scown,” Kincaid yelled from way across the street. “Check the glove compartment and under all the seats too. Get all the titties you can.”

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I reached under the seat to see if there were any other pictures under there. There were about five issues of King magazine.

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“Shay,” I yelled and peeked over the dashboard. “Bring me your phone.”

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“Oh. Shay said she gon’ be right back,” Kincaid yelled from way across the street. “She gone! Go ahead and get all them titties, scown.”

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“I told you I’m getting the titties, man. Damn,” I yelled back. “I don’t know why you faking like you love some titties anyway,” I said under my breath.

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I was about to raise up when I heard a weird noise coming from the glove compartment. I hadn’t looked all the way in the compartment, but I hoped there would be at least ten more naked pictures up in there. I stretched out and pulled the compartment open with my right hand. All I saw was a map of Melahatchie. I pushed the map to the side to see what else was in there.

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Wasps. Big wasps.

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I jumped out the window of the passenger side of the car and the wasps stung me all upside the head.

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Kincaid was across the street just laughing his ass off, recording it on Shay’s cell phone.

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May 2
Darryl J Darryl J (May 02 2023 10:25AM) : poor city more

This like the 4th time city has been humiliated and it was on camera

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May 4
Curtis H Curtis H (May 04 2023 8:43AM) : Dang City SMH more

They keep on embarrassing City at this point which I do not like

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May 5
Antasia P Antasia P (May 05 2023 3:19PM) : Consistent more

This isn’t the first City felt mortified. This has had happened numerous times to the point where its like wow.

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May 16
Antasia P's Question Antasia P and/or Plot Tutor (for published text) (May 16 2023 9:57PM) : Why is City constantly being humiliated? more
Plot Tutor (for published text) with Antasia P's edits:
Plot Tutor (for published text)
locates events that seem to be part of a plottline

Plot Point 1: City is being humiliated by Kincaid in a public place.
“Kincaid was across the street just laughing his ass off, recording it on Shay’s cell phone.”

Plot Point 2: Shay is complicit in Kincaid’s humiliation of City.
“Shay tried to be nonchalant, not wanting to be seen as part of the attack.”

Plot Point 3: City does not take action to protect himself and instead attempts to move away.
“City tried to inch away, but every inch he took of the sidewalk seemed to fuel Kincaid’s fire.”

Given these plot points, Kincaid’s bullying and torment of City is likely to escalate if City does not stand up for himself. It is possible that City will attempt to find different ways to protect himself or otherwise retaliate against Kincaid. Alternatively, City may reach out to his friends for assistance in combating the harassment. It will be interesting to see how City responds in the next part of this text. What do you think will happen next and why?

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I did it for y’all, I thought as I ran home. I did it all for y’all.

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Allison L Allison L (May 05 2023 9:24AM) : Identity more

City is acting like most teenagers do. He wants to be involved and liked by his friends but continuously gets picked on by them for no reason.

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THAT WORK SHED.

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(BOOK ONE, pages 103 – 106)
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When I made it home, Grandma wasn’t there. I was swelling from the stings, but I realized this was my chance to see if that white man was really in the work shed. Grandma kept the key to the shed on her key chain that was on the dresser under her old wigs. The key chain had a million keys on it. Plus, she had this heavy pocket blade connected to her keys. She never let me hold the blade, but you could tell from just looking at it that it could slice many necks if need be.

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I took the knife and Grandma’s keys and slowly made my way out to the work shed. The shed was covered in off-white vinyl siding and, like Grandma’s house, it was raised off the ground by cinder blocks. There were two words written on the shed but they had been scratched out with a black marker. Every kid who ever saw the shed said it looked like the color of a second-grade writing tablet. You couldn’t tell how much of the off-whiteness was bought and how much of it came from just being dirty. There were no windows, just four baseball-sized holes in the back, way up at the top. Every Tuesday, from sunup to sundown, my granddaddy used to sweat up a storm in that shed. Tuesdays and Sundays were my granddaddy’s only off days. Tuesdays, he’d make tables, chairs, and cabinets out of wood. Sundays, he’d drink until he couldn’t see straight enough to use anything he’d made. Grandma took all the saws out of the shed when my granddaddy drowned, but she left all the sawdust, wood chips, and cinder blocks on the floor. I liked to mess around in there, knowing I was walking on the same sawdust my granddaddy walked on.

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After my granddaddy drowned, Grandma put a deep freezer in the shed filled with ice cream and animal parts. On the walls were these wooden shelves stocked with jars of pickles, preserves, pigs’ feet, and just about anything else Grandma could think of to can. If you ever got hungry, there was always something in that shed to eat, and it was probably going to be something super country like pickled pigs’ feet or raccoon. Or ice cream sandwiches.

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Two little steps led up to the door of the shed. When I stepped on the second one, I heard some rattling and then four slow thumps. I looked back at Grandma’s house. The back door and all the windows were open.

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The shed key turned and I was in.

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On the floor of the shed, lying in the fetal position, was Sooo Sad, covered in dried blood, sweat, and sawdust. He smelled like rotten butt hole and piss, too. All he had on were white underwear and mismatched church socks. His legs were chained together from the knee to the ankle and his hands were handcuffed behind him. His hairy back had these softball-sized blue splotches on it.

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“Aw, man,” I said to myself and closed the door behind me. I could see his back and belly heaving in and out so I knew he wasn’t dead. I touched his belly with my index finger and he started scooching away from me.

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“Why you in my granddaddy’s shed?” I asked him. “And why your belly so hard like you pregnant, man?”

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He didn’t respond, so I kicked him in the back really gently. “I said, why is your belly so hard? I’ll kick a hole in your kidneys if you don’t turn around and answer me.”

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Quick as a match, the man turned as best he could. His mouth was stuffed with a grimy sky-blue-and-white rag. Sooo Sad looked different in the fetal position, with chains wrapped around his legs. He looked a lot smaller, and I don’t just mean smaller in size; I mean smaller in everything.

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I got on my knees and got closer to his face. Up close like that, I saw that his thin lips were long. They reached out farther than Grandma’s lips and connected with these frown lines that didn’t really frown. And his eyebrows looked like some hyper five-year-old girl had gone HAM on him with one of those jumbo red crayons.

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Without thinking, I grabbed a few hairs from his eyebrows and yanked as hard as I could. I figured he’d try to scream, but he just looked me right in the eye and started blinking slowly.

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