Some kids grow up fast. Some don't, and some never do. It's usually not the kid's choice. It's just the way things go.
Mickey viewed the move to rural eastern Oregon as a new adventure, and indeed it was. Deer and rabbits to hunt, fish to catch, and horses to ride. Learn to operate a tractor and drive a car? As close to heaven as most 12 year old boys can get. Oh yes, and those "adult" things: whiskey, beer, chewing tobacco and cigarettes.
Of course there were also the schoolyard bullies, but almost every kid has to put up with them, right?
Tragedies and near tragedies. Sexual awakening. Young love, and the thrill and heartache that goes with it. Learning life's lessons: Some, taught by two extraordinary young women, were tender and gentle; other lessons learned were vicious and cruel.
It's all a part of growing up.
But then Mickey witnesses a horrifying crime and is forced to make choices that few men of any age will ever have to make.
This is his story.