What can YOU say in six sentences?
Across the highway festered a neighborhood that was the exact inverse of The Acres' barren modernity: among the small and ramshackle and densely populated homes in the blocks surrounding a shuttered textile plant, the most expansive dreams took place between the ears of kids as they tossed restlessly on thin pillows.
Dreams of escape and fulfillment and answers; dreams that were quickly forgotten in the light of day.
Burke was happy to see his mom up and around for once, even if the most elaborate costume she could muster for herself consisted entirely of a black sparkly eye mask that didn't do much to change the way her eyes had looked since her oldest son went missing nearly five months ago.
Burke's own costume was just as uncomplicated: a bedsheet with twin eye holes poked into it, anonymous as any Charlie Brown tagalong, a getup that made him feel somehow safe and invulnerable.
Laura Gilmour's parents were hosting a party next door, which from the sound of it had been in full swing since late afternoon, and when Laura's mom knocked on the door to pry Burke's mom away from the couch, she slurred the same pitch she'd been making all week: "He'll be with Laura and Theo and the other kids and they won't let him out of their sight, they promised to stay in the neighborhood, everything will be fine, come on."
So Burke's mom gave him a hug that was just short of a stranglehold--she had that loopy late afternoon look she got when she took her pills, which was much the same as the look Laura's mom had after about four beers--and when they departed they left the door wide open so Burke could see Laura and Theo waiting impatiently on the sidewalk out front, and he stared wide-eyed and said, "Holy crap, guys, where did you get those costumes?"