Discovery — 30th street, 2:56 PM – Ben Rader

Have me in a suit that ain’t mine, I say. If I had veins like that. Joey Lindsey running a finger down his arm looks up and smiles real proud. You’re twisted man, he says, eyes shifty the way they do after half a day and a dry city. Voices echo down the alley.

You hear that? Falcone says.

Fuck it man, I say. Go.

He leans up on the brick wall hot from the sun and drops his ziplock on the asphalt black and even hotter. Don’t shit on me, he says. Joey Lindsey shuffles his feet, his face bright red, squats down lower. I hear it, he says. Chill, chill, I say. People in and out the Wawa. We on 32nd.

Joey Lindsey makes a wet sound. Wawa’s on 30th, he says. & we on 32nd.

Falcone slides low off the plunge, needle shining in his hand.

Did you know that they made a time machine? A small voice says.

Ricky, Joey Lindsey snaps upright, trying to cover himself. Look.

Three kids in green polos and khakis stopped at the alley. Two turn right away fast, Nikes at the asphalt. The boy my own boy’s height don’t move.

Nathan, his friends shout from the street. He don’t look at them. He just stands there in his baggy polo picking at his lip. Got a little wonder in his eye like the spark on a lighter.

braderBen Rader is currently an MFA candidate in the Fiction program at George Mason University. Two years prior, while in a dual BA/MA program in Literature, he received a Teaching Fellowship at Seton Hall University for his poetry and short fiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Northern Virginia Review, filling Station, and the I-70 Review.