On May 22, of this year 2015, I responded to an invitation to read at the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick’s thirtieth year extravaganza. I was one of 11 newly published, or about to be published authors of this year, and I was honored to read the first chapter of the sequel to my first book. Following is an excerpt of the first chapter of my book. The photo is by Margaret Eaton, who did an outstanding job that weekend capturing the entire event for posterity. This photo was supplied by Executive director Gwen Martin. Thank you ladies, and WFNB for a wonderful weekend.
The Legend Returns
The second hand on the large clock above the blackboard had just passed the six and was slowly – ever so slowly – starting its ascent to the twelve. In less than thirty seconds school would be over for the summer. I didn’t think I’d ever heard the classroom so quiet.
As I gazed around the room at my fellow classmates, every eye was locked on that spot above the board. The only one not looking at the clock was Mme. LeBlanc, our teacher. She was taking advantage of the unusual quiet to scan the stack of letters and thank-you cards. As I glanced at the clock above her head, I noticed the little smile on her face. Four, three, two, one… Brrinngg!
The whole place erupted in shouts and cheers of “we’re free”. Paper airplanes shot through the air, and the silence of just a few short seconds before was a lifetime away. School was finally over for the summer
While everyone else gathered their things, I let my mind wander back to Christmas Break when I had first met Willie. He was the best friend a guy could have, and even though he had to leave for a bit, he had promised he’d be back for the summer. Maybe he would be waiting for me when I got home .
“Ryan, do you like school so much that you don’t even want to leave for the summer?” Mme. LeBlanc asked still smiling.
Looking around at all the empty seats, I realized I had been daydreaming again. I felt my face burning with embarrassment as I replied, “S-s-sorry, Mme. LeBlanc. I guess I was thinking of all the neat things Will… I mean, I’m going to do this vacation.” I got up and hurriedly stuffed my gear into my backpack. “I guess I’ll see you next year.”
Outside, everyone was hanging around waiting for the bus and making plans for the long summer ahead. Behind the last bus was our car, with Mom behind the wheel and my brother, Jason, in the seat next to her. Disappointed, I piled into the backseat. I had been looking forward to talking to my friend Cory and making plans for the coming months. He moved to Bayside this year and hadn’t experienced summer near the ocean .
“How was your last day Ry-guy ?” Mom asked, as she put the car into gear. “I had to come into town for some things, so I figured I’d pick you guys up and treat you to some takeout. What do you say?”
Both Jason and I replied with a resounding “yes”, and we were off. Of course, Jason wanted hamburgers, and I wanted pizza, so we all settled on chicken. Isn’t it funny how chicken usually wins out? Anyway, takeout of any kind was always welcome.
“Mom, can I invite Cory for a sleepover in my new cabin?” I asked the back of her head.
Looking into the rear view mirror, she replied, “I have no problem with that, as long as Cory’s mom agrees. I think there’s an extra cot in the basement, and of course, Cory will have to bring his own sleeping bag.”
“Thanks, Mom,” I said. “I’ll give him a call when we get home.”
With Dad’s help, and Mom’s blessing, we had fixed up the old chicken coop and made it into a neat cabin. Even though Jason hadn’t helped, I was sure he expected to use it for his own sleepovers. At any rate, the cabin was mostly finished, and it was mostly mine.
For me, the cabin was so much more than a place to hang out – it’s where I’d first discovered Willie, who turned out to be the biggest secret of my life. Everyone thought he was some kind of imaginary friend, but he was a lot more than that! In fact, he wasn’t imaginary at all, even though he was the stuff of legends. Of course, the first time I saw him, even I was a little freaked out. I remember him trying to hide behind a gigantic rock. His pointy ears and lizard-like tail gave him away. I was so scared, but at the same time, I was curious. I didn’t know it at that time, but finding this creature was going to be an important event in my life.
If you would like to read the rest of this story, please follow this link to my book.