As we all continue to do our part during this pandemic to ‘stay home,’ here’s some recent Middle Grade chapters I’m working on to help pass the time. I’ll post as they come to me.
Title: HEXAGON 1NE
Plot: Flying hover cycles. Fiery mecha bots. BFs. After earth ends and re-population begins, two cKlone tweens get trapped outside of their safety pod hexagon by a fertility doctor who is out to snatch their souls.
Hexagon 1NE. In the sometime future, after Earth ends and re-population begins … the pods that survive become known as Hexagons.
“C’mon,” said Arik to himself, the older cKlone boy by a few minutes. He checked the time on his wristband while waiting at an empty street corner.
The simulated sun reflected light through curvy, glass towers. Despite many digital signs and flashing retail “OPEN” signs, the streets were crowd thin.
Arik’s worries were interrupted by an approaching noise.
“Gotcha!” Flash Nelson, another cKlone, snuck up from behind on a levitating hoverboard. His ocean brown eyes were wide. “Did you bring the stuff, brother?”
“Dude, where you been?” Arik nudged his glasses, irritated. “I gotta give the sisters their sugar pills by five. You know that … brother.”
Friendly banter was the norm. But the boys Arik and Flash were not related at all. True, these cKlones shared the same creation date. They lived on the same street. And they even shared the same nursery in the same medical facility.
However, they were simply neighbors (like right next-door neighbors) and pals for the last twelve years. That’s what made them an ideal match for the Neighborly Orderly Watch (the NOW).
“It’s our final exam.” Arik noticed his heart rate was increasing. He tightened his grip on his shouldered tote pack. Loose items clanked inside.
“The Ready Assessment Trials tests our mental aptitude versus physical aptitude.”
Flash stared blank. “In English?”
“They assess our thinking.”
Flash shrugged it off, not worried at all.
Arik stood much shorter than Flash. In fact, for cKlones, they looked nothing alike. Longed haired Arik, buzzed hair Flash. Light skin Arik, not so light skin Flash. And although his CGP (Child Growth Percentile) was less than average, Arik’s unrivalled grades in math and science led him to believe that smarts could always beat brawn in any contest––except for maybe arm wrestling or spitting.
“Relax. This won’t take long. But really, check this out.” Flash spit straight toward the simulated sky while balancing himself on his hoverboard. With his eyes closed he waited for it. At the last second, he juked his board aside so the loogie missed. “Tah-dah! I don’t even have E-S-P either.”
“Impressive, Flash.” Arik adjusted the cap on his dark wavy hair. He squinted, checking his wristband. “It’s time.”
“You see, it’s all in how you pucker your lips. That’s the secret.” Flash shot a big toothy grin. Instead of the usual way a smile glides upward, his teeth appeared all at once … POW! That’s why everyone called him Flash.
“Repeat after me …” Flash motioned with his six-fingered hand, a flaw in his cKlone design. He continued in a soothing voice, “This … won’t … take … long. Okay? So relax your breath, will ya’? You got everything?”
Arik nodded correct. As he tinkered with his pack, things clinked inside.
He reviewed his list:
✔ 2 masks
✔ 2 pair of gloves
✔ 1 rope
✔ 1 duct tape
✔ 1 smart-pod
✔ 2 stainless steel canisters
✔ 1 multi-use lubricant
✔ 1 utility knife
✔ A mega-sized bag of chips
“Really?” Flash raised a curious eyebrow. “It’s our final, the Ready Assessment Trials, and you brought chips?”
“What …” Arik crunched the bag in his pack. “I eat when I’m nervous.”
Arik thought about their last Neighborly Orderly Watch assignment. That one turned out to be a mad dash sprint from two bloodhounds. But the swiped medical sugar they could’ve earned outweighed the risks. Sometimes Arik tagged along for money, while others, only his sisters’ health situation mattered. They needed sugar. And big brother Arik was to provide for his siblings. That was his role while his mother worked double at the farm.
The twins’ health meters were all that mattered.
Sugar was what his sisters needed.
Sugar, that’s why the NOW sent Arik and Flash on a watch.
>>Stay Tuned for the next chapter 02