Last week I introduced you to Patrick. He’s one of the major characters in my WIP, but the book is in another person’s point of view. So when Red Writing Hood assigned us to write from the vantage point of another gender, I decided to work out his troubled history from the inside. Patrick is a kid from the bad side of town who adores Kitty, a childhood friend. He finally asks her to Prom, but just when things are heating up between them, he receives a cryptic text message telling him to get to the ER because his sister Gracie had an accident. And now…
When Patrick was eight years old, he loved standing on the pedestrian bridge over the interstate while cars rushed past. He imagined himself in each car, envisioning distant places where nobody came home smeared with the contents of someone else’s plugged drain.
Tonight, at the edge of the dance floor, he felt the same sickening sense of vertigo –the fear that something wonderful had missed him by a hair, so close he could feel the wind of its passing. Fear that crystallized when he saw Joel Summerhill dancing with Kitty.
Two hours he’d spent, looking for his family at the ER, screaming at nurses who wouldn’t tell him anything. Finally he had the sense to call home and find out the whole thing was a prank. Gracie was safe in bed, right where she should be.
Fury sent out fingers, testing for weaknesses in the shell of his composure. Beside him, a pair of Don Juans leaned on each other’s shoulders like a twisted J. Crew ad, laughing. “Tough break, man,” one of them said. “I can’t believe you fell for that text. I told Joel you wouldn’t. You cost me twenty bucks, man.” He slapped Patrick’s shoulder. “Oh well. Better luck next time. Here, have some booze.”
The flask, cool against his palm, highlighted the heat building beneath the surface. Whatever happened, he was not going to lose it in here. He was not going to embarrass Kitty by pounding that smug half-smile off Joel’s spa-treated face. No matter how badly he wanted to.
Next thing he knew, he was standing in the cool night air beside Joel’s tricked-out Beamer. His rage focused to a point. He poured a strip of vodka up the midline of the car and pulled out a lighter. In the light of the dancing flame, he smiled.