I admit it, I’m way behind on this book.

I’ve a dozen excuses (the election, seemingly everyone I know being born in November – a fact I’m not certain has always been the case or if it’s just to distract me) but the truth is, this challenge is hard!

Guess they couldn’t call it a challenge if it was easy…

Anyhow, here’s the next teaser.  Let me know what you think of the progress if you like.

Thanks for reading.


Jake knew he was supposed to go home.  Tod had said so, and Jake was very afraid of his older brother.  Afraid of the yardstick that his brother called his Corrector.  It was wrapped in duct tape on one end so Tod could grip it, wielding it like a sword.  The other end had thumb tacks pushed through it, perfect for gouging Jake with.  His back had just healed from all the damage done over a month ago (Jake had made the mistake of eating a Pop Tart that his brother had wanted) by Tod and his Corrector.

Jake knew he was to go home, but something along the way had distracted him.  He heard something moving, out there in the trees; following him.  At first he thought it was the bear again, out to eat him.  But he couldn’t see any bear, and the moving that he heard was slighter than what Jake figured a bear might make.

Scared of nearly everything by nature, Jake made to run home again.  But that’s when he saw it.  Or rather, saw its teeth, gleaming at him from the dark between the trees.  Sharp, crooked, jagged things; flashes of silver glistening through the filth of its mouth.  It snorted, whatever it was, and seemed to Jake like it was about to charge after him.  He ran like the devil himself was after him, taking off just as the creature did.

He’d made it about twenty feet when his pants fell down around his ankles.  To be fair, they were Tod’s old hand-me-downs and had probably been handed down before Jake was really of a size to use them, but there he was, just the same.  Sprawled out with his underwear showing as the thing with the dirty silver teeth came for him.

A horn blared at Jake.  As though waking from a daze, he looked from the car back to where the creature had been, but it was gone.  No teeth, anywhere.

“Get out of the road!” the man driving the car yelled, as he swerved to the right and drove away.  “Damn kids!” he added.

Jake got to his feet and pulled his pants back up, holding them up snug with one hand while the other kept the sun from his eyes while he searched the woods.  Nothing.  He didn’t see the creature anywhere.  He ran for home anyway.

“I’ll draw that monster,” he thought.  “And I’ll tell Juniper about it and she’ll have a trick to catch it and we’ll be rich and not live with Tod no more.”  Which was typically what Jake daydreamed about.  Not necessarily about drawing monsters or being rich, but about living with Juniper in her house with her grandma and playing in the junkyard with her.

And not living with Tod anymore.

Jake heard a low growl coming from behind him.  He ran faster.  The growl got louder. Jake thought he could feel hot breath on his neck.  He started to cry.  Jake’s mom had never really been warm to him, so when he cried, it wasn’t for her.

He wished Juniper was with him now.  She’d know what to do.

The growling grew angrier.