We sat in a circle underneath a tree in the shade, away from the blazing sun that signaled the start of summer.

In unison, we turned to see Jack approaching us. We’d not seen him for weeks, not since his step father was sent to prison for abusing him. He smiled and sat down next to us.

“Cool scar,” he said to Joe sitting next to me, “Where did you get it?”

“Uh, I fell off my skateboard,” he responded.

Dan piped up, “Look at this,” he said proudly, showing the large purple welt on his leg, “Got this from football, they thought I was going to lose my leg!”

“Patch, do you have any?” he asked me.

I showed them my appendix scar and they groaned.

“What about you?” Dan asked Jack.

He pulled up his shirt. Everyone gasped as he revealed the still healing and scabbed outlines of satanic symbols – upside-down crosses, a large crude pentagram enclosing the likeness of a goat – his skin turned into a tapestry of evil; the group turned white.

“This is what I did to get rid of my step dad.”

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