Hello, and welcome back to the 2017 Chapter One Events Mentorship Program Blog Tour! (Not sure what’s going on? You can read the post that kicked off the blog tour here.)
Today we have the honor of sharing an excerpt from one of the short stories published in this year’s mentorship program anthology, This Is the End. The anthology features a mixture of short stories written by both the young writers we mentored and the Ch1Events mentors ourselves. This particular story comes from Ch1Con team member Brett Jonas and is titled “Deal Breaker.”
Besides being the Chief Creative Consultant for the Chapter One Young Writers Conference, Brett Jonas is a professional fangirl who has been writing YA novels since she was fifteen. After being homeschooled her whole life, she’s now taking classes at the local community college and working in her family’s business, Goat Milk Stuff, with her seven younger siblings. When she’s not writing, reading, working, or doing homework, you can find her wasting time on Twitter, where she loves making friends and using too many exclamation points.
You can find Brett online at: Twitter / Instagram / Website
Although This Is the End might look all doom and gloom, we had fun experimenting with the theme of “endings,” and Brett’s story is one of the lighter ones. We hope you love it as much as we do.
And now, without further ado: an excerpt from “Deal Breaker”!
His hand tightens around mine and he says, “Rachel, I think this might be the end.”
I don’t answer for a minute, taking a deep breath, my heart racing. The squeaky booth seat complains as I shift before asking, “What do you mean?”
Keegan doesn’t respond right away, so I bring my coffee to my lips and breathe in the smell of pumpkin spice. He always made fun of me for the pumpkin spice… Was that what pushed him over the edge? Was I too boring, too normal, too stereotypical-white-girl for him?
“Well, let’s be real. You’re pretty amazing.”
“If you say so.”
He grins. “I do.”
I untangle my hand from his and grip my mug with both hands. If I’m so amazing, why is he breaking up with me? I can feel tears forming behind my eyes and take a deep breath to stop them. I breathe in the smell of my coffee, and let out as much of the tension as I can.
“And let’s be real, I’m kind of a jerk like, ninety-nine percent of the time.”
I try to laugh in a way that doesn’t sound completely fake. “Especially when you’re tickling me, or holding me hostage, or refusing to kiss me because I didn’t notice your eighth of an inch haircut.” Or, you know, breaking up with me.
He gasps in mock horror. “I was really offended.”
My mouth turns up into a grin, but it’s halfhearted. Can he tell, or is he oblivious? “Oh, I’m sure you were.”
“See, you have such unrealistic expectations.” He rolls his eyes. “I’m supposed to notice if you do anything slightly different with your hair, but you can’t be expected to notice anything when I do.” He sticks his tongue out for a brief moment, and the corner of his mouth turns up in a grin.
I need to keep him joking. If we’re having fun, maybe he’ll forget about breaking up with me? “I mean, most of my haircuts are more like two inches, not an eighth of an inch.”
Keegan reaches across the table and takes a lock of my hair, twirling it around his finger. He always did like playing with my hair. “I distinctly remember a trim recently that I was supposed to notice.”
Want to know how “Deal Breaker” ends? You can read the rest of it–and all of the anthology stories–in This Is the End, available now!
And make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for more excerpts, as well as interviews, giveaways, and more!
- Wednesday, November 22: Excerpt from Brett Jonas’s story on www.chapter21conference.org
- Thursday, November 23: We’ll be taking the day off of blog posting from Thanksgiving, but keep an eye on the @Ch1Con Twitter account for special, thankful surprise brought to you by the anthology authors!
- Friday, November 24: Excerpt from Joey Brandt’s Story on www.kissednkilled.tumblr.com
- Saturday, November 25: Excerpt from Emma Rose Ryan’s story on www.ch1con.tumblr.com
- Sunday, November 26: How To Write A Killer Ending: A Discussion Between Christel Thompson and Emma Ryan www.adoxograp-hy.tumblr.com
- Monday, November 27: Interview with Mentees on www.wordwanderful.blogspot.com
- Tuesday, November 28: Interview with Mentors on www.avajae.blogspot.com
- Wednesday, November 29: Giveaway of one paperback copy of This Is The End on www.chapteroneconference.org
– The Ch21Con Team