Friday, February 26, 2010

Edward A.

Just wanted to give you a preview of the new book I am working on. This is the first chapter of, "Edward A.", a book about my father's life. Much of it is fiction, since my dad was an orphan. Let me know what you think! Nina :)


Taking the long way home after school past the abandoned sewing shop was just not an option today for little Edward A. The excitement about going fishing with his dad for the first time this season made it difficult for him to obey. It wasn’t often the barber shop was closed during the week, but the monthly trip his parents took into Atlanta to buy supplies made it possible for his dad to get a day off. So, against his mother’s wishes, he headed down the alley between the old sewing shop and another tall, brick apartment building, a shortcut that would save him precious minutes in his trek toward home. A musty smell hung in the air, along with fabric and sewing machine oil that no longer occupied the upstairs shop. The cracked foundation of the tall, brick building threatened complete collapse at any moment. The tat-tat-tat of the sewing machines lingered as a distant memory.

Edward A. whistled and played kick-the-can as he entered the alley. Dirt and old newspapers whirled around in a small dust devil that led the way ahead of him. He kicked the can harder this time, and it soared upward in the windy spiral all the way down the alley. It lingered, as if to stop and look both ways before crossing the street, and then fell apart when it reached the other side.

His whistling stopped as he heard the echo of several hard-soled shoes closing in behind him. Turning to see who it might be, Edward A. recognized three of the local neighborhood bullies. All older, bigger, and faster than he, Eddie noticed the boys wore their infamous steel-toed shoes that clanked on the pavement and banged on their “opponents.” Their menacing smiles and wicked laughter made it quite apparent that Eddie was their next target.

Eddie walked faster, and so did they. Eddie ran, and so did they.

With his heart pounding in his throat, Eddie ducked into the back door of the old sewing shop and mounted the three flights of stairs just inside the door. Right behind him came the awful clank, thud sound of their shoes on the metal stairs. His face red and hot with fear, Eddie finally made it to the top only to find that he had nowhere to go from there. The small office stood empty. The window to the right had no glass in it any longer, the broken shards had scattered on the floor beneath.

The first blow hit him so hard that his glasses flew off his face. He doubled over in pain with the punches to his stomach. The heavy steel shoes hit their mark over and over again. The biggest boy lifted him up off the floor, and all three pushed him out the window. Eddie only saw their laughing faces for a moment before he fell, crashing unconscious in a heap into the metal garbage can below.