Slater Street


We been runnin’ Slater Street since the beginning of time. Ask anybody. This has been our show since before the county even laid the blacktop, so we knew it wouldn’t be long before my brother Garrett dropped the hammer on this new crew trying to edge in on our thing. They’d been comin’ on like a heart attack these last few weeks, so Garrett gathered us all together to lay it out.

“Alright boys, listen up. Tonight we kick it up a notch. We’re gonna hit these pussies at midnight and we’re gonna hit ‘em hard. Shit is gonna pop off, so anybody who doesn’t think they can stomach it, let me know now.”

No one said a word. Scared, worried, or not, nobody was gonna puss out and lose Garrett’s respect. We were in. We were Slater Street.



These jokers were easy to find. Walking around loud-like without a care in the world. We watched from the high ground and slowly spread out to all sides. Dumbasses. You never give up the high ground. Everybody knows that. Garrett made the tall, blonde, lanky fucker as their leader and slowly shouldered his rifle. Garrett was the best shot I’d ever seen, and Lurch down there was fixin’ to have a bad day. When our crew was in place, Garrett let the first shot ring out. The sound cracked the night in half. Lurch screamed like a fuckin’ girl. The shot took him in the ear. Garrett wasn’t looking to put him down permanent, not yet anyway. He just wanted to get his attention and leave a mark. It was also the go-signal we were waiting for to rain down on these bastards.

A couple flicks of a Zippo and a few well-placed pitches later, and we lit that place up like the 4th of July. They had no idea what hit ‘em. The explosions and gunfire turned the place into a war-zone. We hammered them until the scene was total chaos then we tore-ass outta there like a fuckin’ band of demons. We rendezvoused under Mullins Pass to inventory any of our wounded. There were none. Those idiots didn’t get off a single shot.

“Well done fellas,” Garrett said, “I believe that’s the last we’ll be seeing of them around here. Johnny law will be comin’ down hard over the next few days, so keep your mouth shut and remember what happens if you don’t.”

He knew there was nothing to worry about. None of us were talking.


We dumped the BB guns and fireworks back at the fort before we headed home, and it was a good thing too ‘cause Mama was in the driveway waiting for us when we pulled up.

“Where the hell have you two been?” She yelled. Hip cocked.

“Nowhere Ma—Just out ridin’”

She snatched Garrett off his bike by his ear and led him in the house.

“Lenny,” She yelled back at me, “Put these bicycles in the garage and get your ass to bed. It’s a school night.”

An hour later my brother Garrett came in our room and climbed into the top bunk.

He didn’t say a word. He just winked.

Damn Right. Nobody fucks with Slater Street.

~ fin ~


Brian Panowich is an award winning author, a Georgia firefighter, and a father to four incredible children. His first novel, BULL MOUNTAIN (Putnam Books) topped the best thriller list of 2015 on Apple iBooks, placed in the top twenty best books of 2015 on Amazon, and went on to win the International Thriller Writers Award (2016) for Best First Novel, as well as the Pat Conroy Award (formally the SIBA Award) (2016) for Best Mystery. The book was also nominated for the Barry Award, the Anthony Award, The Georgia Townsend Book Prize, and was a finalist for the 2016 LA Times Book Prize. BULL MOUNTAIN was also recently selected for the coveted BOOKS ALL GEORGIANS SHOULD READ list by the Georgia Center of the Book, and has been the recepient of several foreign press awards. Brian also placed second for the 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Best Debut Catagory. His second novel, LIKE LIONS, is slated for a 2018 release followed by YEAR OF THE ROOSTER due in 2019.