Hi everyone! Today I'm happy to be participating in the blog tour excerpt reveal for
The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe!
All of us tour participants are giving readers a fun sneek peek into
The Tragic Age!
The Tragic Age!
By following these links, you can happily read your way through the first 50 pages of the book! Check it out:
Excerpt 1: Tuesday, February 3rd: KellyVision
Excerpt 2: Saturday, February 7th: Amaterasu Reads
Excerpt 3: Tuesday, February 10th: The Young Folks
Excerpt 4: Friday, February 13th: Unbound Books
Excerpt 5: Sunday, February 15th: Books and Whimsy
Excerpt 6: Thursday, February 19th: Stories & Sweeties
Excerpt 7: Monday, February 23rd: As I Turn the Pages
Excerpt 8: Saturday, February 28th: Novel Novice
And now, for the excerpt! :D
At the end of every day in front of good ol’ High School High, there’s always a line of vehicles clogging the street, waiting to pick up the younger kids who don’t have rides or are too lazy to walk. Most of these vehicles are pricey SUVs, and behind the wheel of each of them there’s usu- ally a distracted, impatient soccer mom while in the backseat are crying babies, barking dogs, pissed-off tod- dlers, and sullen middle schoolers.
There are over fifty thousand automobile fatalities in the United States every year.
Two hundred thousand died at Hiroshima. Conclusion.
A frazzled soccer mom in a five-thousand-pound sport utility vehicle is more dangerous than an atomic bomb. Really, they can get you anywhere, even in front of your own house. They can even be those who are closest to you.
I’m on my skateboard, at the end of the driveway, just coming home from school, when Mom almost takes me out with the Range Rover. The window is half open and she’s on her cell phone, fumbling with her Bluetooth. “Hold on, Jane. No, nothing’s wrong, I almost killed Billy.”
She rolls the window down all the way.
“Billy, the Taylors are out of town. Would you get their newspaper and mail and put it in the house?”
“If they’re gone, why are they getting a newspaper?” “Because they don’t want burglars to know that no-
“The paper was delivered this morning. It’s been sitting there all day. Won’t that tell burglars nobody’s home?”
“Sweetie, I’m late for my Pilates, will you just do it?” Mom holds out house keys and I take them. “Wait—here’s the security code.”
She hands me a slip of paper. “Thanks, hon. Oh, and feed the dog!”
And then she’s off, driving away like a maniac, on the phone again. Mom I would not want to play chicken with.
The Taylors live up and across from us. Their home is a series of one- and two-story bunkers that look like an architect came in and said, Why don’t we build a house that will take up the entire lot and have nothing in com- mon with anything else on the street.
The Taylors’ mail consists of a gas and electric bill, a couple of glossy catalogues, Fortune magazine, and some third-class trash. Their paper is the L.A. Times, which, like most newspapers, will soon be out of business.
The Taylors’ security code is 7606 which—the height of brilliance—is their address on the street. When I punch in the code a metallic voice pipes up.
The Taylors have gone off and left their miniature
Getty Museum open to the public.
I punch in the code again to turn off the alarm. I put the mail and paper down on the foyer table with the other mail and papers. It’s quiet. All you can hear is the barest whisper of the central air-conditioning. I look around. The Taylors’ house is all corners and hard surfaces and weird furniture and it’s about as hospitable as an airplane hangar. Just by looking at it you can tell everything cost a mint.
Something goes yarp and I jump. It’s the Taylors’ dog,
I’d forgotten about it. It’s a dachshund.
Point of reference.
Dachshunds were originally trained to hunt and kill badgers, which means that once upon a time they were ferocious little bastards.
This one is so happy to have a visitor, it flops over on its back and, tail wagging furiously, urinates on itself. It’s people who’ve done this to him. People do stuff like this to everything.
After I feed the Taylors’ dog some canned goop from a cupboard in the kitchen, I decide to do a little more exploring. On the freestanding, granite-topped ped- estal desk in the downstairs office I discover an unpaid American Express bill and an open box of Depends shields that offer to guard my manhood with man-style protec- tion. Mr. Taylor is not only in credit card debt up to his eyeballs, he wears male diapers.
In the downstairs bathroom I check out the medicine cabinet. Mrs. Taylor takes antidepressants.
In the hallway there’s a framed photo on the wall of Mr. Taylor holding a large, dead fish and another of Mrs. Taylor in a skimpy bikini. Both the fish and Mrs. Tay- lor’s breasts look fake.
And then in the master bedroom I open the top drawer of a bureau and I find a diary. It’s Mrs. Taylor’s diary and I sit down and I begin to read.
Mrs. Taylor is having an affair. She’s keeping the di- ary hoping Mr. Taylor will find it and ask about it. Only Mr. Taylor never asks about anything. Mrs. Taylor prays to God for help.
I close the diary, get up and go to the bureau to put it back. I have it exactly where it was in the drawer when my hand nudges something. I push aside the underwear that’s covering it. I look at it. I take it very carefully in my hand and I lift it out. It’s heavier and clumsier than I expect.
The etched letters on one side tell you it’s a Glock .357 automatic. The letters on the other side tell you it gives you “the confidence to live your life.”
It’s the most beautiful thing in the house.
Pretty great, right?? I love the distinct writing style! Now don't forget to click over to the next link tomorrow to read more!