View Full Version : Sincerely, :) [Chapter 1]

Luke Cm
January 29th, 2011, 07:08 PM
Hello. this is the first chapter of a novel that I'm pretty close to finishing. I've posted here just to get some thoughts on it, as I'm now moving into the editing phase. Thanks in advanced to all critiques!!

Chapter 1 – The Runaway

Greg looked around his messy room and sighed. There was no way he was going to fit everything he needed into one small bag. There was just too much to take with him. Food, water, money, clothes. And thousands of other things that he didn’t even know he should take, but once he left would become painfully obvious.

After about 15 minutes of fretting with himself, the boy just jumped headfirst in and started to throw everything he could place his hands on into my old black backpack. Tissues, shirts, sharpies, money. Lots of money. He scrunched a shirt up into a little ball and stuffed it as deeply as he could into the backpack. It was frantic bliss, not having to care about what he put into the bag. Slowly, his bag inflated like a balloon from all the crap he was putting into it. When it could take no more, he slung it onto my shoulders and looked down at the floor in deranged bliss. It was almost like he had cleaned my room.

Greg slowly walked through his house, silently saying goodbye to it. He didn’t think that he would be sentimental, but he sort of was. The house hadn’t even been his for that long, only about 5 years. He remembered each move he went through, each time saying goodbye to a little part of me. Today, it was just another piece he was leaving behind.

He reached the door and pulled it open, feeling the air rush into my body. He took the first step out of my house, and into the new life he had been forced to create.


“Emergency. There has been a fire emergency reported in the building. Please leave using marked stairways."

Greg watched as his class got up and started to file out of his Chemistry room. It was the perfect time for a fire drill, in the middle of book work. Greg got up and walked with his class out the door and into the crowded hallways. He stayed with his class for a minute, but then stopped following them. He let people push past him until he was sure that his class was long gone. Then, he looped back into his Chemistry classroom, and smiled.

Time to steal an iPod from Steven Brown.

Greg was stealing it for two reasons. First, he hated Steven. He had made Greg's life hell the past year. You wouldn't think someone as nonthreatening looking as Steven would be able to do anything to make Greg upset. But he had. Greg didn't know why Steven had chosen him as a target, but ever since the start of 11th grade, he had hunted Greg down like a rat. Greg wished he could just punch the guy in the face, but his rich mom would probably sue his or something. This way was easy, and there was no backfire.

The second reason Greg was stealing was just that he liked to. He didn't know why. It wasn't that he needed what he was taking, although it was true he wasn't rich. It was just the intense adrenaline that came when he was sneaking around. Some people liked to ride roller coasters. He liked to steal things.

Greg walked quietly through the classroom, until he got to the backpack of Steven. Today, he had brought his third iPod Touch to school. And an iPad. And an iMac. Greg wondered what you could even do with that many once-bitten-apple-logo products. He unzipped Steven's pocket where he saw he had placed his iPod touch. Greg quickly found where it was, and pulled it out.

"Jackpot," he whispered to himself, and turned around. But there, standing at the doorway, was Steven, his face red with fury.


Greg walked quickly through his neighborhood, watching as the autumn leaves fell from trees. He had a lot of distance to cover if he didn't want his mom to find him. She would be getting back late, around 10. But she had a car, and Greg only had his feet.

He walked past the crowded streets of Virginia, careful to wait until there was no cars coming. The cars whizzed by him, none slowly down. Greg wondered if any of them thought, even imagined, that he was running away from home. It was ludicrous to think someone would, he knew, but it made his life feel at least a bit important. Like someone would care that he was gone.

Greg though back to his mother. They hadn't gotten along for as long as he could remember. She was a devote Catholic, he was an atheist. Over time, they views spread so far apart, they couldn't talk about anything without it erupting into an argument about Morales. Sometimes he would try to play along with her beliefs, but he couldn't for very long; it was just too appalling to him that someone could think that way. And her being a single parent, he didn't have anyone else to turn to. He felt a twinge of guilt, but brushed it aside. He had to do this.


Greg stood frozen facing Steven. There was utter silence, everyone else was outside. Greg waited for Steven to do something, anything. Then, he could react and escape.

"What the hell!" Steven yelled at him, and ran towards Greg. Greg jumped on top of his desk and dashed across the room, stepping on binders and notebooks as he went. Steven ran up to where Greg was standing and lunged at him. Greg started to jump, but Steven grabbed onto his leg mid-jump. Greg felt his body fall down to the earth. It felt like he was falling in slow motion. He outstretched his hands towards a desk and braced for impact. His hands collided into the desk, and his whole body smashed into it. His head rang, but Greg knew he had to get up. He tried to make his body move, but he felt stuck, his legs like jelly. A hand grabbed Greg's head, and he was staring into Steven's angry face.

"Give it to me." Steven held out his hand to Greg.

"No," said Greg and he lifted himself up and, with all his strength, pushed Steven. He feel backwards, his arms flailing in the air helplessly. His head hit a desk with a thud, and Greg heard a bang. He looked at Steven laying in the middle of the classroom. His eyes were closed, and blood was dripping from his head. Greg stared at him for a second, unable to breath. He felt proud for a moment, glory even. He had finally stood up to Steven, and defeated him. But... one look at the blood and all he could feel was guilt and terror.

Suddenly, a sound reached Greg's ears. He snapped his head up. Footsteps. Without time to do anything, his Chemistry teacher walked into the classroom and flipped the lights on. Greg was caught.


The day was turning into night. Greg was exhausted from walking for that long.. He collapsed on the sidewalk and rummaged through his bag, looking for a watch. After 10 minutes of searching, he finally found one. 7:30, it read. Night was coming faster and faster every day. Greg knew he only had a few minutes until the sun went completely down.

He stood up, and kept moving. He had to keep walking, he had to. But each step seemed to drain him more than the next. His backpack felt heavier and heavier. Greg looked wearily around. If only he could drive. Or take a train, or a plane. He laughed to himself, imagining himself in a private jet. Then, his eyes caught something gleaming in the last bit of sunlight.

It was a silver bike, left out in someone's driveway. Greg walked over to it. Once he reached it, he saw that the bike had a lock around it, and was attached to the garage door. Greg's mouth curled up into a hint of a smile. It was like someone was challenging him. "Ha, bet you'd want to steal this!" the mysterious force seemed to say to him.

Greg grabbed the lock and pulled. No good. He would have to guess the number. He held his ear up to the lock, and listened as he turned each number. Each time he moved the pad, there was a click. He just had to make sure it was the right click. Greg put his whole attention on working the lock, blocking out all other sound except the lock. Click, click... click. "There's one," he thought, noticing the slightly different sound. Every so often he had to look up to make sure he wasn't being watched. If the owner of this bike saw him now, it would be bad. Very bad.


Greg sat in the principal’s office, next to Steven. The principal, a middle aged women, stared down at papers. Greg tried to act casual, to not show his fear. He tried to tell himself everything was going to be okay. Greg glanced at Steven. He stilled looked dazed from his fainting spell, but other than that no lasting harm was done to him.

The principal finally looked up from the papers and stared at them with jet black eyes. She waited a moment. Greg leaned forward, anticipating what she was going to say. "I'm decided," she started. "I've decided that both of you will get a five day suspension..." Steven gasped in horror at this statement. Greg sighed a breath of relief. "I didn't get expelled," he thought gratefully. Sure his mother would be mad, but he could handle that. Making her move him to another school, and all the legal action behind an expulsion... He didn't know the specifics, only that it could get very expensive, very fast.

"And you Greg," she said. Greg jumped up at this.

"Yes ma'am?" he asked.

"Because you attempted theft AND fought another student, I am recommending you for expulsion."

Her words hung in the air. Expulsion. He thought of what that word meant. His mother yelling, them having to get a lawyer, going to court, moving, and him going to a new school.

"No..." Greg said, barely audibly.

"You may leave," she said, and motioned the security guard. He walked over, an obese man who looked more bored than concerned for what had just happened.

Greg stood up, but only because of habit. He couldn't feel his legs, they were like jelly. He walked slowly out of the room and followed the security guard. He didn't even know where he was going. All he could think about was that he had got expelled.


Click. "That should do it," Greg thought. He grabbed both ends of the lock, took a deep breath and pulled. A grin spread across his face.

It was open.

He slide the lock off the bike quickly and grabbed the handlebars. The bike was a little short for him, but otherwise it was perfect. He was about to pedal off when he remembered he had forgotten his backpack. He leaned the bike against the garage door and went to his backpack. He grabbed it, but forgot he had left the zipper open. Tons of items started to tumble out of his backpack and onto the concrete. Greg cursed in frustration and started to pick them up. He really had packed the strangest things. Greg stared at a sheet of smiley face stickers that had somehow gotten into his backpack. The little yellow faces looked almost mockingly happy to Greg. He peeled one off and placed in next to the bike lock he had cracked. It almost looked like a graffiti sign to him. There was just one thing missing.

Greg took out the black sharpie and started to write on the uneven pavement. After a moment he lifted up his pen and stared at his handy work. He couldn't help but laugh at it. It was almost like he was one of those cartoon thieves on TV, leaving his mark everywhere he went. Greg looked at it one more time before pedaling off into the night.


February 3rd, 2011, 08:51 PM
I really liked how the story went, though the unordered sequence was distracting, the plot seemed to advance smoothly.

Some things I noticed:

but his rich mom would probably sue his or something.

I'd check this sentence, I couldn't figure out what it meant.

Today, he had brought his third iPod Touch to school. And an iPad. And an iMac.

An iMac is a monitor embedded computer. No sane person would actually take one to school, you probably meant a macbook.

Over time, they views spread so far apart,

I guess you meant "Over time, their views spread so far apart,"

Other than that, I didn't notice anything else. I began to read faster (I wanted to know what would happen) and couldn't notice anything else.

Good luck with your novel!