Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Blackout by Stephanie Erickson (Excerpt)

“No, do you?  I thought he might be in your Shakespeare class.”

“No, he’s not.  Probably some other lazy kid.”

“Well, now, that’s not quite fair.  He’s working, isn’t he?” 

They bantered back and forth about the waiter’s work ethic until he came back to take their order.  They asked for a pepperoni pizza to share, and munched on the garlic bread while they waited.

“How are the kids?  And Tom?”  Molly asked between bites, debating about whether her breath would reach toxic levels before this meal was over.

“Good.  Busy-busy, you know.  Grace started soccer last weekend, so of course Melody wants to do it too- just because she has to do everything her big sister does, not because she has any genuine interest in soccer.  Poor Malcolm is caught in the middle.  He wants to do karate, so Tom and I are looking into it.  I actually think Melody would be a pretty good dancer if she’d give it a chance, but Grace isn’t into it, so she doesn’t want to do it.” 

“Well, that’s a phase.  I mean really, Melody is only five, and Grace is what, eight or nine now?”


“Yeah, so of course Melody thinks she’s super-cool and wants to do everything Grace does.  It’s only natural.  And Malcolm is the only boy sandwiched between two sisters, so he has to be independent.” 

“I know you’re right, it’s just annoying.  It’s not like Melody can play on the same team as Grace or anything.  I’m not sure she understands that.” 

Molly nodded.  “Well, anything is possible to a five-year-old.  Why not let her try it, and see how she likes it?  She might hate it, and then you’ll be back to ballet.”  She paused to take a drink of Sprite.  “Honestly, I don’t know how you do it.  How do you find time for three very different sets of activities with three very different kids, plus have a social life with Tom?  I mean really, by the time I get home, walk the dog and read through the backlog of essays I’ve got, plus skim through reading for the next day’s classes, it’s ten o’clock and time for bed!” 

“Well,” she smiled, “I’m amazing and that’s all there is to it.”  She paused and raised her eyebrow.  “Plus, I haven’t crawled into bed at ten o’clock…ever!  What are you, like eighty-five?” 

Molly laughed.  Shifting the conversation had been a good move; Cindy was in a much better mood. 

Cindy cleared her throat.  “So, where is Gary tonight?” 

“Oh, uh, Philadelphia I think.”  Her voice lowered an octave as the joy went out of it.

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Genre – Adult Fiction / Contemporary

Rating – PG13 (some strong language)

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