Admission by Matthew A. Hamilton

Carlos lifts his hands for the security guard and enters the market. He searches for boys without hope, without opportunity.

Today Carlos finds Michael, a boy with sleepy eyes and a nervous twitch.

Carlos offers him a smoke.

“Thanks, “Michael says.

Carlos looks at the soccer ball stenciled on Michael’s T-shirt. “You like soccer?” he says.

“Yea,” Michael says.

“You good?”


“How would you like to make some money?” he says. “Be a prince of Mexico City?”

“What do I need to do?” Michael says.

“Practice. If your good enough I can see about making you pro. Pay’s ten dollars an hour and all you got to do is kick a ball around for a few hours. That sound good to you?”

“When do I start?” Michael says.

“Now,” Carlos says, “if you want.”

Carlos opens the van door for Michael. There are ten other boys inside. Michael climbs in.

They drive out to the desert. The boys are hustled out of the van. In front of them are four men, blindfolded and on their knees. Behind them are six men carrying automatic weapons. Michael smells piss and shit.

Carlos walks over to Michael and hands him an ax. “You know what to do,” he says. “This is a test. Pass and you will be part of the family. You will be part of the cartel. The city will be yours.”


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Filed under Matthew A. Hamilton

9 responses to “Admission by Matthew A. Hamilton

  1. This rite of passage is so achingly real, unfortunately. You’ve led the reader into the scene and we’re left there in shock. Nicely done.

  2. This turned my stomach and broke my heart. I know these kind of situations are “real,” but I prefer to live in my own bubble insofar as this kind of violence goes. Just so shocking without the resolve. Perhaps that is the point.

  3. darkly do doom well.

  4. Kim Hutchinson

    Wow. Powerful stuff.

  5. So heartbreaking, like the child soldiers in Africa…

    Well written and poignant.

  6. Kelly Grotke

    wanted to read more! nice, a story that leaves you wondering

  7. Oh God… Matt, this tears me up. We tell our kids to stay away from strangers offering candy, and here’s soccer held as a carrot and to horrible end. One of your best. Ever. Peace…

  8. Al McDermid

    Talk about forced conversions. As I was reading, I thought, this could go some obviously places, but I wanted it not. It didn’t, but I wasn’t ready for where it did go. Very powerful.

  9. Pingback: Week # 30 – Urban convert | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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