Haven Shorts – Chapter 2 – Episode 5 – A Stranger Magic
Chapter 2 – Episode 5
Sam stood up slowly. He was still tired. He glanced up and caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.
Hello there, Mr. Average, he thought with a yawn and a stretch.
There was no other way to put it—he felt so ordinary. He wasn’t tall, he wasn’t short; he was just average size. His face was thin and his ears were small. He had a short nose and full lips, like his mother. He wasn’t sure what features he had of his father’s, but whatever they were he hoped they hadn’t shown up yet. Because if this was all there would ever be, Sam felt cheated. He stared at himself in disgust. His light blue eyes were probably the only feature that stood out whatsoever. They were an ice blue, just like his mother’s and sister’s. People commented on them all the time.
“Wow, your eyes are cool!” or, “Wicked eyes dude!” they said. Once a girl even told him, “You have the most amazing eyes!” which was kind of cool.
At least that’s what he thought she had said. Her name was Mary Bartlett and it was sixth grade during lunch. They were standing in line when she turned around and told him. Although, it was hard to tell exactly what she said, because she had half a roll in her mouth. But Sam was quite sure that’s what she said through the spray of bread crumbs.
Today was the last day of eighth grade and Sam would finish out the year looking like crap. He had circles under his eyes from lack of sleep, his normally olive-colored skin was unusually pale—like the living dead kind of pale—and he had the worst case of bed head. He had bed head every morning, but today it was particularly bad. He had large lumps on every side of his head making his short, straight hair look curly. It also made him look ten inches taller. It was like a bomb went off inside his hair.
Sam stood there slumped over with his oversized Garfield boxers and giant hair thinking to himself, Nothing like giving the ladies something to remember you by. The words “epic fail” came to mind.
Quickly, he straightened his back, puffed out his chest, and flexed his arms in the mirror.
“Welcome to the gun show!” he said as he tried to flex his skinny muscle-free arms. Sam was checking to see if by some sort of miracle his arms had sprouted muscles since the last time he had checked. They hadn’t.
Just then he heard a snort from the hallway.
“Oh yeah, well I want my money back!” Sarah said, letting out a giggle.
Sam whipped his head around so fast he thought it would spin off his body. The blood rushed to his face. Embarrassed and still in his underwear, he panicked.
“GET OUT!” he yelled.
Sarah did not move.
“You are so gross!” she continued, standing in the hallway and fully dressed. Sam was furious. He was about to go Ninja on her, he could feel it.
“Mom, Sam’s being gross again!” she yelled out. Then she gave him the irritatingly mischievous grin he hated so much.
Okay, that was it! Therapy was too expensive. But a good blow to the head was cheap! Sam reached for the closest object he could find, which was an empty video game case lying on the floor, and hurled it at her. The plastic case whirled through the air like a boomerang, finally striking the side of the door frame next to her.
Sarah didn’t move or flinch a single muscle. She watched unimpressed as the plastic case fell to the ground and looked back at her brother.
“And that’s why you don’t play baseball, loser!”
Sam thought his head was going to explode with rage.
“I … I …”
He was trying desperately to think of something hurtful, yet clever enough to leave his sister speechless, but all that came out was, “… think you’re stupid!”
Sarah rolled her eyes, folded her arms, and leaned into the frame of the door.
“You know, dork, you should never enter a battle of wits unarmed, just sayin’.”
Then she sighed while looking down at her nails, as if she were bored.
Sam clutched both of his fists, trying to control his temper.
“Look,” she said calmly, “I can see you’re a little overwhelmed right now trying to think and all, so I’m going to play nice and throw you bone.”
She blew on her nails and looked up at her brother.
“We have new neighbors. They moved in yesterday while you were with your girlfriend, Travis.”
Livid, Sam stared into her eyes. She hated Travis, despite the fact he had a crush on her, and for whatever reason, was always nice to her.
“So?” Sam said, becoming more frustrated by the moment. “So” and “stupid” were all he had in his arsenal of comebacks at the moment.
Sarah grinned, “Sooo, they have a daughter about your age.”
Why in the world would she be telling him this? She had never talked to him about girls before, and why was The Grin back?
“So, I don’t care!” he said abruptly, even though he knew he sounded like a child. There was a moment of silence between them, where the two of them just stared at one another—Sam with his big hair and bad boxers, and Sarah with that stupid grin on her face.
Sarah’s grin turned into a smile. “Well you should care, because she’s staring at you right now through her window! And guess what? You’re still wearing your boxers!”
At first, Sam wasn’t sure he had heard her right. Did she say she was staring at him? Like right now?
In that split-second Sam’s world went silent and everything closed in around him. He froze in place as the ill feeling of humiliation began to slowly creep its way in. His mind was confused again.
Please, he told himself, let her be lying to me just one last time!
Sam slowly turned to face his side bedroom window and glanced across the breezeway to the other house. There, staring back at him through the adjacent window was a very pretty girl. She had long black hair, magnificent green eyes, and she was dressed in a purple shirt with faded blue jeans.
Sam could feel the blood drain from his face. He wanted to duck, run, or do anything instead of just stand there, but it was too late for any of that.
He stared back like a complete idiot at this beautiful girl with his big hair, skinny body, and his stupid, giant, what-was-he-thinking Garfield boxers on.
There was another brief moment of silence until Sarah cleared her throat and stood up straight.
“Now that, my little minion, was priceless,” she said.
Still unable to move, Sam stared back at the girl, not knowing what to do. Then, as if nothing had ever happened, the girl smiled, reached for the blinds on the window and slid them shut.
Sarah turned, flinging her hair around her shoulders like she always did when she felt she had proven her point, and walked briskly down the hallway. It wasn’t long before he heard his mother’s voice again.
“Sam, don’t throw things at your sister, and get down here and eat your breakfast!”
Sam sat back down on his bed and put his face in his hands in utter defeat.
I hate my life.
**I will post one EPISODE each week, but there are 50 EPISODE, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just .99) the complete book and the rest of the HAVEN series (More Coming Soon) at Amazon.
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