The Lineup

Ricky drags Derek, out of his hiding place, into the lineup with the other neighborhood boys. Derek’s armpits smell sour, like vinegar. Last time he ran out of lineup, Ricky tackled him, left bruises. Ricky’s the biggest teenager on the block. Have to stay still. Derek hears the engine squeal. Ricky’s been obsessed with Evel Knievel for months. No barrels or Greyhound buses for Ricky’s stunts. Young boys are the next best thing. Derek tries not think of his head split like a watermelon on the street. Tight as sardines now, all holding their breath, not moving. Someone faints. Dominoes.


Michele Berger is a womens studies professor and creative writer. Her fiction has appeared in UnCommon Origins: A Collection of Gods, Monsters, Nature and Science by Fighting Monkey Press, You Don’t Say: Stories in the Second Person by Ink Monkey Press, Flying South: A Literary Journal, and The Red Clay Review. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in The Chapel Hill News, The Red Clay Review, Glint Literary Journal, Oracle: Fine Arts Review, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, The Feminist Wire, Ms., Carolina Woman Magazine, and Western North Carolina Woman, A Letter to My Mom, and various zines.

Photo Credit: Ishan Manjrekar

4 Responses to “The Lineup”

  1. toni says:


  2. Anne Anthony says:

    Gosh, oh gosh, felt the tension, the drama. Hate that Ricky!!

  3. Elaine McKay says:

    So good. Love this one.

  4. Tony Press says:

    Wow! I’m almost fainting, too — this one is good (and unique, too, which is always a plus).

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