Heather, a sixth grader at Visitation Academy, has been sitting off to the side. She looks up from her history book and towards the field at her classmates in gym class.

“Jonathan! Get the ball!”

“I am, Ms. Stewart! I was trying, but I just couldn’t catch it.”

“What a loser! Ever heard of a boy that couldn’t play ball?” a group of girls nearby giggle.

“I heard if he didn’t watch them, he’d trip over his own two feet.”

“All right, ladies. That means you too, boys. Head to the locker rooms and freshen up before your next class.”

“We always lose when he’s on our team!” an obviously disappointed boy says and stomps his foot.

Another student nods in agreement. But a third takes sympathy on Jonathan, sniffs himself and a boy standing next to him, then pinches his nose.

“Phew! You need to freshen up. Quit yakking and hurry up,” and takes off. The others immediately chase after him; their attention now diverted to being first to the showers.

Somewhat relieved, Jonathan lifts his head, but one by one, the remaining boys brush against him as they leave the field. Jonathan sighs heavily. Again with head down, he walks over to his Phys-Ed teacher and hands her the ball.

“I really tried, Ms. Stewart. I’m just not good at sports. I wish I was, but I’m just not!”

“Keep trying Jonathan. I’m sure you’re good at other things. One day you may be good at this, too. Now hurry on.” She smiles and tousles his hair.

“Yes, ma’am.”

Just then, the same group of giggling girls from earlier, cross directly in front of Jonathan, causing him to drop his gear and towel.

“See, I told you,” says the seventh grader in the group, “He trips over his own two feet!”

“To the locker room now, Sara!”

“Yes, Ms. Stewart!” Startled, she and the other girls scurry off.

Heather quickly ties her shoes, tosses her books into her book bag, and heads over to Jonathan.

“You’ve improved a lot since last time.” She helps him gather his things, then takes his towel, and gently wipes the sweat from his eyebrow. “Don’t give up okay? I’m sure you’ll get it.” She adjusts his glasses, hands him back his towel, and darts off toward the girls’ locker room, leaving him blushing and speechless.

Just then, several of the same boys heckling him earlier yell, “Johnny’s got a girlfriend! Johnny’s got a girlfriend!”

“I do not!” Jonathan shouts back and runs toward the locker room, even more red-faced, but confident.

Heather makes it to the locker room just ahead of the girls from earlier. She hears them approaching and quickly tosses her book bag off to the side. Upon entering the locker room, she notices a horizontal bar overhead, positioned between the first set of lockers and the door. Heather peeks out to see the order the girls are walking in, then swiftly perches herself atop the bar and waits. Sara, the seventh grader with a habit of mercilessly teasing other students, not just Jonathan, is last to enter. As soon as she clears the door, Heather uses the bar as a trapeze, and swings from her legs. She firmly grabs Sara’s long ponytail, and loops it through the hinge of the door, raising Sara to her tippy toes. Heather lands right outside the locker room door and quickly retrieves her book bag. None the wiser to Heather’s presence, the other girls struggle to free Sara between sporadic outbursts of pain from the door repeatedly hitting her in the face. Heather pauses for a brief, but satisfying glimpse before turning the corner and continuing to class.

The Red Umbrella Society excerpt

"No one truly fears the dark. They fear what's in it." TRUSQuote, The Red Umbrella Society

Pages: 1 2 3 4

3 Responses to “Excerpt

  • “So excited to read your book!”

  • “The excerpt is so good!!! You left me hanging!! I can’t wait to read the whole book. That was a real teaser.”

  • This is an exciting writing project with lots of angles of what’s next. Keep writing

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