Shane & Army

Caden’s friend Shane is a riot of sound and motion in the guise of a 15-year-old girl, always “on” and eager to distract both her and her friends from the darkness she knows surrounds them.

Caden’s friend Army is a sensitive and complex 15-year-old boy, hiding a lot of things both from his friends and from himself that threaten his very existence.

From Interitas Volume 1: The Beginning of Sorrows

The music 15-year-old Shane Carpenter played changed daily – sometimes hourly – ranging from cutting edge EDM DJs, to hardcore rap, to soul and funk classics, to 80s hair metal, to country, and beyond. With Shane, about the only thing you could predict is that it would be loud. Be it the music, the fashion, the language, the attitude, and often the trouble, it would be big and impossible to ignore.

At five-foot-four she was practically dwarfed by the big SUV she drove with wild abandon. Her hair was in sometimes in cornrows and accentuated by giant, gold hoop earrings, sparkly purple lipstick, and an outfit that sort of looked like Forever 21 and Hot Topic put through a meat grinder. She liked to refer to her look as “ghetto fabulous,” which usually made her professor of African-American studies mother launch into a litany of social injustices their people had suffered from slavery to Jim Crow laws.

15 year-old Army O’Connor was one of those kids who hadn’t quite grown into his looks yet, but you could tell he probably would someday. All he needed was a little bit more height than his current five-nine to settle out some of the baby fat he still had and maybe a haircut that could tame his always unruly mop. The limp didn’t help but that would either fade over time or become a part of his sense of self in ways it hadn’t yet and then he’d be ready for prime time. Caden loved him like the brother she never had and while she hoped that day would come for him soon she kind of dreaded it a bit for him at the same time.

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