So far I’ve got no evidence that anyone has looked at the blog post announcing the first chapter of my novella BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, much less downloaded it. However, I’m not going to let that stop me. Herewith is a sample from Chapter 2 for your interest or lack thereof. It is part of a “normal” school day for hero Ben and his best buddy Danny. Enjoy.
For free download of Chapter 2 as a pdf file, right click here and select “Save Target (or Link) As.”
BAT IN A WHIRLWIND
Excerpt from Chapter 2 – Treasures of Darkness
At school I waited out front for Danny. He came ambling up the walk under the oak trees whistling “Red River Valley.” He was so hot-looking it should be illegal. Danny’s flattop was a shade darker than mine with just a hint of a ducktail in back. That point of hair on his nape didn’t look sissy at all. Actually it was pretty darned sexy.
He had to go to the office and get him a newspaper article for Civics class. I already had mine, a short thing about Congress passing some bill. Afterwards, we hung out by the lockers, and he leaned lazily up against one. Something made me poke his stomach. Wiggling his hips, he asked, “Want something?” Then he blushed like crazy, his cheeks the color of cherries.
Unable to answer his question yay or nay, I poked him again and asked, “Why don’t you ask Mary Nell to go to the Lions Club party?”
Danny put his middle finger on his cheek in a meaningful gesture and gave me a big smile. “I’m through with girls. I won’t never ask Mary Nell for a date.” I must have looked shocked—because I was—and he explained, “She lives way up there by you. All that driving, and her old man being… You know.”
Well, there went the party. Still reeling, I choked, “You’re through with girls?”
“For a little while,” he laughed and poked my stomach.
Just then pretty Betty Lou, a cheerleader, came bouncing up to us, all smiles with her very white teeth like an Ipana commercial. Hugging a clipboard to her prominent chest, she asked cheerily, “Have you guys made your annual deposits yet?”
We’d both already paid, and when she’d wiggled her butt and gone on to the next bunch of kids down the hall, I quipped, “I wonder if her bank only takes deposits once a year.”
Danny laughed and blushed once again. “Be quiet. You’re about to get me on a bone.”
Going to our regular assembly seats, now on the very first row being seniors, he brushed my face with his red sweater in passing, and I caught a brief flower-like fragrance. Waiting for assembly to start, Danny looked over at Betty Lou with intense carnal interest. I whispered, “There’s a little muscle in your cheek that’s quivering.”
He didn’t take his eyes off of her and said, “That ain’t the only one. Boy, I could make do with just half of her.”
Deadpan, I asked, “Right or left?” Danny cracked up.
The Principal, Mr. Foster, a thin man with graying hair and a very high waist, stood up front and shushed the auditorium full of kids. In a minute everybody settled down. Then to my huge surprise, he called on me to give the Bible reading. It was real odd what with me being a Catholic, but the school had been real good about it. They even started serving fish for lunch on Fridays, and the other kids said they enjoyed the relief from Salisbury steak or such like.
I hoped even in a Protestant Bible maybe I could find a piece of Divine Wisdom for the kids and especially for my wonderful friend Danny. So I went and stood in front near the flag. When I opened the Bible, my eyes landed on Isaiah 45: verses 2 & 3, and I read:
I will go before thee / And level the mountains. / I will break in pieces the doors of bronze / And cut asunder the bars of iron. / I will give thee the treasures of darkness / And the hoards in secret places.
A bit taken aback by what I’d just read, I went and sat back down. Danny puckered at me and asked in a whisper, “You got some treasures of darkness, Benny, babe?” Unsure, I shrugged. The reading didn’t sound very Biblical to me, all that I’ll do this and I’ll do that. But it was sure enough dramatic and poetic and said everything I’d do for Danny.