We knew safe territory. Cut troughs, trails in the woods and trees to climb. There were shacks in forgotten pastures, as if put there for us.
And we knew the places to avoid. Crabby old people or reactive young parents. Most frightening was the house where Clyde lived. He was a few years older than us and strong beyond unbelief. Everybody called him retarded. It was all we knew. He’d yell and chase. Attack at his little brother’s command.
We never saw him at school. He disappeared by the time we hit high school. No one knew where. No one asked.