Since I had to shelve my current WIP to focus on revisions to KATANA, I'll leave you with the first two pages of the revamped version. Enjoy!
It was the toaster’s fault.
Or, at least, that’s what I told my best friend Quentin as we stood under the mall’s awning, listening to the night-security guard lock the doors behind us.
“I can’t believe we’re missing the biggest party of the year for this!” I grunted as I adjusted my grip around the large toaster, causing me to wobble in the designer shoes I’d stolen from my mother’s closet. I teetered off the walk where I righted myself only by sinking a six-inch heel into the cigarette-butt littered mulch. I sighed. “Our last day as juniors – we should be celebrating with the rest of our class, not hanging out in the house-wares section of Sears.”
“Relax.” Quentin put a hand on my back to steady me as I pried myself free. “You’re captain of the pom squad, and I’m co-captain. You know the party doesn’t officially start until Rileigh Martin and Quentin Gordon arrive.”
“Yeah? You wanna know what does start?” My shoe popped free and I shook it several times to rid it of the remaining dirt. “Carly Perkins using my absence as her opportunity to get with Whitley.”
He pursed his lips. “Please. Carly is a cheerleader, and everyone knows that the cheerleading squad is where you stick the girls with no rhythm. If you want the bomb-”
“Bring out the poms!”
“You know it!”
Even though I held a bulky appliance, I still turned in a circle and bumped hips with Quentin as was our custom. When we finished laughing, I shifted the toaster against my side and dug in my pocket for keys.
Quentin glanced at his watch and sighed. “Unfortunately you can’t stop teens from drinking. By now, most of the cheerleaders have drank enough to lose their inhibitions. If we don’t get there soon, I’m not going to witness – and more importantly, make fun of – all of their bad choices.”
“Speaking of bad choices…” I struggled for several seconds in a game of tug-of-war against my skinny jeans until my keys finally pulled free. The sudden release offset my balance and I tumbled a few steps to the side before Quentin righted me with his hands on my shoulders. With a sigh, I nodded to the box I could barely circle my arms around and started down the concrete stairs that led to the asphalt. “Is this not biggest, ugliest toaster you’ve ever seen?”
“Who needs to eat six pieces of toast at once?” he agreed. “I know it was on her registry, but your cousin does not need to eat that much bread. I’ve seen her. In fact, laying off the carbs would not be a bad thing.”
I feigned shock, but couldn’t keep the amusement from creeping into my voice. “You’re terrible.”
“Me?” Quentin skipped down the steps ahead of me, his green eyes sparkling from the overhead lamp. “What about you, Miss Ulterior Motive? Just be careful. I think killing your mother via credit card statement is illegal in three states.”