One more significant excerpt from the first part of the book, and then in the next blog post I will begin revealing the characters from the middle portion of the book, (where Jamie is placed in a group home).
The bitter November wind had turned Jamie's face red, and left it chapped. His fingertips were numb from the cold. He fumbled with the pull tab as he zipped his jacket up tight around his neck. A dusting of snow covered the road and the cars and the dead lawns and the roofs of the houses. A week after his day in court, he still couldn't get used to spending his afternoons alone.
He rounded the corner and ambled down his street. He took the stick he had picked up and dragged it on the chain link fence that bordered the Johnson's yard. The vibrations caused the snow that had accumulated on the metal netting of the fence to break free and fall softly to the ground. The rattling noise interrupted the oppressive silence he couldn't escape. In times past, he could count on Shane's endless ramblings to chase away the quiet, but his friend had gotten sent to Juvenile Detention where he would be for the next six months. Since the car theft was his first offense, Jamie got off with probation. Shane wasn't so lucky. The fact that he was the mastermind of their little caper, as well as the fact that he already had a record ensured that he would see the inside of a youth prison.
Jamie had no tangible reason to be anxious and yet he couldn't settle his mind. He just wanted to get in out of the cold and turn the TV on. The empty noise of the electronic box had always served to distract him from the troubles in his mind and heart. Just a few more houses and I'll be home. His face no longer stung from the chilly air; it was now numb. He focused intently on the street underneath him and the chain link fence that lined the yard he was passing.
Out of nowhere the Johnson's pit bull lunged onto the fence and barked ferociously. Jamie jumped backwards and put his hand on his heart. “Diablo, you scared the crap out of me, boy!” Jamie reached his hand over the fence and scratched Diablo's head. “You're lucky. You have all that hair to keep you warm.” Diablo wagged his tail and smiled with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth as he stood with his front paws on the top rail of the fence. “See you later, boy.”
Jamie kicked a small rock down the edge of the street. It rolled through the snow and came to a stop a few feet away. He approached the rock and shuffled his feet to kick it again with his right foot. He missed the rock and stumbled as his foot slid over the top of the stone. Something had distracted him. Something in the corner of his eye. Something in his driveway, which was the next one down the street. It was a motorcycle, parked crookedly at the end of the driveway near the path to the front porch. A beautiful, lean machine of shiny chrome and cobalt blue paint.
Randy was back.