July 12, 2016
Four boys found naked in Flint City.
Spring came hard to Flint County and the high school boys were rutting. What snow remained from the long winter melted faster than anyone expected it would—as it did every year—and transformed the earth into a boggy ground that gave way and squeaked beneath each of the boys’ fevered footsteps. Little green buds dotted the trees and green grass grew in patches on the thawing ground. But even the new grass could not hold the soil together and the rutting high school boys left trails of the soil stabbed through with green new shoots wherever they walked, fallen in moist clumps from their boots, scratched in a thick paste on stoops and pickup truck running boards. Nights were cool and a little overcast, but the long gray winter was finally giving way. The high school state basketball tournament, March Madness, was just around the corner and summer would be just after that. The high school boys were out at all hours, all wearing tight t-shirts tucked into slightly looser jeans even though it was cool enough for jackets, silver belt buckles, baseball caps so new that they looked starched, and they were spending every night (even school nights) racing around Flint County in a desperate search for girls and beer and for anything that might shock them back to life after a long, gray winter.