Throughout the meal, I kept glancing at Shyanne’s shiny
red nose as she dejectedly sat at the adjoining picnic
table. A few blood droplets stained the right collar of her
lemony yellow shirt. A swath of embroidered butterflies
danced upward over her opposite shoulder as if fleeing
the adjacent carnage.

As I poured my guilt-laden attention on the bruised girl, I
overhead her asking her uncle for a brownie. At that
instant, I reckoned that I should be the one to fulfill her
request in, admittedly, a transparent attempt to make
amends with her and perhaps even Del.

Cramming the remainder of a hotdog into my mouth, I
hurried over to the dessert table—luckily, one brownie
remained. As I lifted it from the plate, I heard Del
mumble, “Well shit,” before hollering back, “Sorry Shy,
this guy just grabbed the last one.”

Her blood encrusted nose twitched a bit as her lower lip
curled outward. I felt a bit revolted with myself as I
looked at her. Shyanne’s pout was the same one my
own sister had used against me after I popped the heads
off her dollar store Barbie dolls.

“No,” I objected through the saliva-soaked bun and
wiener chunks plugging my mouth. “It’s not for me,” I
coughed as I held it in my extended palm. “I was getting
it for…”

“Don’t worry ‘bout it, big man,” dismissed Del as he
forcibly curled my fingers tightly into my palm,
squashing the brownie. “Enjoy it.”