Excerpt from Current Work in Progress

In the Shadows

     Josh hid like a scared animal when things got bad. I knew most of his hiding places by now. I found him in the old boathouse down by Mouse Lake this time. Oily green water lapped at the edges of the rickety doorway, and spiderwebs netted across my face as I peeked inside. The smell of rotting fish made me gag as I walked over to where he was huddled up in the far corner. Arms hugging his knees, head tucked between them. He looked up as a floorboard creaked under my weight. Behind his now-crooked glasses, one eye was almost swollen shut. His lip was bloodied. My chest ached at the sight of him.

     “What happened?” I asked. “Were they picking on you again?”

     Staring at the floor, Josh slowly nodded his head up and down, sniffing back tears. Clenching my hands into fists, I studied him to see how bad it was today. Thin and small for a nine-year old boy, Josh made an easy target. “Are you all right? Except for the eye and lip, I mean. We can get your glasses fixed.”

     Again, he nodded his head up and down, not looking at me. Almost in a daze. Slapping at a mosquito on my arm, I curled my legs underneath me and sat beside him. I reached out and ruffled his hair, needing to touch him. Sometimes, I felt more like his mom than his big sister. He was fragile, but it was understandable. Josh had been to hell and back in his short years.


  1. This is awesome Teri, I felt like like I was actually there in the old boathouse with Josh and his big Sister, great writing!