In addition, my children's story The Trouble With Follow the Leader and an adult story, Moondance http://www.moondance.org/2002/fall02/fiction/out.html are published online. I also write book reviews for Authorlink.com, Amazon.com and several of my reviews have been on Ace Writers and Celebrity Cafe. I guess you can say writing is my life.
Excerpt from: The Trouble with Follow the Leader - Story Station/Learning and Leisure
"Move it, you flat leaver," Charlie poked Terry in the back forcing her to move faster. "Follow the line or we'll lose them."
Terry felt the sharp pain from Charlie's finger and the worse pain caused by the words he said. Flat leaver, that stupid expression they called you when you left the game too early. Gee, it was only follow the leader and she couldn't always do the stupid things the gang decided.
"See they're climbing onto the ledge and we're not there." Charlie said.
Terry hoped Charlie wouldn't poke her again. She turned to tell him not to poke her, but his size made her shiver and she kept quiet.
"Terry, follow me," Sally the girl in front of her said. Sally's hands were up in the air and she was getting ready to climb onto the ledge. In the distance Steven, the leader, was jumping down and running through the alley. Everyone else did the same thing.
"Come on, Terry, jump after me," Sally called out to her as she jumped. Terry gritted her teeth and leaped. Her feet hit the hard cement and for a second it hurt a lot, but she ran through the alley behind Sally.
"Run, Terry, or we'll miss them," Sally said panting and turning around to see Terry.
Sally ran onto the sidewalk and there in front of them was the whole gang. They had stopped in front of the scary apartment house in the middle of the street. The house had a big iron gate in front of it with sharp spikes on top of each railing. The kids played "Red Light, Green Light", and "Giant Steps" inside the gate all the time. Terry remembered the day she was walking by this place alone. An old woman who looked creepy had stuck her head out of the first floor window. She had straggly gray hair and a big sharp nose. Terry quivered and waited for her to go back inside before she walked past.
Why were they stopping at the gate? Terry hoped the game would stop so she could have lunch. Her stomach was rumbling and she wanted a tuna fish sandwich from Jake's on the corner. She looked up at the first floor window. It was closed. She let out her breath. There was an opening with a gate to let them in. But today they didn't use that gate.
"Hey, Terry, hurry up," Sally said as she ran to catch up with the rest of the line.
"What are we doing?" Terry couldn't see anything at all. She worried that her turn would come and she wouldn't be able to do what everyone else was doing. She wanted to leave, but then everyone would call after her, "Flat leaver, flat leaver," like the last time when she left before the game was over and the whole gang had yelled at her so loudly she could hear them halfway up the street. Today it had been her turn to be the leader, but the rest of the kids wouldn't let her go to the front of the line. So here she was stuck between Sally, the new girl, and Charlie, the loudest and toughest boy in the group.
"Hey, flat leaver, move it, the line is moving," Charlie was pushing her to go.
They were almost up to the gate and Terry still didn't know what they were doing. Then she saw one of the kids slide through the corner part of the iron gate. It looked easy. You slipped yourself through the little space and got into the inside of the gate where there was plenty of room for the whole gang. It was Sally's turn and Terry tried to watch, but Charlie kept poking her in the back to move and she had to turn around to tell him to stop. Again, no words came out of her mouth when she looked back at Charlie. But this time she managed to scrunch up her eyes and glare at him.
It was Terry's turn and she walked up to the corner of the gate. Almost all the kids were inside the gate except her and Charlie.
"Let's go already. " Charlie pushed her up to the gate. Terry could feel the scratchy metal on her fingers as she gripped the bars. How can I get through this little space? Terry thought in a panic.
Terry tried while everyone inside the gate yelled at her to get through.
She put her head through first and it just fit. Terry tried moving it a little more so she could get her body through too, but it wouldn't budge. She tried getting her head out of the gate, but nothing moved. Her head was stuck there.
"What's taking you so long, loser?" Charlie sounded angry and Terry was silent. The gang would never let her play with them again if she didn't do this and left.
The kids inside the gate continued to shout to her.
"Come on, you can do it. Just get your body in. You're almost there."
Terry wiggled her body as much as could, but she couldn't get through the bars. She was stuck. The iron bars were on both sides of her head and she could smell the bitter iron. Her stomach growled more. Her heart was pounding.
"No, I can't do it," Terry yelled to the crowd.
"You're just a big baby," Charlie mumbled to her and tried pushing her through to the other side.
"Leave me alone," Terry finally said to Charlie. Now that she was stuck in this gate, she wasn't as afraid of him. She had more important things to think about than Charlie.