Thursday, November 14, 2013

April's Roots: Sneak Peek #2

Hello there, net-friends,

We're another day closer to the release of April's Roots -- huzzah! And just like yesterday, I'm giving you another sneak preview into one of the stories. Enjoy!

In Her Sweet Time

Diane’s Story ~ 1983
Greenwich, Connecticut

It was an ordinary Wednesday, but I was staring down a deadline for a story. The Prescott Post went to print every Friday at three-thirty for the next week's issue, and I had nothing.
This had never happened before. I, Diane “Pinky” Pinckley, ace reporter of the junior class, never had nothing. There was always a scandal in the drama club, a mysterious illness in the cafeteria, or even a Senior prank gone awry—that piece about the greased pigs in the main hallway last October was still pinned to our refrigerator. Mother and Dad always said I could sniff out a story a mile away... so what was my problem this week? Had I lost my nose for news?
I glanced out the window at the thick February snowflakes and then looked around our home economics class. Sixth period was almost over, and I had already cleaned up my abysmal sewing project and put it away. Domestic arts weren't my forte. Across the lab, my best friend Jill was hand-sewing buttons onto a corduroy jacket. With her looks and perfect curtain of dark brown hair, she looked like a living cover of a magazine. Jill had more talents than I could count. Unfortunately, none of them were dramatic enough to make a story. I bit my lip and looked past her.
Tim Tribble was even less capable at sewing than I was. His throw pillow looked more like a lumpy, floral-print boulder. But he was a three-sport letterman... maybe he knew of some locker-room scandal or game-winning secret I hadn't yet uncovered. It was worth a shot.
I sidled over to Tim's table. “How's it going, Trib?” Everyone knew that you called Tim “Trib” if you wanted him to listen up.
He grunted in frustration at his pillow and set it down, rubbing a needle-prick on his giant thumb. “Hey, Pinky.”
I smiled. “So, how's wrestling season going? Better than your attempts to make the cover of the Ladies Home Journal?”
Trib snorted. He was a jock, but he wasn't a dumb jock. “You need a story.”
“I do,” I admitted. “I've got nothing, and you know more about this school than anybody. Any ideas?”
He paused. “I might. What's in it for me?”
Of course. I looked up at the teacher's desk. In the flurry of students cleaning up before the class bell, Mrs. Harding was not paying us any attention. I motioned to Jill, who quickly set down her jacket and slipped over to us.
“Jill will finish up that seam for you,” I said. “So, what's the story?”
“I will?” Jill said with some indignation, but Trib grinned at her, and I knew my lovely friend wouldn't mind. With a quick look towards the teacher, Jill took the needle and thread and began to work on the messy edge of Trib's pillow.
Trib turned his attention to me with some difficulty. “Well, you didn't hear this from me, Pinky, but Coach Carver is talking about retiring at the end of the season.”
“Next fall?” I struggled to keep the impatience from my voice. The football coach possibly retiring in ten months was not exactly the exciting news I had hoped for.
“No, he's talking about moving to Florida at the end of the school year. If he does, the football team won't have a head coach over the summer.”
That was a bit juicier... but as I turned the idea over in my head, I knew we couldn't run a story based on that kind of rumor.
I had gotten into a tight spot last December by uncovering some proposed changes to the teachers' pension plan. It had been a great scoop, but some of the school administrators had been pretty steamed about that information getting out before the school board meeting. I didn't want to scoop somebody's early retirement on a football player's say-so.
“Anything else?” I pressed. “Any fights in the locker room, or mysterious people hanging around practice… or rivalry issues with Kendrick?” Prescott's sworn rival, Kendrick High School, was in the neighboring school district, and I’d written more than one article on kidnapped mascots.
Trib started to shake his head, but then he paused. 

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