Monday Excerpt

Here is another scene from my revised book. Tell me what you think:

Jack half-grinned as she left and closed the laptop. By the time he’d gotten downstairs, his little sister Callie was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a tall glass of orange juice and his dad was grabbing a cup of coffee as he headed out the door.

“Morning, bud,” Jack’s dad smiled broadly. He swallowed his cup in three gulps and jammed his shoes on. “I’ll see you when I get home!”

Mr. Robinson paused for a moment to pat his son on the shoulder by way of affection and then rushed out the door. A moment later, they could hear the garage door opening and closing as he drove off. Jack walked to the counter and poured himself a bowl of cereal.

“We’re going to the costume store after school. Do you want to buy anything?” His mom asked.

Jack looked up from spooning cereal into his mouth. He swallowed before replying:

“Costume store?”

Callie smiled and sat up higher.

“To be the fairy princess!” She chirped.

Jack rolled his eyes as he ate. For a moment, silence settled over the kitchen. He brought his bowl to the sink, where Mrs. Robinson was scrubbing dishes from the night before. Behind them, Callie knocked her glass over, spilling orange all over the table.

“Mooommmyyyy!” She wailed.

Jack’s mom sighed and scooped Callie off the chair, mopping up with her free hand.

“Go out and get the mail, will you, Jack?” She asked briskly.

He nodded and opened the front door, revealing a quiet neighborhood. Maple and oak trees with colorful leaves bordered the sidewalks and hung over practically every house.

On the lawn next to theirs, a boy stood, pumping air into his tires. When he spotted Jack, he raised his arm in greeting.

“Hey, outlander!” He called.

Jack walked to his mailbox. Dylan was a genuinely nice guy, but a bit of a goof. It seemed he never noticed though, because the guy would talk to anyone he came across.

“So I’m thinking about going as a vampire to the fall festival,” Dylan said thoughtfully. “One of my sisters has some white makeup I can borrow so I look pale and ghostly.” Dylan had five sisters, younger and older than him. “Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

He paused for a moment.

“Except all the girls at school are still hooked on the Twilight series and that’s a bunch of weird, creepy, mushy stuff. Blech. I think I’ll go as Frankenstein.”

Jack opened the mailbox.

“You’re the shortest one in class,” he reminded Dylan.

The pudgy boy scratched his head, face brightening as he came up with an idea.

“I could go as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!”

Dylan turned his attention to Jack.

“What are you going as?” He asked.

Jack shrugged, scanning the papers he held in his hand: an advertisement for a perfume store, bills, a check, a page full of useless coupons.

“I’m not sure I’m going in costume,” he said finally.

Dylan made a face.

“It’s a town tradition!” He lectured, although it sounded more like he was talking about free ice cream.

Jack walked up the driveway.

“I don’t know what to goes as, anyway,” he amended.

Dylan’s face lit up.

“We should totally brainstorm!” He beamed.

Without thinking about it, Jack nodded.

“Sure, Dylan.”

The boy grinned happily.

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