Tag Archives: YA attempt

YA Fiction… Attempt #2 – Input Welcome

The new pack of cigarettes sat mockingly on the kitchen table. Her mother stood next to the table with her arms crossed tightly against her chest. Amanda wished that this wasn’t how her morning had started, and yet, there was a brand new pack wrapped in clean, crisp plastic right next to the half empty basket of laundry.

“I can explain.” Her voice came out as a squeak.

“I’d love to hear this.”

“My friend,” her brain searched for a name that wasn’t actually attached to any person her mother knew. “Mary, bought a pack of cigarettes.” She motioned to the pack on the table. “I didn’t want her to smoke, because I know how you’ve said that smoking is bad, and I took them from her before she could open them.”

“And that’s how they found their way into the back of your sock drawer?” Her mothers voice had gone quiet, that wasn’t a good sign.

“No.” Amanda nodded, her shoulders slumped. Nothing left but the truth. “I’m sorry. My friends were saying how I looked like I’m twelve and that I would probably get carded for a Slurpee. I wanted to prove them wrong, so I bought a pack of cigarettes.”

“They didn’t card you?” Yes, the rage had been diverted.

“I.” She smiled at her mother. “Flirted with the guy behind the counter.”

“You what?” Uh-oh, rage back. Her mothers ears turned red.

“Mom, look at me.” Amanda shrugged. “I do look like I’m twelve.”

It wasn’t her wardrobe of jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt that made her look younger than her fifteen years. Her hairstyle was a cute bob which was just long enough to cover the tips of her ears. She avoided pig-tails and shorty-shorts, anything that would make her look younger. At her full height she stood a few inches above five feet tall.

“I’m the shortest person in my group of friends, if I put on shorts I look like Dora, and anything I do to try to look my age makes me look like I should be on a talk show.” Amanda pointed to the cigarettes. “I wasn’t going to smoke them, they were a trophy.”

“This is a stupid trophy.” Her mother picked up the pack and tossed it in the trash. “You’re grounded, straight home after school, got it?”

“Yeah.” Her shoulders slumped. “I look like a freaking Elf.”

“What did you say?” Her mother snapped, the color drained from her face.

Amanda looked up at her,  this was new. “I said I look like an Elf. You know Santa’s little helpers.”

“Don’t.” Her mother waved her finger in the air. “Never say that.”

“Elves, or Santa?”

One moment her mother was standing by the kitchen table and the next she had her hand against Amanda’s mouth. Her eyes were much too large, it took Amanda a moment to realize her brown eyes had lost their irises. The orbs were now full white with a tiny spot of black for the pupil.

“Mom, you’re scaring me.” Amanda watched as

“Go to school, come right home, and no more of this business.” A strange lilting accent crept into her mothers voice. “I’ll talk to your father once he gets home.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Amanda grabbed her backpack and rushed out the door.

[_-_- NOTE _-_-_]
The story-line with Emilio is being developed into a possible full length selection. If all goes well I might have my first YA offering reading later this year. Until then, I will continue to practice getting the voice right. Oh, and doing my summer course. That’s kind of important too.

I’m thinking of making this one a series too.


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YA Fiction… Attempt #1- Input Welcome

“What are you reading now?” That was Manny, my little brother who thought he was my older brother.

Somehow he’d got it into his head that Jersey Shore was a proper inspiration for a sixth grader. The worst part of it was that my parents didn’t seem to mind. If anything they seemed glad that at least one of their sons wasn’t constantly attached to some book or another.

“It’s hard to explain.” I pulled the book tighter against my chest. “You wouldn’t be interested, no pictures.”

He stuck his tongue out at me and made to walk down the hall to his room. I eyed his as he passed, he wasn’t one to quit so easily. Manny lunged for the book, but I jerked it out of his reach.

“What is it?” He whined.

“None of your business.” I held the book over my head.

He started to climb up onto the arm of the chair. I pushed him out of my face and moved. The layers of hair gel practically turned his bleached mop into a helmet, but he yelled like something was broken.

“You’re fine.” I tucked the book under my arm and headed to my room.

I took a quick look over my shoulder, just to make sure he wasn’t really hurt, he was my little brother after all, and saw him eyeing the kitchen while he went on with his melodrama. He repeated the cry a couple of times, but no one rushed to his aid. The joke was on him, our parents weren’t home yet. He sat up and started texting on his cellphone by the time I had made it to my bedroom.

There was a fifty-fifty chance that he was sending a text to either of our parents, or to one of his friends. Manny was many things, annoying, a snappy dresser, and a talented pianist, but he didn’t let a grudge die easily. I tucked the copy of Interview with a Vampire in the back of my pants drawer and picked up a copy of The Once and Future King, one was required reading for my AP English class and one was a hardback that I had snagged from a yardsale last week. The only reason that Manny didn’t know what book I was reading was because I had purposely lost the cover before I brought it home. Then, I covered it in a paper bag like it was from one of my classes.

I kicked off my sneakers and hopped on my bed. The Once and Future King by T.H. White was the bane of my reading experience, and I loved to read. It somehow took the legend of King Arthur and boiled it down into pages and pages of useless details and minutia. English was the only class I had that was AP, we got a bit more freedom in the course work, but we also got a longer reading list.

My cellphone vibrated. I looked at it from across the room. It shimmied along the top of my dresser in a pattern that told me it was an incoming call, not a text. That meant my folks, they didn’t text when they wanted to yell at me. I watched it for a moment longer, then closed my book without marking the page, and flipped it open. Manny had one of those new touchscreen phones capable of video chat, mine had a camera that took fuzzy pictures, it was by choice, I hated cellphones.


“Is this Emilio Martin?” It wasn’t a voice I recognized.

“Yes?” I checked the caller ID, it was restricted.

“No need to worry, Mister Martin.” The voice gave a forced chuckle. “I’m calling because you recently submitted a survey through Bookshelf Horizons.”

“I don’t think you’ve got the right number.”

“Emilio Martin from Bangor Maine,” the voice paused. “You’re in Mrs. Lewis’ English class.”

“Who is this?”

“I’m Bill, from Bookshelf Horizons, we sent out a survey for student in English Classes to complete.” The forced tinge to the voice seemed to resurface as it continued. “Congratulations, you’ve been selected to be a candidate for Bookshelf Horizons new Literary Explorer Program.”

“And that would entail?”

“If you’d like I could send you the informational packet.” The voice paused. “Through you class of course, this is the only time we’ll contact you through a personal line.”

“Sure.” I shrugged. “I’ll take a look at it.”

“Great.” The voice just didn’t sound right, even that one word rung wrong in my ears. “The packet should be there tomorrow. Enjoy.”

“Yeah, thanks.” I closed the phone and looked at the doorway. “That wasn’t odd at all.”


Filed under Short Fiction