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Today, I’m trying something a bit different for Writers on Wednesday.  I was recently approached by a young author, and he asked if he could send me the start of his WIP to be posted on the blog for feedback.

Of course, I said yes!  So, without further ado, here’s the inaugural Writers on Wednesday: First Pages post!

About the Author:

My name is Jake Deyton, and here are the first 350 words of my novel in progress. I welcome any advice or suggestions, and would specifically like to know if the first chunk of my manuscript spikes your interest enough to continue. I am grateful to each of you for taking time to read my work and offer feedback.

And now, onto the pages!  Please leave your feedback in the comments of this post.

Chapter 1

Nightmares

I hated breakfast. It was the one time of day I couldn’t avoid my foster family. I picked at my food, keeping my eyes down as Mrs. Watson scurried back and forth through the kitchen. Her gaze flitted around the compact room, taking care to avoid the table where I nursed my bowl of flavorless oatmeal. Her husband sat across from me, scanning the morning’s paper with a glazed expression. What a difference a couple of weeks made. The smiles from our first meeting had been replaced by averted eyes and grim silence. The harsh scrape of my spoon provided the room’s only sound.

I cleared the hoarseness in my voice. “I’m going to school.”

“It doesn’t start for another hour,” Mrs. Watson said. “Why don’t you try to get some rest?” My breathing became shallow. I was exhausted, but rest was the last thing I needed. Nothing was worth risking another dream.

“I think I’ll just go.”

I stood and retrieved my sagging backpack. I’d nearly made it to the door before Mrs. Watson’s soft voice sounded again. She finally turned to face me.

“Mitchell. . .I could make a call about your problem. George and I could take you somewhere if you like.”

I took a deep breath. “I’m fine.” None of this was her fault.

“We just want to help you. Listen, I know a really good psychiatrist in the city and I’m sure she’d be more than willing to talk to—”

“I don’t need a shrink,” I said, raising my voice.

“I’m not saying you do.” She placed a tentative hand on my shoulder. “We just want to help you. Episodes like that can’t be healthy. They can’t be normal.”

“I’m going to school,” I repeated through clenched teeth, shaking her hand off me. I took a deep breath and left the apartment, fighting my urge to slam the door.

I immediately felt guilty as I moved toward the elevators. The Watsons had been kind to me and were still trying to make it work, even if they thought I was a sociopath.

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