Talking Story

Lauele Town Stories

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At recess, Kona couldn’t get anyone to play with him.

“Too hot, dude,” said Glen Miyabuchi. “I don’t want to run around. I’ll get all sweaty and stinky.”

“What do you mean get stinky? You’re stinky now!” snickered Brenda Chang.

“Knock it off, Brenda. You wanna fight?”

“Nah, Glen, relax. Just messing with you.”

“Come,” said Wendell Pacheco with a head jerk. “Let’s go play marbles in the shade by the library.” He held a big marble up to the sun, colors winking. “I have a new shooter. Green cat eye.”

“Sounds good,” said Glen. “Let’s go!”

“Not for keeps, right? Only for fun, yeah?” said Wendell, trailing Glen a little.

“Whatever, Wendell. You know you’re going to lose,” said Glen, rounding the corner to the shady side of the building.

“Hey! This marble’s new. I don’t want to lose it!”

“Whatever,” Glen said.

“Only for fun, okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…”

Looking back, Brenda saw Kona still standing near the classroom door. “Hey, Kona, you coming?” she called.

He shuffled his flip-flops on the cement, sliding his weight from foot to foot. “Uh, no,” he mumbled to the ground. “I didn’t bring my marbles today.”

“So? You can borrow some from me. I have a ton.” Brenda shook her purple Crown Royal bag, the marbles clicking.

“Nah, I’ve got other things to do. You guys go and play without me.”

“You sure?” she said, head tilted to the side. “I’ll loan you some. It’s only for fun.”

“Nah. I want to run even if you guys don’t want to play tag.”

The sounds of his friends’ rock-paper-scissors lingered in his ears as Kona started his long, slow jog all the way around the soccer fields, crossing in front of the Lauele Elementary School sign and back, working up a good sweat.

Man, it’s hot, he thought.  I’m sweating like a pig. Good.

“What’s up with Kona?” asked Wendell. “How come he’s always running?”

“He’s crazy. All he wants to do is play tag, even if no one’s chasing,” said Glen.

“Borrrr-ring,” said Brenda.

“Like we’re still second grade.”

 

To download the entire story, please click here.

Excerpted from Sniff by Lehua Parker. Copyright © 2013 by Lehua Parker. Excerpted by permission of Lehua Parker, LLC and Lauele Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher or author.

sniff_cover_blogKona hated making his bed. Walking around the edges and bending close to tuck in the top sheet made him feel…exposed.

From the doorway Kona leaped to the middle of his bed. Kneeling on the edge of the mattress and leaning down, Kona held the top sheet in his hands. With a bounce worthy of Ringling Brothers, Kona flung himself skyward and jammed the sheet between the mattress and the box springs before landing on his knees again. After inching his way around the bed tucking in the sheet and smoothing the blanket behind him, Kona’s last bounce sprung him almost out the door. He put on his Mom-eyes and glanced back for a final check.

As the bed’s dust ruffle settled, he saw something shimmer. Moving quickly, Kona kicked the empty Oreo bag deeper under his bed. His Mom-eyes spotted the telltale crumbs, and he brushed them off his desk chair before shouldering his backpack. Heading out his bedroom door, he almost didn’t hear the sh, sh, sh, soft and dry like sandy flip-flops on cement, a settling sound, a sound like empty firecracker papers scuttling along sidewalk before coming to rest on a dry, brown lawn.

Sh, sh, sh.

Kona didn’t turn around. He knew there was nothing to see.

To download the entire story, please click here.

Excerpted from Sniff by Lehua Parker. Copyright © 2013 by Lehua Parker. Excerpted by permission of Lehua Parker, LLC and Lauele Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher or author.

sniff_cover_blogBeing an only child, Kona was blamed for things he didn’t entirely do. The best he could figure, it was some kind of screwball adult logic that said if Mom didn’t do it and Dad didn’t either, it must have been Kona.

“Robert Konahele Inoye, get in here now!”

Kona groaned. Three names. He lowered his baseball cap and headed down the hall and into the kitchen.

“Yeah, Mom?”

“Kona, where are the Oreos?”

“Oreos?”

“Don’t play games, Kona. They’re not in the cupboard. I never had them; your father didn’t. Tell the truth. You snuck in the kitchen and ate all the cookies last night.”

“I just had a couple. With milk,” said Kona, pointing to the empty glass by the sink. “Just two. Not the whole package. Really.”

Mom narrowed her eyes. “Don’t lie to me, Kona. Who ate all the cookies if not you?”

He shrugged. “I dunno. Wasn’t me.”

“Those cookies were for the whole week! There are no more cookies. None for snack; none for dessert; nobody gets cookies now. Nobody likes a greedy pig, Kona. Whoever ate all the cookies is exactly that.”

Yeah, Kona thought, greedy, but not a pig.

Mom sighed. “Go get your backpack. Time for school. And don’t forget to make your bed.”

To download the entire story, please click here.

Excerpted from Sniff by Lehua Parker. Copyright © 2013 by Lehua Parker. Excerpted by permission of Lehua Parker, LLC and Lauele Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher or author.

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