First 250 Words of The Blue Moon Narthex
Cole McCarthy was hot. Hot and bored. The damp heat of a New Hampshire summer had turned the air to soup, especially in the upstairs train depot office.
The thirteen-year-old gripped the wooden arms of his father’s chair and spun in squeaky circles, stirring up the first breeze he had felt all day. Before it could slow, he leapt off the chair, banged into the wall, and nearly knocked down a photograph of his father shaking hands with some important person. One of many.
Cole straightened the picture, strolled past the war poster of Uncle Sam and stepped out onto the balcony. The train depot below bustled with passengers and workers rushing in all directions. Cole sighed as he rested his forearms on the rail before spotting Norm and his dog, Diesel, strolling between two smaller buildings.
Norm was a small, wiry man, and Diesel was a fat, spoiled black Labrador that followed Norm around as he “got lined out” for the day—which basically amounted to Norm sipping his coffee while delaying the inevitable work. He didn’t technically work for the railroad, but he was Richard McCarthy’s friend so nobody really bothered him about it.
Cole waved and, when the pair didn’t notice him, watched them disappear before he went back inside. He pointed back at Uncle Sam as he ambled to the far end of the office and then paused to contemplate the faded sign that had hung on the wall as long as he could remember: