“Prime” by Justyn Harkin

Friday nights in high school we used to drive out to where Sutton becomes Neltnore for bonfires and drinking parties. We never got caught. Nothing out there but bluestem and prairie flower, and anyway a giant boulder on the west side of Route 59 obscured our revelries from the road. In the firelight we’d drink spirits purloined from the wood-paneled basement wet bars constructed by our fathers while the lucky among us made love on flattened patches of harebell and partridge pea. Everybody knew that spot, would try to claim it with school colors—Schaumburg’s maroon and gold or Streamwood’s black and yellow or even the blue and white of Elgin Larkin whenever those wayward Royals wandered from their own fires kindled on the sandy banks of the Fox. There was other graffiti out there too. People asked people to prom on that rock. Professions of love were made. Breakups happened. Grievances aired. You’d see things like “Hoffman cops are pigs” or “Christina Byers is a whore.” Of course, it’s changed now. Land’s built up, and everywhere you look there’s a building or signage or some place to park. The kids are still around—they always are, lovely and defiant—but their secret places are lost to me. The boulder remains unhidden, though, along with a little slice of field that surrounds it. I drive passed it every day on my way to work. It’s painted white now. Big as ever. On the side someone has written “14 prime acres. Build to suit.”

More fiction at Used Furniture.


  1. theresa rodriguez says:

    Great and wanting to read more please.

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