First Novel Attempt – What do you think?

Here is an excerpt of my writing for the day…Let me know what you think.

John Blakely’s head snapped back as a fist slammed into it. He fell into a nightstand, knocking over a few books and a picture frame. Blood erupted from his nose and splattered on the light blue and white bedspread. His eyes narrowing as he looked at his attacker bathed in moonlight from the window.

“Don’t you ever come near my sister again,” Benjamin Sawyer snarled as he advanced preparing to hit him again as a hand grabbed his arm.

“What is the meaning of this?” exclaimed Melissa Blakely as her husband, Andrew, held Benjamin back. “Why are you in Becky’s room?” Both of them took in the room in disarray, Benjamin’s bloody knuckles, and John’s bloody face already beginning to bruise.

“I don’t know what got into him, Mom,” John stuttered as he wiped the blood from his upper lip and chin. “He came out of no where and attacked me. I just came in to get a book for my English class. I forgot mine in my locker and thought Becky’s would be in here.”

Benjamin stared at him incredulously, fury building again. He was going to rip him apart piece by piece. As Ben started to tense, Andrew’s voice snapped, “Benjamin, let’s go calm down. In the other room. Melissa, get John cleaned up and then come down to the den. John, grab the book and get cleaned up.”

John’s smirk was hidden to everyone except Ben as he grabbed the book off of Becky’s bed. He nonchalantly closed the dresser drawer as he walked passed following his mother to the bathroom.

Fifteen minutes later, Melissa entered the den, noting Andrew and Ben sitting stiffly across from each other and sat down next to Andrew on the couch. “I think John’s nose might be broken, Andrew. I think we should take him to the emergency room.” She looked at Ben with a combination of anger and sadness in her eyes. “We’ve talked about this already, Ben. This is the last straw. I am calling Evelyn now.”

Driving two cars to keep the boys separated thoughts swirled through everyone’s minds. Andrew went up to the desk to sign in, thankful that the waiting room wasn’t that full for a Friday night. While he waited for the two people ahead of him to finish checking in, he took in his surroundings. The pale green tile of the floor had various colored lines painted on it drawing his eye down the corridor. A sign indicating what each color stood for – radiology, ICU, cafeteria. He saw the additional signs for the elevator and bathrooms, a partially done puzzle on a table, even a small coffee station in the corner. Scattered throughout the room were were six other people. A couple walking back and forth with an infant wailing at the top of its lungs, an elderly woman smoothing a blanket over the legs of the man in a wheelchair, and the man in front of him coughing, his face pale and sweaty, wobbly walking away from the counter. With a slight shake of his head, Andrew stepped forward and focused on the paperwork being handed to him, pulling his insurance card out of his wallet. “I think my son’s nose is broken. How long before he can be seen?” He asked the receptionist briskly.

“A nurse will evaluate him, and if he isn’t in immediate danger, he will wait until those ahead of him have been seen,” she responded calmly. “Let me make a copy of your card, and I will be right back.” She returned quickly with the card and instructed him to have a seat.

After the nurse evaluated him, John returned holding an ice pack to his face. He looked at Ben and sneered before sitting down with his parents. Benjamin refused to look at him. The reality of what was going on hitting him like a baseball bat to the gut. What was going to happen now? He thought. Never before had he seen Melissa this angry. She had called Evelyn Burns, their social worker, even before leaving the house. He didn’t know what she said, but having spent his entire life going in and out of foster homes, he knew it wasn’t good when the social worker was called in the middle of the night.

An averaged sized woman with her hair pulled back into a pony tail and circles under her eyes walked in. She stopped and her eyes traveled over the dark heads of the Blakely family bent toward each other talking quietly, and the slumped shoulders of Benjamin a few chairs away. Benjamin’s red hair sparking in the florescent lighting as he picked at his frayed jeans. Taking a deep breath, she wiped her hands on her skirt, and walked toward the group.

“Hello, Evelyn. I’m sorry to have called so late, but we just can’t handle it any more,” Melissa said as she looked up at the sound of Evelyn’s low heals on the tile. “I don’t know what else we can do, but Ben can’t stay with us any longer.”

The social worker looked at them with resignation, not sure what to do. It is 10:30 on a Friday night and she needs to find emergency housing for the twins, but all of the emergency housing locations are full. “Hello, Melissa. Andrew. Boys. Where’s Rebecca?” She asked, suddenly realizing the group was one short.

“She had a sleepover at Grettel’s house tonight. We didn’t think we should disturb her now. Tomorrow is soon enough to find out what Benjamin has done,” Melissa explained, her arm held protectively over John’s shoulders.

Evelyn looked them over again. For the last three years, she has been the social worker for the Sawyer twins, one of forty-three cases currently under her advisement. The twins had always been good, but for the last 6 months, Ben had been lashing out, specifically at the Blakely’s son. “So tell me what happened this time.” She looked at Ben as his shoulders stiffened and then slumped again. “Ben?” He looked up, green eyes pleading, but didn’t say a word. Just then, a nurse called John’s name. “I’ll stay with Ben,” Evelyn stated, indicating for Melissa and Andrew to go with John. After they hurried through the door, she looked around and then back at Ben. She sat down on the green cushioned chair next to him.

“What happened?” she asked gently. “You were doing so well the last couple of weeks.”

“I caught him.” Ben responded with anger growing again. “I caught him going through her dresser drawers. Touching her clothes. Smelling them. I lost it. I screamed and yelled at him. I punched him.” The words coming out jolting one at a time. Tears of anger and shame filling his eyes. “It’s my job to protect her. He won’t leave her alone. I told you that. I told them that. No one believes me. I’m the only one that believes her. No one listens. Aren’t you supposed to listen? To fix things?”

Evelyn kept her composure despite the ache in her chest hearing the desperation in his voice and knowing that there was nothing she could do. “Ben, we talked about this before. Becky has to talk to me if there is a problem, and she told me that nothing has really happened. You and John have had problems since the beginning, but I know if you give each other a chance things will get better.”
“NO!” Ben shouted, jumping up from his seat and beginning to pace. “Don’t give me that BS. I don’t care that he doesn’t like me. I don’t like him. Whatever. I will not allow him to hurt her. He follows her everywhere. Didn’t you hear me say I found him messing around in her dresser? How can you say that is nothing?”

“Ben, take a deep breath and come sit down.” She tried to rationalize with him. “Melissa said he went in to get a book for school.”

“I don’t care what he said to her. He lied. All he does is lie when it comes to Becky.” He interrupted hotly. “Every time he does something he has an excuse, a reason for why he was somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be. How is it no one thinks this is a problem?” His face flushed red with anger as his voice rose.

“Ben, please take a breath and calm down. Why don’t we take a short walk. We don’t want to disturb everyone in here.” She said glancing around at the room that had filled since she had arrived. “I’ll just tell them at the desk that we are going to be down in the cafeteria for when the Blakelys come back out.” She hurried to the receptionist’s desk to let them know where to reach them and then guided Ben down the corridor following the dark blue line.

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