There was a kid poking at something in a bush in the Connor’s front lawn. A bird flew out of it and landed on a nearby roof, and the kid kept poking at the bush. The horror of what I hoped he wasn’t doing haunted me and something in me switched on. Without thinking I ran over to stop whatever it was he was doing. “What are you doing?” I said. It was Taylor Greene from the other side of the development. “Who wants to know?” he said. “I do,” I said. “What’s so special about you?” he said. “Are you poking at a bird’s nest in that bush?” I said. “Not poking, spearing,” he said. “Stop hurting the chicks,” I said. “You mean the eggs,” he said. “Stop spearing the eggs,” I said. “Too late,” he said. “You killed them,” I said. “They weren’t alive yet,” he said. “They were alive enough,” I said. “How do you know?” he said. “Your parents are going to hear about this,” I said. “Tattle tale,” he said. “I’m a traitor,” I said. He started to try to spear me with his stick, and I tried to ignore, but he was getting closer to actually drawing blood, so I had to say something. “You couldn’t hit a thing if it stood still for you,” I said. “Stand still and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “Technically, the earth is always moving so we’re never still,” I said. “That’s true actually,” he said. The mother bird on the roof began chirping. “Nobody asked you,” Taylor said. “You speak bird all of a sudden?” I said. “I speak everything,” he said. “Do you speak rock?” I said. “In fact, I do,” he said. “So, you’ll understand what this one’s trying to say when it lands on your face,” I said. “I’m fluent in rock,” he said. I threw the rock at the face of my new friend and he ran into the street, dropped to his knees and held his face, screaming like he’d just been speared through the eye by a bayonet. “You’re going to prison,” he said. “Into the slammer I go,” I said. “You’ll never see daylight again,” he said. “No more tans for me,” I said. “I’m going to kill you,” he said. He pulled a lock knife out of his pocket and ran at me with it as if to stab me. “Don’t you ever get sick of killing things?” I said. “Never,” he said. “I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “And now you die,” he said. “Nice knife,” I said. “My dad got it for me for Christmas,” he said. “How sharp is it?” I said. “Pretty sharp,” he said. “Wanna see?’