John Devlin knew the boys who lived in the clapboard houses by the railroad tracks not only liked beating him up, but needed to beat him up. He was the only part of their lives they could defeat because he didn't dare hit them. Not like their fathers, who were always reeking of beer and cigarettes, or bruised mothers drowning in guilt. "We can do whatever we want to you," the biggest boy with the broken tooth would punch Devlin's face and stomach, always failing to make him cry. "Nobody's ever going to stop us."
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April 06, 2012
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