Silas

How rare the bird is I may not say being the only specimen I have ever seen . . .
—John James Audubon

The first time he was caught, it was by his mother. Anne heard the sounds of bare footfall on the kitchen tiles late that evening and dressed herself in the hallway outside her bedroom, careful not to wake her husband. In the kitchen she found the screen door cracked open, a pair of jeans clumped in the yawn of the door. Stuffed down inside the jeans was a pair of her son’s underpants. Outside, on the first two steps, lay a pair of dirty socks, and on the last a wadded T-shirt.

She turned off the light in the kitchen then went into the living room. She looked out behind the house into the dim grove, and there was nothing. The deep rows of pecans fell away and converged farther than her eyes could follow. At the front of the house she put her face to the window, cupping her hands against the cold glass, and for a moment saw nothing. And then, out by the road, outlined in the scant moonlight, was her son, standing there without a stitch of clothing on.

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