Introducing: Imaginary Lines

Longtime Across the Margin contributor Douglas Grant shares with us an excerpt from his latest novel – “Imaginary Lines

Cover art by Chris Thompson

“The youth are the most vulnerable,” Eddie continued. “Find a boy and get sway over him, often with the promise of cash, and you can mold him into whatever you want him to be. Those with very little to lose who see opportunity are easy to manipulate. Men like you and me will never know what horrible acts we’re truly capable of. But the boys poised to become men in Mexico are discovering these things about themselves every day.”

Eddie paused, and Kyle wondered if he was finished. When the pause lingered, Kyle spoke up. “But we’re talking about Mauricio. He’s not in Mexico. He’s here in California trying to earn an honest day’s pay.”

Eddie smiled a little bit wider, as if Kyle had set him up for the point he’d been attempting to arrive at all along. And Kyle saw no mirth behind that smile. Eddie was not at all happy with his present circumstances. “In my experience I’ve learned that there are two types of people who come here. Those who are running from poverty, and those who are running from something else. Which one is Mauricio?”

This was something Kyle could comment on with conviction. “I’d say he’s the former.”

“Would you bet your family on that?” Eddie had fire in his eyes. He was challenging Kyle, as if he’d hold Kyle personally responsible if something awful befell Lorena and her unborn child.

Kyle didn’t answer right away. It was not an answer to be taken lightly. It was like swearing on the life of your children when you weren’t entirely sure of the truth yourself. As it happened, Eddie spared Kyle from having to respond. “This is what’s eating away at me, Kyle. You can vouch for the boy’s present, but not his past. And although my faith tells me that I should be willing to forgive a man for his sins, we’re talking about a man who will be father to my grandchild, a man I know absolutely nothing about.”

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