Chapter 18

The Devil and Curtis Pye

One buyer showed up the next day. “Twenty. That’s all it’s worth.”

“That’s not fair. It cost me three hundred and fifty dollars.”

The man had a red Van Dyke goatee and a purple complexion. “It’s $175, plus a hundred to fix the wheel. Should I risk $275 on a broken $350 bike?”

“I need more money. A hundred.”

He looked back at his son. “Aaron. Come.” The kid–he looked twelve–started to whine. 

My mouth opened. “That’s not right. It’s nearly brand new.”

“It’s a busted toy. It’s smarter to buy a new one.”

It’s not right, but this shiny, almost-new Honda is no good to me. I’ve lost two fights in two days, and I don’t want to try suicide again. If I hitch, even twenty-five dollars could be my ticket out of Oklahoma. And I want to leave here worse than I want to see if anyone will offer more money. “Do me a favor. Make it twenty-five.”

He scribbled a check and offered the oddest smile. “Smart boy like you should know. Never ask the devil for a favor.”

Published by garybob309yahoocom

Gary Robert Pinnell is a career journalist who retired in 2017. He has written a novel, To Daddy, Who I Never Loved, about 1967, when he ran away from Duncan, Oklahoma, hitchhiked to California, and lived in a communal restaurant in Palo Alto until he found his father. He is now working on The Women of Oklahoma!, a true story of the behind-the-stage women who helped make the history with the 1943 musical.

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