Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Excerpt From Novel #2

It's funny how time flies. Back in the early days of this blog, I posted an excerpt from my second novel, noting that it was "very unfinished" and "very much a work in progress".

Sadly, it's still both unfinished (although not as "very" as it once was) and a work in progress (although much progress has been made).

Happily, I have a lot more followers now than I did when I originally posted this excerpt (and the excerpt itself has changed a bit), so I figured I'd share it in the hopes of entertaining you and garnering feedback.

This is the first chapter ...

From Annual by Katie Loud

Christian McKenzie was sixteen years old the last time he used a time clock to punch out of work.

His sneakers left green smudges on the cement floor of the main storage building at Peter Neal Landscaping as he walked toward the back office to turn in his timecard. He tapped the buff-colored rectangle measuring out a forty-hour workweek against his khaki shorts in the innate way that musicians do. Christian was surprised to see Pete Neal himself, owner of the landscaping business that had employed him for two summers now, sitting behind the desk in his tiny office.

“Why you still here?” Pete asked, standing and hitching up his fatigue pants. Although his pants were always falling down, his t-shirts were never without oval sweat stains at the armpits, and his few remaining teeth were gray and rotting, Christian liked him. Pete had always been fair.

“I wanted to finish that stone wall for you, sir. It’s my last day.” Pete nodded.

“Yeah, Pentinicci already reminded me.”

“He still here?”

“Hell, no. He was gone soon’s his eight hours was up.” Pete grumbled a bit more before saying what he’d been leading up to. “I told him job’s here for him next summer, same as I’m saying to you.”

“Thank you, Mr. Neal. I’ll be needing a job next summer between graduation and college, and you’ve been good to me.”

“You’re a good worker, McKenzie.” Pete held out a calloused hand, and Christian shook it gratefully.

“I’ll, uh, see you around, I’m sure.” Christian was uncomfortable. Pete’s company did the extensive landscaping at his parents’ mansion, a fact that both of them were a little embarrassed about and which neither of them mentioned. “And I will be back next year, sir.”

But he wasn’t. The trajectory of his life changed forever that evening when his girlfriend told him she was pregnant.

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