“Don’t go, Bobby.”
“Nobody’s lived in that shack for years. What’re you scared of?” Bobby’s irises grew blacker; his grin wider. “’Fraidy cat, Dixon. ‘Fraidy cat, Di…”
Loosened fists at his sides, Dixon grit uneven teeth and flushed to the roots of his ginger crew-cut. “Okay. Nothing else to do.”
The sagging veranda creaked and moaned beneath their grubby sneakers. A weathered shutter hung by spider spit.
“Weird—no broken windows. See anything?” Bobby yanked the doorknob but it separated in his hand. He fell against Dixon and they tumbled on their rumps.
“Ouch, I got a sliver on my butt. Get off me.”
His friend snickered. “Uh, this is boring. Come on.”
“Let’s try the back.” Dixon massaged his backside.
“Ow!” they hollered and collapsed to their knees as the cane thwacked bare calves.
A sandpaper throat cleared. “Something I can do for you boys?”