A laugh like a chipmunk “Chucky”

Next there’s Chucky Mathews. He’s kind of an odd duck. A dark headed short kid with an abnormally large mouth. Not big like he talks a lot, even though he does. I mean big bright red clown lips that cover the entire bottom of his face. They remind me of the wax ones you can buy at the dime store.

They make him look kinda silly, and he’s all kinds of sensitive about it. He has a laugh that’s just as weird, sounds a lot like a chipmunk or squirrel. He uses that weird laugh all the time, laughing at everything, funny or not. Even when he’s in trouble, especially when he’s in trouble, which now that I think of it is a lot. Him and Stick are pretty tight, makes you kinda wonder if slapping one will bruise the other.

His dad works the belt and washer, just as dirty, if not more, but maybe just a little safer.

The pay’s not near what the hole pays, but he’s lucky to get it. He used to work at the mill in the next town over, but when they cut back he was one of the first to get the axe. Big David’s dad pulled some strings and got him on at the Blue Diamond mine. He ain’t been there to long so he’s still playing catch up as far as money goes.

Chucky’s place is about a mile down the road from me. He don’t like us coming by his place much. We all figure it’s because he’s kinda embarrassed by it. It’s been tough for him, his place ain’t much really. His Pa lost their house to the bank when he lost his job at the plant. No warning or nothing, just went in one day and found a piece of paper with his time card. Right now, they’re rebuilding, they all live in a Shasta camper with a room built onto the side.

The room’s not very fancy, just boards and tar-paper topped off with a metal roof. Just stuff his dad could scavenge up I spose. He ain’t never let any of us inside yet, we don’t say nothing about it. Out of proper respect I reckon.

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