Dead, he thought, and turned back to the other room. Willow had her coat on, black wool with the high collar. She had draped the couch throw over the boy and tucked in its edges and was watching him intently, her slender hand stroking the soft blond of his hair. She looked up when Len entered, and he winced at the look on her face. That delicate, quizzical smile.
Len was helpless to answer. The letter had come from the state some weeks ago, and it sat on the kitchen table for days, yielding less and less to each reading until he couldnt even tell what they wanted, much less what he should do about it. But Len had gassed up the truck and drove the six hours to find out. He held Willows gaze and then broke from it to turn a bewildered eye toward the boy. That was what hed brought back. That one, there, inert and lying quiet on the couch. It was all the answer he could give. Its late, Willow. I could drive you home.
She smiled and shook her head. Her yurt behind Bow Farm was an easy walk away. Ill see you, Len.
All right, then.
The open door let in a gust of night air. Len went to the closet and drew out an extra blanket and opened it over the boy, and then he went in to the bedroom and lay down beside his wife and fought for sleep.
Excerpted from Wrecker by Summer Wood. Copyright © 2011 by Summer Wood. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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