Today’s snippet comes from a story I started earlier this year that I hope to finish sometime soon. The setup is a web designer takes his son to see a Pokemon movie and meets a guy who owns a comic book store.
Actually, that’s about as far as I’ve got with it, because I don’t plot out my stories before I write them. I do a little plotting as I go along, but mostly I create the characters and then let them run wild.
Since most readers tend to like my daddy stories, enjoy!
This opens with Rick (the father) and Micah (the son) getting in line for the new movie …
Dad’s Nerdy New Boyfriend, excerpt
Copyright © 2016 J.M. Snyder
“Dad!” Micah called, punctuating the word with a frantic wave.
“I’m coming,” Rick assured him. “I can’t just climb under the rope like you did.”
Micah frowned comically. “Why not?”
Deep breaths, Rick reminded himself. Somehow we’ll get through this. How long could the damn movie last, anyway?
When he reached the end of the line where his son waited, he tousled Micah’s hair. “Hey!” Micah tried to swat Rick’s hand away, but Rick had already pulled it out of reach. Jumping up and down, filled with nervous energy only an eight-year-old could have so early in the day, Micah peered around the people queued up in front of him and sighed dramatically. “How long do you think this will take?”
Rick shrugged and went back to checking the email on his phone. “Don’t worry. They won’t start the show before we get in.”
“I want to sit in the very front row!” Micah cried.
“Lower your voice,” Rick told him absently. “Nobody wants to listen to you while they’re waiting to buy their tickets.”
Micah tried to turn in mid-jump and staggered against the rope instead. “Dad, what if they sell out by the time we get up to the window?”
“They won’t,” Rick assured him. “Stop jumping. You’re going to fall and hurt yourself.”
“I’m not.” As if to prove it, Micah jumped and tried to spin again, only to stumble again. This time he landed on Rick’s foot.
Rick caught his son’s shoulder and gripped it, hard, until Micah looked up at him. “Then you’re going to hurt me. I said stop, or we can go back to the car right now. Do you want to see this movie or not?”
Micah’s lower lip trembled. “Sorry,” he mumbled, sounding anything but. Then he noticed Rick’s phone, and his whole face lit up. “Can I play a game on your phone?”
“I don’t …” Rick sighed. “Will you just give me two minutes, please? I’m checking my email, that’s it. As soon as I make sure there are no fires to put out, I’ll put it away, I promise.”
There came Micah’s frown again. “You make websites, Daddy. You’re not a fireman. Why would they email you if there’s a fire to put out?”
Obviously I’m not going to get any work done today. Why do I even bother trying? Rick closed his mail app and locked his screen. “There,” he said, pocketing the phone. “Done. No fires, no emails. I’m all yours. Why isn’t the line moving?”
Micah shrugged and stood on his tiptoes in an exaggerated attempt to peer around the people ahead of them. He teetered on his toes, holding onto the velvet rope for support, but when it swung out too far, he put his hand on the back of the guy in front of him.
The man turned. He was Rick’s age, late thirties, with a full head of dark hair that swirled in all directions in the worst case of bedhead Rick had seen on someone too old not to know how to use a comb. He had bright blue eyes behind a pair of round, dark-framed glasses that gave him a nerdy, Harry Potter look, and wore a navy peacoat and jeans.
Life after Hogwarts, Rick thought. “Sorry about that,” he said, pulling Micah back. “My son is a little eager to get the show on the road.”
The man smiled down at Micah. “Me, too,” he admitted, speaking directly to the boy. “Who’s your favorite Pokemon?”
In a shy voice so at odds with the loud boy Rick knew from a moment before, Micah admitted, “Pikachu.” The man nodded, as if he’d expected as much. Suddenly Micah added, “I also like the Legendary Birds. Articuno’s my favorite, but I like Zapdos and Moltres, too. If I was a trainer, those are the ones I’d want to catch most of all. But you can’t find anything with them on it, so I always say Pikachu because he’s on everything, and his tail reminds me a little of Zapdos since it’s shaped like lightning.”
Rick laughed, surprised to see his usually reticent son suddenly opening up to a complete stranger. “Wow, looks like someone’s found a new friend.”
The man gave Rick a smile that made those blue eyes sparkle behind his glasses in a very un-nerdy-like way. “I’m Marty,” he said, holding out a hand for Rick to shake. “Marty Owens.”
His grip was firm and sure, his palm cool. Rick found his initial assessment of the man improving. His smile was infectious, his glasses were hip … hell, even his disheveled hair looked cool, possibly a little sexy. Easy, tiger. He’s a guy like you, here with his kids to watch a stupid cartoon movie about made-up characters. Don’t start hitting on him. You know he’s straight.
Marty smiled down at Micah and, surprisingly, held out his hand again. “And you are?”
The shyness resurfaced. “Micah,” Rick’s son whispered.
“Micah,” Marty said. “Nice to meet you. And, for the record, my favorite Pokemon is Eevee.”
“What’s your favorite eeveelution?” Micah asked.
Marty rocked back on his heels and seemed to think a moment. “Hmm, tough one. They all have their merits. Umbreon looks cool, but I think Espeon has the best special attack.”
“What about from the original three?” Micah wanted to know. “Jolteon is cool.”
With a grin, Marty remarked, “You’re lightning through and through, aren’t you?”
Rick looked from man to boy and back again. “Why do I feel like you’re both suddenly speaking a foreign language I don’t understand?”
TO BE CONTINUED …