This excerpt is from my new manuscript THE TRASHLINGS. Our hero, Reese Knightling, stumbled upon a strange bluish creature the night prior, a grunting, snorting thing that looked and sounded a lot like a--pig.
BTW: I just put up my website for this book, if you want to take a quick peek!
xoxo -- Hilary
"C'mon, lazy bones, time to get up!" called Reese's father from the other side of the door. "I'm making my world renowned pancakes in honor of our first breakfast in the new house, so get a move on! You start your new school tomorrow kiddo, so we need to get unpacked today."
Joseph Knightling sent his son to bed last night, hoping a good night's sleep would cure him from his visions of imaginary blue swine in junkyards.
Reese insisted what he saw, or at least what he thought he saw was real, but by the time his father calmed him down, even he thought maybe his mind was playing tricks on him. What if the flash of bright lights had skewed his vision, changing the beast's color to a blotchy blue, making an oversized raccoon or possum, shriek away in a panic? The vast woods of Funks Grove were teeming with wildlife. It could have been anything.
For now, Reese decided he'd forget about his otherworld encounter. Today he'd get his computer set up and email his friends about their new house. He decided he'd leave out the part about the technicolor pig. He didn’t want it to get around his old school that he’d already gone nutty, confined one night in the backwoods town.
He climbed out of bed and went to his window. He sat on the sill and looked down at the hazy yard, still weighed down with fog. It looked different in the daylight, faintly benign. He saw the boat--the one the pig thing disappeared into last night. He looked for the tire it left behind. It had vanished.
Reese joined his father and sister at the kitchen table.
"There he is," said Reese's father cheerily. He plopped a heavy plate of pancakes in front of him. "I gave you a tall stack, since you didn't have dinner last night. You must be starving."
Famished, Reese drained his orange juice in three noisy swigs and assaulted his pancakes, cramming his mouth with an oversized bite.
Smiling slyly, Darby eyed Reese as he ravenously stuffed his mouth. "Dad, could you please tell Reese not to eat like such a...pig?" she asked.
Joseph warned his daughter. "Darby Knightling, that's enough."
"How does she know?" Reese looked at his dad, hurt. "You told her?"
Darby cut in before her father could answer. "Dad didn't have to tell me anything. I could hear you all the way down the hall last night, freaking out about your blue pig. Speaking of pigs, could you please pass the bacon?" She giggled, delighted at her own cleverness.
Holding up the plate of bacon, Reese looked ready to hurl it at her. "Whatever I saw out there exists! I didn't imagine it! What would you know anyway? You still sleep with a nightlight, hugging your stupid plastic horses!"
Joseph slammed his fist on the table, rattling his plate. "Now, that's enough!" he shouted. "Darby, your behavior is completely uncalled for. Reese, put that plate down--now! I wanted us to have a nice breakfast, not a wrestling match. Darby, apologize to your brother!"
Clenching her chin stiffly, Darby sulked for a moment, but begrudgingly obeyed her father. She looked directly at Reese, hoping he might actually listen to her for once. "I'm sorry," she said softly. "I'm just tired of you pouting all the time. I like it here and I want you to like it too." She smiled weakly. "Mom would have liked it."
Joseph hadn't yelled like that in a long time. Reese knew he'd been impossible the last few weeks. He deserved his sister's teasing, acting like a spoiled brat to her and everyone else. He smiled back at her. "You're right, she would have."
Joseph looked fondly at his children, thankful to see the two agree on something. "That's better, and you're both right, your mother would have loved this place. She had wanted to get away from the city for years. I'm sure she's happy that we're here." He got up from the table with his mug of coffee. "Now, I need to start unpacking. You two clean up the dishes, alright?"
"C'mon dad," said Reese. "I thought you wanted to clean up as part of our first breakfast celebration."
Joseph chuckled. "Good try son. Do you see pigs flying now too?" Even he had to throw in a pig joke.
Grabbing his glass and plate, Reese headed towards the sink. He peered out the kitchen window. Thick October clouds loomed over the junkyard. "Not yet," he replied.