art by Shannon N. Kelly
by John Van Pelt
"What is it!?" Boy's eyes sparkled. "Is it anything?"
"Let me sit first, won't you?" I steadied myself with my good arm, and sat heavily on an Elder stone. "Let me see." I took the rectangular block from his grasp with both hands. It was lighter than I expected.
"Do you need to piss, Boy? Then quit your dancing. Sit here by me."
Anything else--anything metal, anything useful--he would have taken to the younger men. Never mind that I often had memories of such things, as well. They made of them what they could--blades, chisels, vessels.
Once I tried offering my knowledge. The name popped into my mind from who knows where. "That's a brake caliper," I had said.
"Oho!" Boy's father said. "A break what, hey? It's broken now, inn't?" The young men laughed.
"It was part of a car, part of what made them stop."
"Well now." Boy's father narrowed his eyes, looking past me down the hill, across the vacant, quiet land. "It worked pretty damn good, didn't it?"
Now I brushed the dust from the block in my lap, knocked away dried clots of soil from its edges.