Artistic License

November 21, 2009

Novel Excerpt- November 20’th

Filed under: Novel excerpts — Joana @ 12:08 am

“You okay, Mike?” I asked. ‘GAME OVER’ came onto the screen before long, and Michael put the gun back in the holder. He smiled at me, but it wasn’t a very convincing one.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” he asked. I blinked at him a couple times, which he seemed to understand was my way of saying he was really not passing it off at all. “I guess I’m just kind of wishing Natalie wouldn’t say all those things like I’m not around to hear them. Despite my robot-like moods, I’m not completely heartless.”

“And you still hate your dad,” I said. Michael leaned against the video game machine. There was a younger-looking kid kind of lurking around, looking like he was waiting for us to move away so he could play, but Michael didn’t really care.

“It’s kind of… died over the years, but yeah,” he said. “I hated my father a lot when Miranda and my parents were divorcing because he tried to screw her over so much. Mom and Dad fought a lot even before they divorced, and he was always the one that started it. When we were younger it was because she didn’t have a job, and when she finally went to school and started in real estate, it would be because no one would be home to take care of the cleaning and cooking. When Miranda and I started doing all that so Dad wouldn’t have an excuse to yell at Mom, Stacey came along and Mom was out of her job on maternity leave. It just… never ended. Mom could never do anything right.”

Michael was looking to the side by this time, and a quick look around showed that the kid who had been wanting to play on the arcade machine had left. Misty, Miranda and Natalie were talking amongst themselves while we all waited for Natalie’s parents to come and bring us out to supper. We had been there long enough for the next round of movies to open up, so the only people in the lobby besides us and a few stragglers in the snack bar line were the staff, who weren’t really paying attention.

Before I got the chance to do anything involving hugging him or just holding his hand, though, Michael leaned away from the game machine and smiled.

“But it’s not like it’s a big deal anymore considering that I haven’t talked to Dad in a few years,” he said. “And Mom seems a lot happier. Well, now, anyway. She kind of still drinks a lot, but what can you do?” He just kind of shrugged at this like he really didn’t know what he could do about the fact that his mother apparently went out several times a week and drank herself into oblivion. And that was… actually kind of scary, now that I thought about it.

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