The Wild Kid

The Wild Kid by Harry Mazer Read Free Book Online

Book: The Wild Kid by Harry Mazer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Harry Mazer
    â€œCome on,” Kevin said. “Stop talking.”
    Kevin cut down six skinny trees with a little saw, and they carried them back to the camp. One at a time, they set them between the packing case and the rocks. Kevin spread plastic over them and covered everything with a crisscross of branches, twigs, and leaves.
    Sammy was getting tired and hungry, but Kevin wouldn’t stop. He kept running from inside to out, looking at everything from different angles. “We have to camouflage it better,” he said.
    â€œI know what that means,” Sammy said. “It’s like army stuff. I have a camouflage suit.”
    â€œCool,” Kevin said.
    Kevin moved rocks around to make the wall look more natural. When they got done piling brush against it, it looked like bushes growing next to rocks.
    Inside, the room was big now. In back was the cave, and in front was a regular room. They arranged Kevin’s mattress and Sammy’s blanket next to each other. “Cool,” Sammy said.


    When the helicopter flew over, they were playing a game. Kevin had drawn a circle in the dirt. “You’ve got to aim,” he said. “Hand-eye coordination. Watch me.” He threw a small flat stone, and it fell perfectly into the circle. “That’s ten points. If it lands on the line, it’s five. Don’t expect yours to be perfect. You’ve got to practice.”
    Sammy threw his stone. “Go in!” he ordered. It bounced outside the circle, then fell in. “Ten points,” he yelled. “I got ten points. Yay for me!”
    â€œThat’s a bouncer,” Kevin said. “Bouncers get three.” He threw again and missed completely. “Stop fidgeting!” he said to Sammy. “You threw me off.”
    When it was Sammy’s turn, the stone landed just inside the circle. “Ten points! Ten points!” He was excited. “How many does that make, Kevin?”
    Sammy counted under his breath. “Twenty!”
    â€œYou don’t have twenty,” Kevin said. “You’ve got thirteen.”
    Suddenly there was a clatter in the air, like someone banging on a giant tin can. A helicopter appeared just over the treetops. It had big white numbers on the side. Sammy started waving and shouting. “Here I am! Here I am!”
    Kevin grabbed him and pushed him down to the ground.
    â€œLet me go,” Sammy said. “Let me go, Kevin. It’s looking for me.”
    â€œShut up!” Kevin punched him. He held him down till the sound of the helicopter disappeared. “You want to get me killed?” he said, releasing Sammy. “Blasting off that mouth of yours.”
    Sammy drew away from Kevin as far as he could and sat against the rock with his knees up.
    â€œOkay, forget it,” Kevin said. “You want to play?”
    Sammy rubbed his arm.
    â€œCome on, let’s play. You’re winning.”
    â€œWhat’s the matter with you?”
    â€œYou don’t hit your friends.”
    â€œYeah, and a friend doesn’t stab his friend in the back, either. Those guys come down here, you know what that means? That’s me locked up again.”
    â€œYou hit me,” Sammy said.
    â€œOh, man, don’t make a big thing of it. You know how many times I’ve been hit? Someone hits me, I laugh in their face. Everyone gets hit. That’s life. Come on, forget it. Let’s play.”
    Sammy wouldn’t play, and he wouldn’t talk. He was thirsty, but he wouldn’t drink Kevin’s water. Hungry, but he wouldn’t eat Kevin’s food. “I want to go home,” he said.


    â€œYou talking to me yet?” Kevin said the next morning.
    Sammy shrugged, the way Kevin shrugged. He could be tough, too.
    â€œI got a surprise for you.” Kevin had been going in and out all morning, looking through his boxes and pulling out clothes and putting

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