Saturday, June 15, 2013

Okay, I broke my ankle in January, and I haven't posted since... here's a new one though... a nice long one, excerpt from a novel I've just started.  -- Shelley

Izzy:  “Let me see!” said Izzy.
It was one of the first days of summer vacation, a Sunday, and Izzy was still in her church clothes.  But Seven wasn’t making fun of her fancy outfit.  As soon as she came out this afternoon, he dragged her around the block and into an alley, behind some guy’s house.  Izzy’s white mary jane’s were getting scuffed and dirty, and her mother was going to have a fit.
“Let me see!”
            Seven pushed her away.  “I’m still looking!  Wait your turn!”
            “Seven!  That’s not fair, it is my turn.  You’ve been looking for an hour.”
            “It’s been a minute, and don’t call me Seven, my name is Steven.”
            With that, Seven pushed Izzy so hard she fell over backwards and landed on her butt. 
That made her mad, and she wanted to continue taunting Seven – whose name was supposed to be Steven, but his father wasn’t paying attention when he filled out the birth certificate, and he left out the “t”, so the boy’s name really was “Seven,” and even Izzy knew that, because Seven’s sister Allie told her. 
            So, his name was Seven, not Steven, and he was being a jerk, and Izzy so wanted to push herself up, launch herself into the skinny little brat, knock him down, make up some rhyme about his name, something like, “Seven Seven went to Heaven,” but that wasn’t even funny and anyway—
            Sighing, Izzy got up and brushed herself off, didn’t say anything, and waited for her turn to see through the fence. 
Seven was her best friend, for one thing.  You don’t make fun of your best friend’s name after he asks you to stop.  Another thing was, Seven was a year older than Izzy and everyone knew the rule was, if you were older, you got the last word.
Plus, Seven was something of a ten-year old homicidal maniac.  Seriously, if they weren’t best friends, Izzy would’ve gotten a lot worse than pushed down.  Seven might have picked up a stick and hit her so hard across the mouth he would’ve knocked out a tooth, the way he did to Michael Kaplan when Michael tried to tell everyone in the fifth grade that he saw Izzy’s underwear and that they looked like granny panties. 
Michael’d just started singing, “Granny Panties, Granny Panties, Izzy wears Granny—“
--When Seven hit him across the mouth with the stick, which shut him up good.  Not that Izzy condoned violence or anything, but she was sure glad Michael shut up, even if he did have to go to the emergency room.  And Seven didn’t say a word to the principal or anyone about why he hit Michael, even though Seven got suspended for that.  So the “Granny Panties” song died before it even hit the playground airwaves at West Shore middle school.
“Go ahead, you can look,” Seven said, moving aside.
Izzy put her eye up to the hole in the fence.  It was one of those metal, chain link fences with the green plastic woven through the links to keep people from seeing in, but Seven had made a hole with his Swiss Army knife, which made Izzy think how lucky Michael Kaplan was that he only got hit with a stick, and not stabbed in the gut.
On the other side of the fence was a dirt yard.  A man was fastening a small, skinny, brown dog to a cinderblock by tying a rope around the pup’s neck.  The rope had the kind of knot that tightened if the dog moved too far away from where it was tethered.  Izzy’s heart tightened in her chest when the dog tried to move, the rope tightened, and the dog let out a whelp of pain.  When the man laughed, Izzy wanted to throw up.  When he kicked the dog, Izzy jumped back.  She couldn’t watch anymore.
“See?” said Seven.  “I told you.”
“That poor dog!  It didn’t do anything, and that man kicked it!”
“He does that all the time, I’ve seen it,” said Seven.  “That’s why we have to rescue Bone.”
“That’s the dog’s name.  I’ve heard the man call it Bonehead, but I just call it Bone, for short, and because it’s skinny as a bone.”
“But what are we supposed to do?”
“Okay, so here’s the plan.  I’ve been watching.  The man leaves for work at like seven-thirty Monday to Friday.  So tomorrow morning, we’ll meet here, and I’ll hoist you over the fence.  You go untie Bone, and then open up the gate for me, and we’ll take Bone away from there.”
“Take Bone where, exactly?”
“To your house.  Your mother likes animals.”
“Which is why Bone can’t go to my house.  Whenever I say I want another pet, my mother says we have too many animals already and I can get another pet when I get a job and pay for it.”
Seven rolled his eyes.
“Like it’d be a big deal to put out another dish of food.”
Shrugging, Izzy said, “I don’t know, that’s just what she always says.  She says there are vet bills and stuff, too.”
“Fine.  Whatever.  We’ll take Bone to my house.”
“Your mother won’t let you keep it.”
“We’ll hide it, I don’t know!  Are you in, or what?”
“And why do I have to go over the fence?” Izzy said, hands on her hips.
Rolling his eyes again, Seven said, “What, you think you could hoist me over a fence that tall?  Come on, Izzy, it just makes sense.”
“What if the dog bites?”
“Bone doesn’t bite.”
“How do you know?”
“Bone doesn’t bite, okay?  I just know.  Bone’s a good dog, it’s just been beaten down by that man, so if Bone did bite, it would be perfectly understandable, because of how scared it is, and the life it’s had.”
“Understandable?  To you maybe, but you wouldn’t be the one with a dog bite.”
“Listen, are you in or not?”
Izzy rubbed her toe in the dirt and thought about it. 
“I’m in.”

1 comment:

  1. I love this story. The relationship between Izzy and Seven is sweet and so very real. What an adventure they are about to embark on... I look forward to coming along for the ride!