I find myself falling behind Dillon’s determined march. He isn’t breaking pace, even as we hike uphill through the nettles. He’s made up his mind, which has become unchangeable in the past year.
“I just don’t see why we have to bring this stupid thing to the party. No one else has to steal anything.”
“Look Pete, no one’s forcing you to come. If you’re so scared you can just go home.”
We both know I can’t. The coat of arms is too bulky for one person to carry and this is the first time we’ve ever been invited anywhere. Who knows when it’ll happen again.
“I’m not scared, Dill.”
It’s one of those British coats of arms with lions and a unicorn. But the paint’s faded so badly on the one outside our school that it looks like the unicorn’s asshole is bleeding. I can almost see it from the hilltop if I squint. We descend.
“Do you think your mom would’ve wanted you to do this?” I ask, so quietly I can’t believe he hears me.
“It’s not about her! It’s about me. Only me. Okay?”
“Okay,” I say, and we hop the fence into the schoolyard.
This is a submission to Sunday Photo Fiction, a weekly challenge where writers post a story in 200 words or fewer in response to a photo prompt (shown above).