TITLE: Skylar's Story
GENRE: Contemporary YA
My birthday unravels in Madison’s backyard.
The sun burns my eyes and grass tickles my back.
Madison twirls, showing off her gymnastic skills. She raises her arms and moves her hands outward, stretching her fingers, ripping apart the sky with her blue-taloned fingernails.
When she cartwheels, I catch sight of her lacy pink lingerie. I choke back a laugh. Madison doesn’t laugh at my obsession with top hats. Not laughing at her choice of underwear’s kinda obligatory.
Vertical again, she says, "Did you hear? Bollywood man tried to kill himself yesterday."
The words float in one ear and fly out the other, disappearing into the hazy summer air. I stand and move over to Madison’s trampoline. Beneath my feet the stretchy black material shifts like a stormy sea. I jump, the fabric bouncing me back up again. Bollywood man tried to commit suicide.
The news hits me. My feet lose their grip on the slippery black sea of the trampoline. I wind up bouncing on my butt. "Ravi did what?"
Madison narrows her eyes. "That was a slow reaction."
It was, but Bollywood man – Ravi, with his Indian movie-star looks – tried to commit suicide? The same guy who sat next to me in art class last year and never failed to bring me a paint brush?
"Are you in shock or something?"
"No," I say, but I swing my feet over the edge of the trampoline and kick them through the humid summer air. Way less turbulent than the trampoline. "What happened?"