TITLE: Jack and Jill and the Methuselah Parrot
GENRE:MG Urban Fantasy
Jack Green pushed open the pet store door, not intending to become a thief. It was the parrot’s fault.
The bell above the door jingled and Jack darted his eyes to the checkout counter. Digger stood there, talking to a customer. Bald, in his sixties, Digger looked like a piece of wrinkled leather fitted into an old black suit with a deep red shirt. He wore no tie. When the customer left, Digger rubbed one of his gold engraved rings—he had nine in all, only one pinky missing one—and stared at Jack with glittering eyes. His gaze sent a tingle of panic down Jack’s spine, so Jack lowered his head and hurried toward an aisle.
He’d have to make the visit short, before Digger kicked him out. He never had money. Digger knew that, because Jack wore beat-up sneakers, worn jeans, and a dumpy yellow windbreaker that was too big. And Jack never bought anything.
But today, when school had ended for summer, Jack felt something gnawing at the edge of his thoughts, something that made his lips tremble. Something dark and unwanted lurked beyond a wall in his mind, waiting to invade his thoughts, but he wouldn’t let it. He wasn’t sure what it was, or where it came from, but the effort to keep the darkness out, to keep the wall strong, always brought a cloud of sadness over his heart.
So instead of going home, Jack rode his bike to the Endless PetStore.