The Summer I Died
Author: Richard Anthony

Chapter 1

“It is said the vastness of space holds many adventures, breathtaking sights and wonders beyond imagination. It also binds, within its cracks, terrors that shake the foundation of Heaven…” – Deintus Mythology – 7456 Hatchlings

Chapter 1
My name’s Andrew James Turner, but most people just call me AJ because I guess I look like an AJ. Here’s the part where I tell you that I’m not like all the other kids at Francisco Middle School. It’s true, not because I’m different, but because my parents are.
I’ve decided I had to be adopted and one of these days I’ll prove it when I get enough money to have one of those DNA tests done. Until then, we're stuck with each other. They’re a little weird but that's okay because I'm starting to get used to them. I don't know if that's a good or a bad sign.
“Breakfast AJ,” Mom called up at me as I was coming out of the bathroom.
“Be right down.”
“Snap it up before it gets cold,” Dad added.
Cold? I thought. It’s cereal for crap’s sake. It’s supposed to be cold. See what I mean, how weird is that?
People's first impression of my parents is that they are a little weird. They’re crazy smart but don't have a lick of sense when it comes to being street smart. Case in point, they went to College and Graduate School to become Doctor's of Astrophysics. They went to one Grateful Dead concert, chucked that idea out the window and decided to open up an Herb/Natural Food Shop in San Francisco near Chinatown. Great idea, but there are only about twenty thousand Herb Shops in Chinatown run by local Chinese families, but I have to admit they are making a go of it, at least they're paying the bills.
Don’t get me wrong I love living near Chinatown and The City because my best friend David Chang lives right down the street from me. We've been best friends ever since the third grade when he took pity on the ‘new kid’ in town.
“I’m sticking it in the microwave to keep it warm,” Mom said.
Really? Are you kidding me? The weirdness begins for the morning…
“Fine, be there in a sec,” I mumbled. I stepped into my semi-new Nike Ruckus skateboarding shoes. Laced them up and headed down stairs.
As I was heading down, I was thinking that I only had a couple of hours left and I’d be outta Francisco Middle School forever.
I got downstairs and entered the dining room and right there, over the table, hung a huge tie-dyed banner that read: ‘Happy Last Day of School’ written in glowing watercolors.
My smiling parents stood right below it arm in arm. It kinda choked me up for a moment until I thought about my Peanut Butter Crunch getting soggy in the microwave. Then, the moment was gone.
I went over to them and hugged them, it seemed like the right thing to do and then I got my PBC from the microwave. My Dad was already sitting at the table with his green tea and granola and mom was doing what mom’s always do; washing stuff, tidying up other stuff and humming a Dead tune.
“So are you set for your big day today, son?”
“I guess,” I said as I chomped through another mouthful.
“It’s like I always say buddy, getting older means seeing and meeting new people and gaining new experiences. After today you’ll be finished with middle school and truckin' on!”
Mom softly sighed and said, “You better hurry up, darling or we’ll be late picking David up.”
I picked up my bowl and chugged the rest of the cereal down.
“I hate it when you do that dear.”
“Mom, you said to hurry and that’s what I just did. Now can we go?” I asked as I grabbed my backpack that weigh a ton and headed out the kitchen door to the alley in back with my mom in tow.
Dad opened up the door and said, “Have a great last day.” I waved at him.
Mom started the car it sputtered a couple of times and died. It was a great beginning to an already weird morning and that’s how it all started. The summer I died.


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