The following is the first 500 words of my unfinished NaNoWriMo 2010 novel. Comments and critiques welcome. Enjoy!
"Of course you know, the place is haunted," the real estate agent said with a big, dorky grin. The tag pinned to his bright blue blazer read George Finkle. A funny sounding name for a funny looking guy: short, bald, with what my dad used to call a “beer belly”.
My mother sighed, but smiled politely at his attempt at humour. "I'm sure it is."
George Finkle chuckled and reached out to muss my hair. I hate when people do that, like I'm four years old instead of almost fourteen.
"Of course, since the cemetery has been abandoned, you won't actually be responsible for the upkeep of the grounds or anything," he continued.
"Of course," my mother replied as she peered into the small living room just off the narrow hallway where we stood. Jojo nudged past us and started sniffing everything: the fireplace, the ratty rug on the floor, the legs of the old wingback chair; anything she could get her nose on. Like she was a Bloodhound instead of a purebred German Shepherd Dog, and a retired police dog at that!
"And, this is the kitchen." George Finkle lead us off to the left into the small, old kitchen. It looked like something you'd see in a museum. Except dirtier. Peeling floral wallpaper, grimy cupboard doors, dirty green stove, chipped countertops and grungy, spotty floor.
"Oh, gross!" My hand flew to my mouth. I hadn't meant to say that out loud.
"Chris!" My mom said. She gave me a look like, "Yeah, I know it's nasty, but we can still be polite!"
"Sorry," I said.
"Oh, um, yeah, well, the house has been unoccupied for some time now," George said, blushing. "The original owner, the fella who caretaker for the cemetery for over 45 years, died and well ..."
"Did he die in here?" I asked. I didn't really want to know, but I couldn't help myself.
The realtor coughed and cleared his throat before answering. "Uh, well, yeah, as a matter of fact, he did. Right upstairs. In the first bedroom on the left."
"Man, I would NOT want to sleep in that room," I exclaimed.
My mom looked at me and smiled. "I wouldn't expect you to, son," she said. "I'll take that room."
"You mean, you're really going to buy this house?" I asked. Okay, I shouted, a little, and my voice might've gotten a bit squeaky at the end.
"Oh, there's nothing to be afraid of," George said, reaching to mess up my hair again. I ducked at the last minute. "Uh, I was just joking about the place being haunted. Of course. Everyone knows there's no such thing as ghosts."
I wanted to say, oh, really? but luckily kept my mouth shut this time. How does he know? Has he ever seen a ghost? Because I have. Lots of them. Jojo, too. We both know ghosts are real, and places, especially places like this, where someone has died, can be haunted.