Today we have the first page of another Middle Reader title. Let us know by your comments if you would read on.
Porter Booth’s heart answered with a thump of its own and then stopped. He was sure of it. No way could it beat stuck up in his throat.
“What was that?” his cousin whispered.
“Shh!” Porter switched off his flashlight and squatted in the dark.
“What are you doing?”
“Shut up! Get down over here next to me.” Porter reached for James and got a wad of sweaty t-shirt. He held his breath and tried to figure out what was scuffling. “Hear that?” he whispered. “Someone’s coming.”
Sounds must be louder underground when you can’t see, he reasoned. He knew it was people noise, but who and how many? Friendly or dangerous? Kids like himself and James, or a gang down here to take care of business. Whatever business that was.
Dad was right. He shouldn’t have come back to the slough.
His dad hadn’t forbidden the entire length of the Hendricksville slough that carried storm runoff to the Tule River. Just the tunnel part under Main Street. Just this exact spot where he and James were squatting, listening to someone shuffle through a mine-like shaft a few feet away.
He blinked and tried to focus, but it didn’t make any difference in the dark. The artery to the outside was all the way across a cavernous clearing littered with old furniture and wooden barrels. They couldn’t make it through all that junk and out in time.
Porter pulled James toward what he hoped was an old bar front they’d seen against the wall. “Come on, we can hide behind the bar.”
James whistled as he sucked in a mouthful of dusty air. “I can’t breathe.”
“Be quiet!” James’s damp t-shirt stuck to Porter’s fingers. And he could smell it. Is that what would give them away—the sweat? Or would it be the squeaky breathing?
Last weeks submission was offered for comments by the brave writer Lauren Claire. You can find her on Face Book and at her blog titled, Cascading Thoughts. Stop by and offer this young writer an encouraging word.