So, that contest I was in? Turned out well. I wasn’t an official winner, but an agent did come back around after it was over and asked for a partial. Lovely way to end my week! In celebration, I thought I’d post a scene that I cut from my Nanowrimo 2011 novel.
Setup- Blake and his family have just moved to Nashville, where he is hoping to reinvent himself as A Chick Magnet. He’s always had a little trouble with girls, not because of his looks (he’s hot) or his personality (he’s charming). His problem is his parents- they’re Real Life Superheroes. You’ve heard of them, right? Real people who dress up in costume and go out into the cities to fight crime? Running into your dad wearing bright green tights and a black eye mask will put a damper on any date. Poor Blake.
Mom rolls down her window to pay for our food. The girl behind the register is sifting through a pile of coins cupped in her hand, shaking her head and muttering. I watch while she sorts the quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies into separate piles on her palm. I can’t see her nametag very well. M-something. Mary? Macey? Marty? She looks about my age. Pretty. Her blond hair is tucked up into her cap, and I can’t really see her eyes….but yeah. She’s pretty.
Mary Macey Marty closes her hand and exhales, obviously annoyed. She shuffles the coins back together and counts them again. After the recount, she huffs and leans out the window to stare down the BMW in front of us. It was parked at the next window, waiting for food. “Tell her she didn’t give me enough money,” she says into the microphone that hangs from a cord dangling near her chin. I can see an older guy standing inside the second window. He waves to let her know he’d gotten the message.
“That car didn’t pay for their meal?” Dad sits up straighter.
Mary Macey Marty rests her forearms on the window’s edge and nods. “Should’ve been two-eighty, she gave me two-sixteen.”
Dad’s already pulled out the dark blue spiral-bound notebook and starts jotting down the car’s color, make, and model. Mom calls out the license plate number for him too. “Five-zero-three…honey that looks like an S…okay, five-zero-three, alpha, zulu, bravo.”
I sink down in my seat.
Two-eighty minus two-sixteen…
Sixty-four cents? My parents are about to bust out the Captain America routine over sixty-freaking-four cents?
The man at the second window is talking to the lady driving the BMW. He points back toward us, and I can see the driver’s head shaking.
“What?” Mary Macey Marty speaks into her microphone while she looks down at the change in her hand. “No, I’m sure she didn’t. I have two-sixteen.”
Dad pushes a button in front of his knees and the glove compartment pops open. I have to do something. “Dad?”
He holds up his hand to shush me. He leans across Mom to talk to Mary Macey Marty. “Is she going to pay?”
“She says I must’ve miscounted.”
He pulls a piece of black stretchy fabric from the glove compartment. I grip the back of his seat and lean forward, speaking quickly and quietly. “Uh, Dad? Please…don’t. I mean, not…not here.”
He totally ignores me. I look at Mom, and she just smiles at me sympathetically. There’s no stopping him, and we both know it. I turn to look at the line of cars behind us. Ugh. There are going to be so many witnesses.
Dad slips the band of fabric over his head and maneuvers it around until the two oval-shaped openings are centered over his eyes.
Mary Macey Marty arches an eyebrow, suddenly more interested in what’s happening in our car rather than the criminal mastermind behind the sixty-four cent heist.
“Look, I’ve got some money. I’ll take care of it.” I lift my hips and pull my wallet from my back pocket. “Here.” I pass a dollar behind Mom’s head through the open window.
Mom swats my hand. “No, Blake. It’s not your debt to pay.”
“It’s less than a dollar, Mom! We don’t need to alert the Justice League over it.”
Too late. Dad’s already opening his door.
“Wait!” I point through the windshield. The lady in the BMW is handing something to the man at the next window. He looks at Mary Macey Marty and gives her a thumbs-up.
I exhale. It’s been paid.
Dad brings his foot back inside the car and shuts the door. It doesn’t click, and he opens the door and slams it a little harder than before. “Okay then,” he says, removing his mask. He’s disappointed.
“Another time, honey.” Mom pats his shoulder.
Of course there’ll be another time. With any luck, there’ll be a million opportunities to embarrass their sixteen-year-old son and ruin his chances of ever getting laid, EVER.