#SonofaPitch Entry 1: Its Own Kind of Miracle #TeamDroids

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Title:  Its Own Kind of Miracle

Category and Genre: YA (Magical Realism)

Word Count: 82000

Query:

As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer gradually and painfully rob her of life, he guards his heart behind his inveterate cynicism. Grounded and skeptical, Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit. That changes when he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious childhood friend Sara, who embraces her buoyant faith as effortlessly as breathing.

 

After witnessing a series of bizarre coincidences surrounding an enigmatic old man, including the stunning recovery of Cole’s dying dog, he decides to take a chance on hope. Cole is certain that if he can learn the man’s secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. However, he has to balance the slim prospect of a miracle with the knowledge that hope has the terrible power to crush his carefully constructed defenses. 


First 250 Words:

Cole held his phone in front of him like a shield.

The teenage boy had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states. There are so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip.  As he peered into the display, the pale light gave the angular features of his face a cadaverous pallor. 7:16 AMFriday, June 13

Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go.

And then…?

A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across the screen. No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.

Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now.

The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes:

<–Stop ignoring me.

One extra job while I’m gone, he thought as he pressed send. Feed the dog. And he screws it up the first day.

This time, he didn’t have to wait for a reply. His phone vibrated quietly, but loud enough to cause the mound of blankets in the seat next to him to stir as he examined the return text:

What the hell is wrong with you? –>

“’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.

“’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose.

26 thoughts on “#SonofaPitch Entry 1: Its Own Kind of Miracle #TeamDroids

  1. Pingback: #SonofaPitch Round 2 The Golden Rule and the entries | Elsie Elmore

  2. Hello! This critique is for SonofaPitch Entry 1: Its Own Kind of Miracle #TeamDroids. First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to read your work. 🙂 I appreciate it!

    Query – I love the concept of your story. This is something I think many readers will be able to relate to, and I can see them cheering your hero on. You’ve captured the heart of the story well. Excellent! I found the very last sentence a bit wordy, and in my humble opinion (IMHO) I would consider ending on a question, and making it higher stakes. Something like: But will his hope crush his defenses?

    First 250 words – You’ve put me instantly in the moment, and I can visualize Cole texting away. I feel his anxiety, and I know there is something looming – we’re on a countdown. Excellent. I would consider telling the reader how old Cole is, versus teenage boy. Specifics = visual in reader’s mind. The sentence ‘there are so many fun ways…” feels like author intrusion. I’ve traveled by train many times, and the sound the train makes, and the rhythm that rocks the train is very distinctive. Perhaps consider invoking this sensation, versus telling the reader he’s on a train trip; ‘the train rocked back and forth’ – you get the idea.

    ‘As he peered into the display, the pale light gave the angular features of his face a cadaverous pallor.’ I mention this only because my editor is always after me for this 🙂 ‘Gave’ is very passive. In my last manuscript, I think I used this word over 100 times! And I had to get rid of about 80% of them. LOL Try finding a more active verb – ‘the pale light cast his angular features in a pallor’. Also, this is almost like switching POV, because he can’t see his own face. Can the phone cast a glow over something else? His hands, perhaps?

    Again, thank you so much for the opportunity to offer my humble opinions 🙂 I think you’ve got the start of a great story here! I wish you all the best.

    Like

    • Thank you Rebecca! I will be mulling over your critique and implementing your suggestions. I really appreciate your time!

      I took a ride on an Amtrak train as research since the last time I had been on one was when I was in third grade. I will try to be more evocative with my details.

      Thank you for your advice on the word “gave” (I probably used that word more than you did in your manuscript!) 🙂

      Regarding the “cadaverous pallor” line. I wanted to organically give a quick visual description of the MC. The POV is third person limited omniscient. Do you feel that makes this observation awkward? Your suggestion doesn’t accomplish my goal, since I’m less interested in the glow than I am in Cole’s face. I would really like to hear more of your thoughts on this.

      Thank you again!

      Like

  3. The premise of this story automatically tugs at my heart for many reasons – good reasons ☺ I think you’ve got the bullet points of the query but just need to finesse a bit more. Paragraph 1 – I added a few questions to better understand his conflict with falling for Sara. And in second paragraph, what’s the bottom line? Whether or not he’s strong enough to have hope again? Can he handle being vulnerable?
    You’re off to a fabulous start with your words.

    Query:
    As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer rob her of life, he guards his heart behind/with cynicism. (Grounded and skeptical –needed?), Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit. (Is he worried that caring will make him vulnerable?) (Is he a non-believer?) But when he finds himself falling for his deeply religious childhood friend Sara,( who embraces her buoyant faith as effortlessly as breathing.) he…. what is the struggle with him falling in love with her? Does it make him second guess his belief or lack there of? Does it compel him to want to believe? Worry that will weaken him? What’s his conflict?

    After witnessing a series of bizarre coincidences surrounding an enigmatic old man, including the stunning recovery of Cole’s dying dog, he decides to take a chance on hope. (Tinker with this sentence? Cole meets a stranger who… then introduces hope and build out?? More streamlined?) .Cole is certain that if he can learn the man’s secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. (Love this) However, he has to balance the slim prospect of a miracle with the knowledge that hope has the terrible power to crush his carefully constructed defenses. (tinker here to amp up?)

    First 250 Words:
    Cole held his phone in front of him like a shield. (like this ☺)
    He had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states. There (are- verb tense) so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip. (is the use of fun sarcastic?) As he peered into the display, the pale light gave the angular features of his face a cadaverous pallor. Nice detail.
    7:16 AM. Friday, June 13.
    Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go. (love the count he has going on)
    And then…?
    A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across the screen. (What did he lose himself in? did he scroll to text app/game? Good response)No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.
    Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now.
    The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes (nice movement description and detail):

    “’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.
    “’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose.

    For me, the set up of the scene really works –the train, it’s early, he’s connected to his phone, he’s heading somewhere he doesn’t want to think about. There’s not a ton of detail because he’s only looking at his phone. And I love the countdown aspect.
    Great work. Thanks for sharing your words!!

    Like

    • Kudos for entering SOAP and thanks for sharing your work. If you have any questions/concerns or want a second, third or fourth look at changes/tinkerings/updates or need anything else, just give me a yell.

      Like

    • Thank you so much Elsie! I appreciate all the time you are giving to us humble droids.

      I would love to hear more clarification on a couple of points, as well as address some issues others have raised.

      It looks like my query especially needs my attention.

      1) You questioned whether I should use “grounded and skeptical” and then put parenthesis around the “buoyant faith” line describing Sara. I chose those phrases because they describe these conflicting world views in positive lights. I really don’t want to disparage either. (My goal is to open up a dialogue between the two world views rather than championing one over the other.) Do you think that the descriptions are unnecessary? If so, why?

      2) Same paragraph, last line. It sounds like you are suggesting an additional line that sheds light on the stakes involved with Cole falling for Sara or how he is changed in light of that new development. Is that true, or does the last existing line need to be reworked?

      3) I was a little confused about your suggestion about the first line in the second paragraph. It seemed at first you meant that I should flesh it out more. Is that what “build out” means? On the other hand, you suggest making the sentence more streamlined. I included the word ‘chooses’ deliberately…I want it clear that Cole is taking action rather than being passive. I would really welcome any clarity you can provide.

      4) People have questioned my use of the words “atheist” to describe Cole and “religious” to describe Sara. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I originally described Cole as a “skeptic” or “cynic”, but one critter felt that “atheist” raised the stakes. Cole is not militant in his atheism, but his stance is deep-rooted, and he feels an intellectual superiority to those who don’t share his views. He would call Sara “religious” because that is how he would describe anyone who has faith in the divine. Sara, on the other hand, would bristle at that word, feeling that it implies rigid legalism and piety. In the novel, she describes her belief as “my faith” and avoids the word “religion.”

      Both words, “atheist” and “religious” carry some baggage, but I feel they are the best in this circumstance, especially the word “religion” since the story is from Cole’s POV, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

      The 250:

      Yes, “fun” is meant to be sarcastic. Do I need to make that more clear? Is it confusing to put that level of sarcasm in the third person limited omniscient narrator’s voice?

      I apologize for all the questions. I am not defending my choices and am really open to making changes. I just want to make sure I understand your suggestions lest I make adjustments in the wrong direction.

      Thank you again!

      Kevin

      Like

      • Kevin – I’m going to knock this out in sections 🙂 Here were my thoughts: ( I think this may answer #1 and #2) In reading the first line, you say that fifteen-year-old Cole guards his heart behind/with cynicism. To me*, some one who guards their heart behind cynicism is grounded and skeptical. I saw those as synonymous and in a query that requires the economical use of words (and really I did not think about disparaging one or the other or the opposite) – they didn’t establish anything new for me. And the second line: That changes when he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious childhood friend Sara, who embraces her buoyant faith as effortlessly as breathing. The description is beautiful and almost ehtereal, but I wanted to know what changes with Ben. He was my focus. Does that mean he’s now giving spirits more thought? He’s less skeptical? So that’s why I highlighted those. The phrasing is excellent – no doubt – and it’s inclusion is not really an issue. I was driving to understand what was behind the -That changes-

        Like

  4. Hi Elsie,

    Looking back, I see that my comment might be a bit confusing. This version still has the word “cynicism” instead of “atheism.” I actually changed it after submitting. So of the three words, cynicism, skepticism, and atheism, which do you prefer? Or is there another one?

    Kevn

    Like

    • Okay, wow -that hits me like do you want bologna, hot dogs or processed meat? Lol. They’re all kind of similar but then again not really. I’ll reread and sub each of those options in and see if there’s any significant difference (IMHO). It might just come down to what makes you happy 🙂 (And I hadn’t given up on answering your questions, I was multitasking – that process takes longer now ;D

      Like

      • Thank you! Sorry for being so high maintenance!

        Yeah, they’re all the same, but I have been trying to parse the nuances.

        Like

      • That took longer than expected. Here are my thoughts on question number three. For me* this line : After witnessing a series of bizarre coincidences surrounding an enigmatic old man, including the stunning recovery of Cole’s dying dog, he decides to take a chance on hope. – was big and held so much that I thought breaking it down and reconstructing would keep the value of the story line but would make it easier to follow. ie – After befriending/meeting an enigmatic old man, Cole witnesses a series of bizarre coincidences in his presence, including the stunning recovery of his dying dog. Cole opens his eyes to hope/makes him consider hope/ revisits his beliefs? Again, my thoughts were that so much happened in the sentence, breaking it down could add more focus on the impact of what he’s seen. Just a preference and it’s totally up to you. ☺

        Like

  5. Version 2017 02 20:

    This is the update based on the wonderful crit I’ve received today. Please tell me if it is a step forward, sideways, or backwards. Thank you!

    Title: Its Own Kind of Miracle

    Category and Genre: YA (Magical Realism)

    Word Count: 82000

    Query:

    Ms. A. Gent
    Rebel Literary Agency
    327 Calrissian Way
    Cloud City, Bespin THX1138
    ANOAT SECTOR: OUTER RIM

    Dear Ms. Gent,

    As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer gradually and painfully rob her of life, he guards his heart with his ingrained skepticism. Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit until he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious childhood friend Sara. He realizes they will never truly connect unless he can understand her buoyant faith, but that is light-years beyond his grasp.

    After meeting an enigmatic shopkeeper, Cole notices a series of bizarre coincidences connected to the old man, including the stunning recovery of his dying dog. Cole takes chance on hope, certain that if he can discover the man’s supernatural secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. If he succeeds, his whole world view will be turned upside-down. If he fails, the false hope of a miracle will crush him and his carefully constructed defenses.

    Its Own Kind of Miracle is an 82,200 word YA novel that combines magical realism with themes of grief, hope, faith and doubt, then blends it all with baseball, dry humor, a peculiar mystery and a dash of romance.

    First 250 Words:

    Cole held his phone in front of him like a shield.

    The fifteen-year-old had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states.

    There are so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip, he thought. As he peered into the phone’s display, the pale light cast a cadaverous pallor over the angular features of his face.

    7:16 AM. Friday, June 13.

    Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go.

    And then…?

    A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across his screen. No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.

    Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now.

    The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes:

    “’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.

    “’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose.

    Like

    • Kevin, For me* the changes in the query add clarity andI like the updated version 🙂 (And, I like skepticism. I think I would have voted for Cynicism or skepticism) Anyway, nice work. Also, the 250 reads well too – but then again, I liked your first set. and for me* – removing the texts works 🙂

      Like

  6. Also, I’ve been tinkering with the sarcastic “fun” line in the opening three paragraphs. The primary goal behind the line was to establish place (Hey! He’s on a train!). Secondary was to establish Cole’s attitude about the train (It sucks!), though I’m not sure how necessary that is.
    I would like to offer up this alternative that accomplishes the first goal, but not the second:

    Cole held his phone in front of him like a shield.

    The fifteen-year-old had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states.

    The train’s rocking jostled him like a gentle giant awakening a sleeping child. As he peered into the phone’s display, the pale light cast a cadaverous pallor over the angular features of his face.

    One concern I have is two similes so close together. The other concern is that it might be kind of corny and too alliterative. Thoughts?

    Like

      • Thank you again Elsie!

        I’m considering going back to the original version, where the “fun” line comes from the narration. I had a critter imply that this was breaking some kind of rule…in this blog actually. Rebecca called it “author intrusion.” I’m less interested in getting this line right than I am in grasping that concept. When is it okay for the narrator’s voice to come through in a third person novel?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I am late to the party it seems! Lol!
    I like your updated query! I very much want to know if Cole can find and use this magic.
    I would like to add my two cents to the author intrusion thought. When we talk about author intrusion, it’s just that we feel the voice isn’t from the characters as much as from the author, it can pull us out of the story. I didn’t have this problem with your ways to have fun on a train line, but everyone is different. I don’t have tons of experience with third limited omniscent…I’m more of a close POV. But I’m thinking like The Book Thief, where Death tells the story…we’re shown a big picture then go in closer for other moments. We get the picture of Cole, then go in for him texting. I like the sense of foreboding, the countdown. I want to know where he’s going and what will happen.

    Like

    • Thank you Kathy! I love your insight and have enjoyed reading your comments on other subs. I had fun writing this story in the limited omniscient from Cole’s perspective, even though this POV is not really in vogue in my genre. The sense of detachment works well with Cole’s guarded character. That said, I wonder if I can get away with this little observation about Cole’s appearance. I want to give the reader an early physical description so they can form their image of him right away. I like that it’s quick and clean, but I don’t want it to be off-putting or jarring, and I’m too close to the story to know.

      Like

  8. I definitely like the updated query. I also feel like the writing from your sample gave us a good quick look into his head, which is always hard to do, so excellent job there. Now to get into the nitty picky bits.

    Held his phone like a shield? I don’t buy that because no one holds their phone like a shield. I get what you’re trying to do, you’re trying to say that he uses his phone to shield him from the world, but most people cradle their phones in their hands. I’m not going to be the only person who notices this.

    “As he peered into the phone’s display, the pale light cast a cadaverous pallor over the angular features of his face.” This sentence swaps your point of view from close third person to omniscient third person. It’s a subtle shift, but doing it feels like when your tires spin out in the mud. Try to avoid swapping between the two.

    Other than my nit picks, it’s really good.

    Like

    • Thank you Rena! I really appreciate the time you took to look at my entry and give me feedback.

      I had a conversation above with Kathy Palm about POV and shared a roundabout question there. I would love to hear your thoughts if you have the time.

      I’ve rewritten the first line at least two dozen times, and that doesn’t count all the rewrites that never made it out of my head. I wanted a line that introduced our hero, and gives us a clue into who he is. I agree there’s something awkward about it, and I guess I’ve always known it, but I never could come up with something better.

      Here’s a new stab at it. If you could give me your thoughts, I would be grateful:

      Cole held his phone at eye level, shielding himself behind it.

      or

      Cole held his phone at eye level, shielding his face behind it.

      Thank you again!

      Kevin

      Like

  9. Title: Its Own Kind of Miracle

    Category and Genre: YA (Magical Realism)

    Word Count: 82000

    Query:

    Ms. A. Gent
    Rebel Literary Agency
    327 Calrissian Way
    Cloud City, Bespin THX1138
    ANOAT SECTOR: OUTER RIM

    Dear Ms. Gent,

    As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer gradually and painfully rob her of life, he guards his heart with his ingrained skepticism. Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit until he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious childhood friend Sara. He realizes they will never truly connect unless he can understand her buoyant faith, but that is light-years beyond his grasp.

    After meeting an enigmatic shopkeeper, Cole notices a series of bizarre coincidences connected to the old man, including the stunning recovery of his dying dog. Cole takes a chance on hope, certain that if he can discover the man’s supernatural secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. If he succeeds, his whole worldview will be turned upside-down. If he fails, the false hope of a miracle will crush him and his carefully constructed defenses.

    Its Own Kind of Miracle is an 82,200 word YA novel that combines magical realism with themes of grief, hope, faith and doubt, then blends it all with baseball, dry humor, a peculiar mystery and a dash of romance.

    First 250 Words:

    Cole held his phone at eye level, shielding himself behind it.

    The fifteen-year-old had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states. There are so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip. As he peered into the phone’s display, the pale light cast a cadaverous pallor over the angular features of his face.

    7:16 AM. Friday, June 13.

    Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go.

    And then…?

    A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across his screen. No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.

    Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now.

    The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes:

    “’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.

    “’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose.

    Like

  10. This is the most updated query and First 250.
    Title: Its Own Kind of Miracle

    Category and Genre: YA (Magical Realism)

    Word Count: 82000

    Query:

    Ms. A. Gent
    Rebel Literary Agency
    327 Calrissian Way
    Cloud City, Bespin THX1138
    ANOAT SECTOR: OUTER RIM

    Dear Ms. Gent,

    As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer gradually and painfully rob her of life, he guards his heart with his ingrained skepticism. Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit until he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious childhood friend Sara. He realizes they will never truly connect unless he can understand her buoyant faith, but that is light-years beyond his grasp.

    After meeting an enigmatic shopkeeper, Cole notices a series of bizarre coincidences connected to the old man, including the stunning recovery of his dying dog. Cole takes a chance on hope, certain that if he can discover the man’s supernatural secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. If he succeeds, his whole worldview will be turned upside-down. If he fails, the false hope of a miracle will crush him and his carefully constructed defenses.

    Its Own Kind of Miracle is an 82,200 word YA novel that combines magical realism with themes of grief, hope, faith and doubt, then blends it all with baseball, dry humor, a peculiar mystery and a dash of romance.

    First 250 Words:
    Cole held his phone at eye level, shielding himself behind it.
    The fifteen-year-old had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states. There are so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip. As he peered into the phone’s display, the pale light cast a cadaverous pallor over the angular features of his face.
    7:16 AM. Friday, June 13.
    Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go.
    And then…?
    A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across his screen. No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.
    Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now.
    The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes:

    “’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.
    “’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose.

    Like

  11. Here is your critique I promised! My thoughts. I am no agent, but I have seen my fair share of queries while reading subs for one of my publishers and while querying my own works. So, I hope this is of some benefit to you.

    Query:
    As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer gradually and painfully ***I don’t think you need gradually and painfully. I think both could go, but keep just one*** rob her of life, he guards his heart with his ingrained skepticism. Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit until he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious***Clarify religion. There are so many faiths out there, you should mention if it’s Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc, that way we get an idea of the angle thi will follow*** childhood friend Sara. He realizes they will never truly connect unless he can understand her buoyant faith, but that is light-years beyond his grasp.

    After meeting an enigmatic shopkeeper, Cole notices a series of bizarre coincidences connected to the old man, including the stunning recovery of his dying dog. Cole takes a chance on hope, certain that if he can discover the man’s supernatural secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. If he succeeds, his whole worldview will be turned upside-down. If he fails, the false hope of a miracle will crush him and his carefully constructed defenses.

    ***I feel like these stakes need to be more powerful. Get rid of the two possible options, because it narrows the story’s potential for the reader.

    Its Own Kind of Miracle is an 82,200 word YA novel that combines magical realism with themes of grief, hope, faith and doubt, then blends it all with baseball, dry humor, a peculiar mystery and a dash of romance.

    ***I’m not interested in this. It’s all telling. If you can’t show these things in the query, then you definitely shouldn’t put it here.

    First 250 Words:

    Cole held his phone at eye level, shielding himself behind it.

    The fifteen-year-old ***why are we telling his age here? It makes it sound like another query. SHOW his age somehow later on.*** had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states. There are ***”are” is present tense. The rest is in past tense. Keep track of your tense :)*** so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip. As he peered into the phone’s display, the pale light cast a cadaverous pallor over the angular features of his face.

    7:16 AM. Friday, June 13.

    Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go.

    And then…?

    A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across his screen. No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.

    Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now. ***I’m presuming this is in italics, but it doesn’t convert in the comments etc since this is internal dialogue.***

    The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes:

    “’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.

    “’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose. ***As he rose from what?***

    Awesome! Your query is well on it’s way, and jut some touch ups are needed for your 250. Great job, and good luck!

    Like

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