The river is lower now. Less threatening. Was way up high. Overflowing the banks. Flooding the farm land. Strange how fields flood then become dry as the Sierra.

Over in Newton County the corn is taking off. Growing higher each day. Sweet corn should be in by late August. Farmers are counting on it.

A body washed up on the banks of the Kankakee just yesterday. A young man. Body was blue; puffed up like a balloon. There was no identification on him. His hair was bloody and muddy from the waters. Holes in the back of his head.

They took him away on a stretcher. The County Coroner later confirmed he’d been shot. Right in the back of the head. Now all kinds of questions emerged. Where was he from? Drug deal gone bad? Did he owe somebody money? Where do you begin?

The sun is coming up over the river and the fields. I’m watching the ball of fire in the sky as summer’s heat turns up a notch. Soon it’ll be noon and the temperature will be close to a hundred.

There’s a section of the banks roped off as a crime scene. Cops looking for clues.

My brother hasn’t been home in a week. Folks tell me he’s up to no good. Said he owes half the county money. Has habits that could cost him.

I didn’t report him as missing. Figured he took off to California, or, somewhere. Wanting a new life. Maybe he found one.

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