TITLE: Game Changer
GENRE: Contemporary YA
“Hey, Emerson—you’n them boys are gonna take the championship this year, right?”
Milton’s oldest and everywhere, Harold Z. Barnes, spit on the ground and pointed a dripping pump nozzle at me from across the gas station.
“Or die trying—yes sir.” I smiled and squinted through the bead of sweat that squirmed from my eyebrow and dropped to the front of my t-shirt, while I waited for the gas pump to tick and squeal its way toward a twenty dollar bill.
“Atta boy! We’re countin’ on you.” Mr. Barnes never missed my games and always showed with his face painted in Grover’s colors—half maroon, half orange—and my number in white on each cheek.
“I know you are, sir. I’ll be throwing for you this season.”
He turned to the man at the next island, “That boy’s somethin’ else. Sure is. Best damn quarterback Grover’s ever seen. They call him ‘da Bomb’ because of that arm he’s got.” The man at the island
smiled and nodded, polite and pretending it was all new information, until Mr. Barnes twisted back toward me. “Hey, your brother still working at your daddy’s shop?”
“Yes, sir. We’re both there for the rest of the summer.”
“Good. Gotta stop in, have him look at my clutch.”
“I could take a look at it for you. Just bring it in. I’ll be there until six today.”
“No offense, Adam. You got the magic on the field, but that little brother-uh yours got it in the shop.”