Something Pretty, Something Beautiful
In Tacoma, a circle of friends finds their leader in Will Wilson. Together, they drink, they get high, they take girls to the woods-but Will Wilson keeps pushing toward darker extremes. As the descent gets steeper, there is a way out: another friend's fishing boat off the coast of Alaska. There is life after Tacoma. But the choice has to be made, and some friendships feel more than inevitable. SOMETHING PRETTY, SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL is the new novel from Eric Barnes, author of SHIMMER.
window. She pulls aside the curtain. Cold air blows lightly against her bare stomach, coming thinly from the heating unit. She stares out at the few cars in the parking lot. A low chain-link fence separates the lot from a half mile of flat, vacant land that surrounds the highway for a few hundred miles. She leans close to the glass to look at her old, white Dart. She hopes it hasn’t been broken into. She looks closely to see if any windows are broken. Or if a door has been jammed open. Those
Steadily. She didn’t notice till her thighs were past the roof’s edge. Will Wilson pulled smiling and she was saying, “Careful. Wait. Careful.” And he still pulled, reaching one hand up to her thighs, holding her as she came off the hut, letting her slowly drop. And as she slid down into his arms, her skirt was lifting. Her dark panties showing. Will Wilson’s hands just touching them, the girl’s bare feet almost reaching the ground. “Okay,” this girl in the miniskirt was saying, smiling, her
the Puyallup River when Kyle and I were kids renting those dinghies. The tugs floated them out into the bay and pulled them over to the mill at the tip of one of all those manmade peninsulas at the port. But it was different, Kyle and I thought. The mill, the oil refinery, the ships loaded and unloaded with containers from all over the world. They were automation jobs, worked by kids who’d been in vocational school since they were teenagers, learning computers and practicing their math. I was
time,” Will Wilson said again as we all got out of the car. As a kid, I’d jumped off the ledge under the Proctor Bridge, like a slide you could ride down to a trail in the gulch. The wind was blowing cool off the bay now, the low waves splashing lightly against the rocks on the beach. Coe was drinking something from a clear glass bottle. Swallowing slowly. Blinking it away. I opened a can of beer. I was watching Will Wilson pull a sweatshirt from the trunk. I could see a hat and gloves
had pushed up against the old piers, but it always felt good to be out. It was Kyle who’d said that getting naked was just his way. Kyle who’d started driving to his after school job when he was twelve, using a beat up car his older cousin had given him. Kyle who would move out when he was fifteen, going to live with his aunt when it all got to be too much at his house. Kyle who would take me to Alaska when we were eighteen. Kyle who knew, from the beginning, that if you wanted to you could get