3 Dec
2016

Chapter Three

58732334 - very old dry tree with broken branch

I know it has been a while since I let everyone in on Connor’s progress…some of you like to know what’s going on with Connor Blackstone and the Old Oak, while others of you are more interested in which one of my kids I found escaping through a bedroom window to sit and star-gaze from the roof.  You’ve got three guesses as to which kid that was…let me help you:

Boss Hogg.  It was my little Boss Hogg.

Honestly, was there ever a doubt on that one?  No.  Didn’t think so.  But, for the rest of you, I’m am giving y’all a sneak peek at my latest book.  This is something new and unchartered for me.  I am looking for constructive criticism because without it, I cannot hope to improve.  I am also looking for a literary agent.  Shameless plug.  I have no idea who reads this blog.  I don’t know if a friend of a friend of a colleague knows someone at a firm in New York.  I’m putting that bug in your ear to remember me at the office Christmas party and throw in a good word!

For anyone who missed chapters one and two, I’m linking them again.  Or, for my new readers who need to catch up.  Welcome to my new world.

Chapter Three:

Connor woke to the smell of bacon frying and the sun streaming through his bedroom window.  Daisy had abandoned him sometime earlier with the hope of snagging bacon from a carelessly placed fork.  He was tired.  He seemed to always be tired.  It’s not that he minded going to school, and he was grateful for a 9:00 start time, but on nights like last night—mornings came so early.
“Hiya, Con,” Julia said around a mouthful of bacon and eggs.  His sister was already dressed and ready for the day.  She loved mornings.  “Isn’t it just the most beautiful day?  I mean, could it be a prettier day outside?!”
“Honestly Jules, I just walked in here. Can you gimme just a sec,” Connor reached for the OJ that was sitting on the counter next to the plate full of bacon, and shoved a crispy strip into his mouth.
“Wow, good morning, Mr. Grouchy pants.  What side of the house did you wake up on?”  Julia Blackstone was the eternal optimist.  Her long blonde hair fell in natural waves across her shoulders and her playful hazel eyes always looked like they knew a secret that she was dying to tell—but wouldn’t.  She was petite; shorter than Connor by two solid inches, even though she was three years older than he.  She was the brightest part about this house in recent memory.
“You slept through storm last night, Julie?” Spencer asked.
“What storm?”
“There was this HUGE storm! Lightning and thunder that rattled the windows and shook the WHOLE house!  It broke the ginormous oak tree outside Connor’s bedroom window!” Spencer announced with his arms spread wide open.
“It did?” Connor and Julia asked in unison, both getting up and running to the back door.
“Uh-huh,” Spencer nodded, quite pleased with himself for being the first one to pass on knowledge of a major household happening.  He is usually the last one to know about such things.
“How’d you figure that out?” Connor asked spitting little chunks of bacon at his brother.
“Gross, Conn,” and he wiped the bacon bits off of his face, “Well, ya see, I was gonna let Daisy outside—only she wanted to go explorin’ an so we both kinna just walked around an there it was. Just lyin’ there next to the house.  Mom’s super excited that it didn’ hit the air conditioner.”
“Yeah, I bet.  Good work, Detective.”  Spencer puffed out his chest.  Connor tossed a bit of bacon to Daisy.
“Now, Connor—try not to give that dog all of your breakfast,”
“It’s ok, Mom.  She’s earned it.  She’s a first-rate Detective, right here with Spence. Isn’t that right, girl?!” Connor laughed as he bent down to scratch Daisy’s ears.
“Connor, shake a leg, will ya? We gotta jet.  I’ve got tutoring this morning with Mr. Wizard.  We gotta a test after lunch.”
“Yeah, ok. Lemme grab some tea,”
“Ugh…you and your tea.”
Ever since their family went to Europe last summer to visit their dad while he was stationed in Amsterdam, Connor has been in a hot tea phase.  He drinks hot tea like most adults drink coffee.  His sister thought he was crazy, his mother thought he was sweet, and his little brother tried really hard to be just like him.  The only trouble with Spencer was he just didn’t like hot tea.  But he kept trying.
Connor grabbed one of his mother’s to-go tumblers and readied his tea for the road to school.  His sister was tapping  her foot by the back door, huffing and puffing as though she were the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs.
“Alright!  I’m ready! You’re SO impatient!!
“Hold up, young man!” Mom patrol stopped him. “Where do you think you’re going with MY cup?”
“Come on, Mom…I gotta go…Jules is having a panic attack…I gotta run.”
“That’s MY cup.  I paid good money for that cup.  I don’t want you—“
“I know.  I know, Mom.  You don’t want anything to happen to this cup.  It’s your favorite cup.  I get it,” Connor was inching toward the back door where his sister was beginning to foam at the mouth.
“Connor! I’m leaving…” She turned and walked out of the back door.
He heard the car engine start.  She had left him before.  He knew this was not a drill.
“I swear Mom, once I finish my tea, I’ll zip up this cup,” he held it with both hands, “into my backpack—this backpack,” he turned to show her the backpack slung haphazardly over his shoulder, “where it will be guarded by a highly trained army of tiny ninjas.  No harm shall come to the cup.  I promise—-“  The last words were said on the run as they heard the car horn honk and he raced out of the back door and dove into his sister’s waiting car.   The screen door shut.  Connor slammed the car door and they were gone.

Here’s hoping your day is filled with something new!

-Dallas

So, what do you think?