TITLE: Desperately Seeking Normal
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
After sixteen years of yearning to escape her tiny trailer and maniacal mother, Thomas Miranda gets her wish.
“Thomas Miranda Little, did you steal my cigarettes again?” my mother squawks like a hungry pterodactyl.
A sixteen-year-old girl.
My mother found it a fantastic idea to name me after her father. When I complain she says, “Just be glad your sperm donor and I split before you were born, or you could've been a Eugene.” But Eugene is my favorite. Unlike Grandpa Thomas he doesn’t enjoy whiskey with his breakfast, and he sends a birthday card on the 18th of every month, just in case - he nails it in July.
I am Miranda to my friends and Randi to my mother when she is not in breakdown mode from quitting smoking, which happens twice a month.
Three years ago my school signed me up for freshman football because they thought I was Thomas Lawry. I got flyers in the mail with suggestions on what size sport cup to buy.
They say a soul chooses its family. I challenge whoever came up with that theory to live for a week in a 500-square foot trailer in small town Ohio with one absent parent and one who creates dead bug jewelry for a living. Every day I dream of teleporting to a magical land with dragons and fairies and hot sword fighting men on shiny horses, or at least a normal family with a mother who doesn’t enjoy singing old Doors songs with her unemployed hippie friends at two in the morning on a Wednesday, surrounded by cockroach carcasses.
Or preferably no parents at all. I’ve basically raised myself, anyhow.
I shuffle out of my room and step into a scene from a disaster film as it seems my mother has tornado'd through the entire trailer searching for the cigarettes she hid from herself three days ago.
With a sigh I turn around, lifting the lid of my music box with the one-legged ballerina - a gift from my father before she drove him out of our lives.
“Looking for these?” I dangle the little red carton.