TITLE: UNDERNEATH THE MOON
GENRE: MG Contemporary
Summer vacation called kids to the edge of their seats. But I leaned back and stretched my legs, sliding low in my chair like a turtle ducking inside a shell.
“We’re free!” Maddie bolted from her desk the second the last bell rang. “C’mon, Brianna,” she squealed. “It’s summer!”
“Hold on,” I said, yanking the sticky zipper on my backpack.
My sneakers dragged as I packed pieces of fifth grade: broken crayons, old notebooks, a dried-up glue stick.
Maddie squeezed my shoulder. “We’re gonna have fun,” she said, her eyes pleading. “Hang out every day together, maybe even go to day camp.”
“Yeah,” I said, my palm hitting air as it half-slapped hers.
Maddie looked over at me a million times during our half-mile walk. “You know what we should do?” she said, her face suddenly brightening. “Stop at Dairy Whip and get one of those chocolate dipped cones. I’ve got five dollars.”
“Let’s go later,” I said, swallowing the taste of vanilla soft serve, already swirling inside my mouth. “Mama said I’m supposed to go straight home.”
Maddie’s lips tightened for a half-second before curling into a smile. “I really hope you can go to camp. We’re gonna swim in Memorial Pool and grill hot dogs on sticks.”
“Me too,” I said, my voice cracking along the edges. I stared at the almost-hole in my left shoe, my big toe wiggling under the frayed fabric.