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Kathleen S. Allen

Kathleen S. Allen, Author of the Mel Thompson Mystery Series







Kathleen started writing when she was eight years old and self-published her first book of poems. She has been writing ever since. She has published in various publications including Boston Literary, flashesinthedark.com, the 34th Parallel, The Rose and Thorn eZine, Cardinal Sins, The Offbeat, Ann Arbor Observer, Six Sentences, Tea A Magazine and Calliope. She has a MA in Children’s Literature with an emphasis in creative writing for Young Adults from Eastern Michigan University. Look for her books online and in print.

I am an urban faerie born without wings but I fly on the wings of imagination tethered to this mortal coil. Moonlight sustains me and sunlight devours me. Stars swim in my eyes and my soul bleeds on a daily basis. I am a writer.



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Congrats to Kathleen for placing in the Top Ten in the Preditors and Editors Young Adult Category for How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days.
                                             2013 Top Ten Young Adult Category

New Title(s) from Kathleen S Allen

It It's Monday It Must be Murder, by Kathleen Allen If It's Tuesday It Must be Trouble by Kathleen S. Allen How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days by Kathleen S. Allen

 

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If It's Monday It Must be Murder by Kathleen Allen



Mel is having a bad year. First she gets shot on the job and has to go on disability because she has a bullet wedged near her spine. She is in constant pain and now has to use a cane to walk. She is no longer a cop. Her boyfriend cop moved out because she asked him to. Her best friend since college calls her in the middle of the night; her youngest daughter, Jessie, is missing. Can Mel find her? A body found at the bottom of a tall building is discovered to be Jessie. The cops think it's suicide but Cindy, her mother, thinks she was pushed off the building. Will Mel figure out who killed Jessie and not die in the process?

                                                                               
Excerpt
Word Count: 42023
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File Format: PDF
Price: 3.99

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If It's Tuesday It Must be Trouble by Kathleen S. Allen


Former cop turned PI, Mel Thompson is on another case. The fashion world is an alien one to Mel, but she's eager to learn so she's working as an intern to a fashion designer in order to figure out who killed an up and coming designer. The designer just happens to be the sister of the fashion house manager and a member of the richest family in town. Mel plans on being an intern for a few weeks, getting the information she needs and getting out. She doesn't plan on actually liking the people in the fashion house and she doesn't plan on being in harms way, again.

                                                                     
Excerpt
Word Count: 55522
Pages to Print: 189
File Format: PDF
Price: $3.99
 
    

   
How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days by Kathleen S. Allen





Seventeen-year-old Cassie Cee feels invisible because she’s a double-digit size. She finds a book in a secondhand bookstore that she hopes will change her life. Her best friend’s brother wants to make vlogs about how she is following the ten rules she found in the book, why she is doing it, and how she feels about being invisible for his school project. She agrees, but only if he promises no one but his college advisor will see the vlogs. He promises, but a friend of his posts them online and they go viral. When one of the "famous rules" puts her best friend, Rachel in a dangerous situation, Cassie makes one last vlog and Chuck posts it online. But emails begin arriving from other girls who have felt invisible, and she realizes she has to own up to being "the real Cassie Cee."

                                                                                             Excerpt
Word Count: 42000
Pages to Print: 145
File Format: PDF
Price: $4.99
 
     

   
   

Excerpts 
If It's Monday
The jangling ringtone of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising woke me from a sound sleep. I froze, watching the phone jiggle across my bedside table. Either someone was hurt or dead. A phone call in the middle of the night was never a good thing. I fumbled for the phone, but in my haste, managed to dump my uncapped water bottle onto the paperback book I had been reading. And me. “Shit!” I yelled, grabbing the phone before it got drenched, too. I wiped it on my nightshirt before answering.

“Hello?”

Now fully awake, I dabbed at the water with my pillowcase, and then limped barefoot to the bathroom to turn on the light and get a towel, cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder.

“Mel? Jessie is missing. I’ve called her cell so many times her Voice Mail is full. No one has seen her in days. She was supposed to come home tonight; I expected her at seven. It’s now after midnight, and she’s not here. Can you help?”

“Have you called the police?” I asked, attempting to sop up the rest of the water.

My nightshirt had a huge wet spot. Now I’d have to change. I threw the pillow, with its wet case, at the laundry basket. It landed on top of the pile, making it wobble precariously. I shifted the phone to the other hand, got the wet nightshirt off, switched hands again and stood shivering in the night breeze from the open window.

“Yes, I called the police,” Cindy said. She enunciated each word slowly as if I would not be capable of understanding speech, then she launched into frantic again. “They told me she had to be missing for two days before we could file a missing persons report! One of the cops told me she probably went away for a long weekend with her boyfriend. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend!” Cindy sobbed the last words.

Moving with what I call panther stealth, I tiptoe-limped to the closet and opened the door to get a robe out. Quietly shutting the door, I slipped the robe on, switched the phone to my other ear and sat back down on the bed. The end of the bed wasn’t wet. I listened, but there was only silence.

“Hello? Cindy? You there?”

“Yes, where else would I be? What were you doing . . . sneaking around your bedroom?”

“I had to put a robe on, my nightshirt was wet.” I said; then trying to sound comforting, added, “Try not to worry. We’ll find her.”

“Your nightshirt is wet. I’m not going to go there.” Then she sucked in a breath, “Are you alone? Oh my God, I forgot to ask if Byron was there. I’m just so . . .” she let the words trail away.

“No, Byron is not here. I told you we broke up right after I left the Force. Look, let me make a couple of calls and get back to you. Call me immediately if Jessie comes home or contacts you, okay?”

“Okay; thanks, Mel. I need to call John, Joan, and Joey to let them know she’s missing. I should’ve called them first, I guess. It’s just that you being a cop and all . . .” she let her voice trail off again.

“Former cop,” I said. “You haven’t called them yet?” Partial relief washed over me. “She’s probably with one of them; call me right back after you talk to them.” I crossed my fingers for luck. Not that I had much. Luck, that is.

“You’re right, I bet she went out to San Francisco to visit Joey; you know how well they get along. I’ll call you back.”

She hung up and so did I. Jessie is a smart girl; she wouldn’t just take off without telling someone. I hoped that someone was one of her siblings. But I had a gut feeling. Not one I liked. A hunch. I got them as a cop, and I was always right. This time I hoped I wasn’t.

Using the stairway railing, I padded downstairs sans cane. Yawning, I looked at the clock; after one in the morning—too late to make any calls tonight. Popping a pain pill, I headed back upstairs; then paused on the stairs, taking deep breaths until the spasms in my leg subsided. Hoping the pain pill would work a miracle and actually allow me to sleep pain-free, I climbed the stairs, pausing on each step

I hoped Cindy found Jessie safe and sound, I really did. Poor Cindy: first her husband died; then Jessie was in trouble, and now this. Her luck is worse than mine.

Leaning my leg against the side of the bed I changed the sheets before I laid down on my left side, pulling my knees up to my chest—the only position that allowed me any relief. I lay thinking about Jessie, waiting for the pain to dissipate and sleep to come; wanting Jessie to be okay. I wanted to go back a year ago, before the shooting. I wanted Byron back in my bed and in my life. Closing my eyes, I drifted off. The next thing I knew it was morning and for one shining moment I felt at peace. Then all hell broke loose. Pounding on my front door.

“Mel?”

I got up too quickly; a wave of dizziness assaulted me as I held onto the nightstand waiting for it to pass. The pounding continued. “Mel? Let me in, Mel!”

Cindy. I had fallen asleep wearing my robe, so I pulled it tighter as I made my way down the stairs, gripping the railing and trying not to favor my leg. Taking the chain off, I unlocked the door and opened it. Cindy stood there crying. She shoved something at me as she pushed past me, coming inside.

Looking out, I noticed the neighbors getting ready to start their day. Rob, dressed in his banking suit, waved at me from across the way as his garage doors opened; Maureen in her green scrubs nodded as she got into her car. I waved back. Sighing, I shut the door and limped to where Cindy stood. I unfolded the newspaper she handed me.

Student Jumps to Death—read the headline.

Oh, no! It can’t be Jessie!

My heart sank as I skimmed the article, making my way to the sofa and gesturing for Cindy to sit, too. She perched on the edge of a chair, still crying, but softly, as a wounded animal might cry. At one point I looked up, but she pointed to the article in my hand.

“No, read it. All of it, then we can talk.” I longed for a cup of coffee. No, two. Two cups of coffee and a bagel is my usual breakfast fare. One of my medications made me so sleepy I needed extra caffeine just to function like a normal person. Trying to focus, I read the article.

College student Jessie Lewis was found at the bottom of the Tower Building earlier today. Sources close to her say she was despondent after learning her grades were not as high as she wanted. According to the same sources, she was having boyfriend troubles, but they refused to elaborate further. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Glancing up at Cindy, I made eye contact with her.

“Mel! She didn’t jump!” She took a deep breath. “She’d never jump. She’d never go up to the roof of a building. She hated to stand on a step ladder. Someone forced her up there. Someone pushed her off!”

“Oh, Cindy, this is terrible. I’m so sorry.”                     Back to If It's Monday It Must be Murder
 
If It's Tuesday It Must be Trouble

                                                                Chapter 1

I looked at the calendar on my Smartphone. Three months to the day. I shuddered, thinking about how close I came to never waking up again. As a cop I’d been in dangerous situations and I never thought about dying until the day I was shot. Two years ago. I flexed my left leg. The surgery on my back had helped the pain, but the leg was still stiff at times—especially on a day like today, with rain coming down. Yesterday had been beautiful, one of those days that promised warm days ahead with plenty of sunshine and blue skies abounding. Well, that was yesterday. Today the gloomy skies put me in a bad mood. At least it’s not snowing again. I limped to the closet, opened it and rummaged inside for a T-shirt that read: FRODO LIVES, and a long denim skirt. I spotted my cane propped up in the corner and shook my head at it.

“No, you are not seeing the light of day ever again!” I told it, slamming the closet door shut.

“Who you talking to, Mel?” Byron came into the bedroom, two mugs of coffee in his hands. His caramel-colored skin glowed with health. I gritted my teeth. Sometimes it was difficult to be around non-disabled people, even if one of those people was your cop boyfriend, who lived with you.

“No one, thanks for the coffee.”

He pointed to the T-shirt. “Nice shirt; not sure it’ll make the right impression on the loo though.”

“What are you talking about?” I heard the snappish tone in my voice, but chose to ignore it.

“Don’t you have an appointment with Lieutenant Fitzpatrick this morning to talk about being a cop again?”

“I did.” Sitting down on the edge of the bed, I took a sip of coffee and nodded to show my approval of the strength of it. Byron tended to make his coffee too weak.

“Glad you like the coffee, I had to water mine down with lots of cream and sugar to drink it.” He eyed me. His brown eyes were full of concern. I looked away from his stare. The one thing I hated more than anything was pity. I wouldn’t tolerate that from Byron.

“Tell me, Mel.”

A shrug. “I canceled the appointment. I’m not ready to go back yet.” I don’t know if I will ever be ready.

He reached for my hand, but I pulled away, cupping both hands around my mug. I stared out at the rain dripping down the upstairs window. The sky is crying.

“I thought you were looking forward to getting back in uniform.” Byron stood up, putting his mug on the dresser as he opened one drawer after another, obviously looking for something.

“What are you looking for?” I asked.

“My blue socks, they go with my shirt,” he said.

I pointed to the top drawer. “You are the only one I know who matches his socks to his shirt.” He opened the drawer, rooted around and found the pair he wanted. He held them up like they were a prize.

He sat down at the bench situated at the end of the bed to put the socks on. “I like to be color-coordinated—gives a more professional image.”

“You mean, unlike me?” I snarled. I was aching for a fight, a knock-down, drag-out of a fight. Anything to stop this hole I felt myself sliding into.

“Mel, what’s up?” He came over and sat next to me. He put an arm around my shoulders. “Are you upset about your leg not being better?”

I swallowed before answering. “It was better right after the surgery. I thought—I thought I could do PT and then I’d get my old life back. But it’s been three months since the surgery and I still have a limp.” I sat up straighter. “And on days like this—rainy, damp days—the pain is there.”

He looked worried, his dark brows knitted together as he contemplated me.

I shook my head. “No, it’s not bad pain, not like before. It’s like a toothache that never ends.” I turned my face away, staring at the carpet. “I have to face reality, Byron. I’m never going to be a cop again.”

“Oh, baby, I’m so sorry.” He gathered me in his arms. I wanted to give in to my emotions, to cry on his shoulder; but I wouldn’t allow myself to.

I broke out of the hug. “Aren’t you going to be late for work?” I pointed at the digital clock on the nightstand.

“Yeah, I guess I better go. Want me to try and break away for lunch?”

“No, I’ll be fine. There’s tuna, I can make a sandwich if there’s bread.”

“There is.” Since Byron moved in I have things in my condo I’ve never had before, like clean socks and bread. I had yet to get used to living like this.

“Promise me you’ll rest, Mel. You’re still recovering from being in the Intensive Care Unit.”

“You mean from last December? It’s March now, if you haven’t noticed.”

“Just rest, Mel. Take it easy. Read a book.” Byron was doing what I called his mother hen act.

“I know. I will. You better go. Thanks for the coffee.” I pasted on a fake smile. He frowned, but gave me a kiss before heading down the stairs. I sat cradling the mug. In a few moments I heard him yell, “‘Bye,” before the sound of the front door slamming.

I got up and wandered downstairs. Bryon left me a bagel on the counter, so I popped it in the toaster, sipping the coffee as I waited for it to pop back up. I buttered it and took it and the mug over to the kitchen table where my laptop sat. I took a bite of bagel before opening up the computer.

I had one email from my best friend, Cindy. Cindy’s daughter, Jessie had been murdered last year, and I had volunteered to find out what happened. In the course of the investigation I was nearly killed. She and her ex-husband, AJ, got remarried right before Christmas.

Hey Mel,
How ya doing? This morning sickness is worse than any I ever had with any of the other three. LOL. Good luck at your interview today.

Yeah. Good luck.
The other email was from someone I didn’t know. A woman named Rachel Smythe.

Dear Miz Thompson,
I saw in the newspaper you helped solve a murder a few months ago. I need your help. My sister Ruth is missing. The police won’t help me; they said since she’s an adult she’s allowed to go days without calling anyone, including me, if she wants. But she calls me every day and I haven’t heard from her for two days. Please email me to set up an appointment.

My fifteen minutes of fame. What the heck, I need the money. I emailed Rachel:

Call my phone and I can set up an appointment to chat with you. This doesn’t mean I am taking the case; only that I want more information.

I typed my phone number at the bottom of the email.

The phone rang a few minutes later.

“Hello?”

“Is this Mel Thompson Investigations?” Right before Cindy’s daughter Jessie was murdered I got my private dick license. It meant I was a full-fledged private eye. Big whoop.

“Yes.”

“May I speak to Mel? My name is Rachel Smythe.”

“This is Mel.”

“Oh, thank you for responding to my email. I’d like to meet you as soon as possible in your office.”
I hesitated. It wasn’t that I didn’t want the job, necessarily; but I hated for clients, even potential ones, to see where I lived. I was very protective of my space.

“I’m, er, redecorating my office right now. Why don’t we meet at the campus Starbucks near downtown? Know the one?” I dipped a finger in the butter dripping off the bagel.

“I do. What time?”

“I’m free whenever.”

“Now? I mean, in about twenty minutes?” Rachel asked.

“See you then. I’ll be the one in a T-shirt and long jeans skirt.” I hung up before the woman could say anything more. I hope she’s not a loon.
Back to If It's Tuesday It Must be Trouble
 
How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days

                                                                  Chapter 1
                                                           The Games Begin


My fingertips drifted across the dusty books stacked haphazardly on the shelf. I wasn’t looking for any particular book title—just wasting time while Rachel searched for a book in the romance section. I walked around the secondhand books piled in haphazard stacks on the faded brown carpet in search of a science fiction. Closing my eyes as my fingers flitted over the books, I played a game I used to play when I was younger. If some book wanted me to read it, I’d know by the feeling the book gave me. Forgetting about the piles everywhere I ran into one—or two, I’m not sure—I opened my eyes just as I fell, sending the piles sprawling across the floor. Which, by the way, smelled and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in centuries.

Rachel called out, “You okay, Cassie?”

“Yes,” I mumbled, sitting up.

No clerk came to my rescue, so I began to restack the books. My elbow was a bit scraped, but otherwise no damage. Sighing, I continued piling up the books until a small yellow book caught my eye.

“How to Be Famous in Ten Days,” I read aloud.

“What?” Rachel asked from the other side of the aisle.

“I found a book,” I yelled back.

I flipped through the pages. It appeared to be a fairly recent publication, despite the faded cover. Each
chapter heading had a rule. I flipped to the introduction. The first line read: Find your passion and follow it.

That’s my problem. I have no passion. None. I’ve tried to think of what I want to do when I get done with high school, but so far I’ve come up with zilch. You know those stupid career interest tests they make you take your freshman year? Yeah. My ideal job was either truck driver, because I like to work alone, or zookeeper—I like animals, but not that much. Rachel, my best friend since kindergarten, came out with doctor or scientist, both of which she wants to be. With her grades, I’m sure any medical school would love to have her. My grades are always on the borderline between complete failure and not living up to my full potential. I read until Rachel’s pink and blue tennies came close to my knee.

“Are you ready to go yet? I found tons of books I want to read over the summer.”

She had her arms full.

I read one of the titles out loud, “In the Arms of Love.”

Yeah, they were all like that. Rachel dreams of the day she’ll meet her soulmate; she ignored most of the boys in our school. They were too immature for Rachel; she was waiting for the college boys. I got up. My knee hurt, along with my ankle and my scraped elbow. I looked at Rachel with what I call my puppy dog face.

She shook her head and rolled her eyes at me. “Let me guess, you want to borrow some money?”

“I spent my allowance and I haven’t been able to find a summer job yet. Please?”

She sighed, then held out her hand. “Give it here; I’ll put it on my card. You owe me a Starbucks.”

“Thanks, Rach.”I stood in line with her, scrolling through my iPhone. I wanted to find what year that book had been written, but I couldn’t find it at all. Guess it’s out of print. Rachel put her stack of books on the counter. The clerk rang them up.

“That’ll be twenty dollars and seven cents. Want a bag?” he asked.

“Sure, thanks.” Rachel handed him her credit card. He swiped and handed back her card, she signed the slip.

He handed her the bag. “Uh, could you put your phone number on the slip?” He smiled at her. He was cute in a nerdy sort of way.

“Why?” Rachel asked. “Is there something wrong with my card?”

“No, I thought I might give you a call sometime.” Oh. I should’ve known. Rachel gets asked out by guys on a regular basis. It doesn’t affect her in the least. I’d be thrilled if some guy asked me out, even if he was creepy.

“Are you in college?” Rachel asked.

He shook his head. “No, I’m a senior in high school, why?”

“Sorry, I only go out with college guys,” she said, tossing her shiny blue-black down-to-the-waist hair behind her. She grabbed the bag. “Let’s go, Cass.” I hunched down, trying not to make eye contact with the clerk as we left the store.

“Why do guys ask you out all the time?” As if I had to ask. She was model-gorgeous, she was short like Asian girls tend to be, had a tiny waist, and that hair. Her dark brown eyes were the color of milk chocolate; unless she was pissed. Then they looked more like dark chocolate.

“How do I know why guys ask me out? Guys are guys. No one can figure them out.” She shrugged.

“Why are you my friend?” I asked, slipping down into my usual funk.

“What do you mean?” She put on designer shades that made her look mysterious and cool. The peach-colored spaghetti strapped sundress with a coral hem contrasted against her skin and floated around her knees. Matching peach flip-flops held a silk flower with peach-colored petals and a bright yellow strap between the toes. Her toenails were painted pale peach, matching her lipstick.

“You know what I mean. Look at you; you are one of the most, if not the most, beautiful girls at Longfellow High.”

“So?” She continued to stride down the sidewalk with me trying to keep up with her.

“Look at me, no . . . really look at me.”

She stopped. She gazed at me. “I’m looking, Cass. Now what?”

“You don’t see it, do you?”

“See what?”

“That I am a mess! Next to you I look like—what’s the name of that guy that follows Dracula around? The one that eats bugs?”

“Igor,” she said. We were at an intersection. She began to cross as soon as the light changed.

“Right, Igor. I’m him. I’m Igor.”

“Let’s go in here,” she said pointing to a storefront. No. Absolutely not. No way. It was one of those stores that catered to teeny, tiny girls. Like Rachel. Not like lumbering oxen like me. Every time she dragged me into one of those stores I got frosty looks from the clerks as if they were saying, “Who let you in?” I shook my head. She ignored me, like she usually did, and pushed open the door. Sighing, I followed her. She handed me the bag of books to hold before heading over to a rack of tank tops. I stood near the entrance, in case I wanted to make a quick getaway.

Rachel beckoned me over with a crooked finger. “Look at this. How do you think it’d look on me?” she asked, holding up a sparkly blue tank top. Gorgeous. Everything looked gorgeous on her. A paper bag would look gorgeous on her.

“It would look great,” I remarked.

“Help you?” It was one of those frosty clerks. She wrinkled her nose as if she smelled something rotten. Maybe she did. I sniffed my underarm. Nope, deodorant is working.
She looked me up and down. “I’m not sure we carry your size,” she said. I pointed to Rachel, who was oohing and ahhing over something she had found. The salesclerk brightened. Turning on her heel she marched over to Rachel with a huge smile on her face. “May I help you find something in your size? Let me guess.” She looked Rachel up and down. “A size 4?”

“Nope, size 2.”

The salesclerk giggled. “Of course.” She began riffling through the tops gathering size 2 tanks for Rachel.

“Got anything for my friend by the door?” Rachel asked. I wished she wouldn’t go there. The salesclerk glanced my way for a moment. Her nose wrinkling again.

“We don’t carry double digits here,” she said with a dismissive tone.

Before Rachel could protest, I said, “Look Rachel, meet me at the Starbucks around the corner. Take your time.” I left, lugging the bag of books with me. My insides churned. Either the clerks stared at me as if they couldn’t believe someone like me would dare walk in their store or they ignored me entirely. Like the rest of the world. “I’m a person,” I yelled as I crossed the street. A homeless guy pushing a cart full of junk gave me a scared look. Great. Now I’m scaring the homeless. Nice job, Cassie. At least he noticed me.

At Starbucks, I ordered a Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel for myself and a non-fat latte for Rachel. I stood waiting for the order. The guy at the counter was a lean, romantic poet, curly-haired—oh my Gawd—his green eyes hidden behind tortoiseshell glasses that kept slipping down his nose—way cute. I chewed on my lower lip. Should I ask him out? I took a deep breath.

“Hi, I’m Cassie,” I said. “What’s your major?” Great opening line, Cass. Original. I felt my cheeks get hot as he handed me both drinks.

“English. I’m a poet.” I knew it! “I’m Blake. What about you?”

“Creative writing, fiction,” I lied.

“Cool.” Now’s my chance. Go for it.

“I . . .” But before I could say more Rachel walked up to me. She gave me one of her brilliant two hundred watt smiles, whipping off her glasses with a fluid motion. “Great, you got me a coffee, thanks.” She smiled again, this time at Blake. He looked stunned. “Hi,” she said, being her usual friendly self.

“Hi,” he said, looking as if he would faint dead on the spot that someone like Rachel would deign to talk to him. She grabbed her coffee and turned around.

“Wait,” he said. I knew what was coming.

“What?” she asked.

“Could I have your number?”

“You in college?” she asked, scrutinizing him. He nodded.

“Great, got your phone? I’ll put it in for you.” She reached out as he handed her his iPhone, and punched in her number and handed it back.

“All set. What’s your name?”

“Blake, Blake Carrlington.”

“Hi, Blake, I’m Rachel Song.” She took my arm, steering me away from the counter to a table. “Wait until you see what I bought, it’ll be perfect for my date with Brad.”

“Blake,” I said with a dejected tone.

“Whatever.” She waved a hand in the air. Blake waved back, thinking she’d waved at him. She turned her chair so she faced the window overlooking the street. “I hope he’s not going to be one of the needy ones.” I glanced back over at him. He was my type, not hers. If I didn’t know her better, I’d think she was doing it on purpose. I sighed loudly.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, brushing her hair behind her right ear. I shook my head, rummaging in the bag for my book. I took it out. Rachel did the same, taking out a romance book with a half-naked man adorning the gaudy red and pink cover. Jeez. We both became engrossed in our books. After a few minutes, I got an epiphany. A big one. I slammed my book down on the table, which would’ve been more impressive had the book not been so thin.

“Shit, you scared me,” Rachel said.

“This is it,” I said. “This is my purpose in life.”

“What is?” Rachel’s eyes went back to her book. She’d heard it all before from me. At various times in my life, I wanted to be a ballerina—too short and I’ve never taken ballet—a pastry chef—can’t cook, an astronomer—failed Calculus—twice, a biologist—can’t see a thing in those microscopes, or any number of other careers I fancied at the time. My new career choice was to be a writer. I’d written poetry and short stories, but never felt confident enough to try and get anything published. Still, it was the one that had stuck the longest so far.

“This is. Rach, pay attention.” I tapped the book to get her interest. Her glance drifted over to me.

She was already lost in whatever romantic world the writer had given her. “I am. What?”

“I am going to do what this book says.”

“What does it say?” She glanced at her book. She wanted to get back to reading it.

“About becoming famous in ten days. I’m starting tomorrow. In less than two weeks, everyone will know my name.”

“Okay,” she said, picking up her book again. She took a sip of her coffee.

I pulled a half torn Post-it pad from my bag. I scribbled notes on it as I opened the book again. I couldn’t wait to get home and set out on my path to becoming famous.
Back to How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days
 
 
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