Here's my 500 words for the Show Me Yours Blogfest where we showcase some of our NaNo project. This is a YA contemporary story called Starsong:
My first real shift falls on the busiest day of the week, and I’m running late. There’s no time to ride my bike, and of course, Mom has her Pilates class, so driving me to work is an inconvenience for her. But Dad’s home for the weekend and he’s happy to take me. He drops me in front of Marshall Mania.
“I’m glad you’re back, Dad,” I say, stepping out of the car. We both understand the wrath of the Ice Queen if things don’t go her way.
“Me too, pumpkin,” he says. “Don’t worry, you’ll have enough money for your car in no time. Your mom just wants you to learn a little responsibility. She didn’t have her own car til she was twenty-two. She thinks you have it too easy.”
“Dad, she buys herself a new outfit like every week. Between new clothes and the Botox she’ll have your savings blown by the time I graduate. And she’s worried about me learning responsibility?” I try to keep my tone calm.
Dad raises a palm to stop me. “I know, I know. Just leave her be and do what she wants. Best thing for you to do is study hard and get into a good school. Then you can live on your own. Besides, you may enjoy having a summer job. I didn’t mind when I was your age.”
I sigh. “Sure, Dad. See you later.” I shut the door and amble into the arcade. Dad has never stood up to Mom before. He’s the head big wig at his corporation—in charge of hundreds of employees throughout the country—and the one person who scares the crap out of him is my Mom.
“Hey, ready for your first shift?” Vela asks at the door. She’s perched on a stool with a stamp pad in one hand and her cell phone in another.
“Yeah,” I say. “How many parties today?”
She pulls a clipboard from the podium, looks it over. “Ooo … looks like six for you all day. Not bad for a Saturday. You’ll be working next to Darnell. She’s fun—a true wack-job, practices voodoo in her spare time.”
I head off to the back to get my party table set up.
Marshall Mania is a complete madhouse today. Kids are running around like disturbed ants. There are three separate lines at the prize counter , with one flustered looking heavyset woman behind it. That’s Opal. I wave to her as I pass by, she doesn’t see me.
“Ma’am, excuse me … my child’s been standing here a long time …”
I look around for the voice. A tight-faced woman looming over her boy is raising her voice at Opal. Poor Opal is trying to keep her cool.
I scoot behind the counter. “Do you need help with anything?”
Her blue eyes look huge behind her thick glasses. “Hi there, Miss Wynonna. It’s your first shift on your own today, isn’t it?” Her voice is soft and calm, accented with Southern twang. It totally betrays the rattled look on her face.
“Yeah, looks like a busy one, too,” I say.