I am working on a book (in my free time, haha). Not sure what will become of it. But here is an excerpt. This is a rough draft, so sorry for errors and improper formatting.
And, yes, this actually happened…
[On Halloween night]
A girl in costume approaches my front porch.
“Hi there! Are you a character from Harry Potter?” I ask. Finally, a costume I recognize.
My mind starts racing. Who are the characters in Harry Potter? Never read the books. Never watched the movies.
“Are you Harry Potter?” I ask. Ok, surely you didn’t just ask this poor girl if she dressed like a boy for Halloween. I mean, no, you don’t know any other Harry Potter characters. And, yes, she looks like Harry Potter with slightly longer hair. But she is still a girl. And no girl wants to dress like a boy for Halloween…Well, most girls don’t. But maybe she just really likes Harry Potter. Maybe she doesn’t care if she’s a girl dressed like a boy for Halloween. I mean, it isn’t politically correct to be gender specific anymore…Then again, maybe she isn’t a girl at all. Maybe she is a boy with really long hair…Gasp!
“No,“ Girl (or boy with long hair) say…and looks confused.
“Of course not, you’re a girl,” I say a little too loudly. Did my voice just go up at the end as to infer that was a question and not a statement of fact?
“You’re the girl in Harry Potter! What’s her name?” Is it just me or is it unseasonably warm for October? I start to sweat.
Girl mumbles the name.
“Her-mi-un?” I pronounce awkwardly. “Her-mine.” I try again. It is like I am speaking a second language.
Girl mumbles the name again, correcting me.
“Her-mi-un.” Ok, I just pronounced it the same as the first time, but slower.
Girl looks annoyed.
Do eight year olds get annoyed? Is she eight? Maybe she’s, like, 12. Really? I can’t guess this kid’s gender OR age?!
“You know what, I don’t watch Harry Potter movies so,…” I put my hands up defensively and shrug my shoulders. Why am I defending myself? And what is wrong with me? You don’t say that to a kid who likes Harry Potter movies…who dresses like Harry Potter characters…who you just insinuated may look like a boy. It’s a slap in the face. I might as well have said, “Your world isn’t important to me,” OR “I don’t care about what you care about.”
“You know what…have a few more spider rings and a Kit Kat!” I drop another handful into her pillowcase.
Girl walks away. I muster an awkward wave to her bewildered parents who are, right now, silently planning how they will help her through the terrible trauma of being called a boy on Halloween night by the lady at [house number].
“Happy Halloween!” I exclaim, a bit too cheerfully. Then I eat another Kit Kat.