I have tackled a project of massive proportions this time. To imitate the work of a fellow author. And not just any author, but one of the greats and someone still breathing. There is always that tiny stab of fear in the heart of a writer that their work will not be received by the world. My fears are magnified by mental pictures of the actual Stephen King reading my obscure blog and shaking his head in disgust. In my mind he’s wearing a smoking jacket and puffing on a pipe like Hugh Hefner. Don’t ask me why. Who knows where my mind comes up with this shit. With that, I shall dive off the proverbial cliff. I’m bringing this story to you in serial form. Your thoughts and comments are much appreciated.
“Yeah sure. I’d love to go out,” Annabeth Reynolds said. His face erupted in a smile. He knew he should say something, but all he could do was grin and nod like an idiot. She stared at him. Her gaze was intense and kind of magical. Just like an actress from an old black and white movie like his grandma made him watch with her on Tuesday nights.
“I like Chinese food,” she offered.
“How about Mandarin Garden?” He stammered out. It was the only Chinese place in town.
“Sounds good. Pick me up at 6:30?”
He nodded and grinned some more and she turned to walk away throwing him one last sidelong glance with a wave.
The next day, he quivered with excitement. His brain was on fire with anticipation as he tried to run errands. A girl like Annabeth had never given him the time of day before. Not until word got around that he’d been accepted into the pre-med program at Brown University. Now Jack Trimble wasn’t a nerdy loser anymore. He was going places. And to most girls in town, that made him a potential ticket out of this shithole. Sure, he had a long road of study and hard work a head, but it beat the hell out of spending his life working at the snack factory or pumping gas at the Stop-N-Go. Those were the most promising choices if you stayed in Chesterfield. And that’s if you were lucky.
He backed out of the parking space at Mark’s Finer Foods. He always went shopping for Nana on Friday’s after school. Since the knee replacement anyway. He heard the ding of his cell phone that signaled he had a text. He reached for the phone, but it had fallen between the console and the seat in his mom’s Ford Windstar. He dug furiously between the seat as he raced across the parking lot. It was probably Annabeth or Nana. He was running a little late. He had to pick up a few extra things for tonight. Nana wouldn’t be happy, but oh well. He looked down. The message was from Annabeth. About tonight…
A sudden thud jolted him so hard his jaw slammed shut. A crunch of metal as something hit the hood and then fell to the pavement. Oh God. What just happened? A Dog. Let it be a dog. His hands shook so violently, he could barely pull the handle. He finally stumbled out. People were gathering around now. Everyone stared at something in stunned horror. All he could see was yellow hair with a red ribbon. He didn’t want to see, but he couldn’t stop moving. He had to know. He crept toward the limp form on the ground. He could see her face now. Her mouth half open as if she meant to scream. The body twisted at an odd angle. The eyes looked up at him, but they were vacant. He knew immediately that she was dead and that his life was over.