Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Wednesday Briefs: Broken Path, Starless Tail Chapter One


New story time!! Check out some inspiration images below! 

Beckett rolled a blade of grass between his fingers. The bottom of the stem was full and round, and the blade fluttered when he spun it again. Grasping the two pieces, he pulled slowly, trying to get the whole blade off the stem before it broke.

“Damn.” It tore, so he tossed the grass down on the field and pursed his lips, looking for another one. A foot kicked his hip, rolling from his belly to his side.

“What are you doing?”

“Dying of boredom.” Beckett squinted up at the dark shape, the sun burning his eyes so they watered. He rolled all the way over away from Colby and back onto his belly. The grass here was in the shade of several full birch trees and cool against his stomach where his T-shirt rode up. “How was practice?”

Colby slumped to the ground beside him, sighing in relief once he got into the shade. “Hot.” He lifted Beckett’s bottle of water, the ice tinkling against the metal sides, and guzzled at least half the water inside.

“Hey! Don’t drink it all.”

“I need it.” Colby gasped a little for air, out of breath from taking such a long drink. “I’m parched.”

“Parched.” Beckett huffed at his fancy word. “Can’t you just say you’re fucking thirsty?”

“I could, if I wanted to use language only fit for teenage hooligans or my teammates.” Colby lifted the hem of his jersey and wiped off his forehead.

“So I’m a hooligan?” Beckett for damn sure wasn’t on the football team. No way would he be caught dead in those pants or taking part in a team sport.

“You said it, not me.” Colby smirked, lounging back on his elbows. “I thought you had a job this summer before you head off to college.”

“So did I.” His dad insisted, so Beckett had complied, but then the bookstore closed. Now all the summer jobs in their small town were taken, and he had fuck all to do. His dad couldn’t complain; Beckett had put in applications everywhere, but no one else was hiring until some teenager pulled some irresponsible bullshit and got fired.

So he had time on his hands. He definitely wasn’t going to spend it at home, and without the bookstore to hang out in, the high school campus was as good a place as any. “Shouldn’t you go shower or something?”

“Nah, Coach doesn’t open up the locker rooms for summer workouts, just drags up the hose for the water pipe and points us at the woods on the north side of the field if anyone has to go.”

Beckett snorted. “Piss, you mean?”

“You know what I meant.”

“So I gotta sit here and smell you?”

“Aww, you big baby. We could go to my house. My parents are working.” Colby was a junior, well senior now that the school was out, and even had a car. With his light brown hair, dark brown eyes, easy grin and the way he always tried to speak properly, adults loved him and the girls were always trying to date him. No one knew how they’d become friends, at least until they talked to them together or realized Colby and Beckett always carried around the same books.

They were a lot alike, despite seeming like opposites. Sure, Colby was popular and Beckett had a reputation because he didn’t take crap from anyone and more than one teacher had written him up for swearing. His attitude didn’t stop him from getting scholarships and grants to pay for college and into a dorm because what came out of his mouth wasn’t what came out on paper, and he had an exceptional imagination his Lit teacher always said.

“Why?” Going to Colby’s house made Beckett uncomfortable. There was something….

“Because I see your bookmark on the last page of The Path of Shards, and I finished mine last night. Well, this morning at almost two which is why Coach was shouting at me for dragging ass. I got the next two books in the series from Amazon.”

Beckett rolled up to sitting. He plucked a blade of glass. “Really?”

“Yep. Used a gift card my aunt sent me so it didn’t even cost a dime.”

“You could have used it for something else.” He squinted at the blade, pulling gently.

“Other than books?” Now it was Colby’s turn to snort. “We all know that’s all I buy from Amazon with gift cards. Come on, the sweat’s starting to dry on my back and it itches. I want to shower and start reading, and I can’t do that if you’re not reading too.” He pushed off the ground in a single shove, and where he found the energy after working out in the low eighties even before noon, Beckett didn’t know. He sighed.

“Fine.” Beckett grabbed his water bottle and his book and gracelessly rolled onto his knees and then pushed up with his knuckles to get to his feet. “But I’m making quesadillas for lunch.”

“Since Mom said only you’re allowed to cook lunches? Duh.” Colby jabbed him in the ribs. “She got those tomato wraps and the good cheese too. Let’s go!”


Colby showered while Beckett cooked two full-sized quesadillas and then sliced them up with the pizza wheel. If they used napkins and only held the books with their free hands, they could eat and check out the second book in the series. Usually he had a no eating and reading rule, because he didn’t want to damage his books, but the colorful covers of The Eyes of the Abyss were too tempting.

Plus the cliffhanger from the last book was brutal. Who did that? It was a good thing he had  a rule never to read a series with less than three completed books. Otherwise, he never knew what crazy things an author might leave the characters facing while their readers were stuck holding their breaths. 

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