WINTER’S BONE x PRACTICAL MAGIC. Secrets don’t stay buried long in Rue Perkins’ tiny Ozarks town. When the local golden boy shows up after being presumed dead, Rue suspects he’s hiding a dark crime. But to discover the truth, Rue risks revealing her family’s biggest secret: that the Perkins women are witches, and her own twin sister may have made an unforgivable exchange for her magic.
My rules are simple: get in and get out.
Lunch hour is slipping away, and I’ve sat in my truck for most of it, thinking about the ways this can go wrong.
Dog-day cicadas scream like a hissing buzz saw, whining to a fever pitch and dying down with a slow, softening sigh. On a day like this the backs of my thighs stick to my truck’s cracked vinyl seats. The windows are cranked down, but the breeze is dead. Gone. My hair slithers down the back of my neck in damp snakes, and I yank it into a ponytail, drumming up enough courage to do what I need to do.
Across the street, Rocky’s Rec is a spot of activity in a long stretch of sad shopfronts. Cain, Arkansas, is the kind of dying town they talk about on national news, but here, Harleys line up along the curb, their chrome sparkling hard in the stark September sun.
I need to get out of this truck. I have to. If I don’t, I could have this black hole in my memory forever. Not to mention detention for showing up late to fifth period.
The rusty hinges on my Sierra Grande creak as I jump out and land on the simmering blacktop. I push into Rocky’s Rec, blinking through the smoky gloom at the words trickling down the back wall–hell is here.