The First 250 Words
My Imaginary Fiend
I didn’t know how, but I knew that guy in the Hawaiian shirt was really an ogre.
I saw him through a gap in the plywood, standing at the end of the alley behind our craft booth, gnawing on a big, greasy turkey leg. He had hairy arms and a hook nose and one big eyebrow all the way across his forehead.
I sat perfectly still while my heart thudded. Ogres were the ones that ate children, right?
Except that nobody in the crowd seemed to notice him. Magic dust or something sparkled all around him, but everyone else walked by like he was just some random guy hanging out at the fair. I didn’t know what was scarier – the fact that I was looking at a real live ogre, or the fact that I was the only one seeing the freaking ogre. Was I a few crayons short of a full box? I held my breath and squeezed my eyes shut … then looked again.
The guy in the Hawaiian shirt was just a guy. No sparkles or anything.
I blew my breath out slowly. Get a grip, Cat. Rose warned you not to read those fairy tales right before bed, the other night. Right. Like I’d ever actually do homework at a sleepover at my best friend’s house.
Which was why I was doing my homework now. Feeling guilty, I looked down at the paper on the picnic table in front of me. I was homeschooled, so Mom would be the one reading my report – and the only thing I’d written so far was, “Catherine Brökkenwier, age 12.”