|Enter The April Fool (standard:adventure, 2008 words)|
|Author: G.H. Hadden||Added: Apr 05 2007||Views/Reads: 1714/994||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Cole should’ve known better than to think a simple change of address would wipe the slate clean. This excerpt is from a work in progress entitled Country Dark.|
Enter the April Fool By G.H. Hadden Seeing Cole crouched in the shadows behind the town founder's gravestone in the churchyard gave Jeff a charge. He couldn't contain his smile, for which he gave his last ounce of energy. His mad dash was positively comical. He waved as he approached and crash landed hard on both knees doubled over for breath like a man in cardiac arrest. He looked like he'd just run a marathon. It's a hot sultry night and he smells like Teen Spirit, like a kid just come in from gym class with a sheen of sweat projecting moonlight on his brow. He's trembling too, like a caffeine junkie, and his normally drawn cheeks puff like a steam engine—and like always, he has that special khaki knapsack on his back. And If Cole was to be a black cat tonight then Jeff had him easily beat; deciding to come dressed up like the backwoods itself. He finally showed up (better late than never) head to toe in forest green camouflage. His T-shirt, cargo pants, and black military boots made him look every bit the young renegade with nothing left to loose. Tonight he's a fifteen-year-old Rambo out with his friend after curfew; he's a lanky kid with sass and wild shoulder length hair that pours like dark blond ale. Tomorrow he'll go back to being that brooding silent grunge-rocker at the back of homeroom—the boy who sits with quiet disdain and looks with wide dreamy eyes out the window the way a prisoner might. Funny—that first day back from Christmas vacation Jeff didn't even acknowledge Cole's existence with so much as a sidelong glance. In deed no one did, at least not until the speakers perked up everyone's ears, and Cole was summoned right away, on his very first day at this strange new school, into the principal's office. That got his attention—or more precisely, it made Jeff a little curious. ‘Who was this punk-ass bed-head boy from Queens—this city kid who's taken over MY room?' The bitterness of losing THEIR house to the cruelty of a bank foreclosure while they waited for Daddy's insurance money to kick in is all at once renewed. That house on Fifth Street was STOLEN from him by the friendly bastards at Bank of America, and then turned over to THEM! Not an easy thing for anyone to forgive. But eventually, some kind of forgiveness did come. A week or so later Cole sat alone at the back of what all the kids at Stony Creek Regional affectionately call the Mc Caf (immovable tables with plasticky swivel seats, those wood paneled garbage bins embossed with the words ‘THANK YOU', small brown tiles so slippery when wet) on a dreary Thursday noon hour nibbling from his baloney bun sandwich and sipping a vending machine Coke—just him alone with his sketch book, doodling the time away when he noticed Jeff approach from the corner of his eye. No biggie, Cole really didn't think much about it—often if Jeff was in one of his bear moods he would isolate himself from the others and withdraw to the blaring world of his Walkman headphones—but not this time. “Hey.” Jeff said, taking a seat next to him, “What did Wilkinson want with you that first day?” He cocked his head and smiled wanly. “Personally, I think he's a real speechifying madman when you get him alone.” “What'd you want?” And so it begins. Cole knows all about the way it works for the loners in the lunchroom. He's seen it first hand—lived it, and finally rose above it at his old Middle School. But here he's the low man again—just a nobody. So sooner or later some tough guy ‘s bound to try and collect a price for admission—but he never thought it world be Jeff. Both prepare for a Mexican Standoff, each unsure of the other's intentions. “Just makin' conversation.” Of course, that's how it always starts. Then the conversation sooner or later comes down to money—and how much the bully wants. But Cole's not biting. He's nobody's fool. “Lookit.” Jeff confided: “Everyone wants me to talk to you. They think Click here to read the rest of this story (141 more lines)
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