An Easy Mortality

by Myke

Honored and grateful to have this story up in gutwrench. today about adolescent camaraderie, the subtleties of the pecking order, and the hubris of tall boys. Enjoy!

gutwrench.

By Myke Johns

It did not begin as a trudge. It started as a hike. From the very foot of the Appalachian Trail to about twelve miles in. This gaggle of boys carrying sticks, wearing backpacks, our faces expectant even at that hour. Under any other circumstances it would be inexcusable for us to be awake—not for a school day, not for church, not for Christmas morning. Yet here we were with boots on, intently listening to our Scoutmaster go over trail safety one last time.

“Troop 410,” that was us, “we do not hike alone. If you have to stop to rest, to go to the bathroom, to pass out, you buddy up.”

We all eyed each other and quietly decided who our real friends were. I was not going back into the woods with Quentin or Hunter—those two did not have my best interests at heart. I figured…

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