July 18th, 2013

user

COOKED BACON

Today I visited the Northampton (PA) Public Library and hung out with their teen summer reading group. What an awesome group of kids! They were really creative and so much fun. I taught a bit about writing a detective story and then we wrote chapter one. Enjoy!

COOKED BACON: A PAPER ROUTE MYSTERY
By Josh Berk and Friends

   It was still dark out. Bacon was awake. He was the only one. Everyone else snored peacefully in their beds. I wished I could do the same. But The Daily Harmony wasn’t going to deliver itself. I had to get out on my bike, put Bacon on his leash, strap him in the basket, and get on the road.
   I stepped outside of the blessedly air conditioned house into the brutal heat of the Pennsylvania summer. We’d had a heat wave for almost two months. More than a heat wave. More like a heat tsunami. The air outside felt like pea soup.
  “Why do people say pea soup, Bacon? No one eats pea soup anymore.”
    Bacon didn’t respond. He just meowed, licked himself, and went back to sleep.

   I was probably the only  newspaper delivery girl with a cat named Bacon as a sidekick, but I liked the company. It was a boring job. Each morning was the same. I picked up the bundle of papers and loaded up my bag. It strained my shoulders; I kept expecting to get stronger and for the bag to get lighter. But my arms were still as scrawny as when I started this job. I wasn’t getting buff, I sure wasn’t getting rich, and my arms still hurt. Every morning I thought the same thing: Money is money.
  “Maybe something interesting will happen today,” I said to Bacon. Of course I was right. Looking back on it, I wish I had never said that. It was like a curse. Something happened on the paper route that day, and “interesting” wasn’t even close to describing it. There was only one word to describe what was about to happen.
  And that word, was murder.