“Dale Flynn’s Blood,” essay by D. J. Lee.

Trouble next door.

“I pushed away and we stood in the soft wet dirt of the shoulder, staring at one another. Suddenly, he lunged forward …”

“Todd,” photo by Chad Hunt, 1998.

I washed Dale’s blood off my blouse as best I could and shoved it in a corner of my bedroom. I never did get the stain out ….

Cover photo by Chad Hunt.

I resigned myself to the fact that nothing ever changed. And then something did.

An all-turquoise squash blossom necklace. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

How could I ensure the heirloom was safe in a future I couldn’t imagine?

If we all contributed our extra change, he’d take us to Disneyland when it reached two hundred dollars. We knew we were getting close.

Paul Klee, “Head of Man.”

We gathered in a wooded area to drink, smoke pot, and make out….

Sexuality tingled in every pore and my sense of duty lay dormant…. Some part of me believed that learning to fight my way through life was as thrilling as it got.

He would protect me with the same fierceness with which he punished me….

I wanted my mother to have it back, yet I didn’t want to relinquish the peculiar power I felt….


“Where you goin’?” He squeezed me tighter with one arm and, with his other hand, angled my chin toward his face. “You’re not getting away that easy.”

One of the cops winked at my father….

There was a crack, like the sound of a limb being broken from a tree trunk….

True Stories. Honestly.

An interdisciplinary magazine of nonfiction narratives and artwork.

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