Here’s my first Teaser Tuesday snip. This is from the first chapter of the EGtSV. Sadie’s about to find out something unexpected about her school year after a job interview at the library.
“Hey, did you happen to go home between practice and your interview?”
Uh oh. There was no way that smile was innocent. “Just long enough to drop off the clarinet, change out of my band t-shirt and dress up for the interview. Why?”
Meredith grinned, practically sparkling with delight. “Great! I get to watch your reaction to the school letter. Come on.”
Schedules had come out ages ago. Her parents had paid the fees at early registration already. She’d gotten the obligatory senior information packet of doom two weeks ago. It was too early for any other parental letters, not that she had any disciplinary notes in her file since the fourth grade water fight. “What sort of letter?”
“No, no, no,” Meredith laughed, starting down the block. “You’re not ready yet. This will just be too much fun. You’ll just have to wait.”
“Meredith Elaine Taylor, I need to know what you’re not telling me or I’ll-I’ll.”
“You’ll what?” Meredith asked, stopping to wait for Sadie. “Jilt me on the sidewalk? Hit me with your dress shoes? Lecture me on manners?”
“I’ll write you into a story.”
Meredith laughed. “You’ve done that already.”
”That’s beside the point. This time I’ll have your character do more than prance across a school stage wearing an Easter Bunny costume.”
“I’m so frightened. Since I don’t want you to hate me forever, I’ll have you know that today’s mail brought a letter from Mrs. Carlson.”
“Our creative writing teacher?”
Sadie’s fingers turned cold. She stuffed them in her shorts’ pockets. “What’s it say?”
“Not until you promise to go to the Iceberg. Your treat as you are closer to gainful employment than I. You’ll need the ice cream anyways.” The Iceberg sold the best ice cream in Lakeview. Made down at neighboring Union State’s agricultural studies program, it was well worth the mile and a half walk from the library.
“Fine,” Sadie answered, but Meredith wouldn’t relent until she’d done the silly handshake they’d invented the summer before fifth grade. “Now let me see that letter or I’ll send someone villainous after you. There are plenty of good choices.”
“You’ve threatened that a lot, but no caped criminal masterfiend has ever arrived on my doorstep.” Meredith held the envelope aloft.
Sadie jumped and snatched the paper free. A tiny corner ripped off, caught between Sadie’s grip and Meredith’s magenta painted nails. “Supervillains do not follow the rules of courtship. Nor do they wear capes.”
“Just read the letter will you? We don’t want all the ice cream to be gone by the time we get there.”
Unfolding the letter in an almost frenzied haste, Sadie scanned the words, bypassing the general introduction. She’d had Mrs. Carlson freshman year. The letter’s tiny flourishing font was distracting. “We’re writing a novel,” she said anxiously.
“I thought you’d be ecstatic. What’s wrong? You’re already writing a novel. Mrs. Carlson said you can work on something you already started.” She leaned over the letter and pointed to a paragraph past where Sadie had read.
Her glasses had slid down her nose. She irritably shoved them back up. “I can’t work on Milord Greensleeves. It says that second semester will be spent editing and rewriting.”
“So? It’s a fun story. You’ll survive.”
“Our classmates will destroy it.”
“You don’t even know who’s in the class yet.”
She jumped on what Meredith didn’t say. “And you do?”
The other girl smirked. “The class list is on the back of the letter.”
“What? And you didn’t tell me?” The letter almost tore. The printed list of names was short. That was at least one good thing. But, oh, the names on it. Half band, half brainiac. What was she in for?
“You’re not a small fuzzy creature looking at headlights,” Meredith reminded her. “They aren’t all bad. A lot of them even write fantasy.”
“Tabitha writes fantasy only because she thinks damsels in distress are more prone to romantic interludes. All she writes are kissing stories. Those don’t count.”
Meredith laughed. “Well, Nigel doesn’t write kissing stories. He writes about orcs and elvish thieves.”
“He has fifteen variations of that scene at last count. He’s very thorough.”
“Thorough is way too weak of a word. In middle school, his critiques of my papers were longer than the papers themselves!”
While they waited for the walk light, Sadie stretched out her legs. “So we’ll need patience if we have to work with him. We’ve still got at least one other fantasy writer left.”
“Who’s that?” Meredith asked, puzzled.
Her friend shuddered. “Now that’s not fair. You said fantasy writing.”
“Zombies are fantasy,” Sadie laughed. She grinned mischievously as Meredith shuddered again and mimed washing her hands.
“Whatever they are, there are just some things they shouldn’t do. Don’t even mention his stuff.”
“You don’t like cross dressing zombies seducing crime fighting’s finest in the pleasure houses of Vegas?”
“I said don’t mention it! You don’t want me going off on Isaac’s robotics stories, do you?” Meredith pelted her with grass from a lawn they were passing.
“Truce! Truce! Desist!” Sadie laughed, throwing up her arms. Isaac, named by his scientist parents for Sir Isaac Newton figured himself the next Isaac Asimov. While he knew more about robots than anyone in their whole school, he couldn’t write them. Why the school literary magazine continued to print his stories that read like technical manuals, she didn’t know. Maybe it was irony. “I thought he wasn’t in the class. That’s what you said at registration last spring. Wasn’t there something about super advanced calc and AP Physics?”
“He worked out an independent study or something else mere mortals cannot pull off.”
“Remind me to never, ever allow him to peer edit anything I write.” Not that she’d let him near anything since eighth grade, but sometimes there were things you just couldn’t control. Like teachers obsessed with alphabetical order. Watts often came after Thomas.
“I can peer edit your piece.”
Sadie frowned. “Thank you, no. I need more than an order to keep writing.” She sighed. “What are you doing for the project?”
“Another stereotypical teenage sob story featuring the fractured developing relationship of two teenagers, one of whom is destined to die following a valiant battle with an often deadly, though rare, disease?”
“You know me so well.”
“It entertains me. “
“It’s predictable. You don’t like predictable in anything else.”
Meredith tossed her braid back over her shoulder. “Better to be entertainingly predictable than eye-numbingly dull.”
“But-but-but…” Sadie stopped before she was cut off. They’d reached the cluster of outdoor tables just outside the Iceberg. She dropped down into a chair, resting her hands over her glasses.
“It’s what I like. Not everyone can write powerful enchantresses and supervillains, Sadie.”
“Nobody can write supervillains.”
“Why don’t you write one and show us how, seeing as you’re the expert?”
“I am not an expert!” She glared at Meredith over her fingers. “I just think people should get them right.”
“What then are you going to write?”
“I don’t know. Maybe a history of Lakeview.”
Meredith tutted. “It has to be fiction. Fifth paragraph of the letter.”
Blast. “Maybe I should try a sob story,” she muttered. “All about an alligator who can’t dance.”
“You’ll think of something, you always do. Now, however, you need to think of what kind of ice cream you want.”