By David Fallon
"... Buddy and Dean were more than just allies. They shared their stories with each other, which is something you did not do on the streets, where information can be used against you. They talked about the things they wanted. For Buddy, it was a house and a car and a decent job. For Dean, it was women and motorcycles. ..."
By Jian Huang
"...The motel seems gigantic, with 28 rooms and two floors. The ocean blue paint underneath the stairwell is chipping. I rarely see the same customer more than once. There are so many rooms, and not one is filled with anyone I know. A couple of weeks ago, a little girl about my age named Annie checked in with her mama. A few days later I noticed that somebody drew hearts and flowers in pink chalk on the ground. ...
By Jian Huang
"... For the first time there were white people in this part of the town who weren’t police officers or school administrators. They looked average. They were working class, just like us. I would later come to learn that these people were called `carnies,' but at the time I thought they just looked like the Americans on television. ..."
By Anika Malone
"...My family had just moved from Upland months before. We lived there for four years. The surrounding area was tired, run-down strip malls staffed with unpleasant folks. The neighborhood we lived in was filled with loud, boorish people who called the cops on me for walking outside. The guy across the street would accuse me of stealing my car at least once a month and every morning the street was littered with beer cans. ..."
By Cynthia Butler
"...Laurie and I had been friends since the moment she looked up at me on that first day of kindergarten and asked, “Are you really five?”
Her brother got married when Laurie was six years old and her sister got pregnant and moved out of their parents’ house shortly after that. Laurie became kind of an only child. Her mother once warned her that she had better skip adolescence. ..."