Life is black and white in Perry, Ohio. More
None of them had ever seen a dead person before. Dead animals, sure. All of them had cleaned squirrels and rabbits. Sonny had killed his share of chickens, chopping off their heads, a chore he did not enjoy. Sonny did not get the same enjoyment out of a headless chicken staggering out of control as Duck seemed to. The whole thing was also messy, all that blood spurting out, with no clue where or when the chicken was finally going to give up.
No, not one of the boys had ever seen a dead body before. Ink Ear had a brother and sister die in infancy but he did see their bodies. Duck was a babe in arms at his grandmother’s funeral. Sonny had drawn corpses in his school notebook, usually with knives sticking them and blood gushing out.
The first real dead body any of them ever saw was Eldon Burley, lying in his shipping coffin, arms crossed over his chest, his hair pasted down and still shiny and one eye open.
It was like he was winking at them.
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