Starless Nights Prologue

Since I posted the Prologue for Drops of Rain, I think that I’ll make this a tradition and keep it going. Here is the Prologue for Starless Nights. I hope you love it.

Prologue

“WHATCHA DOIN’?” I hear a girl’s voice and I glance over slightly without looking up at her.  She’s wearing purple sparkly flip flops and each one of her toenails is painted a different glittery color.

“Building a sand castle. What does it look like?” I wish she would go away and just leave me alone.

Dad is in one of his bad moods again this morning. As soon as I could get out of the house, I did. Ever since baby Matt came home from the hospital, dad has acted like a different person. He’s been so mean to everyone.

Matt cried last night and instead of anyone going in to pick him up, my dad just yelled at him. This only made him cry more. Dad hates having his sleep disturbed. I know that I shouldn’t have, but I snuck into his room, climbed into his crib, and curled up with him so he would go back to sleep. He’s such a nice little baby. I don’t know why they won’t love on him more.

“Well, it doesn’t look like much. Can I help?” she asks.

I stiffen a little. That was kind of mean and I didn’t ask for her opinion.

“Why?” I can see her fidgeting with her fingers out of the corner of my eye.

“Because, I want to play with you,” she says a little too enthusiastically for me.

“But why?”

“Because we just moved here and I want to be friends. Do you live here?” I can’t help but wonder if she means temporarily or permanently. Most of the people that stay in these rental houses use the expressions, ‘Move in day’ and ‘Move out day,’ so what she just said about moving here can mean different things. That’s the problem about living on the beach. No one ever stays. Drew and I make friends all the time, but six days later, they leave.

“Yeah, I live here. Down that dock footpath over there. Did you move here for the week or for good?” I take my bucket and fill it full with more sand.

“For good, we are here to stay. I got to meet my new teacher yesterday.”

“Oh. Who’s your teacher?”

“Mrs. Paggio.” That must mean she’s in Drew’s grade. One year ahead of me.

“How old are you?” I ask her.

“Eight.”

“Cool, me too,” I tell her, still busying myself with the sand. “But, I’m only going into the second grade. Where did you move to?”

“A house down that street over there.”

I glance as she points to the street next to mine. I guess it would be nice to make a friend who’s not leaving, even if that friend is a girl.

“Why do you have those Ninja Turtles out here?”

“Because when I am done with the castle they are going to protect it,” I answer, pouring a little water on top of the sand that’s in the bucket and packing it down with my hands.

“From who?”

Geez, she asks a lot of questions.

“Enemy invaders, who else?” Doesn’t this girl know anything?

“Where’s the princess?  Every castle has to have a princess.” I can’t help but laugh. I tip the bucket over to add a tower to the castle and the sand comes out perfectly.

“No they don’t. Drew and I have never ever had a princess in any of our castles.”

“Who’s Drew?”

“My older brother,” I say as she squats down next to me and starts digging a moat.

“Oh, I don’t have any brothers or sisters. Do you like him?”

What a strange thing to ask, I think to myself.  “Yes, I like him very much. He’s the best.”

“Well, I still think you should have a princess.” This girl has to be out of her mind.  There’s no way I’m having a princess. I finally look over at her and I feel my breath catch in my throat.  This girl has reddish colored pigtail braids and she’s staring straight at me with the brightest blue eyes. She has a nice smile and light freckles all across her face. She is the prettiest girl I have ever seen.

I smile back at her and look away.

Even though I am only eight, I know that something big just happened. My chest suddenly feels funny and my heart is pounding really fast. Being just friends with her seems almost too simple. She instantly becomes so much more. I decide right then and there, as long as this girl is in my life, I am going to try to make her happy. Always.

“Okay . . . but you and only you get to be the princess,” I say looking back at her.  Her eyes grow wide and her smile stretches even bigger.

“What’s your name,” she asks me?

“Beau, what’s yours?”

“Leila.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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