Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nix's Uprising ~ One

Warning:  This scene contains content that some may find offensive. Please read with caution.

Phoenix Birmingham and his father whittled on their wood working project. An elephant, the trunk raised and one foot lifted as if in mid-step. Swiping a fine sheet of sanding paper over the walnut wood, Nix took pride in this piece. The first he’d ever accomplished with only instructions from his dad. It wasn’t perfect, but just spending time with his dad was his reward.

His dad stood just behind Nix, studying his art in silence and giving suggestions when needed. “You did good, son.” Daddy squeezed his shoulder and he beamed at the compliment. “Dinner should be ready soon. Let’s go clean up.”

“Let me finish this spot first.” He peeked at his dad over his shoulder. “Won’t take but a minute and then I’ll be up.”

Daddy left him in the make-do workshop…the garage. He realized he wasn’t a normal twelve-year old; he actually enjoyed spending time with his parents. Most of his friends thought their parents were lame. While their dads were working late hours to earn the big bucks, his dad taught him cool woodworking skills and took him on weekend fishing and hunting trips. That was more important than getting Nintendos and stupid stuff like that.

Mom sang at the top of her lungs really bad, but they’d made a game out of who could sing the worst. Sometimes the two of them had competitions in the car. He loved the way she smiled when they participated in them. She took him to see movies and baked him his favorite cookies once a week. Peanut Butter cookies. Mmm…his mouth watered at the thought of them. They were best straight out of the oven, all hot and gooey. No way would anyone ever out cook her.

He waited until his dad had been gone at least a minute before he tucked away the elephant and scrambled out of his chair. Fast walking to the far corner, he shifted a couple of boxes and flipped the lid back on a discarded rubber tote. Inside rested the precious gift he would give to his parents on their fifteenth wedding anniversary next month. In private he worked on it, sometimes by flashlight in his bed. It wasn’t as good as what his dad could do, but he thought they would be proud.

A bird, intended to be a phoenix, rising from flames. The fire was off. Really bad kind of off, but no matter how he whittled and scraped, he couldn’t get them right. One wing was bigger than the other. The eyes weren’t straight and the beak was a tad crooked, but Nix was proud of his creation. He took out a tool and scraped some lines through the breast feathers to give some added detail.

Footsteps shuffled outside the door. Nix scrambled out of his seat. The tool clattered on the floor as he bumped the table and spilled his Coke. The dark liquid splashed and hit his jeans.

“Crap!” he muttered, swiping at the cold wet stain against his crotch.

More footsteps and he spun about to face the door. He almost dropped the phoenix as he wedged it inside the waistband on the backside of his pants. Nix had to suck in his gut to secure it there, but he wouldn’t run the risk of ruining the surprise for either of his parents.

No one entered the garage after a few minutes of heavy breathing. And the expectant wait felt like ten minutes instead of two. Deciding it was best to exit before his secret wasn’t a secret any more he shut off the lights and left the garage. He fast-walked across the backyard and entered the house through the back door.

Mom hummed a soft tune in the kitchen as she worked on the meal. The sound of the back door must have alerted her to his presence because she called out. “Nix, dinner is ready.”

“I’m going to wash up, and then I’ll be down.” He took the stairs to his bedroom two at a time. Once there, he shut and locked the door. He slipped a cassette tape into his radio to muffle his movements. He cranked up the volume as the first chords for “Old Time Rock and Roll” pulsed in the room.

Toeing off his tennis shoes, he grabbed the phoenix as he shucked his jeans and kicked them into the corner. He attempted a Risky Business slide to his closet, hit the rug with his toe and flew head first toward the wall and bedside table. A hand to the sheetrock and a thigh into the table was all that saved him from hitting the floor. But the phoenix was unharmed.

Nix spun around and used the phoenix to mime, “Just take those old records off the shelf…”

His mother screamed. Nix bolted for his closet, dropping his carving on the floor as he dragged on a pair of pants.

Probably just a rat. Those pesky things terrified her. But…mice and bugs usually only warranted squeals, not screeches that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

Heart pounding so hard in his chest, the noise it made in his ears drowned out too much sound. Nix swiped his prized bat from the corner, tightened his grip and ran out of his room. Before he reached the stairs, his mom let lose a blood-curdling shriek. Hiding never crossed his mind as he raced down the stairs to save Momma.

© Gracen Miller 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Gracen Miller.


Jennifer S said...

OMG NOOOOOO don't stop.. keep going. I'm not done reading!!!!!!

Tich said...

And the teasers begins...sigh, waiting...I'm not good at waiting ;)

I love this!!!!!

Lupi said...

ooo.. it started soo nicely... a perfect family life with loving mother and father and the child Nix carving that nice present for his parents - I love him soo much:)
and then the end.. you will kill me with such a cliffhanger..
when can I read the next part?:)

Intoxicated by Books said...

OMG!!! Gracen you are such a tease!! LOVE IT!

kgrimes said...

Oh my... Holding my breath until the next one!!

Kristina's Books & More said...

Ahhhh! It was so good!!! I wants more!!! :D I will be patient though. ;)

Brea Essex said...

You just had to start there, didn't you? Love it! I can't wait to read the next one!

Misty said...

really Gracen you had to end it there didnt ya??????

ok well duh right....thats what makes you a kick ass writer!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andie said...

SWEET boy!!! Knowing what will be the end i wanna kill something NOW!!! Where's a demon when i need one to play with??

Crystal Trent Dotson said...

Love how it goes back into Pandoras Box about what happened to his family. Love it , cant wait for some more !! Your Awesome Gracen !!

Mindy fangedmom said...

I swear i have commented on this 2 other times and I come back to look and they are always gone! WTH...weird!

i love this post and it makes me want to cry. I feel SO MUCH for Nix in this. What it would be like to go through that as a kid! Tears my heart right out!

You do realize you could write this series FOREVER and we would still want more right???


Hazel said...

Oh wow! Poor Nix! Things aren't ever going to be the same when he reaches the bottom of those stairs. Great beginning to the Uprising tidbits. Can't wait to see what happens next!!!