“Kaylee, time to go running!” Mom’s unwelcome suggestion floated through the crack of my bedroom door and around my computer desk, freezing all thoughts in mid-motion.
I glared at the gibberish on the computer screen resulting from interrupted thought stream. “Why?” I stalled, stretching and trying to make sense of the scrambled sentence.
Mom tapped on the room door and pushing it open without waiting for an answer. She stood awkwardly, laundry basket balanced on her hip, a feather duster in hand. “I mean it Kaylee, or else your cellphone will be chatting with your ipod.”
I winced at the reminder of my confiscated music player. “All right, I’m going…as soon as I finish this sentence.”
Mom shook her head, ponytail wagging for emphasis. “That was half an hour ago young lady, there is no more sitting in this room staring at a computer monitor-”
“Writing best-sellers?” I quipped. Mom frowned, but I was right. I was working on the last book in my trilogy.
Prayers and a bit of luck had found me a publisher and an agent willing to market the finished product of a 17-year-old. I squinted at the last sentence and giving up as Mom dusted my head with feathers.
“Even best-selling authors need their exercise.” She teased. “Your characters are pretty active.”
“Mo-om!” I dragged the word out, clicking save as the feather duster danced across my monitor. “Now I have to go. You made me lose my train of thought.” I pushed away from the desk, glancing out the window as Mom dumped my running outfit on the bed. “It’s windy out there.”
“Wear the gray hoodie with that pink panther on it.” Mom shifted the basket and squinted at my bookshelf.
I stepped back as she leaned over and ran the duster over the edge. “It doesn’t match.” I whined.
“It matches your sneakers.” She retorted, tapping my head with the duster again.
I ducked a moment too late, blowing a traitor feather from my forehead. “It’s pretty cold.” I tried again.
“Wear your hat and gloves.” Mom suggested.
“What if it rains? The weather report-”
“Called for perfect weather.” Mom shook her head. “If you think it’s going to rain, borrow the mini umbrella in the coat closet.”
“I’m hungry!” I mumbled through the hoodie, pulling it on and wriggling for it to settle.
“Eat a protein bar. Now out!” Mom ordered, she stabbed the air with the duster. I ran for the stairs.
Skidding to a stop in the kitchen, I nearly collided with Dad who grabbed my arm to steady me. “Whoa, and where’s the fire?”
“No fire.” I panted, reaching for the box of protein bars. “Just an insanely unpredictable feather duster.”
Dad’s eyes grew wide behind his glasses. “Where?”
“With mom.” I grabbed a pink wrapper.
“And you left her with it?” Dad started for the stairs as Mom appeared around the corner.
“Sneakers?” I asked around a mouthful of strawberry-vanilla.
“Hall closet, under your brother’s backpack.” Mom disappeared into the laundry room. “Bryan’s backpack.” She corrected. I trotted down the hall after her directions.
Dad caught up to me just as I stepped through the door. “Wait!” He called, handing me a little box. He waited while I opened it, a satisfied look at my exclamation of surprise.
“Aw Dad! You didn’t have to!” I threw my arms around his neck in thanks, pulling back to plug the new headphones into my digital voice recorder.
He grinned. “Have a good run.”
I rolled my eyes in response, but took the steps two at a time, heading for the sidewalk.
“Okay, recording now.” I pressed the button, settling into a light jog. “One morning, Melissa tells them about Dark Runner, an ordinary girl, who runs because she needs to in the name of freedom…”
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