Genre: YA Contemporary
Word count: 86,000
16-year-old Bixby Darwin’s life is thrown into a flux when he’s catapulted into the Witness Protection program.
Yesterday, Bix was Simon Rook.
Today he learned that he was once Sawyer Rock and that henceforth, he’ll be Bixby Darwin.
Yesterday, Bix was avoiding the get-to-know-my-son lunch his mother insisted on having with her current boyfriend, Omar.
Today, Omar was blown up along with his shop.
Yesterday, Bix suspected Omar was a terrorist.
Today, Bix learned his absentee father is an assassin.
Yesterday, Bix lived in Portland, Oregon where he rode the MAX rails, and drank Starbuck’s coffee at the corner shop. It didn’t matter which corner seeing as they were on every other one.
Today, Bix just landed in Cypher, Indiana where funeral processions are considered mass-transit and Folgers a high-brow coffee.
Yesterday, Bix wrote a successful blog and had over a thousand Twitter tweeps.
Today, he was told if he even tries to go on the internet, the Feds will fry his computer.
He’s a little concerned about what tomorrow will bring.
I have imaginary conversations with my dad.
Some people call it blogging. But to me, my posts are the conversations with my dad that I’ve never been able to have, seeing as he abandoned us when I was still incubating. I imagine that he stumbles across my blog, Simon Says, and realizes that this Simon—this short but witty sixteen-year-old—is the son he left without a trace.
I like to think he regrets this loss. I like to think —
“Simon,” Mom calls down the hall to me. “If you make us any later I’ll—.”
“I’m ready.” Heading her off, I save my latest blog. Across the street, MAX pulls out of the station.
You’d think we were having lunch with someone more important than her latest boyfriend. But seeing as she’s reached the critical get-to-know-my-son juncture in this relationship, she’s a little on edge. Or ready to jump off one.
I take out my phone and tweet.
@Simonsays: Lunch at Melting Pot with Omar. Rather stay home than break bread (and dip it) with Mom’s florist/terrorist boyfriend.
“Simon,” Mom’s next call borders on hysteria. “You have to stop calling him a terrorist. What if he reads it?”
“Mom,” I duck under a cloud of hairspray and meet her gaze in the mirror, our brown eyes locking. “You’re assuming he reads more English than plutonium rich.”
Mom bites back a laugh, her mouth forming a heart. “He is not a terrorist.”
Notice she didn’t say he could read.