Prompt: Defenseman

Adam’s mother closed the door behind them. His father was off on a business trip, and Adam was content to sit on the couch until his mother addressed him. She worked long hours in the city, and was fone more than his father. Adam preferred it this way. His father could be strict, but his mother was terrifying.

She came back from the kitchen, drink of water in her hands. Her red blouse was still tucked into her black pencil skirt, her heels finally getting kicked off.

“What the hell is going on?”

“I told you mom. I don’t know. I barely even know the guy.”

“Clearly since you were the last one seen fighting with him. And clearly since pparently you’ve been at his house multiple times to party?”

Adam shifted. “You know how it is, everyone just goes to someone’s house,” he mumbled.

“Excuse me?” She said. “No I don’t ‘know how it is.'” What do you think this is? Some kind of trash town we dumped you in so you can smoke and do coke?”

“Mom! It wasn’t even coke ok. I just drank. Whatever he had, I don’t know. And for the record yeah this kind of is a trash town. A lot of kids have nothing else to send their money on but drugs.”

Silence. Finally, “don’t talk back to me. Ever.”

HE hung his head. “Sorry mom.”

“I’m so embarassed and ashamed. And now you could be arrested.”

“Arrested? Mom I didn’t do anything! And you said they didn’t have enough evidence to hold me!”

“Did you — and I am only going to ask you this one, so you had better answer truthfully — have anything to do with that boy’s death?”

“No mom, I swear.”

She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Go to your room.”

Not bothering to argue, Adam slithered up the stairs and went into his room, closing the door behind him. He pulled his phone out of his pocket, thankful that at least in all of this, she’d forgotten to take it from him.

The lock screen was bursting with notifications. He was about to unlock his phone when the window rattled. Adam looked outside.

It was Joshua, one of Marcsus’ defensemen.

Prompt: Icing

Payal chewed her nails as she looked at the T.V. “Damnit,” she said as the Predators iced the puck. She threw the wet rag on the table and frowned.

“Please, don’t curse while you’re on a shift.” It was her manager, blond-haired Becca. Becca was just a year older than Payal, a senior in their high school. But much like her hair, everyone considered her golden. Payal nodded as she tugged at her TGIF’s shirt, noticing how ill-fitting it was on her but well-fitting it was on Becca.

“Sorry, Becca,” Payal finished sweeping the crumbs off the table. It was a Wednesday night so the place was empty, unless the chairs were occupied by ghosts. Which, it probably was. She leaned against the table and turned back to the TV, aware that her inattention to work would earn her another scolding. But there was nothing to do anyway.

Bells clanged as the door opened. Putting on her best smile, Payal turned around. And then she frowned.

It was some of the boys from the hockey team.

Payal was surprised they were out this late. Wait, no, she wasn’t. Keeping her smile on, she walked over to the door.

“How can I help you?”

It was a group of boys from her grade — Max, Lyle, Ankit, Sol and Adam. Max smiled. Adam hung in the back, unsurprising after his gaffe had cost the team the game last night.

“Just you five?”

“Yeah,” Max said. The charmer of the group, with his dimple, neat black hair and deep brown skin. He was the only one of the group who knew how to socialize and act normal.

“Well,” she gestured behind her, “it’s pretty empty so… is there one place you want to sit?”

Max shrugged. “Anywhere is fine.” She just stared at him. Ankit pointed to a table near the door. “There, Max said, “We’ll sit there.”

Payal nodded, gathered menus and walked to their table. She shifted back to the cash register and chewed on a nail as she watched them. Adam seemed like a normal human being, no starry eyes or lack of awareness.

Still, she wondered what he’d seen.

Because she’d seen it too.