When I was about 8 or 9 I used to play with my friends in the junkyard. Our parents told us to stay away from there, but we’d go anyway, in secret. We loved to play in the old cars. Pretend to race them. The rust reminded me of factories with high smokestacks that spewed blackened smog into the air. My brother worked in a factory.
One morning I was sitting on Michael’s front porch, eating ice cream with him. It was hot that day, really hot. Michael said he wanted to go to the junkyard, since there was nothing to do at home. So we went.
He challenged me to a race. He knows I’m slower than he is. He just does that because he wants to rub it in. But before I could protest he had started to run. I followed. When I finally caught up with him he was standing in the centre of the junkyard, looking down. I caught up to him.
-What is it?
I think it’s a raccoon or something.
-It looks dead.
-It looks really dead.
How can something look really dead? I mean, it’s already dead, how much deader can it get?
-I dunno, it’s just, its guts are everywhere.
No, tell me.
-Well, maybe we could…
-Do you think we could bring it back to life or something?
How would we do that?
-I dunno, it’s just; it doesn’t look too happy the way it is. Maybe if we collected all of the guts and stuff, we could put it back together or something.
It’s not like a broken car; you can’t take it apart and put it back together. It’s an animal, and it’s dead.
(Michael walks away, looking for something)
-What are you doing?
I’m getting a stick.
I wanna flip it over.
(Michael gets a stick and flips it over)
It must have been here for a long time.
-How do you know?
There’s already a bunch of maggots in it.
-What do you think killed it?
Dunno, it might have been a car or something. Or maybe one of the dogs got it.
-Yeah, I bet it was a dog.
-A wild wolf with big teeth and red eyes.
No, probably just a dog.
-I wanna go home.
Ok, let’s go.
When I got back home my mom was crying. There had been an accident at the factory. Children shouldn’t play with dead things.