Word count: 4437
My thanks to Sparky for her beta. Link takes you to AO3
When Napoleon was twelve, he almost died. Yet, even now, he's still not sure he's totally alive.
He popped up next to the dock and blew out a mouthful of air, then nearly yelled. Earl was sitting on the dock, in the shade, of course because he mustn’t get overheated, according to Aunt Jerry. He stared at Napoleon and made Napoleon feel dirty. He grabbed Napoleon’s arm in a surprisingly strong grip.
“Roger was bad and had to be punished. I still remember the night Mama did it.”
It took Napoleon nearly a minute to realize what Earl was going on about. He jerked his arm free and grabbed onto the dock for support as he climbed up onto it. The bottom of the lake was thick with silt and mud here, so the only way out was the dock. “Did what?”
“Took a hammer to his hand.”
“You lie!” he shouted at his cousin. “You are a dirty dog liar.”