For this year’s A to Z, I will be doing a collection of flash fiction featuring Steven, the MC from Blackbird, from right before he came to Newstead through his first year there.
D is for Deceived
Coach’s hand rests lightly on my shoulder as I stand in formation.
I stiffen. Seeing his face doesn’t help any.
“Come to my office after you’re done changing,” he says before continuing on his way.
I nod. I knew this day was coming. Hello foster care here I come.
Coach is sitting behind his desk when I walk in.
“Sit,” he says, and I sit down on the seat in front of his desk.
“The principle got a letter today,” he begins, “From a school in Vermont that’s interested in you.”
“In me?” That wasn’t what I was expecting at all.
He nods, watching me.
“Well that’s great. This solves everything.”
Coach’s eyes narrow. “Does it?”
“Of course it does, now I’ll have a place to live and CPS won’t ever need to know I’ve been living on my own for….”
I stop when I see his face. He doesn’t look happy with anything; not with the news, or my reaction. “You don’t want me to go, do you?”
Coach keeps his eyes fixed on mine.
That’s when it hits me, that maybe I’m not the only one he’s been taking care of. Like that time he told me not to tell people my mom took off, or when he set it up so I could stay at Jason’s while his mom was working nights and with Ron when she wasn’t. He told me how much the foster system sucked, how they’d take me away. But was that a lie, too? Another way to keep me around so I’d keep playing for him?
I stand up. “I think I’d like to see that letter for myself.”
I am giving out review copies of Blackbird through Story Cartel, in exchange for Amazon Reviews (And blog reviews would be great, too) before it’s official release date on May 1st. Just a note—this story is very dark, so read with caution. You can get your copy here Also, Story Cartel is doing a big giveaway of its own this month, so signing up for a review of any book featured there puts your name in that pot.
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