This is the opening scene of the as-yet-untitled new story I’ve been working on :) I’m actually having some trouble deciding on a title because I don’t want it to sound like a kid’s book — teddy bears are a big part of it — and the title I’d latched onto originally was taken not too long ago by a LGBT YA book. But there’s plenty of time for titles ;)
Anyway, this is the story of Wells Granger, a man who’s recently getting his life going where he wants it to, and the very bad problem lurking under the beds of everyone in his new apartment building. Oh, and the sexy elf who, with Wells’ help, will save them all ;)
“Hi! I’m Wells. I just moved into—”
When his neighbor slammed his door, Wells lost his smile and swallowed hard. Pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, he looked left and right down the hall. No one else was around to see his latest humiliating attempt to meet the other people living on the second floor of his new apartment building.
All day long he’d been unloading his Silverado and hauling second-hand furniture and a billion cardboard boxes. All day long he’d seen people coming and going…with scowls on their faces.
At first, he’d felt like he shouldn’t interrupt. Whenever his father looked like that, no one bothered him for fear of becoming a target for whatever had upset him.
But Wells was twenty-six, moving into his first solo apartment, and life was finally getting good, damn it. He was happy and he was damn well going to let that show. He deserved to smile and bounce a little. Why shouldn’t he greet his neighbors and introduce himself while he was feeling so lovely?
Not one single person had said a kind word or shown even the smallest hint of being pleased to meet him. No handshakes, no questions, not even any eye contact. He was beginning to suspect he’d moved into a halfway house for perpetually cranky people.
Or that they knew something about him that pissed them off.
Wells gulped again and hustled into his apartment. Jeez, that brought back memories of high school. Being so cautious, planning his every action and word to make sure he’d be perceived as straight, and worrying about every look he couldn’t interpret. And then when he’d been outed, the disgust and derision had been impossible to miss. People said kids could be so cruel, but Wells knew adults could be worse.
Like his own father kicking him out, forcing him to couch-surf through his senior year.
Wells mentally shook that off. Things were great now and a few grumpy neighbors didn’t mean anything. Sometimes people were grouchy, and they might not even realize they were being rude. Heck, maybe that last guy was deaf and hadn’t heard Wells talking to him as he’d gone into his apartment.
So he’d let it pass, take care of his own business, and maybe knock on some doors tomorrow. Nodding to himself, Wells bounded down the stairs to get another group of boxes.
* * * Continue reading