Young God: A Novel

Free Young God: A Novel by Katherine Faw Morris

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Authors: Katherine Faw Morris
out.”
    Coy Hawkins walks into the living room.

     
    SHE IS SKINNIER THAN SHE HAS EVER BEEN. Also she is blonder. Naked, in the bathroom mirror, she stares at herself. He’s just jealous, she thinks. Because she’s moving weight and he’s not. She slips a hand between her legs.

     
    SHE SEES HIM IN THE MIRROR. He comes up behind her. He pulls her hair. He pulls until her neck is arched and her head is tilted back.
    “I’m the man and you’re the girl,” Coy Hawkins says.
    She wants to say something back but she can’t close her mouth. She hates these wild bad dreams. She hears a loud bang. She is awake.
    Earlier the man was here and she bought a needle off him for a dollar. Nikki looks at it. It’s stuck in her arm.
    Bang. Bang. Bang.

     
    WHEN SHE COMES OUT into the living room there’s a hole in the wall. It’s a small hole but it goes all the way through to pink insulation. Coy Hawkins has turned his chair from the TV to face it. Plaster’s rained around him. He stabs his bat in the carpet.
    “I’m looking for something,” he says.
    “What?” Nikki says.
    “Cameras.”
    Coy Hawkins stands up and then he sits down again.
    “Probably.”
    “You’re fucking up,” Nikki screams.

     
    SHE HOLDS HER PHONE in the air. She walks almost to the bottom road. When she gets reception all her texts come in at once. They’re all from the same number. The last one says “u owe me remember.”
    Nikki leans against a tree. She stares at the woods for a second. They’re gloomy and still. They look like they don’t give a shit, she thinks.
    “i can get it,” she texts.
    Up above her Levi’s zigzagging the hill. Back and forth, lazily. He’s not even looking at her. Her phone glows.
    “come here,” Wesley texts.
    The keys are in the pickup where she left them.

     
    “THAT’S THE MONEY?”
    “Yeah,” Wesley says.
    The book bag’s on the built-in table. It’s unzipped. It’s full of cash. Nikki stands in the camper with her hands on her hips.
    “Where did you get it?” she says.
    “I got a couple investors.”
    “Investors?”
    Wesley mutes the TV. The girls stop groaning. He chins at the couch beside him.
    “Sit down,” he says.
    She perches on the very edge. The curtain’s pushed all the way back. It looks picked up in there, like he stuffed all the redneck girl’s stuff behind the air mattress.
    “This shit’s the future,” Wesley says.
    Nikki looks at him. He’s holding a heroin balloon. There’s a whole party bag of them and a scale on the table, too.
    “I know,” Nikki says.
    “I know you robbed Lee Church,” Wesley says.
    She stares at him.
    “What?”
    Wesley puts his hand on her leg.
    “You don’t need him.”
    “Who?” Nikki says.
    “Coy Hawkins,” Wesley says.
    His pupils are so pinned. His greenest green eyes almost sparkle at her. He squeezes her thigh.
    “It could be just me and you,” he says.
    Nikki looks at the book bag. So does Wesley. Then he leans back on the couch.
    “Your guy, he’s in Charlotte?” Wesley says.
    Nikki nods at him.
    “You’re trying to cut me out.”
    “What?” Wesley says.
    Nikki picks up the glass ashtray. She smashes it as hard as she can over Wesley’s head.
    Blood pours out. He tries to stand up and his knees buckle.
    “You fucking cunt,” he says.
    Nikki grabs the book bag again. Also the bag of Mama’s clothes.

     
    SHE MERGES ONTO THE INTERSTATE and it is jerky and insane. The pickup is much harder to drive than Wesley’s car. She has to muscle the steering wheel. She rides the brakes to read the road signs and tractor-trailers wail around.
    She takes the Kannapolis exit. It’s a long, winding highway and then stop signs and stoplights and finally boxy lots with short grass and chain fences.
    She parks on a wide street where every house looks the same. She does not clean off her cat’s eyes. In the rearview mirror she just lines over what’s left. They are wilder than Angel’s. They look much more like wings.
    She

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