I wish something interesting would happen in Jasper. This small town is ideal for families since everyone is nice, well, except for Vince that is. I miss my mom she was deployed overseas two months ago. She told me to help my dad take care of the house and my four-year-old little brother Brandon. Dad texted me during lunch to tell me I had to pick up Brandon from Preschool today. I’m sitting in Band class playing the violin my parents bought me for my tenth birthday. My teacher, Mr. Howell, told the class that Friday is the tryout day for the first chair in each instrument. I was close last year because of my rival, Priscilla Collins, distracted me by nudging my side so I’d play the wrong note. I finished playing the final measure of the song I’m going to play at the recital next week. I look up at the clock to see that I had two minutes to pack up my things.
I lower my music stand after I put my violin into the case. I close my music book, put it into my book bag and carefully put it on my back. I pick up my violin and start to leave the room, looking over at Mr. Howell. He nods and motions for me to get going.
Dad, this would be so much easier if dad would buy me a car. I have my driver’s license for Pete’s sake,
I walk down the hallway to the front door. I’m about to open the door when I hear the school bully’s voice call out his famous taunt, “Hey Band Geek.” I don’t have time to fire back a response since Brandon is waiting for me. I knew Vince was annoyed when I saw him walk up to me from the corner of my eye. Then he yanks my violin case from my left hand.
I quickly turn around and try to get it back, “Vince, give that back, please. I have to pick up my little brother from Preschool.”
“Sorry, Tucker, no can do,” Vince says with a smirk.
I know my dad would get mad at me if I start a fight. I growl through my teeth before I stomp on Vince’s right foot. He winces in pain and I quickly catch my instrument as he stumbles trying to regain his footing. Then I dash out the door doing my best not to look back, so Vince didn’t get another chance to steal my violin.
Twenty minutes later I arrive at Jasper Little Ram Preschool. Brandon is standing outside with his teacher, Mrs. Sampson. I get to the door. Brandon gives me a bear hug.
“Hey, little brother, how was school?”
“Great, I made you a picture in art class.” Brandon answers.
“I can’t wait to see it, but could you let me breathe.”
Brandon nods, releasing me from his hug and takes hold of my free hand. We walk up to Mrs. Sampson. She gives Brandon’s lunchbox back to him, “Don’t forget this.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Sampson,” Brandon says.
“You’re welcome.” Mrs. Sampson says.
“Come on Brandon. We should head home. I have a lot of practicing to do if I want to make first chair violin this year.”
“I know you’ll make it this year sissy. You’re the best violin player ever.” Brandon says.
I smile and start to mess up his hair, “Thank you for the compliment Brandon, but what have mom and dad told you about bragging?”
“That it’s impolite.”
After we say goodbye, we start walking down the sidewalk. We get two blocks away when I start to get a little on edge when I see a purple car with a strange symbol on the grill following us from the corner of my eye. I let go of Brandon’s hand and knelt down in front of him.
“Brandon, you remember what mom and dad told us to do if we ever were followed by a strange car.”
“Yes, we run and try to find another grownup to help us.”
“Right, I want you to run and to get help okay?”
“But, Sabrina, the people living on the street don’t like kids.”
Darn it, he’s right, now what do we do?
“Sabrina, the car just turned into a robot that has blasters,” Brandon says in a shaky tone.
I figured his imagination was working overtime since cars can’t do that. I turn around to see that he is telling the truth. I feel Brandon give me another bear hug, this time I didn’t care as he squeezes all the air out of my lungs again since I know he is scared. I was too, but I couldn’t let him see that.
“Don’t worry buddy. I won’t let this thing hurt you, I promise.”
I set down my violin case and take out the pepper spray dad bought me. He usually is a ‘tad’ bit overprotective. Right now I’m hoping that this will work on a giant metal robot that’s about to kill us. I start to take off the lid when I see a red Dodge Challenger with two horns on the front speed up. It crashes into the purple robot, knocking it to the ground. A few seconds later I feel Brandon start to loosen his grip. I turn around in time to catch him before he hits the pavement.
Why is this thing attacking us?