‘Nightingale’ Excerpt – #Trending

I’m still throwing pennies down the well, trying to wish the Nightingale e-book back to life (though the excellent audiobook is still available). I’m seeing glimmers of activity; but don’t have an ETA yet. In the meantime, I’ll be posting excerpts of my discombobulated superhero universe. There may even be an original story that pops up around Christmas (if y’all play your cards right). For today, here’s the first glimpse of everyone’s favorite useless superhero, #Trending, from Chapter 11:

The Southside Mall Incident

Johnny wanted to run.

The door of the store stood open. The florescent lights gleamed off the chromed supports in the glass wall. But every time Johnny decided he would get up and get out, something kept him from moving.

He turned his head with what seemed like a laborious effort so he could better see the girl behind the counter. She hunched forward, resting on her elbows, a phone planted in her hands as she typed with her thumbs. Her hair a neon blue, black and close-cropped at her neck. An elaborate tattoo of an elf in a chain mail bikini riding some sort of giant jungle cat adorned her chest and snaked up the left side of her neck. Silver earrings glinted in her nose, her ears, her eyebrow. When she glanced up at Johnny, it was with brilliant, unnatural, violet eyes.

“If you’re not going to buy anything, you can’t just sit there, y’know.”

He tried to respond, but forming words proved too much for his brain to handle. His head thudded against the wall as he tilted his chin towards the ceiling.

The girl shrugged and turned her attention back to her phone.


Outside the store, #Trending stared as Johnny appeared to go back to sleep. He wanted to help, but he didn’t know how to even get into the store, much less what was going on. All he knew was that Johnny ran ahead of him, as always, then slowed down as he got within ten feet of the store. Picking his way around the scores of people who laid down and went to sleep in front of the store, Johnny made it as far as the bench in front of the dressing rooms before having to sit down.

#Trending looked down at his short shorts, sneakers, and race singlet. There must be a marathon trending on Twitter. He was just going to have to wait it out until his followers managed to overtake the top spot and give him something useful to work with.

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