It was nice, kids just being kids. They got along with everyone. It didn’t matter what you looked like or where you came from. They only wanted to play.

Some had moms who stuck around and watched. Some had moms who dropped them off and left to get their nails done. It pissed him off, the moms who dumped their kids and vanished, like the world wasn’t some terrible, dangerous place. One of these days, he would teach them a lesson.

KIDS BY ALEX HABER 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 91

Billy Turner worked at the mall before it shut down. He had a job in sales, or so he said. In truth, he sold weed in the stairwell behind JC Penney. His storefront was the indoor kiddie park with all the plastic rides, kids climbing up the snail’s back, down the dog’s truck.

Billy sat on a bench and waited for clients. He watched the kids playing while he sat. He liked to watch. Kids had fun doing nothing. It was funny. There were all kinds of kids, black and white and Latino and Asian. Some had moms who stuck around and watched. Some had moms who dropped them off and left to get their nails done. It pissed him off, the moms who dumped their kids and vanished, l…

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