This is a submission for Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Al Forbes, https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/sunday-photo-fiction-june-25th-2017/ . It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Eric Wicklund.
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Thank you for being a friend
Reading aloud from To Kill a Mockingbird, the teacher reached the part where Jem finds toys hidden by Boo Radley.
Paul whispered to Tommy, “That’s like when we were little. Remember – we kept finding cars and stuff in the hollow tree?”
“I don’t remember,” Tommy answered.
“You do. You wouldn’t touch ‘em, but I took a toy soldier home.”
“Shut up. Miss Law’s reading.”
“When Mum saw the soldier she went mad. She marched me back to school, made me tell the headteacher everything. Toys dried up after that.”
“It was you who told?”
“She made me.”
“You screwed up my life.”
“It was only toys.”
“My toys,” Tommy shouted.
The boys didn’t notice as silence descended around them.
“What are you talking about?”
“The toys. My dad put them there.”
“Why do you think?”
“I dunno. I can’t remember him. He left.”
“He went to prison. Eventually.”
“For taking your toys?”
“Think about it … why would a grown man want children to find toys in a tree?”
“He was a paedophile?”
“So, I did you a favour?”
“Oh yeah … with no other kids to mess with, he used me. I thought you were my friend.”