DIVINE CHILD
Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

Tuesday night I lay in bed sick with fear. I’d been unable to think of a way to avoid another Wednesday morning encounter with Larry. Then it came to me, a plan so simple that I laughed at myself for not thinking of it before. I must have drifted off to sleep then, because the next thing I knew, the sound of the paper truck woke me up. The driver yelled my address and the man in the back rattled up the truck’s metal cargo door and jumped out. He dragged the bale of papers up our steps and heaved it onto the porch, where it landed with a boom. The unloader clumped back down the stairs, hopped on the truck, and pulled down the cargo door as the truck sped off, gears grinding. I stayed in bed a little longer, enjoying the quiet that lasted until my father’s alarm clock went off. After a few minutes, he came to the bedroom door.
“you up?”
“yes,” I said, and asked him to please cut the wire for me.
I could hardly breathe as I waited for him to leave the house. I kept telling myself that all I had to do was hide the papers and everything would be fine. No one would know I hadn’t delivered them. It’s not like people looked forward to a paper full of ads. I dressed slowly and didn’t leave my room until I heard my father walk out the front door. Then I walked to the front door and looked out onto the porch.
He had forgotten to cut the wire…again.
I sat down next to the papers, trembling. My plan didn’t seem so simple anymore. Where to hide them? I had to decide quickly because it was getting light.
Under the porch? No! Somebody might find them there.
In the sewers? But Billy and I had tried lifting a manhole cover a few weeks ago and the two of us couldn’t budge it. I certainly couldn’t do it alone.
Finally it hit me—the garbage cans in the alley! No one would notice them there.
I tried to lift the bundle but it was too heavy. I pushed it to the edge of the porch and gave one more shove. The bundle tipped, then rolled down the five steps end-over-end and landed on the sidewalk.
Moving the papers over a concrete sidewalk was harder than sliding them on the smooth wood deck of the porch. The rough concrete tore up the papers as I pushed them. I took a short cut across the grass and pushed them to the gangway along the side of the house. Then I flipped them by squatting like a catcher, putting my hands under one corner of the stack, lifting straight up, and then pushing with my whole body. But after four or five rolls, I was no farther then the front corner of the house. The dim gangway ahead looked like a mile-long tunnel. I decided to undo the wire and take as many as I could carry in my paper bag. I should have thought of this earlier because if anyone saw me, it would look like I was delivering. Then I could sneak down the alley and hide the papers in the garbage cans.
I began to untwist the wire. This was even harder to do than it usually was because my hands were sore from pushing the bundle around.
SLAM! My heart jumped. A car door shut out in the street. What if someone saw me? Furiously, I worked at the wire until I had it loose, then ran back to the porch for my bag. I tore back to the gangway and started stuffing the bag. I carried the first load far down the alley. I looked for empty garbage cans, but they were all full. This meant the garbage men were coming any day now, maybe even today, and the evidence would be destroyed.
I was on my third load and all was going well when I heard a voice near Mrs. Metovich’s house. I looked for a place to hide. I saw a spot across the alley between a garage and a can. I made it just in time. The fence gate swung open. I saw Mrs. Metovich looking around the alley. I thought she was looking right across the alley at me, and barely breathed until I heard

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