\n\nWelcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at BookShelfery. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story. Are you an author that would like to be featured in Indie Author Excerpts? If so, check out this page and fill out the form.\n\n \n\n[indie-author-excerpt]\n\nLoren and Tracie reached the yard with the flopping clothes and stood quietly, watching the shirts and pants swaying in rhythm with the warm breeze.\n”I don’t know,” Tracie said. “It still seems kinda quiet here. If there was a bunch of people around, we’d hear something, wouldn’t we?”\nLoren lowered herself to the ground, leaned against a bush, and gazed at the back of the two-story yellow shingled house. “Do you see any lights on inside?”\n”No,” Tracie said as she sat beside her friend. “But it’s daytime and the sun is shining so that doesn’t mean anything. This whole trip was your idea so what do you want to do next—peek in the window again?”\n”Maybe.” Loren slapped the pebbly grass with her left hand. “Damn! I thought for sure we’d just find some people who live here and talk to them outside. I don’t want to tiptoe around and have that sheriff come back.”\n”Yeah. Well, I told you this wouldn’t be as easy as you said. Maybe no one’s living in this place either. Maybe they don’t use any of these houses anymore.”\n”Then how do you explain the laundry?” Loren asked.\n”Maybe they just use this house to wash their clothes.”\n”For a whole bunch of people? That’s not enough clo…”\n”Hello.”\nLoren stopped talking in mid-sentence at the unexpected greeting, which came from behind the bush.\nThe two girls turned and faced a boy, who looked like he was eleven- or twelve-years-old. His blond hair was cropped in a short crew cut and he wore a black oversized tee shirt that said “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and a pair of men’s brown shorts so baggy that they would have fallen down if he hadn’t been wearing a belt.\nThe boy stared at Loren and Tracie, but didn’t speak.\n”Hi,” Tracie finally said, smiling. “I’m Tracie and this is my friend, Loren. What’s your name?”\nThe boy looked puzzled and kept staring at the girls.\n”It’s okay,” Tracie continued, speaking slowly and quietly. “You can talk to us. We won’t bite you.” She smiled again.\n”Why would you bite me?” the boy asked, pausing between each of the five words. “People do not bite,” he added in his strange staccato-like speech pattern.\n”I was just trying to make a joke,” Tracie explained.\n”What is a ‘joke’?” the boy asked.\nTracie looked at Loren, who shrugged. “Well, a joke is something that’s funny—something that makes you laugh.”\n”Oh, a laugh, like from a smile. I can do that.” The boy made a wide grin.\n”That’s right,” Tracie said. “Very good. So we told you our names. What’s your name?”\n”I am called Boy 11.”\n”Yes,” Loren said. “But what’s your real name?”\nThe boy looked at her unhappily. “I do not understand. I am Boy 11.”\nTracie grasped Loren’s hand, holding it tightly. “That’s fine, Boy 11. Do you live here?” She pointed to the house behind the laundry line.\n”That is the school,” he said.\n”Oh,” Tracie said. “You go to school with teachers and other children?”\nBoy 11 nodded. “Teacher.”\n”It sounds like fun,” Tracie said, smiling again.\n”We do not laugh in school,” the boy said, frowning at her.\nTracie waited a moment before continuing. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you, but we’d like to meet some of your family.”\nBoy 11 continued to frown.\n”Do you have a family?” Tracie asked quietly.\nBoy 11 sat across from the two girls and lowered his head. “I found books in a big box on floor one,” he said in his choppy speech. “I took three books to read and I learned about ‘family.’ There was mother, father, sister, brother.”\n”Oh,” Tracie said. “You don’t live like the people in the book?”\nThe boy shook his head. “I live with Boy 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12.”\n”What about Boy 1, 2 and 3?” Tracie asked.\nThe boy shrugged.\n”Maybe they’re little,” Loren suggested.\n”Yeah,” Tracie agreed. “But Boy 9 must be bigger. What about him?”\n”I do not know,” Boy 11 said in his slow clipped speech, looking sadly at Tracie. “Boy 9 is gone.”\n”You don’t know where he went?” Loren asked.\n”No.” The boy looked as if he was going to cry.\nTracie quickly changed the subject. “So where do you and the other boys sleep?” she asked.\n”In a house.”\n”Yes. But where is the house?”\n”I do not know. A man takes us there after school.”\n”Why aren’t you in school today, Boy 11?”\nThe boy tilted his head downward again. “I like to walk outside so I leave.”\n”And the teacher just lets you go?” Loren asked.\nBoy 11 shrugged.\nThey remained quiet until Tracie continued the questioning. “Doesn’t the teacher notice you aren’t there?”\n”I do not know,” the boy said, his head still lowered.\n”Wish I could’ve done that in school,” Loren muttered.\nTracie elbowed her friend softly in the ribs. “When do you go back inside?” she asked.\n”When the sun moves down,” he said, raising his head and glancing at the sky.\n”Does the teacher say anything when you walk back into the room?”\nBoy 11 shook his head.\n”Okay, then,” Tracie said. “Who else is in the school with you?”\n”Boy 4, Boy 5, Boy 6, Boy…”\n”All the boys you live with that you mentioned before,” Loren said, interrupting him.\n”Yes.”\n”What about girls?” Tracie asked. “Are they in your school too?”\n”No.”\n”Where do the girls go to school?”\n”I do not know,” he said, shrugging.\n”Wow,” Loren murmured and Tracie poked her in the ribs again.\n”Is there anyone else in your school?” Tracie asked.\n”Woman 28.”\n”And what does she do?” Tracie continued.\n”She makes the food, cleans the rooms, and washes the clothes.” Boy 11 nodded toward the swaying laundry.\n”Sounds like Cinderella,” Loren muttered.\nBoy 11 stood up abruptly. “I must go into the school now,” he said, looking at the girls. “Do you have a story book?”\nTracie shook her head. “I’m sorry, Boy 11. We don’t have any books with us. But we can come back tomorrow afternoon and bring you a book. What would you like to read about?”\n”A family—a family with a mother and father and children.”\n”Sure.” Tracie smiled. “We’ll find a good book for you, Oh, and please don’t tell the teacher you talked to us.”\nLooking confused, Boy 11 stared at Tracie. “I do not talk to Teacher.”\n”That’s fine then,” she said, smiling again. “We’ll see you tomorrow, Boy 11.”\n”Goodbye,” he said. Then he turned and ran to the house.\n\n \n\n\n
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