Sunday, December 17, 2017

Supper Guest by Leanne Dyck (middle grade short fiction)

"Good morning, Mayne Island!" ldyck

This is one of my first attempts at writing for 9 to 12-year-olds.

Spoon and knife on the left side of the plate; fork on the right. I add a glass to my plate setting--mugs for my brother and my parents. 

"I set the table," I tell Mom.

She stops chopping carrots just long enough to say, "Add a plate. Your brother's bringing a guest."

I slid his placemat over, making room. "Another girl?"

I walk over to the cluttery drawer and pull out a knife, fork, and spoon.

"No, a boy from work."

A boy...?

Over to the cupboard for a glass and plate. 

"He's about your age."

It hits me like a punch. "Jeff Goodridge?" He's in the cool group. And he's way too cute--all the girls are crazy about him. He can't come here! I'll say the wrong thing, spill my milk, drink my milk. He'll think I'm a kid.

"Yes, that's his name."

"I'm not hungry." I throw over my shoulder as I bolt for the door.

"Amanda, you can't--"

I slam the door on the rest of Mom's sentence. A red flash of paint turns off the highway onto our driveway--my brother's ragtop.  I'm trapped. There's nowhere to go, except maybe...up. Branch after branch, I climb the tree. But it's spring. There are no leaves to hide behind.

"Hi, Mandy," my brother says, walking past.

Jeff looks around but can't find me.

The kitchen window slides open. "Young lady get down from there, right now!"

Now Jeff sees me. Our eyes connect for the first time since elementary. And I could die. Seriously, I feel like letting go and falling. I'd lose nothing, my life is already over. But I don't fall. I suck it up, Buttercup. My face as hot as fire, I climb down.

How did I do?

Abby and Me cuddling on the chesterfield--photo by b dyck

Next post:  Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Published around 5 PM PST
It's the time for introspection. 
Each year this season arrives with a gift. What will I receive this year?


Miata Aldred said...


I think this a great story. I'm very interested to see how it turns out.

I'm not sure if you remember who I am. We spoke briefly on the phone several years ago when you called The International Dyslexia Association. I was doing the info-line at that time and I've been following you on twitter ever since.

I've liked everything I've read of yours so far, but you really seem to understand this age group and type of situation well. I'm looking forward to reading what happens next.

Eleanor Collins.

Rosemary Rigsby said...

Keep it coming! I love the choice of tense and point of view.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your kind words about my writing and for following me, Eleanor. I was of two minds about this piece--is it a short story or is it a longer piece? I am working on a middle grade novel but it's taken a backseat to short story collections as of late. YOur comment is fueling my desire to work on it again.

Thank you for the work you do for those of us with dyslexia.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your kind words about this piece, Rosemary. : )