The Life of a Secret

Many secrets exist in the world. Some are kept behind closed doors of powerful men dressed in thousand dollar suits. Others are kept by giggling girls, armed and accounted for in the high school arms race. Some are forgotten and lost in time. Some are exposed and changed into various strands of truth.

Most secrets were lonely things even when collected by grave secret-keepers.

Walter Sutton had a secret and didn’t know what to do with it. He’d been carrying it for so long that it had become a part of him. It defined him. It had wrecked his marriage, destroyed his family, and turned him into a watchful loner.

At seventy-one he decided that he’d have to do something with his secret. He just didn’t know what. It would require outside authority, someone without connections to his home town.

He picked up the old rotary phone and dialed the Alabama state police. When the operator finished her spiel, he spoke slowly into the thick plastic of the phone.

“I know where the children of Tuscumbia go to die.”

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