ESPN The Magazine Fiction Issue: Angel Wings

Sun, Feb 27

When they called me, and I was driving to the hospital, all I could think of was chicken.

Because I didn't really understand what happened, and they said he was at the drive-through window of Jack in the Box, and he didn't like Jack. He always wanted chicken -- WingStreet or KFC.

All those chickens that died for him. I would always think of my aunt's yard, down in Houma, La., where we stayed one summer, and she made me go out there with her and get the chicken every time. She said I was too California and she would put some country in me. We had to wring that chicken around like a toy, and the neck would stretch like a swan's. Feathers. Everywhere.

Subway, Burger King, Popeyes. Those boys ate wherever they could find after tournaments. You know how everybody thinks they're lazy and they don't study. They were practicing or playing every night. Cynthia -- you know how he had his books up there in the bleachers and the boys would tease him. And the coach would say, "You better not play like a honors white boy."

Don't run from the cops, dirtbag, and you won't get shot. Every time. It's never the officer's fault, according to the cousin and the welfare mom.

He wasn't running. But don't hide behind tinted windows in the back seat of a big SUV and claim you didn't see the officer, right? Why were they out so late anyway? Banger time.

Good shoot. He would have probably robbed somebody later that night, and they prevented that. I don't care what his family says.

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