#Excerpt SKETCH, by Didi Oviatt #NextChapterPub #5star #kindleunlimited

Michael wakes to the sound of drumming fingers on the wooden table next to his uncomfortable bunk. He rubs the sleep from his eyes and looks up to see his older brother John’s face an inch from his, wide-eyed and impatient. John is one year older than Michael to the date. They both have shaggy black hair, a few freckles, and big green eyes. The only difference in appearance, is that John is a few inches shorter, not nearly as muscular, and the gap between his front teeth is very noticeably larger. You’d never tell that Michael’s the younger of the two. He’s bigger, tougher, and meaner in every way. They’re as close as twins, and look the part.

They share a cramped bedroom in a wooden shack of a home, in the middle of nowhere. Their sleepy farming town in central Montana isn’t even big enough to make it on a map… any map. Being deep into a depression, there’s no money to spare to fix the leaky roof, or busted windows. The walls are cracked, and floors are creaky. 

“Michael, get your lazy butt out of bed.” 

Michael peaks out of the corner of his sleepy eyes, trying to process wakefulness. John has been sitting up next to him for a half an hour. He’s been waiting for Michael to bounce to life, not daring to actually shake him awake, or yell. The last time John tried that, he got a fist to the face and had a black eye for a week. So instead, he’s been sitting as close as he can get without actually touching his loudly snoring brother, just waiting.

“Jeez, it took you long enough. I’ve been waiting for hours.” John lies.

Michael and John have been waiting on this day for over a month. Their best friend Steven spends the summer with his dad every year. Now that they’re 16 and 17, practically all grown up, this will be the last summer they’ll be able to spend with Steven for who knows how long. Times have been tough, and nothing seems to be lining up for improvement in the foreseeable future. The odds of Steven ever coming back to this place after the summer is slim.

Steven’s father is one of the lucky men in the area who’ve actually been able to keep a job. He’s a cashier at the one and only grocery/convenience store for miles. They sell everything from guns, to gas, to bread. It’s a small store, but it has every essential any passer through may need for survival.

Not many people in town have the money for food. For the most part, they poach small game, and find their own way of living. But, the area does seem to get a lot of drifters. There’s a small room that’s rented out in the back of the store. Steven’s father has been the keeper of the place since the boys can remember.

Michael slowly sits up, stretching his arms as far as they can go in the lack of space their bedroom allows.

“Hold your horses, John. God, you can be such a butt-hole sometimes.”

Michael doesn’t handle being woken up very well. He isn’t a morning person, and his short temper is at an all-time high within the first hour that he rolls to his feet. There’s been a mean streak in Michael’s blood since he was knee high to his mommy, pulling on her apron for attention. He’s been known as the fighter of his class every year since the first year he went to school. Resorting to fists has been his favorite thing to do since he can remember. Over the years, he’s progressed into quite the scrappy teen.

DESCRIPTION:

When local girl Misty is found dead in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times are tough, but the spaced-out farmer community pulls together as one, trying to uncover who’s guilty.

Thrown smack in the middle of the chaos is a group of teens: local troublemakers, but with good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort.

Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death?

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