one: the interview

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"Dude, these new Tech Deck ramps are sweet."

Matt glanced up at Logan, one eyebrow cocked. "You haven't seen anything yet," Matt said smugly.

Logan grinned hugely, his crooked front tooth making his smile look lopsided. "You're killing me with this suspense."

"I set up a whole mini skate park in the back room," Matt admitted. "Kyle and me were here 'til one last night putting it together."

"Dude, that's so gay," Logan laughed, leaning his elbows on the counter. "Why isn't it out here? You gotta let me try it out."

"I was testing it out," Matt explained, turning back to the display of fingerboards in their little cardboard packages. Some little brats had come in earlier and moved them all around, leaving half on the floor, and he was putting them all back in their proper places. More or less. "I gotta convince Roo to let me move it out here. I figure we can squeeze all the snowboard stuff into the corner, no one's gonna be buying that in the summer. And then that table there--" He pointed at the low, square table, currently displaying colourful snowboard helmets beside the skate helmets "--could be clear. Roo's always trying to get me to push these things, anyways. I figure he'll go along with it if I can explain it right."

"You've convinced me, dude," Logan said fervently. "Plus, you get Roo high enough and he'll agree to anything. You basically run this store already."

Matt snickered, but said, "Don't talk about my boss like that, man. You're gonna get me fired."

"Oh, Logan," Logan mimicked. "Uh-hur-hur-hur." His impression of Matt's stupid inward-breathing laughter was impressive, even though he made it sound dopey and dumb. Voice mockingly high, he went on, "You're gonna get me fiiiiired. Then I'll have to suck Roo's huge cock to get this stupid job back or my parents will tell me I'm a failure and if my mommy is mad at me I'm gonna cry."

Scrunching his face up, Logan pretended to bawl, big, fake sobs making his chest shake.

"Shut up, McIntyre," Matt laughed, throwing the fingerboard he held at Logan's face.

Yelping, Logan raised his hands too late, and the corner of the cardboard package caught him in the eyebrow before tumbling into his outstretched hands. "Owwww," he moaned dramatically. He glanced down at the toy and his eyes widened, immediately distracted. "Dude, this one is so sick! Look at this frickin' eyeball! It's like flaming and bleeding at the same time!"

"Yeah, cool," Matt said, rolling his eyes as though he hadn't gone through them all carefully as soon as he opened the box, setting aside the best ones for Logan's upcoming birthday. "If you're gonna hang around all day you can at least help me. Put those Warped Tour posters up or something." He pointed at the stack of posters that had been sitting on the counter all day, waiting for someone to find time to hang them.

Logan scoffed. "I'm only here as moral support. I'm not getting paid to do work."

Matt laughed. Maybe his laughter really did sound as dopey and dumb as Logan made it seem. He said, "There's a job posting. It's right on the door. If you wanna get paid you gotta apply."

"Get a job?" Logan gasped. "Are you crazy, Matt? That would cut into my social life!"

Matt rolled his eyes. "What social life? You spend all day here with me."

"Exactly," Logan agreed contentedly.

"Whatever, dude," Matt said, amused. "The tape is beside the register."

His face settling into a determined expression, Logan turned his black and white DC hat backwards, dark blond hair poking out through the gap above the snap. The two boys had almost the same not-haircut haircut: chin length, shaggy, curled at the bottom as a result of putting on baseball caps when it was still wet.

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