HEAVEN OR CALIFORNIA, Ch. 1-2
If you're going to critique only one post of this novel, please critique this one. If the beginning isn't strong enough to keep people reading, it doesn't matter how good the rest is. :) With that, away we go...
HEAVEN OR CALIFORNIA
(all rights reserved, etc. etc.)
Aug. 1, '05
Oh, God. I'm writing this at work--Leo Santos just came in and told me Tristan Cole's brother died in a car crash this morning! I thought it couldn't be true, but Leo heard it from his cousin, the paramedic, who was actually on the scene. And when I rode my bike here earlier I remember seeing Lost Gold Road blocked off with cones and police tape. The Coles live up there.
I feel all sick and freaked out. I didn't really know David, but poor Tristan! He seems so quiet and sensitive; I don't know how he's going to deal with this. Should I go to the funeral? If I don't, I might not see him till school starts. What should I say? It's not like I can go up and hug him, but I ought to do SOMETHING.
Argh!! I want to be a child psychiatrist when I grow up, and I can't even figure out what to say to a guy who lost his brother. Maybe Leo got it wrong and it's not true. Please let it not be true.
In other news, Leo's trying to grow a mustache. Which is really sad, 'cause dude, you're a sophomore and you're 5'1".
* * *
Ian Sornak walked yawning into the kitchen at nearly noon. His mother, dipping tortilla chips into a tub of salsa, froze with a chip half-dipped when she saw him. She reminded him of a scared rabbit.
"Don't stare at me," he said. He got down a bowl for cereal.
"I'm sorry. There's been terrible news. You know the Coles?"
The frosted corn flakes fell more slowly as Ian paused to listen. Hope bloomed in his heart. "Yes?"
"David--the older son--was killed in a car crash this morning."
The hope gave way to amazement, triumph, and a tiny prick of fear. He rolled shut the plastic bag inside the cereal box. "They say how?"
"Missed the curve on Lost Gold Road, I guess. Went through the guardrail into the ravine."
So people probably thought it was an accident. Good. But the police would still investigate; Ian knew he mustn't get optimistic yet. He poured milk onto his cereal. "What a tragedy."
"Did you know him?"
"From around. He was younger than me."
"Those poor people. His poor mother."
"I'll check with the paper. See if they want me to put the news online." Ian took the cereal back to his room.
He closed his door and sat down on his carpet between stacks of newspapers, balancing the bowl in his cupped hands. He stared at David's photo on last week's front page. His legs felt shaky with elation--could he really have done it? ( Read more...Collapse )