“Bill called it ‘collecting’ but to Jerry it was something more magical…” An excerpt from In Jerry’s Corner

The release of my latest novel In Jerry’s Corner is getting closer! Just yesterday, I received my copies from the publisher. I think every author does a picture like this with their new book. Who am I to break a tradition?

Yeah, I’m super happy with it. (And I hope you will be too.)

Below I am sharing for the first time an excerpt from “Ten” of In Jerry’s Corner. At this point in the story, Jerry is ten and he has an invisible friend named Bill. Bill is green and dressed like a superhero…

You can preorder a copy a copy of In Jerry’s Corner on Amazon today.

I hope you enjoy this snippet from my new book.

An Excerpt from “Ten”

When Jerry opened his eyes, Bill was over him, his face a little too close to Jerry’s. Good morning. How about we go to the library today?

Jerry rolled away from Bill. “I still have a pile of books to read from our last visit.”

I would like to visit a new library, Bill said.

Jerry moaned, “Super Bill…”

It is necessary for my research. Bill waved his hands and one of the pencils on Jerry’s desk rose in the air, along with a small notepad. They both landed in front of Jerry on the bed. Take note, Bill said.

Fifteen minutes later, Jerry was downstairs. His mom was in the kitchen making pancakes. He knew where his father was, they both did. After drinking he snored like a beast, and they knew all the problems that would occur if he was to wake before he was ready. It always reminded Jerry of the stories about waking a sleeping bear. His father was the bear and he and his mother were stuck in the cave with him.

Even though Jerry knew the routine, his mom felt she still had to say something. “Dad just needs to sleep, so let’s try to be quiet. Pancakes?”

Jerry nodded, and his mom brought him a plateful at the table. She kissed the top of his head. “Maybe we should get out of the house so he can sleep in peace? What do you think?”

Jerry looked to Bill in his corner and sighed. “Maybe we can go to a library?”

“We just went last weekend.”

“Yeah, but I want to go to one we haven’t been to before.”

His mom whispered, but there was a hint of humor in her voice. “I think we’ve been to all of them in the area, Jerry.”

Jerry pulled a piece of paper out of his back pocket. “I wrote down the address.”

His mom took the piece of paper, a little surprised and impressed at the same time.

“There are directions too. It opens at 10.”

***

“Mom, I don’t want to do baseball anymore.” Jerry said, while looking out the car window.

“You just had a bad game, Jerry.”

“I’ve had three years of bad games, mom.”

“Sports teach a lot of things. Teamwork, fair play… It’s good you stay in, alright?” Jerry’s mom looked down at the directions from Jerry and made a turn.

“It’s just not fun for me. It’s boring.”

Jerry’s mom gave a small smile. “It can be a little boring, yes.”

Jerry looked at his mom in the driver’s seat. “Plus, the other kids care so much more than me. Dad cares so much more than me. They all do. I don’t think any of them wants me there.”

“I’m pretty sure your dad would be disappointed if you did quit.”

“Can we at least talk about it?” He was pleading now.

She sighed. “He’s the assistant coach, Jerry. He needs to be there. It would be odd for him to be there without you being there too.”

Jerry couldn’t stop himself. It was like everything he had wanted to say for years was coming out all at once. “But he signed me up, I didn’t ask to play.  Sometimes I think dad loves that stupid game more than me.”

His mom took a quick glance at him. “You know that’s not true.”

Jerry turned back to looking out the window and saw Bill standing on the corner. Noticing Jerry’s gaze, Bill pointed in the direction they needed to go. Jerry stuck his tongue out at him.

As the car moved forward, Jerry’s mom said, “It’s only a few more weeks. Let’s just get through the next few games and talk about it afterwards, okay?”

***

Bill called it “collecting” but to Jerry it was something more magical. It was as if, for a second, all of the characters in all of the stories in the library came alive and breathed one great breath together.

The collecting would begin with Bill moving quickly to the center of the building. He would then raise his long arms much like a pastor welcoming parishioners into a church. Every word had a home with him, every single one. He was calling them all to him.

Then, like a stream of wind, there would be a rustle through each book. No matter the shelf, none would be missed. Each page in the building would feel that breeze. If a person was sitting at a table reading, he would have to grab his book in that second, to keep from losing the page. A few librarians would look around quickly, wondering if a window had been opened.

And then it was done. Each collecting would be the same, and it never lasted more than a second. Jerry liked to call it the breath of literature.

“Did you read them all again?” Jerry whispered to Bill. His mother was already browsing through the movies.

I have collected the information, yes.

“I’d like a few books on drawing comic books. Which books would you recommend I check out?”

I will show you.

You can learn more about my new book on this page- https://sdsouthard.com/in-jerrys-corner/.  Grab a copy of the book today.

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