Let Me Introduce You to Sara St. John

As promised, here is an excerpt from the very beginning of my novel, Out of Bounds.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

My name is Sara St. John and my life ended seven years ago.  It wasn’t a death of flesh and bone, but of the heart and spirit, and I think that might be worse.  When I was born, my dad was playing softball in a men’s league.  Legend has it that he hit a homerun the hour I arrived.  I guess he’s always been that way, selfish and absent, but when you’re a kid you don’t see the world like that.  You especially don’t see your father that way.  At least I didn’t.  I saw him as a superhero, a mystery.  Something special and rare, like one of Santa’s leftover cookies on Christmas morning, and I ate it up.  When he’d come home at night, I’d run to him before he had time to shut the door.  I’d throw my arms around his legs and breathe in the smell of his courtroom.  What a fool I was.

My eyes opened on my 9th birthday when he never showed up.  My mom and I sat together at the kitchen table, silently watching the candle on my homemade cake as the flame danced to an unheard happy birthday song.  The wax melted and ran to the chocolate quicker than we did.  We simply watched as it pooled in a small white blob on the top layer.

“Well, he can suit himself,” my mom said.  “If he doesn’t want any, that means more for us.”  Then she sliced off the left third of the cake, avoiding the wax-ruined middle, and served it to me on a paper plate.  She threw the rest in the garbage.  To this day, I don’t like birthday cake.

When he finally came home, he smelled like perfume.  It was in between night and morning, the time when the sun considers starting another day.  My mom’s voice woke me up.  She sounded like a wild animal, full of rage and hurt, and I crept from my room to hunt after her words.  She had stopped him in the kitchen, fighting with accusations and pleas.  It was obvious she had stayed up all night and, like a dog, waited at the door for him to come home.  Pain poured down her cheeks as she flung “How could you?” and “Who is she?” and “Sara needs her father” into the abyss between them.  In response, he waved her off with a limp flick of the wrist.

“I’m not going to do this right now,” he said.

Now, because divorce papers finally ripped my parents apart, my mom and I were in her dirty yellow Volkswagen Scirocco as we moved to Nowhere, Illinois in the middle of the night.  We were already surrounded by nothing and we still had a few hundred miles to go.

8 Comments on “Let Me Introduce You to Sara St. John”

  1. I love the visuals I got when I read your passage! I particularly liked the part about her being like a wild animal and then painting her as waiting like a dog. I feel like Sarah is super depressed, or a little bit of a debby-downer, but I the intro made me want to get to know her better to see if she has a softer side! I think she is a relate-able character that people will want to read more about. I like it so far and would like more please! 🙂


  2. Thanks for your thoughts, ladies! Ali, you’re right: Sara is pretty jaded. Maybe Big Guns will be able to change that by showing her what love really looks like… =)


  3. I expect to receive a signed copy from a great author. You impressed me on the basketball court and also on your off court persona. You will always be our favorite ISU player. I have just spent quite a bit of time reading your faith writings. I am very impressed . I am really struggling with my faith and I think your writings have helped me.
    Good luck with your career and have a great life. Tell Kyle “hi”.
    Suzanne was also impressed. Give us a call if you get to TH.



  4. Wow, Bob, I am blown away by your comment. Thank you so much for sharing your honesty and your support. You and Suzanne have always been there for me (and the rest of the Sycamores), and for that I will always be grateful. I pray that God may continue to reveal Himself to you and bring you through your struggles. Please tell Suzanne I say hello! Hopefully Kyle, Marie, and I will be able to see you both sometime this season.


  5. Wow! You are a great novelist Kelsey! This definitely makes me want to pick up the book. Although it also made me want to cry a little bit


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