The evening began innocently enough. Arthur, Marquis, and I were gathered on the concrete steps leading to Miss Flavien’s house. We were engaged in boy-talk preparatory to the serious business of serenading Joyce, who was—in the opinion of the boys—the most popular girl in New Village.
It was a pleasant evening—cool and fairly quiet. The chirping of crickets was muted and occasionally, a frog croaked. There were no belligerent and intrusive exchanges between neighbors living cheek by jowl, and even the usually noisy dogs held their peace.
Kaytran disturbed the placidity of the scene when he ran up to us, panting and breathless, and trying to speak between great gulps of air. He bent forward at the waist, sucking in air and gradually returning to a semblance of normalcy. Then he straightened up and with bright eyes and voice that quivered with uncontrollable excitement informed us of the bird’s nest containing nestlings in Mister William’s yard.
At first, Kaytran’s excitement was infectious. A nest with nestlings? The acquisition of that treasure would make us the envy of all the other boys. We were all talking at the same time and projecting our not-yet-acquired lordly status into the near future, when reality hit us with the force of a sledgehammer blow. In Mister William’s yard? Mister William would eat us up and wash us down with his vehicle’s engine oil. That man was dangerous.
Author’s note: The preceding is an excerpt from the story “Mr. William’s revenge” from the novella, “New Village”, now on Amazon Kindle.